Depending on what you want to do, where you want to eat, and what time of year it is, you may want to make reservations.  If you want to stay at La Belle Esplanade, you definitely need a reservation to stay at our tiny inn.  12.7 million people visited New Orleans in 2017.  We only have five suites at our small personalized hotel and we tend to fill up far in advance depending on the season and what is going on in the city.  We don’t take walk-in guests and we don’t take one-nighters. We prefer guests who plan ahead, who are interested in immersing themselves in the New Orleans state of mind, and who want to savor our magnificent city for a couple of days and a couple of nights.  No one is in a hurry in New Orleans.  You shouldn’t be in a hurry, either.

Only a lucky smidgeon of New Orleans visitors gets to stay at the #1 inn in New Orleans.  TripAdvisor has our tiny boutique hotel ranked the #3 place to stay in our class in the U.S., and the #17 place to stay in the WHOLE WORLD for 2018.  We have been ranked the #1 inn in New Orleans, and #1 in Louisiana since April, 2014.  You will get what you pay for.  We take our reputation seriously.

Do I need reservations in New Orleans?
300 years of New Orleans goodness. It’s the New Orleans Tricentennial in 2018


Whether you need to make restaurant reservations or plan every meal beforehand, or book a tour in advance, that depends on how flexible you want to be while you are here.  You won’t be bored in New Orleans.  There is so much going on all the time, every day, that you’ll never see or do everything.  Stay longer, a week, and you’ll get a good taste of what New Orleans is all about.  Our advice is usually to keep your ears open and to follow your nose.  New Orleans won’t let you down.  Pay attention where you are going as you stroll around New Orleans and you will find plenty of pleasant surprises along your way.

You don’t need to overplan.  As professional hoteliers and New Orleans goodwill ambassadors, once we get to know you, we can make personalized recommendations depending on your interests and the season.  There are plenty of things going on every day off the usual tourist radar. If you want to be plugged into the tourist grid, we can get you there, but you’ll probably be better off in a chain hotel, especially if your first visit to New Orleans is going to last as long as stepping off a redeye flight on Friday night until you get on the first plane out of the airport on Sunday morning.  Ours is not the best hotel for you in that case.  Stay in the Quarter or in the Central Business District.  Get an off-the-rack, out-of-a-can taste of New Orleans.  If you’ve been bitten by the New Orleans bug after that, come back for longer and stay at La Belle Esplanade for advanced placement to really experience what New Orleans is all about.  It’s a whole big diversely textured city here, outside the French Quarter and away from the Convention Center.

La Belle Esplanade is unlike any other hotel you have ever stayed at.  La Belle Esplanade is more personalized and better.  When was the last time you had breakfast with your hotel’s owner?  We want to make sure you get the most out of your visit, as much as you want to get out of it.  We know a lot about New Orleans.  We live here.  We love to share what we know.  Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind.

Cold beer, ice, sodas, bread, liquor—if that’s what you’re looking for, we know where you can get it.  You can get a lot more out of New Orleans, too. You can get a whole heckuva lot more.  Good memories that will last a lifetime are made on our street every day.

The doctor is in!
Your Doctor of Hospitality with a specialty in Orleansology.


New Orleans’ economy is very tourism-dependent.  That means that when you are thinking of visiting, it’s probable that a lot of other people have the same idea.  Mardi Gras?  Make a restaurant reservation.  Jazz Fest?  Make a restaurant reservation.  Voodoo Fest?  Make a restaurant reservation.  French Quarter Fest?  Southern Decadence?  Satchmo Summerfest?  Valentine’s Day?  New Year’s Eve?  You get the idea, right?

If you are coming to attend a convention with 30,000 other attendees, they’ve already made reservations where you want to eat.  Make your reservations early, months in advance.  If you’ve read about a restaurant in a magazine or on a travel website, well, so have 30,000 other people who are coming to New Orleans that weekend.  If you don’t have restaurant reservations, it isn’t a problem.  We never have reservations and we eat well when we eat out, and we eat out just about every day..  We eat out often in order to be able to make recommendations to our guests.  It is easy to live like a local in New Orleans.

There are more than 800 restaurants in New Orleans, a city of about 380,000 people.  It is very, very hard to have a bad meal in this city. It is, however, very, very easy to wait in line to get into the places that are fashionable, that have a good PR person. It pays to advertise.  If you have read about a restaurant, so have other people, and their friends and relatives have, too. We’ve been to those places. We’ve been to other, much more interesting, much more local, and much more satisfying places off the beaten path, too.  We live here.  We know a lot of New Orleans secrets off the tourist radar. We are always happy to share these places with our guests.

Wanna know where we like to eat?  We like to eat where we don’t have to wait in line.

We know a lot of restaurants.  We aren’t going to send you to a Chinese take-out joint on N. Carrolton Avenue.  We know you didn’t come to New Orleans for that.  We know a lot of other restaurants that locals enjoy that don’t have lines.  Some of them are within walking distance from our house.  We are surrounded by locally famous restaurants that 1.) don’t require reservations or have a dress code, and 2.) don’t even take reservations—just show up as you are and you’ll dine like the chef has spent all afternoon waiting for you to show up.

Whatever your budget and preferences, odds are that we can steer you in the right direction.  This is our profession: introducing people to the best that New Orleans has to offer.  If you have your heart set on eating at some trendy spot you saw on the Food Network, let us know and we’ll tell you if we think you need reservations (probably yes).  If your heart is set on sampling the best of Creole cuisine, let us know and we’ll tell you where we think is best for that time of year.  Want a historic eatery?  That’s our specialty.  Neighborhood joints?  Yep, we’ve got ’em covered.  When we say neighborhood joints, we don’t only mean dives.  In New Orleans, some of these neighborhood joints need reservations and require a necktie for gentlemen.  Let us know what interests you and we’ll do what we can to make sure you’re stuffed full as a tick.  New Orleans is all about good meals, good drink, good conversations, and good memories.

Don't die before you visit New Orleans.
This man knows more than three New Orleans secrets. He doesn’t know ’em all, but he knows a lot. Ask him about them when you stay at La Belle Esplanade.


If you leave hungry or dissatisfied, you went to the wrong place.  We didn’t send you there.  If you sign up for our occasional newsletter (sign-up form at the bottom of this page) you will get a fresh restaurant review every time we choose to send a newsletter out.  Don’t worry, we won’t spam you for the rest of your life.  We only send out the newsletter when we think we have something interesting to share.  Welcome to the New Orleans state of mind.

Do you need reservations in New Orleans?  You don’t, unless you want to relive your friends vacations.  When you tell people you are going to visit New Orleans, they give a long list of the places they went to when they were here.  We know those places.  We know other places, too. There a lot of places to eat in New Orleans. There are a lot of things to do.  Don’t worry.  Be happy that you are in New Orleans.  New Orleans will take care of you.