Close your eyes and think about New Orleans. You’re smiling right now, aren’t you? Imagine how much more you’d be smiling if you were here in person—-and I’m not talking about Bourbon Street or around the convention center. I’m talking about real New Orleans, away from the touristy hullaballoo and the big hotels. To experience the real New Orleans, the way people live it, you deserve to treat yourself to a small personalized hotel off the typical tourist radar. Treat yourself right in New Orleans. It will be totally worth it. Dreams come true in New Orleans. I see it happen all the time.
I live here. I’m living the dream.
MAKE YOUR SWEET DREAMS COME TRUE IN NEW ORLEANS.
When you live in New Orleans you aren’t missing out. There is still plenty of gumbo, brass band jazz, po’ boys, and parades to go around. Laissez les bon temps rouler. It is somewhat different from tourist New Orleans, however, different in all the best ways.
I was at the New Orleans Museum of Art on Thursday. The city’s most prestigious art museum is about a mile’s stroll from our front door. It’s a beautiful walk. That’s why our street is named Esplanade Avenue. It was a beautiful day, the way every New Orleans day is full of delightful charms and diversions that make a person who is wide awake to possibilities smile.
At NOMA, I was admiring the Odilon Redon painting they have in their collection on display in one of the second floor galleries. The painting it s riot of colorful butterflies, just like I saw as I walked up Esplanade Avenue that afternoon. Every New Orleans day is woven from the stuff of which good dreams are made.
I’ve been reading a book about Odilon Redon today. That’s where this picture comes from. Odilon Redon painted it. It’s called, Closed Eyes, painted in blue and gold. Redon’s father lived in Louisiana, so there is a connection, though, unlike Degas, Redon never visited the Crescent City. He was French, through and through, the way New Orleans is the most francophile of all of America’s cities. Dreams come true in New Orleans, though it very rare to find someone in the city that speaks French nowadays. We make not speak French but we feel French in our bones. That is what it is like to live in New Orleans.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BORED IN NEW ORLEANS.
If you are bored in New Orleans, you have a hole in your spirit and it will take more than a vacation to fill that void. Happily, people who stay off the typical tourist map are rarely bored.
If you spend all your time in the French Quarter, there is only so much of the same old thing you can take. How many novelty tee shirts do you want to buy? How many hucksters and con men do you want to dodge? How many mediocre fried oysters can one person eat? If you don’t live in New Orleans you can’t know that there is a whole wide and wonderful city out here for you to explore and enjoy, and, you know what? People will be happy to meet you.
If there is anything that a New Orleanian loves to do, it is share their city with strangers and introduce them to the many, many joys that make up our days in this wonderful city we call home. I know. Not only do I live here, I do it for a living. I am a New Orleans goodwill ambassador and I have the monocle to prove it:
During normal years, being an innkeeper is no way to get rich. During COVID-19 even less so. Maybe next year we’ll have guests stay at our inn again. If you want to come before then, there is still plenty to do. Everyone you meet will be happy to see you. Trust me. They’re happy to see me and they see me every day. Every New Orleans business is looking to entertain fresh faces. Be one.
Here is a photo of the inn that I run with Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation:
When you are finally ready to make your dreams come true in New Orleans, you know where you should stay. La Belle Esplanade has been ranked the #1 small hotel in New Orleans on TripAdvisor since April 2014. We’ve also been ranked #2 in the US and #16 in the world, as I never get tired of saying. Visit New Orleans like you belong here. Visit New Orleans like you mean it. It is totally worth it.
Stay close to the French Quarter and all the tourist must-sees, but, once you’ve got that out of your system, explore the rest of this wonderful city we call home. You belong in the real New Orleans. Dreams come true in New Orleans. It can happen to you.
As New Orleans goodwill ambassadors, we can talk about every facet of this kaleidoscope of a city that is like nowhere else. New Orleans can be confusing but, at it’s best, New Orleans can be your home away from home. Sanctus, sanctus, NOLA.
The only way to make a reservation at La Belle Esplanade is through this website. Our small hotel isn’t run to attract just anyone, only people who are ready to discover what it means to fall in love with the real New Orleans. I know that when you tell people you are coming to New Orleans they’ll give you a whole list of things you have to do so that you can relive their vacations when they were here for a convention. Trust me, I know what’s on that list. I have had it read to me many, many times. My job is to point you to something better and more authentic than the tourist trap New Orleans. I call New Orleans home. I want you to be at home here, too. Visit like you mean it.
Poke around our website. Read some more blog posts. You won’t be wasting time there, you’ll be embedding yourself in a New Orleans state of mind. When you’re ready, here is a link to our calendar. You won’t regret it. New Orleans is here for you and so is La Belle Esplanade. Welcome to our world.