The Crescent City’s first true boutique hotel occupies the historic Beaux-Arts building in the Central Business District that was once home to the United States’ first World Trade Center. In the same spirit, and true to the cultural crosswinds that shape the distinctive flavor of New Orleans, it exudes a worldly sophistication with a quirky local flair. The stylish bar, loa, whose very name means “divine spirit,” embraces New Orleans’ own special Voodoo culture with candlelit ambience. The resident “Spirit Handler,” Alan Walter, is the city’s acknowledged cocktail authority, with a relationship to drink akin to that of a fine chef to food. The lobby décor and staff uniforms observe the tropical ritual of changing to suit the season. Perhaps most enchanting of all, throughout the year the lobby becomes the setting for special customs and rituals peculiar to New Orleans, such as St. John’s Day in June, and Louis Armstrong’s birthday, in July.