Whether stumbling across a hidden block of the Bywater or strolling through the French Quarter, it’s hard for anyone to not be intrigued as to what may lie beyond the cast iron fences and stone-lined breezeways leading to the historically beautiful residences of New Orleans. Envision balconies of bright flowers, impeccably decorated bedrooms, and natural canopies of lush greenery. Imagine late night dips in courtyard pools under sparse clouds rolling in over the Mississippi, with only moonlight and gas lamps to lead you in the right direction. Could this all be a dream?
Not here. Not when vibrant detail is given to each aspect of a home and garden. Because here, in New Orleans, beauty is everywhere. So with that thought in mind, I’m going to give you a closer look into some of the most romantic LGBT neighborhood bed & breakfasts with courtyards to match.
AND NOW: OUR TOP B&B LGBT COURTYARDS
1. The Burgundy Bed & Breakfast
Quietly nestled in the heart Faubourg Marigny, amongst the pastel cottages and townhouses of another era, sits The Burgundy, a gay owned and operated bed and breakfast. Innkeeper Carl Smith opened this four-room guest house in a classic double shotgun nearly thirteen years ago, maintaining as much architectural integrity as one could since the home’s original construction in the 1890s. Victorian windows line the front porch, a perfect spot for casual afternoon conversations with neighbors and other guests, while the back porch leads out to a comfortably manicured courtyard perfect for sunbathing and sipping on a cocktail. Rounding out The Burgundy’s property is their open-aired Carriage House, where a clothing optional spa awaits for even further relaxation. And when that wild hair strikes, all the neighborhood gay bars, like Cutters, Allways Lounge and The Phoenix are only a short walk away.
2. The Green House Inn
Innkeeper Jesse LeBlanc’s transformation of this 1840’s Greek revival townhouse into a bed and breakfast fabulously rich in NOLA’s unique brand of luxury is nothing short of impressive. Located in the Lower Garden District, Jesse’s lime green haven may slip by the untrained eye, but tucked away is one man’s story of New Orleans, translated into flora and old-world charm. Nine rooms span three floors with decor that will leave you inspired long after your departure, while its hidden courtyard steals the show completely. Amidst tropical greenery, second-floor balconies and lounge chairs, you’ll find a lustrously tiled salt water pool and jacuzzi where clothes are optional and moods can settle down – or rile up. “Stay, relax, just be” may be The Greenhouse Inn’s motto, but with the Garden District’s decadent mansions and Magazine Street’s dining and shopping only a stone’s throw away, it may be a bit difficult.
3. Bon Maison Guest House
Steeped in the elegance of nineteenth century New Orleans, the Bon Maison Guest House is the epitome of Victorian French Quarter style. The residence, dating back to 1833, feels frozen in time with its sublime scarlet facade and forest green hurricane shutters. Through the wrought iron gated entrance appears a classic French courtyard, existing in serene, timeless defiance to the daily party that lies just beyond the old grounds. Rich dichotomies help New Orleans thrive, and the Bon Maison is no exception, seeing as how the timelessly raucous gay bar Cafe Lafitte In Exile is a few steps away. LGBT culture and history are integral to New Orleans just as much as the architecture and Bon Maison Guest House may offer a new way to explore it all with ease.
4. B&W Courtyards Bed & Breakfast
If you’re looking to stay in a funky gem of a Creole cottage, you can find it be along Faubourg Marigny’s Chartres Street in the form of B&W Courtyards Bed & Breakfast. Owners Tom Stoner and Dana McKee embody everything you imagine when it comes to southern hospitality and charm. All five cottages, centralized around a flowingly down-home, envy-inducing courtyard of fountains and ponds and a hot tub – oh my! – goes even further by capturing the city’s unmistakable Caribbean vibe. Their customized Barbados Cottage, crafted as a “would-be” beach house, is perfect for those looking for a more exotic experience. Close by is not only Crescent Park along the Mississippi River, but also the LGBT Marigny mainstay The Friendly Bar, along with a live jazz epicenter on Frenchman Street.
5. Maison de Macarty
Revel in the beauty that is the Maison de Macarty, a Bywater bed & breakfast listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Opened in 2010, the Maison de Macarty can serve up any aesthetic, from Bywater bohemia to Edgar Degas French Impressionist while remaining a vital artery to the richness of New Orleans antiquity. Consisting of six unique rooms, two cottages, a large back deck (including a 24-hour Cabana Bar) and brick patio, the Maison disconnects from the modern world and puts you in that Bywater state-of-mind.
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