The French-founded city of New Orleans is a playground for your senses; the sound of lively jazz flows through vibrant streets; the renowned Preservation Hall – a cornerstone of the city’s music and culture – hosts an acoustic jazz concert almost every night of the year and there are horse-drawn carriages to discover the cultural sights of the French Quarter. Food is big in this city; be sure not to leave without trying a traditional roast beef po’boy – the delicious ‘poor boy’ is the staple sandwich of New Orleans. The city is jampacked with colourful festivals and extravagant events. In July is the much loved ESSENCE Festival, (headlining massive names such as Diana Ross and John Legend) and then the annual Mardi Gras, an iconic affair usually falling in the month of February, is a celebration bursting with over-the-top costumes, loud traditional music and brightly decorated floats. If you don’t fancy trailing through the streets, take in the ambience from the comfort of your private balcony when staying in the Grand Suite at Soniat House, set in the atmospheric neighbourhood of Vieux Carré. Equally elegant is the Windsor Court Hotel, with its recent US$22 million restoration, the hotel boasts new décor in all rooms and suites as well as the addition of a sophisticated cocktail bar and lavish spa.