I enjoy staying in B&Bs instead of hotels since most B&B owners give my stay a personal touch, offering information on the local area, restaurants, places to see, etc. And, during business travel, I find hotels to be impersonal and boring. I have to admit, my stay at the Chimes recently was not really like other B&Bs. It was more like staying with family or old friends.
Jill and Charles have operated this B&B for almost 20 years. It's pretty obvious that they know what they are doing. They aren't just opening their home to travelers. They are giving travelers a comfortable place to stay and tips on a wonderful city to explore.
The 5 Chimes B&B rooms are not really your typical "rooms in a house". 3 of the 5 rooms are rooms in the courtyard behind the house. The 2 other rooms are in the main house but access is via a courtyard door rather than a door into the house. This is nice so you can come and go without having to disrupt Jill and family who actually live in the house.
Breakfast was surprising simple at first, especially given a recent stay at another B&B in Washington where breakfast was a 5-course event. Juices, pastries, cheeses, bread, cereal, coffee, etc. Quite a bit of food if you wanted it, or just a little bit if you ate too much local food the night before. Rather than having individual tables where guests can ignore each other, Jill would sit at the big dining room table with the guests, talking about the city or politics or life in general. Charles would walk though and say hi. Neighbors would stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat. A cat would walk through. It was like no B&B that I'd ever been to. So much community and discussion, you forgot that this city is rumored to still be underwater or in a dilapidated state.
The courtyard is a peaceful, tree-shaded place to relax with a book. Jill installed a small refrigerator near the courtyard for guests who preferred a glass of wine with their book. (Payment is a small box in the fridge and the honor system)
Note that Katrina didn't necessarily cause all the damage to New Orleans, the levee breaches did. So, the water spread from Lake Pontchartrain but stopped a few blocks from the Garden District and the Chimes B&B. The neighborhood around the Chimes is just like any other neighborhood, not damaged at all.
During our stay, we met other guests who have been coming to the Chimes B&B every year for many years. At first I thought that was odd, but after our stay, I understood exactly why guests would find this B&B to be so welcoming, charming, relaxing and a great place to stay during a visit to New Orleans.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Chimes Bed and Breakfast has been serving guests since 1986. The five individual guest rooms, with private entrances opening on to a tropical New Orleans style brick courtyard, are well appointed and comfortable. The Chimes is located in the residential Garden District/Uptown neighborhood where restaurants, coffee houses and shops are within walking distance. The owners are on site offering advise on restaurants, tours, workout facilities and specific detailed information as needed. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chimes b&b
- Chimes Hotel New Orleans