Your New Orleans Goodwill Ambassadors
We moved to New Orleans in 2010. Not too long, but long enough to be captivated by a city that is like no place else. We zip around the city on our motor scooters, exploring new restaurants, seeking out new experiences, learning as much as we can about what’s going on, and generally appreciating how lucky we are to be able to live here. We appreciate the chance to be your New Orleans goodwill ambassadors.
When we moved here, five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was very different. We’ve seen a lot of changes in this wonderful city we call home over the past 8 years, almost all of them for the better. New Orleans is a city full of delightful surprises. Let us share some of them with you. Let us be your New Orleans goodwill ambassadors.
I write the website, so I’m going to write this in the first-person. I am native of Connecticut, USA, a cranky Yankee to the core, though New Orleans has softened my rougher edges. I am just a loquacious and relaxed as a native New Orleanian. These are good things to be.
I have been to many places. I have seen many things. I have had many adventures. A daydreamer, a gadabout, an armchair philosopher and a historian, don’t ask me how I earned my living before I became a hotelier. It was very boring. You’ll never believe it. No one does.
The best part of our profession is that we get to sit around for an hour or two every morning and share what we know about New Orleans. We love where we live. You will, too. If you are bored in New Orleans, you must have a hole in your imagination. New Orleans is very, very, very, very, very good. You’ll read that in our blog over and over and over and over again.
Why do I keep our blog updated regularly? Because in my opinion there is nothing worse than a dead blog. If a small hotel hasn’t updated it’s blog in over a year, what does that say about the other housekeeping? What does that say about the owners’ commitment to their city? We are forever out and about having adventures. Just as we like to share what we’ve discovered when you stay with us, we like to share it before you arrive, and afterward. Our blog isn’t always useful or informative but it gives regular readers an inkling of what it is like to live in this wonderful city we call home. Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind.
A native of Hamburg, Germany, Frau Schmitt is the nicest person you will ever meet and the better half of this operation. Our tiny, five-suite hotel is like the Ritz if the Ritz were run by two people. We have Frau Schmitt to thank that all the nuts-and-bolts of the place are well oiled and in good working order.
She attended university later in life in the U.S. and earned two degrees in American Studies that she is putting to good use in New Orleans. She has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and she is taking French lessons. A gourmet as well as an excellent cook, Frau Schmitt is in charge of the dining room and our curated breakfast menus. Her innate German tidiness and efficiency ensure that we run an exemplarily clean operation.
Frau Schmitt has a little dog that loves her as much as her husband (your humble narrator) does. The dog is quite an athlete. If she isn’t at the inn, she is out competing in dog sports to add even more ribbons to the dog’s wall of fame. Me and the dog, we just tolerate each other’s existence. You will never see our dog. While he is handsome, he doesn’t have the personality to match his good looks. I know some people want to stay in a hotel that has a dog around. I am not one of those people. We can talk about our dog, and we can talk about your dogs, too. No non-human animals are allowed at La Belle Esplanade, including our own. Besides, some guests have pet dander allergies.
Everyone should be comfortable at our tiny personalized hotel. We can talk about New Orleans, too. There is nothing Frau Schmitt and I enjoy more than talking about New Orleans. It is a city chockablock full of endless subject matter for discussion.
Frau Schmitt is the better half of this duo and she is the reason for our continued success. When everything is ship shape and thoughtfully laid out with personal touches, you know who to thank. There is an angel behind the details.
Frau Schmitt is forever on the hunt for new restaurants and new experiences, things that aren’t difficult to find in New Orleans. It is because of her influence that we have dined at over 480 of the over-800 restaurants in the city. She can tell you about them all over breakfast, and about a lot of other things, too.
YOUR NEW ORLEANS GOODWILL AMBASSADORS
When you email us, you’ll hear from me. When you stay with us, you’ll encounter us both. Everyone who lives in New Orleans lives here by choice. Everyone who lives here had to make a conscious decision to move here after Hurricane Katrina to take part in this giant urban renewal rebuilding experiment we call home.
New Orleans is full of surprises. Get outside the tourist bubble. Get off the usual tourist grid. Discover the real New Orleans. Visit New Orleans like a New Orleanian. There is a whole wide magical city out here. We’ll clue you in to some secrets. Good memories are made on our street. We are both proud and privileged to be able to serve as your New Orleans goodwill ambassadors. Thank you for choosing to make your New Orleans headquarters here at our tiny personalized New Orleans hotel.
La Belle Esplanade is ranked the #1 inn in New Orleans and in Louisiana, the #3 inn in the U.S., the #17 place to stay in the whole world. Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind.
A note about that picture of me on my motor scooter on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain: Frau Schmitt and I went up to the lake and I asked her to take my picture because I needed a photo of my scooter’s mirror for a blog post I was working on. Needless to say, I am pleased with the results. Spend time in New Orleans like a New Orleanian and everything will seem like a dream. New Orleans is larger than life. —We look forward to meeting you and sharing what we know about this wonderful city we call home.