Fast forward to first day of our road trip: We have no problem finding it. It's right on the edge of the garden district just a few minutes off the highway. We pull up in our rent a car and get a parking spot right in front. Free parking too. (I had been warned by more than a couple people that parking is expensive in NO. Up to $20 a day). There is a big green awning that says "St. Charles Guest House", so it's quite easy to spot. The entryway sets the tone of the place, like your grandma's big old rambling house, full of books and antiques and family pictures on the walls. No TV's. No phones. The front desk Concierge Collin kindly shows us to our cozy yet well worn home away from home down charming narrow halls winding this way & that. We walk by a big, super clean swimming pool surrounded by lots of flowers and plants, on a big wooden deck, then pass through a very charming breakfast room full of windows and warmth. Collin is simultaniously chatting to us about where to eat, drink and be merry in the surrounding French Quarter/ Garden District area of New Orleans. We totally take his advice for dinner that evening at a seafood place called Oceana in the French Quarter and end up eating the most amazing charbroiled oysters I have ever had!
The following a.m. there is a fresh face at the front desk. Her name is Cora. She too is a veritable cornucopia of priceless local information. Cora suggests and then guides us to a breakfast place called The Please U Cafe that is just a couple of blocks walk.. it too is tray fabu! Inexpensive too!
Later in the afternoon we happen upon Dennis, one of the owners of the St. Charles, hanging out in the common eating area. He invites us to sit with him where he then shares a few fascinating stories with us about the history of the St. Charles and it's surrounding neighborhood. Turns out several famous authors of days gone past have spent quite a bit of time here at the St. Charles..... hence all the books ....and that constant cozy feeling that stays with you from the moment you walk in the front door. Also, the adorable common eating area makes it very easy to strike up conversations with the other guests if you are so inclined.
Both my best friend and I really loved it here at the St. Charles! Such a charming place with such well informed employees so close to the French Quarter yet far enough away from all the chaos.
We stayed in the "Hostel" part of the place so it was as inexpensive as you can get for the area. What it lacked in modern amenities it more than made up for with charm, such a great location and the amazing wealth of great suggestions and local info that every employee there offered up to us with every single one of our requests! That alone totally made our trip to New Orleans the absolute best!
I will stay at the St. Charles again on my next visit to the Big Easy! It truly now is my New Orleans home away from home.
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