I absolutely love the Claiborne Mansion AND its owner, Cleo. Is Cleo an anonymous concierge? Absolutely not! She is funny, sometimes abrasive, but always well-meaning, real, and helpful. Maybe I appreciate kooky people more than others, being from a family of lovable kooks, but to me, it just made the place feel more personal, and very New Orleans. Which Cleo totally is. I've gone back more than once and Cleo and I stay in touch off-and-on throughout the year.
On our first visit, my husband and I only paid for the least-expensive room, but when we got there, she gave us a beautiful, separate suite, because the hotel wasn't crowded, and it was available, and she felt like there wasn't any reason not to. That was just so nice and unnecessary. And the way the hotel is set up, you have access to almost all the rooms in the house if not too many people are staying there, so we could watch some Mardi Gras parades from the front room of the house, play the piano--it was like living in New Orleans! She also told us about Cake Cafe, which has the BEST king's cake and is about a five-minute walk from the Claiborne. Life-changing.
Cleo was always generous with her advice and help--she helped us park our car, she gave us books to read and suggestions for things to see and do, etc., etc. Staying at the Claiborne is almost like staying at a friend's house in New Orleans--but with the additional bonus of your friend owning the most beautiful home. Much as I prefer them, some B&Bs can be stuffy and weird and dusty--this was one that actually felt so elegant and "new" but didn't sacrifice the integrity of the historic home.
I can't recommend the Claiborne enough for travelers who like personality, authenticity, and who have good taste!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Greek Revival Mansion opened as Inn in 1994. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Claiborne Mansion Hotel New Orleans