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!
- 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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