I’m no social scientist or statistician, so it’s hard for me to craft a double-blind unbiased study of who stays in a New Orleans B&B. That said, from my limited experience as being an innkeeper, I have my opinions based on my own observations. I thought this would be a good time to share them with you, gentle reader, to help you decide if staying in a New Orleans B&B, specifically La Belle Esplanade, may be the best choice for you.
Let me begin by stating, unequivocally, that I don’t think that a New Orleans B&B experience is for everyone. We offer a tailored experience and, well, we only have five suites available at any given time. 10 million people will visit New Orleans by this year’s end. We don’t try to be all things to all people. We can’t. We just don’t have the room for 10 million guests. We tailor what we offer to the kind of New Orleans visitor who will appreciate what our inn is all about.
What is our inn all about? Well, first off, we don’t like to call La Belle Esplanade a bed and breakfast. We are more accurately described as a boutique experience inn. We need to repaint our sign but there really isn’t enough room for “boutique experience inn” after our name. Maybe it’s time for a new sign.
It’s certainly not time for a new inn. Our physical property is a showstopper. Tour buses, bicycle tours, and people driving by, stop and take pictures of La Belle Esplanade all day long, even at night. It’s an unintentional consequence of inhabiting a landmark property on one the most beautiful streets in New Orleans. See for yourself:
We love where we live, which also happens to be where we ply our trade of being goodwill ambassadors who introduce the City of New Orleans outside the French Quarter and the usual, predictable touristic, off-the-rack, experience to people who want to learn and experience what it is really like to live in New Orleans. The French Quarter and the Garden District have real estate in every New Orleanian’s psyche, but ours is a big and culturally rich city. There is much more to New Orleans than what you’ll read about in the guide books. There are many magical sides to New Orleans that you have no idea about. It’s a kaleidoscope of a city plump and scintillating with serendipity.
Who stays in a New Orleans B&B? From my vantage point, it should be someone like the chap featured in the introductory photo for today’s installment of this blog. Let’s analyze this fellow, shall we?
My preference would be that everyone who stays at La Belle Esplanade should be like your humble narrator: a snappy dresser who is a witty conversationalist and who also happens to possess a heart of gold. Does that sound like you? If not, no worries. It only partially sounds like me.
One: You don’t have to be male. I always say that Frau Schmitt is the better is the better half our operation and spending time with her is always better than spending time with me. You can quote me on that.
Two: Everyone has their own sense of style. I’m not here to judge you on how you dress. Come as you are. Everyone is welcome. Our only request is that you don’t show up naked for breakfast. It’s not that kind of New Orleans B&B.
Three: You don’t even need to be particularly sociable. Breakfast at our inn is not some kind of forced networking communal table faux bistro sing-along. Kumbaya New Orleans? Not here. We love where we live but we don’t sugar coat the city and we try very hard to make everyone comfortable.
Wanna know a secret? I, the humble author of this blog, don’t like to stay in B&Bs because I’m happy just reading the newspaper at breakfast. We work with your comfort level here. You can even borrow my newspaper. I’ll have finished with it by the time you come down. That said, you’ll have so many questions about what you’ve seen the day before in New Orleans, I guarantee you’ll want to ask the experts for some clarification and amplification. You’ll want some recommendations about what’s going on in the city on any given day. That’s what we’re here for and we’re happy to share what we know: the insider’s view.
WHOOPS! Wrong video. It happens. Ours is no ordinary venue, but if you feel the Devil walking next to you in New Orleans, you’re in the wrong part of town.
Four: People who stay at La Belle Esplanade tend to be seasoned tourists whose every move is among the purest. They are interested in New Orleans as a city, not just as a place to get drunk and behave like they wouldn’t at home. They are interested in New Orleans culture, which is a multi-faceted and glorious thing. They are interested in good food, good music, and good times, but not necessarily the kinds of good food, good music, and good times that are sold by the tourism websites. They want to get down to the muscle and bone and nerve of New Orleans.
I wouldn’t say our neighborhood is gritty, far from it. It is really quite genteel, peaceable and friendly, but it isn’t the Disneyfied version of New Orleans. People live and raise families where our inn is located. New Orleans citizens eat at the restaurants around our inn. They drink at our neighborhood bars and trade neighborhood news. They listen to local musicians at those bars. Good memories are made on Esplanade Avenue and on its surrounding streets.
Who stays in a New Orleans B&B? Plenty of people do. I don’t want to flatter you if you are considering the option, but if you choose to stay with us you won’t be disappointed. La Belle Esplanade hasn’t been ranked the #1 place to stay in all of Louisiana by Trip Advisor for 32 months in a row for no good reason. We may not be for everyone but for the people who do choose to stay with us we deliver the real New Orleans experience. At least we hope we do. Book directly from our website for the best deal.
Being goodwill ambassadors for our wonderful city is what we are all about. Come see a part of New Orleans that is better than what you’ve read about or what your friends have told you about. We live in a big multi-faceted city that is rich and dense with details and unexpected surprises. I live here and I’m still pleasantly surprised by something fresh and new every day.
Come see for yourself who stays in a New Orleans B&B. It could be you. It should be you.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
Saturday, December 10, 2017: Cold today with a high of 53 degrees F. Starting tomorrow, the next week promises to be in the 70s. You never know what you’ll encounter in New Orleans.