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New Orleans Hotels - Mansions and Eccentric Guesthouses

  Recovery Status for Fall 2006:

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New Orleans is well on its way back to re-claiming its place as a fully functional tourist destination.  The  recovery was aptly demonstrated with decisions to hold Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest celebrations in Spring 2006 as usual, as well as by Tulane's "miracle" graduation ceremony that featured past Presidents Bush and Clinton.   In fact, all five New Orleans universities—Tulane, Loyola, Xavier, the University of New Orleans, and Dillard—have reopened

 

All but a few of the 13 airlines that serviced the City are shuttling flights in and out of the City.  Taxis, bus service and the street care are functioning.  Touro, Tulane and Charity hospitals have all been reopened for months.  It is reported at the close of summer 2006 that 103 out of 140 metropolitan area hotels are open, with over 70% of the original 38,000 hotle rooms available. Of these rooms two-thirds are open to visitors, while the remaining third is contracted to various agencies.  Ninety percent of downtown hotels are open, however, the Fairmont and the Ritz Carlton continue to be closed for renovation.  Both are expected to re-open by the end of the year.  Remediation contractors in all the restored hotels conduct room-by-room assessments against EPA standards. After remediation work is completed, the clearance process includes visual inspection, as well as sampling for airborne fungal spores and ongoing monitoring.  Restaurants are re-opening daily with any of the famous chefs back in their aprons, including Paul Prudhomme, Susan Spicer Donald Link and John Besh. Before any establishment serving food can be reopened it is examined by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for compliance with all regulations regarding water safety and food handling.  To give you a better sense of the situation you should call ahead to your hotel and favorite restaurants to be sure they are ready for you or check on the site here for opening status.  Air and water are safe for visitors (government air testing results).  Harrah's Casino, the convention center and Riverwalk are open, as are museums including Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, the National D-Day Museum and the Aquarium of the Americas.

 

This is the New Orleans mansions and eccentric page.  If you want to jump directly to detailed hotel information, please click here for our top, all around hotel recommendations, or click here for an overview of the major chain properties in town. You can click here for hotels in the French Quarter, or click here for hotels in uptown New Orleans.  If these geographic references for New Orleans don't make sense, then click here for city layout information.  If you want to jump directly to a page about New Orleans restaurants, then click here.  Or click here for a page about the best things to do while you're in town, and to start at the top click here for the New Orleans Guide Executive Summary.

 

I don't know as much about really eccentric New Orleans guesthouses and mansions as I would like to know.  But I know a little and wanted to include these.

 

Claiborne Mansion - This carefully run guesthouse (not really a “mansion”) proudly features the kind of exclusive luxury appointments usually reserved for the rich and famous.  But there is no dressing up the humble Faubourg Marigny neighborhood several blocks past the far side of the French Quarter.  The modest  (but certainly not gun-toting) neighborhood would be useless to any guest who would require and command the kind of luxury surroundings found inside the guesthouse.  If you are a movie star, desiring the finest and glad to stay lost from the rest of New Orleans, then read on: expect polished hard-wood floors, marble bathrooms, 14-foot ceilings, bowling alley-length rooms, neutral colors, Greek Revival decor, fresh flowers and curtained beds.  There is a landscaped courtyard in back with a pool.  There is also the usual array of silver plate services like evening cocktails and special breakfasts. 2111 Dauphine Street, New Orleans LA 70116.  504-561-5858.  Specifications - 6 rooms, 5 suites, pool, parking. 

 

Melrose Mansion - This is an 1884 Victorian house on the street that marks the far side of the French Quarter.  Since Melrose Mansion received a favorable television story in 1999, the place has been booked solid most of the year.  The furnishings include antiques, four poster beds, high ceilings and polished hardwood floors.  This property compares somewhat with Claiborne Mansion with some slight differences: neither property is a “mansion” and the location of each is far from baronial.  Melrose Mansion has a slightly better neighborhood (and is closer to the Quarter) than Claiborne, but Melrose is not quite as exclusively appointed as Claiborne.  Both have the frilly service - afternoon cocktails sort of thing - but Melrose Mansion throws in stretch limo service from the airport to take the sting out of the second rate location.  937 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70116.  504-944-2255 - www.melrosemansion.com.  Specifications - 8 rooms, 4 suites, pool.

 

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The Out of Towners - In the sprawling residential neighborhood of Mid-City, there are two well-regarded guesthouses that merit mention.  The House on Bayou Road is a 1798 Creole plantation on two acres of kept grounds. This property is a favorite of visiting celebrities and has a suite in a private cottage.  House on Bayou Road, 2275 Bayou Road, New Orleans LA 70119. 504-945-0992 - www.houseonbayouroad.com.   Specifications - 4 rooms, 1 suite, pool.  The Edgar Degas House is the 1852 home of the artist’s uncle.  Degas lived here in 1872.  The guesthouse is relatively inexpensive and worth inquiry by fans of the great French Impressionist artist.  Edgar Degas House, 2306 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans LA 70119.  504-821-5009.  Specifications - 6 rooms.

 


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Last update: 9/5/2006; 8:34:01 PM.