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“The real New Orleans”
Review of La Belle Esplanade

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La Belle Esplanade
Ranked #1 of 142 New Orleans B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 24, 2014

If you are going to New Orleans, THIS is the place to stay. It was a wonderful experience. We couldn't have been more happy with our hosts or the place itself. So many great little things that make it special. Matthew and Melanie will definitely show you how to really see New Orleans the right way!

For a detailed explanation of how La Belle Esplanade made our trip great, see below:

Our trip started out rough, with a 9 hour drive in rain and traffic from Austin to New Orleans. After calling Matthew to inform him we wouldn't be there until midnight, and requesting he just leave a key for us, he insisted on meeting us upon our arrival. As we pulled up, he was on the porch waiting for us! Talk about service. We went inside and got to talking, and he asked what our trip was for, and we told him leisure and that we had never been and were open to suggestions. He gave us a map and told us where some key areas were. We took a quick tour, then off to bed. Which, by the way, the place was gorgeous! The next morning we went downstairs for breakfast and Matthew and Melanie had a whole spread of local breakfast cuisine, which was all delicious. As we ate, we chatted with both of them about the areas that we should check out, from entertainment to dining to sight seeing. They both knew a lot about the city's history. After breakfast, they gave us bicycles to use to ride around town (our preferred means of transportation). The street that they live on is probably the most beautiful street in New Orleans, Esplanade Ave. With their recommendations, we rode down to the cemetery on Esplanade Ave, which is a sight to see if you have never seen the above ground cemeteries in person. Then down to Central Park, we fed the ducks with bread that Matthew and Melanie gave us. Then over to Canal Street, which wasn't really our cup of tea, it was kind of like a toned down Vegas strip (Matthew and Melanie advised against wasting our time there, but it was on the way to the casino). We had lunch at a great local spot that has a lot of prestigious looking people in there, probably politicians. I will let Matt and Mel tell you what the place is called! After that we went back to the B&B for a quick nap. We went out that night to Frenchmen St., also recommended by Matt & Mel. Frenchmen St. had a bunch of Jazz bars. It was just outside of the French Quarter. We went to The Spotted Cat and Three Muses, both great place with great music. Three Muses is where we ate and the food was awesome.

Day 2- Breakfast started out the same way, a scrumptious blend of local food. Then Matt & Mel told us about the parades going on and the best way to get there and back. We drove to the St. Charles Street Car, and took that down to the parade area. The parades were a lot fun, then we walked over to Magazine street, where we had lunch at Mahoneys Poboys. Very Good! For dinner we went out to Arnauds Jazz Bistro. Great food and Service. Plus they have a 3 piece band that comes around table to table to play you a song of your choice. After dinner we checked out the crazies on Bourbon St. for a few minutes. It looked like fun, if you were on a bachelor party! But for me and my pregnant wife, not so much. We went around the corner to a nice jazz bar called 21st amendment, then across the street to the Carousel bar, then called it a night.

Our last day, we woke up and had breakfast with Matt and Mel again, of course the food was just as good. We recapped our trip with them and even started talking about ideas for the next trip.

We really feel like we lucked out by finding this place. Being a tourist, i'm glad we didn't just stay in the most obvious place like the French Quarter. If you are going to do New Orleans, do it with Matthew and Melanie at La Belle Esplanade!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ashley0324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

I was just thinking about you two this morning. We hope your trip home was uneventful. Thanks for choosing to spend your "babymoon" with us. You'll have to come back once you settle into even more domesticated life. Mardi Gras is nice, but the more relaxed atmosphere of the rest of the year is nice, too. Best wishes, -M&M.

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

La Belle Esplanade is an awesome place. An easy walk to Frenchman and the French Quarter and great location to explore City Park. Our room was beautiful, the breakfast were tasty and interesting, and the hosts were kind, well versed on New Orleans, and very helpful. We will be returning.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Thank you. We hope you do come back again, if for no other reason than to finally get to Cooter Brown's. You can't walk to Cooter Brown's -- well, you can but its faster to take the streetcar, which is saying something. Nothing wrong with that, and they have the best pastrami sandwich in the city. With a handshake, -M&M.

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Reviewed February 20, 2014

The Reader’s Digest version:

Accommodations- colorful, quirky, clean, comfortable

Location- Perfect! Close enough to the traditional tourist attractions but still removed enough to really gain an appreciation for the city as local residents see it. Walk around!!!

Breakfast- Delicious local treats are served at breakfast each morning and the coffee is top-notch. Spending time chatting with Matthew and Melanie is a wonderful way to start your day!

The other version… The trip was a gift from my husband for my birthday, he was there too, but this really is a story of how my romance began with NOLA…

It is hard to find adequate words to describe my experience at La Belle Esplanade and NOLA in general… wonderful, spectacular, fantastic, marvelous … any other like-minded term you would like to use, please feel free, but understand that nothing could capture the affection I developed for La Belle and NOLA during my all too short 4 day introduction. I say introduction because I fully intend to return again and continue my love affair with the city.

La Belle was the perfect setting for my budding romance. The house itself has a whimsical and charming sense about it. I knew the moment I arrived there that the entire experience would be enchanted. The rooms are spacious, colorful and comfortable and have every amenity you could need, including a delicious treat on your pillow each day. The entire house is filled with unique art, antiques, and knick-knacks that add to its charm. The inn keepers have done a wonderful job in decorating the house and finding pieces that help to tell stories and history of New Orleans and La Belle.

The inn keepers, Melanie and Matthew, I like to think of them more as the match-makers in my story, made my experience worth telling again (and again). They have a wonderful sense of balance between them that makes interactions with them seem effortless and inviting. They both greeted us at our arrival and after Matthews’s introduction to La Belle and NOLA, provided some wonderful tips for our trip. As we discussed each day’s adventures over breakfast, they would provide additional suggestions that helped fuel my love for the city and complimented both my husband and my preferences for exploring the city. They truly helped me see the city through their eyes and hearts.

There is no other place I would stay when I return!

Room Tip: We stayed in Clio- beautiful room and you have the added bonus of a private balcony overlooking Espl...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2014

New Orleans gets under your skin doesn't it? We are very fortunate to live here and to have the opportunity to see the city through fresh eyes every morning because of guests like you. Thank you for staying with us and sharing your adventures. Come back anytime. M&M

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Reviewed February 14, 2014

This was my second stay at La Belle Esplanade -- the first was almost exactly a year ago. I felt like I was visiting old friends. La Belle is comfortable and clean, with roomy suites and period furnishings, and a great location. But the thing that makes staying there a really memorable experience is the owners, Matthew and Melanie. They do all they can to make sure their guests not only enjoy the house but their entire New Orleans experience. They're knowledgeable and helpful in suggesting restaurants, activities and transportation. I appreciated, too, their special attention to dietary needs. Breakfast is wonderful, and no less so for a vegetarian like myself. An early departure meant I couldn't come down for breakfast on my last morning there. When I returned to my room the night before, I found a note directing me to the refrigerator. Melanie had packed me a 'to go' breakfast. Actually it was sufficient for breakfast and lunch (which really came in handy since I was stranded at the airport in Chicago on the way home).

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank RebeccaGayle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2014

It was such a pleasure to catch up and share tips and observations about the neighborhoods with an "old hand." As you know, this is a very meat-friendly city so we are always happy to seek out creole vegetarian options for breakfast and make recommendations for vegetarian restaurants. Thanks for the heads-up on the new Sneaky Pickle on St. Claude. We haven't been yet but it's on our agenda as we eat our way through all 600+ NOLA restaurants. The whole inn is a work in progress going through subtle changes for the better, as we're sure you noticed. Just like the city we call home. Don't be a stranger. You have two friends in New Orleans who will always be happy to see you. Cheers! M&M.

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

My wife and I just returned from a fabulous long weekend. La Bell Esplanade is the center mark, the bull’s-eye of the true NOLA experience. There is no better location to traverse the variety of neighborhoods and city districts. You can expect easy access to The Bywater, the Marginy, the French Quarter, the Treme, Mid City, Uptown, Downtown, and the Garden District. With whimsical style, La Belle Esplanade’s spacious and inviting living spaces and suites give you the feel of sightseeing after the days trek has ended. Local dining within walking distance is pleasingly diverse and culturally significant. Perhaps the best part of our experience at La Belle Esplanade was the warm hospitality we felt from our hosts Matthew and Melanie. Truly excited about their city, they served up daily specialties of local fair from culinary specialists, and filled our itinerary with great tips, options and challenges we would never have attempted had we not received their daily advice. If you stay there you can expect lovely accommodations, great food, excellent service, and a B & B experience you’ll want to do again. We travel and we know the difference between good and great. Stay at La Belle Esplanade and you will too. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Room Tip: We stayed in Les Saintes Suite - nice, spacious, colorful and fun!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank AC4350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2014

When you went to Dooky Chase's for lunch and Port of Call for dinner that first day, we knew you were going to leave with good memories of your visit. Not because we recommended it, but because your approach to the city on its own terms was a recipe for magical adventures uncovering hidden gems the locals visit all the time. We provided some guidance, but you did the hard work of enjoying every turn of the corner (easy work, really). Anybody who takes the 91 bus that stops in front of our house is okay with me. Smart. Laissez les bon temps router, indeed! If you find yourselves in New Orleans again, don't be strangers. Dooky Chase has the best gumbo in New Orleans! We look forward to seeing you say it on TV. Good memories. -M&M

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

My husband and I spent 4 nights here for my birthday in January. We loved the location as it was close enough to walk to all the action of the French Quarter during the day and a quick (and inexpensive) cab ride back at night. Esplanade is a beautiful area that we enjoyed exploring and ate in the neighborhood one night at Nonna Mia (very good!). The house is unique and quirky and felt so much more authentic than staying in some chain hotel. Plus, then there wouldn't have been Matthew and Melanie! They were fantastic hosts from the moment we got there to the day we left. They were gracious enough to let us borrow the bikes on more than one occasion. (I would highly recommend taking advantage of this perk as my husband and I got to see many off the beaten path gems of New Orleans that we would not have without the bikes). We enjoyed sharing our previous day's adventures with them at breakfast and then getting new suggestions for that day. All in all a fantastic trip, large in part due to our stay at La Belle Esplanade! We would stay here again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank AMM2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2014

I like to say when people check in, "If you tell someone from here that you are staying on Esplanade Avenue, they're going to say, 'Oh, I love that street.'" We are happy you found us because we love our neighborhood, too. This is how the rest of the city lives outside the French Quarter and away from the Convention Center. It's very nice, as you've discovered. Come back anytime. Come back when it's warmer outside. You are always welcome here. Cheers and happy birthday, again, and many, many more! You have two friends in New Orleans. -M&M

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Reviewed February 1, 2014

My wife and I stayed at La Belle Esplanade for a weekend in mid-January (2014) and thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Matthew and Melanie. As wonderful as the house and the breakfast are, it's their friendly personalities that sets this B&B apart. Both are very personable and helpful, asking about your interests and suggesting new places to explore, whether its restaurants, jazz clubs, neighborhoods, City Park. You learn what's new, or as is the case with much of this colonial city, what's being renovated, remodeled, and rejuvenated. Matthew told us about Circle Foods, a recently reopened grocery store in the 7th Ward, where we bought a king cake and some pralines to take home. Though we have been to New Orleans dozens of times, they directed us to neighborhoods and restaurants we've never been to before. You'll learn alot about the history of the house, the neighborhood, and the city. We're anxious to go back and stay with them again. It will be like visiting friends.

Room Tip: If you are used to a larger bed, choose Suite 1, Les Fleurs, for a queen size bed. All the other sui...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank dailysojourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthew K, General Manager at La Belle Esplanade, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2014

We're so glad you found us. I went to Circle Foods recently, myself. They're still not done with the restoration, but they're really doing a nice job on this neighborhood icon. When you come again, we're putting a queen bed in the Clio Suite tomorrow as well as some new furniture. We've also changed some of the furnishings in Les Fleurs. The inn is a work in progress, like the city itself. Cheers! M&M

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Additional Information about La Belle Esplanade

Address: 2216 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119-2606
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Louisiana > New Orleans > Treme
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 142 B&Bs / Inns in New Orleans
Price Range: $131 - $255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The most interesting place to stay in America's most interesting city. Visit New Orleans like you belong here. Located in a picturesque neighborhood that is close to everything but off the usual tourist radar, La Belle Esplanade will surprise and delight with it's quirky authentic details, locally sourced breakfasts, and lively intelligent conversation. You have at least two friends in New Orleans. ... more   less 
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