At the InterContinental New Orleans, concierge Michael Beninate draws on 22 years of experience to guide visitors on what to do and where to dine in this lively and historic city. Here’s his expert guidance for business travelers.
What should business travelers have on hand when visiting your city?
New Orleans is very walkable in the city center. Bring comfortable shoes and light clothing during summer. Choose comfort over fashion.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Peche (800 Magazine St., Ph: +1-504-522-1744) serves the finest of fresh Louisiana seafood; it received the James Beard Foundation Award for the Best New Restaurant of 2014. Trenasse (444 St. Charles Ave., Ph: +1-504-680-7000), in our hotel, offers a Gulf Coast menu of oysters, gumbo and even alligator. Enjoy a modern Louisiana twist on Old World cuisine at Luke (333 St. Charles Ave.; Ph: +1-504-378-2840), a Franco-German brasserie.
What’s something that surprises guests about your city?
Visitors are surprised to learn that the unique architecture of the French Quarter actually was more greatly influenced by the Spanish, who governed the city in the late 1700s. On a less academic note, guests also are amazed that they can take their alcoholic beverages to go.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?
A stroll through the French Quarter is a must. You can shop your way along Royal Street all the way to Jackson Square and the French Market.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?
Dancing in the street to live brass bands! But visitors also can take a jog up beautiful St. Charles Avenue or along the mighty Mississippi River.