Last November (2012) I decided I wanted to plan a special trip for my wife when she went on Spring Break in 2013. She works really hard as a professor of photography and art appreciation. After much research, I chose Front Beach Cottages in Ocean Springs, MS. Sometimes you get really lucky when making a decision on a new place to go, and this one was hit out of the park.
Front Beach Cottages is located on a very quiet street in the heart of Ocean Springs, MS. The beach is one and a half blocks away, the Walter Anderson museum and gallery two blocks, the downtown area four blocks, and Shearwater Pottery about six blocks or so. It's very walkable and bike friendly. The Cottages has a number of single speed beach cruisers available to use (first come first serve) but if you want to have some really nice rides you should bring along a nice comfort bike (as we did). Ocean Springs isn't a challenging ride, but it's also not flat, and there's a wonderful bike trail that starts at the bridge over the bay and winds through Ocean Springs for about 13 miles. There are both high end restaurants and bar food galore, and plenty of little shops and many, many parks.
Front Beach Cottages is owned and operated by Jason and Cathy, and they are wonderful friendly people. If you need something you just ask, but they mostly leave you alone to enjoy your experience. You also get the pleasure of their wonderful cat, Nola, and their dog who is very friendly, small, and unfortunately I can't remember his name.
There are four units in the cottages. Key West, Nola, Bellande, and Lagniappe. Nola and Lagniappe are in the same building, the other two are stand alone. I selected Nola for our stay after much good advice from Cathy.
Nola is a studio of about 1000 square feet. As you enter the front door, the queen size bed is to your immediate left, then the full kitchen, two person dining area and seating area with a love seat and single chair, then an enormous bathroom with a tub easily accommodating two people, as well as a large, separate shower.
Just a word here about little things that make a big difference. The fixtures in the kitchen and bath are fabulous. No cheap Home Depot stuff here, Jason and Cathy went all out for quality and style. The decorations and appointments to the unit are absolutely beautiful, and again, nothing that even hints at cheap.
There is also a nice deck on the back of Nola, with a hammock, outdoor shower for washing off the sand from the beach, and a small but perfectly functional grill for use with "real" charcoal.
The flat screen TV mounted for watching in bed (can also easily be watched from the lounging/seating area) has the full compliment of cable channels, and wifi is there in Nola, albeit just a little weak on signal strength, though still functional. If you're worried about TV and wifi access, you should be staying somewhere else, because the beauty and access around Front Beach Cottages demands you should be outdoors experiencing the beauty and pleasures of Ocean Springs.
With the exception of Bellande cottage, the cottages are intended for a couple only. Bellande has a couple of extra bunk beds, an extra TV and is the largest of the units if you have little ones or are maybe travelling with friends. Lagniappe is the smallest, but still perfectly functional for a couple and Key West has plenty of room for two to enjoy. There's no doubt at all that Nola was the best of the four for us.
Now you're thinking nothing could be this perfect. OK, here's the one downside to Nola/Lagniappe. Because they share a common wall, you can hear the people in the other room. Not hear like you can follow their conversation, but hear like you know they're there. Do not be dissuaded from either on this one very small negative. Front Beach Cottages is not a destination for college kids on spring break, so you're going to have adults sharing your space, and having had Lagniappe occupied the whole time we were in Nola, I would not hesitate to take the Nola cottage again.
The photographs on the Front Beach Cottages web site don't even come close to how clean and nicely appointed these cottages are. This is an amazing value for getting away and relaxing. We plan on doing this again, and again. The guests in the Bellande were going to be there for three months. I'd love to do three months at Front Beach Cottages.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Front Beach Cottages is a coastal inn offering 3 cozy, self-contained cottages nestled beneath the oaks in downtown Ocean Springs, just a block and a half from Front Beach and 3 blocks from downtown. ... more less