Travel Betty

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Two Unique Places To Stay In New Orleans That You Can’t Find On Sites Like Travelocity, Orbitz or Expedia

October 4th, 2007 · 16 Comments

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On our recent trip to New Orleans, Travel Boyfriend surprised me by choosing three different places to stay. One, the Sheraton, was dictated by the fact that mid-way through the week, he had a few days of business meetings. Snore. But the other two were fully furnished apartments available to rent by the night.

We’d actually done this last time we’d come to New Orleans too, staying in the world’s most perfect apartment right behind Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It was full of charm with a piano and books galore as well as a wrought iron balcony overlooking the quieter section of Bourbon Street. Unfortunately, that apartment is now being rented long term. But, it gave us an opportunity to see two new places that both were dripping with their own special charms.

The first apartment:

New Orleans Living Room

Quite modern with hardwood floors and exposed brick throughout. The bathroom has a luxurious shower with slate tile and there is a small balcony overlooking an inner courtyard typical of New Orleans. I cringed, however, when Travel Boyfriend told me it was described to him as renovated Slave Quarters. On the wall in the bedroom you can even see some marks left by the old inhabitants back in the 1800s. This information did, however, allow me to take a moment to reflect and pay reverence to those who occupied the apartment under far less desirable circumstances.

Slave Quarters Writing

If you stay here sometime in the near future, know that the owners are still doing a bit of restoration due to Katrina. It’s not going to put you out too much, but there was one small inconvenience for me when a painter showed up right after I’d gotten out of the shower. Luckily, she was a she and had no problem coming back later. Also, the wireless was MIA, which annoyed me since I was hoping to send you all reports throughout the week. In the end though, it made me happy to be staying here because I felt like I was doing my small part to help the owners rebuild.

New Orleans Bedroom

The apartment is listed as Studio Unit 729 on the New Orleans Reservations website and is perfectly situated for those who want a little peace and quiet to accompany their New Orleans adventure. Everything is still comfortably walkable, but you’re far enough away from the Bourbon Street mayhem that you won’t be stepping in puke puddles to get to your door (Unless you make your own).The second apartment:

New Orleans Mirror

This, I would say, is the quintessential New Orleans apartment if you happen to be Oscar Wilde-ish in spirit. Listed as One Bedroom unit 171 B, it looked and felt like it had soaked up many a Big Easy evening and was happy to oblige you with stories. In fact, there was even a table generously filled with liquor bottles to help you get things started. And had we not been vomitously hung over at check-in, we would have gotten started immediately.

Liquor

The owners describe this apartment as ‘tastefully decorated’ and I’m sure that’s what the decorator thinks. I say it’s ‘eclectically decorated.’ And when you’re staring at the ram’s horn candlestick holder across from the 8 volume set of Irving’s Works, you’re probably going to agree with me. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way mocking the decor. In fact, I love it. I’m just saying ‘tasteful’ is a subjective word.

Horn Candle

Of the three places we stayed, this was far and away my favorite (I won’t bother to critique the Sheraton. If you’ve ever been in a nondescript business hotel before, you get the gist). It was my favorite not only for its quirky personality, but also because of the 2nd story balcony that you gain access to by hoisting up a large window in the kitchen. We sat out there for hours and just watched the comings and goings of our neighbors (who were locals, not tourists). Quite pleasant.

New Orleans Neighbors

The shower, on the other hand, was a bit of a hassle. It had that one singular errant stream to hit you straight in the eye no matter where you stand. But then when you flop onto the uneven, cooshy, springy bed and fall straight to sleep, you forgive it.

Again, this location is close enough to every other place in the French Quarter to keep you from getting twitchy, but it’s far enough from the pumpin’ thumpin’ sounds spilling from Razzoo’s to get a few winks in.

So, if you’re looking for someplace a little special the next time you visit New Orleans, don’t bother searching through the seen-it/stayed-there stockpiles offered by the usual suspects like Expedia. Go through New Orleans Reservations and search for a place with a full kitchen so you can warm up the ample leftovers you receive from pretty much any restaurant you visit. Search for a place that is the opposite of ghastly chain hotels. Search for a place that gives you a small sense of what it’s really like to be a local.

Who knows, you might end up converting one of these two lovely places into a long-term rental for yourself. If so, mind if I stop by for a visit?

Tags: Lodging · New Orleans · USA

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  • 16 responses so far ↓

    • 1 theMickey's // Oct 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm

      It was full of charm with a piano …

      wow, I’d of never left. `Specially if it was in tune.

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    • 2 Greg // Oct 7, 2007 at 8:57 pm

      My one trip to NOLA was for Jazz Fest. We had rented a townhouse in the Garden District that belonged to a family that had bugged out for the duration. I ended up passing out in the kid’s bedroom floor and woke up with a bunch of Micromachines pressed into my pale, booze blotted carcass. The next morning, I threw up under the play structure outside while a lawnmowing neighbor watched in horror.

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    • 3 Travel Betty // Oct 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

      It WAS in tune, Mickey! Imagine the possibilities!

      Greg, it’s not a trip to New Orleans unless you’ve thoroughly pickled yourself and made a stranger cringe. In fact, that should be the city’s new tagline.

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    • 4 Frances // Oct 23, 2007 at 3:33 pm

      This is written so well, I love your blog. It makes me want to go to New Orleans ..but it might be a while yet considering I’m on the other side of the world.

      I got shivers up my spine when you were talking about that first apartment being a slave quarters and the marks that were left there from the 1800′s. That’s crazy stuff.

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    • 5 Arrie // Nov 13, 2007 at 3:07 pm

      Wow! I only wished that I would have stumbled upon this page before my trip to New Orleans.

      I just returned from a 4 day stay in the Big Easy… and though the accommodations were nice, they were quite expensive. Then, once I finally learned my way around, it was time to leave it all behind and head home. I look forward to Jazz fest in the spring.

      Thank you for putting this site together. I will definitely be checking it out before planning any future road trips.

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    • 6 Travel Betty // Nov 14, 2007 at 4:24 am

      I wish you had too, Arrie! Hopefully I can help you out with your next trip. Thanks for stopping by :)

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    • 7 Flug // May 5, 2008 at 5:07 am

      Awesome Blog. Do you think Europeans would like to stay there?

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    • 8 Travel Betty // May 7, 2008 at 7:40 am

      Oh yes, definitely, Flug! Especially the second apartment. It had a certain European vibe to it.

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    • 9 Manchild // May 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

      Betty, lover your articles, looked up the site for the NOLA reservations, but the number is disconnected, any ideas?

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    • 10 Travel Betty // May 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm

      Oh no, Manchild! I hope they didn’t fall victim to the economy. Unfortunately I haven’t stayed at any other places in NOLA that I’d recommend. You could try Vacation Rental by Owner http://www.vrbo.com to see if there are some similar places. Good luck!

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    • 11 Emily // Nov 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

      What suggestions might you have for a big gathering of family in mid-May? We’d like to rent a multi-bedroom apt for about a week in the Quarter — or maybe a couple of smaller but neighboring places, but may not be able to afford a lot. Any ideas?

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    • 12 Sarita // Sep 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

      excellent. looked it up right away. thanks for the tip!

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    • 13 Tamara Gatlin // Sep 26, 2010 at 10:27 am

      We are so glad we found your blog when we were looking for a place to stay in NOLA next weekend for the Saints game!! We have rented Unit 171-B which you described as your favorite and Unit 170-A, which has a private courtyard with jacuzzi. I’m so excited to have found these through your site, as I too would much rather stay somewhere like this than your regular, run-of-the-mill (no matter how posh) nondescript hotels. I look forwarding to posting how our stay went upon our return. Thanks again, Betty!

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    • 14 Kaitlyn // Dec 2, 2010 at 3:34 am

      Wow, they look so nice.I wished I’ve known about this last time I’ve visited New Orleans.I’ve stayed in a dusty motel room with not much of a view.Thanks for the recommendation.Next time I’ll be prepared.

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    • 15 Hannah Bruce // Jan 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Another suggestion.
      We spent a week in Nola- and my husband sort of knew the area from previous stays.

      We stayed in Breaux Bridge, which is about 20 minutes east of Lafayette- and about an hour west of Baton Rouge.
      It is “the heart of Cajun Country”, in the bayou.
      We stayed in ‘Cajun Country Cottages’- which were individual cottages with kitchens and all, on a lake. BEAUTIFUL!!
      The town of Breaux Bridge can be seen thoroughly (I mean, shopping and All) in about an hour. BUT… the time there is more about relaxing and slowing down from the fast New Orleans pace.
      There was some amazing food, and fun antique shops, as well as relaxing on our private lake (nobody else was staying at the cottages on the tues-thurs stay). WE also did a fun, informative, NON touristy swamp tour recommended by our B&B owners.

      The stay included a full breakfast delivered to your cabin, coffee in room, and a patio with BBQ, use of row boat or canoe, and a dock that leads right up to the lake.

      We stayed four days in Nola, and three out in Breaux Bridge. Though all was amazing, Breaux Bridge was really worth remembering. IN Part due to this awesome B & B.

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    • 16 GoNOLA // Apr 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

      LOVE this post. So few people realize that this is an option for visiting the city. Thanks for sharing, even if we are a little late on finding it!

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