New Orleans Ritz-Carlton Exclusive Event

As a Ritz-Carlton Reward Credit Card member, one of the perks we receive is exclusive event invitations throughout the year.  I tried to do research on these events and if they were worth going to but I didn’t come up with much results online. We decided to give the New Orleans trip a try and wanted to share our experience for others curious about these exclusive events. Are they worth it? ABSOLUTELY YES!

Let me add that our reviews and opinions are our own and that Ritz-Carlton, J.P. Morgan Chase, or any other affiliate did not sponsor or add any admission to this review. We paid in full for our experience and do not receive any perks from these companies.

Below was the itinerary for the weekend, in red is our review. Photos are a combination of our personal photos and the professional photos they took for us at the event.

The itinerary:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
ARRIVAL AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, NEW ORLEANS
“You and your guest will enjoy a two-night stay in this historic luxury hotel that sits on the edge of the French Quarter.”
We had a beautiful pristine bedroom with a gigantic tub. We were thrilled to find a personalized note addressed to @wheresmadison. What a great touch to connect with us, talk about going above and beyond!


WELCOME COCKTAIL & HORS D’OEUVRES RECEPTION
“Kick off your weekend experience at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans with cocktails and a private performance by world-renowned jazz trumpeter and singer, Jeremy Davenport.”

Jeremy Davenport was extraordinary, a great way to start the evening! Drinks and hors d’oeuvres were plentiful. We enjoyed dancing and connecting with the other couples at the event. 
PRIVATE CONCERT AT THE LITTLE GEM SALOON
“You and your guest will head over to New Orleans’ famed Little Gem Saloon, where you will indulge your senses with Southern Soul cuisine, cocktails and a private concert by jazz legend Kermit Ruffins.”
The most unique part of our trip was when they shut down the streets of New Orleans for our group. Police escorts, a band, light up drinks, people in costumes….we had our own little parade. Something we will truly never forget! We walked to The Little Gem Saloon and then enjoyed our private concert. We were lucky to get front row seats with a great group of people. I was so memorized by the music and atmosphere that I almost forgot to eat. The food was spectacular, glad I didn’t actually miss it.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
FREE TIME TO EXPLORE THE CITY
“Start your day with a delicious breakfast in the Club Lounge then spend the day taking in the sights and sounds of this historic melting pot city. You can also enjoy an optional VIP tour of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans Art Collection.”

During our free time we decided to take advantage of the City Sightseeing tickets we were given. Highly recommend the double-decker bus if you make your way to New Orleans. The tour guide was so informative and we learned so much about the city! We also strolled around the French Market and Jackson Square. Then we spent some time in the Ritz club lounge relaxing and sipping wine. 
EVENT AT THE HOME OF CHEF JOHN BESH
“You will be transported to the private estate of celebrity Chef John Besh, where you will enjoy a VIP cocktail reception and New Orleans cocktail demonstration. You’ll also join Chef Besh in his personal kitchen for an authentic New Orleans cooking demonstration, followed by a multi-course dinner prepared by the chef himself.”
We were greeted with glasses of champagne as soon as we entered our limo bus to Chef John Besh’s house. Along with unique hors d’oeuvres passed out during the ride. Great conversations and new friends.

We arrived at Chef John Besh’s house and after being handed another drink headed straight up to his kitchen for a private cooking demonstration. Chef Besh showed us an easy way to cook quail. It was thee best quail we have ever tasted. Next we were whisked away to learn how to make a sazerac cocktail. Fun all around. Then we headed to his boat for a ride along the bayou. Wine and more appetizers were served. The homes along the bayou were gorgeous. Last before dinner we heard some stories from another chef about the area. Then we sat down for the most exquisite dinners we have ever and probably will ever have! Chef John Besh was a pleasure to meet. We also found out that he was a  US Marine, so Jon enjoyed chatting with him about that. Thank you Chef Besh for welcoming us to your home, it will forever be in our memories!

 

We returned to our room that night with a special thank you bag full of goodies to help us commemorate our weekend. Signed Chef John Besh cookbook, signed Kermit Ruffins cd, picture of The Little Gem Saloon, and a tin of treats from Southern Candymakers.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9
CHECKOUT AND DEPARTURE
“Before you leave, cap off your unforgettable weekend with a farewell breakfast in the Club Lounge.”

Thank you Ritz-Carlton Exclusive Events (and everyone involved) for a wonderful trip. We were blown away with the level of service we were provided. Unlike most of the other couples this was a splurge for us…. but it was worth every penny. We look forward to attending more events in the future! 

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Do you have questions about the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card or their exclusive events? Feel free to comment below and we will answer the best we can! We will add the questions below:

Q&A:

How many people get to go to these events? I’m sure each event varies but this particular event was 25 couples. (50 people total)

How do you hear about these events?  First off you have to be a Ritz-Carlton card member. We usually hear about events via e-mail but its always helpful to check on their website ever so often so you don’t miss anything. We missed out on the Grand Cayman event coming in January because we didn’t get the e-mail.