Artisanal Hoteliers at a Craft Hotel

You know how a craft brewery is smaller than a big multi-national conglomerate brewery—and the beer is better?  La Belle Esplanade is a craft hotel.  We only have five suites and it’s run by the owners who are always around.  Like with good beer, remarkable hospitality is all about the personal touch.  There are angels in the details.  Frau Schmitt is the better half of La Belle Esplanade and we like to think of ourselves as artisanal hoteliers.  Here’s a look at your humble narrator at breakfast:

Artisanal hotelier at breakfast
No one goes hungry in New Orleans.

Neither of us had any professional hospitality experience when we opened La Belle Esplanade.  We read a few books, ignored most of the advice, and pretty much made things up as we went along.  We’ve been open six years and one month now and we’re still building momentum.


Most innkeepers burn out after 3-5 years.  Maybe it’s because we don’t consider ourselves innkeepers that we aren’t running out of steam.  We love what we do.  We’re artisanal hoteliers who run a small craft hotel.  We have five suites, all of them unique the way New Orleans is unique.

As New Orleans goodwill ambassadors with the mission of sharing the authentic New Orleans outside the typical tourist bubble, it wasn’t hard to be different from the usual.  La Belle is located in a majestic and colorful Creole mansion on a beautiful street and, really, if you are bored in New Orleans, you must have a hole in your imagination.  It really is wonderful here and, in a city that is densely woven and richly textured with culture, being an artisanal hotelier is a nice fit.  You do not need us to point you to the French Quarter.  You’ll find it without our advice.  Everything else in New Orleans, though?  That’s what we’re all about.


We are always out and about in this wonderful city we call home.  We go everywhere.  We do everything.  We are always prepared to make personalized recommendations.  As an artisanal hotelier, I’m always on duty.  We don’t take orders from corporate overlords or follow buzz words or trends.  We go with what we know.  We know New Orleans.  I’m always at work, even when it seems to be that I’m not.


An artisanal hotelier runs a craft hotel.
Never a moment to spare—even when it’s happy hour you’re humble narrator is hard at work bringing you the best of The New Orleans State of Mind!

It isn’t hard work when you love what you do.  We love New Orleans.  Tito took the picture above.  I was at the bar working on a blog post, not this one but one for next week.  Ever on patrol with open eyes and open ears, Your Man In New Orleans makes his rounds with one goal in mind: to explore and describe The New Orleans State of Mind.  That is what La Belle Esplanade is all about.

There is a physical New Orleans, of course.  You can see the street grid on a map.  That only describes a single flat facet of this kaleidoscope of a city.  New Orleans is much, much more.  New Orleans is more better, if I can be excused from using a double positive.  They don’t cancel each other out.


Regular readers have noticed that our blog isn’t updated as often as it used to be.  When we first opened, we’d update the blog 3-4 times a week, maybe more.  Then it shifted to 2-3 times a week and held steady at that rate for a couple of years.  Now it’s more like once a week and that saddens me.  I love writing the blog.  I love the long form of describing New Orleans as much as I love the sound of my voice.

New Orleans' favorite artisanal hotelier in his craft hotel.
Your Man in New Orleans is always on patrol to discover the best things to share with adventurers willing to get outside the usual tourist bubble in this amazing city.

Why the slowdown?  We’ve been posting much more on Facebook this year and that cuts into my writing time.  Writing for Facebook and writing the blog are two different ways of communicating.  I’m a young 53 years old (I have the gray in my beard to prove it) but I still find it hard to constantly shift gears every day.  As we build our Facebook audience and fan base, the blog hasn’t fallen by the wayside but it hasn’t gotten the attention is deserves.  Email me to remind me to get to work on our blog if I ever start to fall too far behind.

As I’ve said from the beginning, there is nothing worse than a dead blog.  If a place can’t keep their blog up, what does that say about their other housekeeping.  Everything at La Belle Esplanade is ship-shape and German-tidy.   We’re not ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans without good reasons.


If you don’t follow us on Facebook, you should.  Here’s a link to our Facebook page.  Like us on Facebook.  Follow us on Facebook.  If Facebook isn’t your thing, I understand.  Still, it’s a great page to check out if you are interested in REAL NEW ORLEANS the way Frau Schmitt and I live it.  Did I mention that Frau Schmitt is the better half of this operation?  She is.  I’m just the face of this operation.  Frau Schmitt is the animating spirit.

We post on Facebook 3-5 times a day.  No wonder it takes up so much energy.  Today for instance, we posted 1. a picture of a house in Faubourg St. John, the neighborhood adjacent to ours; we posted 2. a video of a swan grooming itself in Big Lake in City Park at the end of Esplanade Avenue; we posted 3. video footage of the today’s brief rainstorm taken from our front porch; we posted 4. video footage of the downpour’s aftermath, shot from the balcony of our Clio Suite; we posted 5. a photo of your humble narrator saying he was writing this very same blog post; and, very shortly, we’ll be posting 6. a link to this blog.  There are only so many hours in a day….

Thanks for stopping by today to visit with your artisanal hoteliers.  We love what we do and the next time you visit New Orleans we hope you’ll consider staying at our small craft hotel.  Over 18 million people will visit New Orleans this year.  We only have five suites available on any given day.  You are on the right website.  The only way to make a reservation is through here.  The “Check Availability” button is in the upper right of this screen.

Craft hotel view
Follow men’s eyes as they look to the skies in New Orleans’ Central Business District. They wish they were staying at La Belle Esplanade.

Have a great New Orleans day today, wherever you may happen to be.  New Orleans is calling you.  Resistance is futile. Our whole reason for being open for business is to help you find the best things to be found in this amazing city we call home.  You can do a lot worse than staying at a #1-rated craft hotel.  A lot worse.  Consider the best when you make your plans to visit New Orleans.  You can meet the most interesting man in New Orleans while you’re here.


-La Belle Esplanade

…ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans and in Louisiana, #3 in the U.S., and the #17 place to stay in the whole world.

——-The people have spoken!——

Monday, October 8, 2018:  I could tell you a lot of stories about what I encountered in the last week but we’re running low on space.  I haven’t even talked about all the things I wanted to talk about.  Another reason to post on the blog more frequently!!!   Keep in touch.  You have two friends on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans.