The Bon Maison Guest House, located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, offers a nice combination of historic charm, great location, and value for travelers wanting to spend some time in this part of New Orleans.
First, the location: anyone who has spent time on Bourbon Street might be justified in thinking you would have to be out of your mind to consider lodging on the street itself, but in fact the guest house is located a block outside the center of the action (and noise), with only a few gay nightclubs nearby, and you don't really hear them. You are walking distance from everything tourists normally visit in the old town: the main graveyard, Jackson Park, the historic buildings, and of course Bourbon Street itself. Parallel to Bourbon Street one block over is Royal Street, known for its art galleries and awesome street musicians -- a nice antidote for when Bourbon Street's noise and sleaze gets old. The trolley is a few blocks walk towards the river, and can take you to the Central Business District, Garden District, and beyond (though allow lots of extra time; based on our limited experience, their transit system is absurdly dysfunctional). Following Chuck's advice, we didn't rent a car, and were glad we didn't -- the French Quarter is pretty much devoid of long term parking, and every motorist we saw struggling to navigate through the never-ending crowds looked stressed and cranky.
The building is part of a historic complex that has been subdivided, but contains part of the original main house and part of the slave quarters -- a set of shallow apartments stacked three floors high, on the other side of the charming courtyard. Chuck and Butch, the proprietors, live in the upper floors of the main house, and rent the bottom floor and the slave quarters. Chuck was friendly and helpful, but never intrusive. The entrance is via a very secure metal gate and then down a passageway to the courtyard. Our unit, E, was basically a compact studio, with a small kitchenette furnished with mini fridge, microwave, toaster, sink, and a set of basic dishes and utensils. There was a medium size bedroom, small bathroom (shower only), and a closet deep enough to fit all three pieces of our carry-on luggage. The unit was quite clean, but there was no maid service during our three day stay -- not an issue for us, but could be for some. Also, although there is basic hand soap, there are no toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc., so be sure to bring your own. It's not a B&B, but there are plenty of places around to eat, including a diner across the street, or you could get some basics and make your own breakfast. (Tip: If you are there on a weekend morning, go around the corner to Eat, for a truly phenomenal brunch, though best to get there early or the line is down the block.)
Overall, this place is ideal for anyone who values historic charm, being self-sufficient, and having a perfect location over a pampering big hotel experience.
- Also Known As:
- Bon Maison Guest House Hotel
- Bon Maison Guest House Hotel New Orleans
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay at the Bon Maison Guest House during your next visit to New Orleans! The 1833 Historic Town House and Slave Quarters are located in the heart of the French Quarter on Bourbon Street. Relax in our beautiful Courtyard. Shopping and restaurants are only steps away. All of our updated suites are furnished in New Orleans style, offer Private Entrances, Queen-size beds, Private Bath, Cable, Heating and Air Conditioning, Kitchenettes (small refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker), and Iron/Ironing Board. Smoking is allowed in the areas of Courtyard and Balconies only (not in rooms). Accommodations are not suitable for children. No pets allowed. Open year round. Great for small groups! ... more less