Built in Nola's French Quarter in 1816
I've had my eye on this hotel for a number of years.
For that reason alone, I've been anxious to stay!
A Home, Before A Hotel
I spent much of my youth growing up in Iowa, so I can totally appreciate the cornstalk thing.
I love the black iron fence with yellow husks of corn. I love the corn-yellow paint on the fabulous wood and stone house. Most of all, I love knowing that the decorative fence was installed in the 1850's by a caring husband. Dr. Bianmenti and his wife had lived in the home 20 years, but his dear bride was still homesick for Iowa.
A Home on Royal Street
In past years I've walked along Royal Street, peeking through the black and yellow fence, admiring the grand home with garden patio and trickling fountain.
There has never been anything hotel-like about the scene, besides the sign.
I was delighted when I learned the once private home, was indeed a functioning hotel! I was extra excited when we were able to get reservations for a reasonable price.
Sharon let us pick between available rooms. Don and I chose Room #2, which was directly to the left, when we came in the front door.
It was tempting to pick Room #1, across the hall. We told Elvis was a guest when filming "King Creole" in 1953.
Sharon discouraged us from using that room, since 2 of our 4 were over 6 feet tall. I wonder if Elvis had to duck when he walked through the low door, to the bathroom?
Chandeliers and Cherubs
The hall ceiling was quite decadent.
There were crystal chandeliers and colorful cherubs, frolicking on the surrounding trim.
Our Golden Room
Our room was delightfully rich with the gold ceiling and satin drapes.
There was more gold, in the mirror frame and fireplace screen and wallpaper stitching. Maybe the rich gold was making me feel woozy? Actually it was the odd slant in the floor, which made me stagger a bit!
The king bed was quite lovely and comfy, but the phone (and satin wallpaper) was fit for a princess!
Hotels hardly need to provide phones anymore, so this was a fun surprise. I really should have just made a call for fun.
The room felt bright, with floor to ceiling windows. I loved the light shining through the curved, stained glass windows in the turret.
In fact, morning came very early since we couldn't block some of the light. But I was happy to open my eyes and look directly above, to the chandelier... with more cherub figures!
Evening at the Cornstalk
In the evening, our son and his fiance hopped on the streetcar near their home and joined us at the hotel.
We brought some wine and plastic cups onto the front porch for a little toasting.
Moving to the Umbrella
Sharon our enthused host, insisted we use real wine glasses.
She fetched a boxful and we moved closer to the fountain for our toasting.
We toasted to Scott's Tulane Law graduation, before meeting more family for dinner.
Music and Fountain
Being a Thursday at 6 pm, Royal street was fairly calm.
The sound of the fountain and a nearby street guitarist, was pretty lovely.
On our second evening, we had Sharon join us on the porch for a photo.
She was quite the helpful and amusing host during our stay. She was even very skilled at moving and parking guests cars in the small space beside the house.
On Saturday morning, we walked with the "kids" to get coffee and pastries. We sat on the balcony and laughed about the sounds we'd heard the night before.
With a room on the front, Don and I heard more sidewalk traffic, cars and music, than the others. There was even a little calliope music from a riverboat and train sounds, too! But no complaints from any of us. It was all part of the French Quarter experience.
Sleeping in an elegant home built in 1816, made the stay memorable.
The Cornstalk Hotel was pretty ideal, set back from the street. We were able to enjoy a little liveliness, without any of the over the top activity, that you get every night on Bourbon Street.
AND......The Cornstalk Fence!
Yes! The fence is most notable!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!