Staying at a B&B in New Orleans

If your last stay at a major hotel was anything like my last stay, it left much more to be desired. For starters, the price to value ratio was off kilter, the room devoid of any charm, and what’s with the extreme sheet tucking? If you find yourself venturing into the New Orleans area, there is no excuse to forego the bevy of historic bed and breakfasts available.

One of the best aspects of a bed and breakfast is its identity. Whether it is a particular ambience, rich history or even gracious hosts who feel more like family than innkeepers. A great example of bed and breakfast identity is located in New Orleans’ Garden District at 4125 Charles Avenue at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast. Live-in innkeepers Joe and Bebe Rabhan put guests above all at this turn-of-the-century home built by architect Thomas Sully , catering to everything from dietary needs to complimentary WIFI, and never missing a beat. Long gone are the days of overpriced minibars; at the Avenue Inn B&B, a seven-foot snack tower with nearly fifty different items is at guests fingertips twenty-four hours a day. Live-in innkeepers like the Rabhans also serve as personal concierges to guests, giving them the local scoop. Personalized itineraries can be planned, whether on the search for the perfect gumbo or the quintessential New Orleans jazz club. Personal touches like these are what set these charming abodes apart from the mass marketed “hotels” we’ve all stayed in. 

Bed and breakfasts are more like homes away from homes now more than ever. Luxurious touches like triple layered linens on beds, fully equipped snack bars, and full-scale breakfasts each morning all add to the perfectly pampered experience. Businessmen need not fear, all the amenities of a personal office are available on the premises. Faxing, copying, bag storage, telephone voicemail, and customized checkout times make bed and breakfasts well suited to any business venture. That’s right execs, CEO’s, and partners, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, say byebye to extended stay hotels, and hello to a bed and breakfast.

Bed and breakfasts are not just for the odd business trip or sightseeing adventure; as more and more people turn toward the historic locales to host their weddings, a trend has begun. B&B weddings give guests the rare opportunity to capture the romance of another era, while enjoying a romantic getaway in itself. Joe Rabhan, innkeeper at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast, has firsthand experience with intimate B&B weddings. “Oftentimes they [guests] get so excited, they later send in pictures of children, emails, letters, and even visit with their families; and it all began at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast,” Rabhan says.

In our fast-paced world of encroaching deadlines, snap decisions, business deals, and lots and lots of Starbucks (don’t deny it), stepping into a bed and breakfast is like taking a step back into time. A peaceful, atmospheric retreat awaits guests in a superfluous package of old and new. Do not do yourself a disservice; if you are planning a stay in New Orleans, it’s the perfect time to break your attraction to the big name chains and  check in to a New Orleans bed and breakfast for a stay unlike any other.

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