My wife, 25 year-old son, and I went down to New Orleans the day after Christmas to see old friends and explore the fantastic food and music culture of New Orleans. I have been to New Orleans more than a dozen times on business and pleasure, and I can say unequivocally that the Audubon Cottages was the best place I have ever stayed in New Orleans. The cottages are affiliated with the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, but they are about a block away from the hotel. To get to your cottage you open a door on the street and stroll down a brick walkway to find yourself in a courtyard with a heated swimming pool that's a mere steps from the fully renovated 19th century cottages. Our cottage, number 5, had two good-sized bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, and a living room with a mini-bar and sink. The bedrooms had no windows, but the ceilings were so high they didn't feel claustrophobic at all. What was truly great about staying at the Audubon Cottages was how quiet and secluded it felt, even though we were two blocks from Bourbon Street and the heart of the quarter. The wi-fi was powerful, there were three tvs in our cottage, and we even had a little sitting area in the courtyard where we had breakfast a couple of mornings. The breakfast itself was pretty lame, boxed cereals, commercial yogurt, and humdrum pastries, but New Orleans has so much good food it wasn't a problem. In fact, one of my favorite New Orleans breakfast spots, the Camellia Grill, opened a second branch two blocks from the Cottages, so I would advise anyone staying at the Cottages to have breakfast there at least once. The pecan waffles are great, and to eat something truly decadent there ask them to put a piece of chocolate pecan pie on the griddle, topped by vanilla ice cream of course. I would go back to the Audubon Cottages in a heartbeat. There's nothing like them in New Orleans that I know of.