Club Wyndham La Belle Maison
Club Wyndham La Belle Maison is in New Orleans. Just thinking about New Orleans conjures up memories of partying, great music, and food.
Video by Hungry Passport
Day One Travel and Arrival
My trip started as every trip to New Orleans has with a flight. The flight itself was a little rough, but the reward awaits. Unlike my last trip to the area, this time I would not be driving a rental car. I learned that there are enough transportation options and tours to keep me busy.
The resort itself has a great modern look and feel, but it is located on Magazine Street in the Warehouse District, yet just two blocks from the French Quarter. I love the location since it is close to the action but in a peaceful area that I can retreat to for some real sleep.
Often when I come to New Orleans now that I am older, I prefer to stay near the fun but not a part of the fun. That way I can sleep and function like an adult when I need to.
I took full advantage of the Bags VIP option to have my bags sent to the resort instead of waiting for them at the airport. It is an extra charge but a nice luxury that I take advantage of from time to time when I have a checked bag or two. That added feature meant that I could go play even before checking in, since I did not have to worry with my luggage. It kind of gives you the opportunity if you arrive in early on your flight to make the most of those pre-check-in hours. Since my flight arrived at 11AM, this meant that I had 5 hours before my check-in time at the resort.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center/Desk
- Business Center/Fax
- Fitness Room
- Concierge Services
- Hot Tub
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Swimming Pool (Indoor/Outdoor)
I had a friend with me on this trip (which is uncommon but welcomed) so I made arrangements for us to go on a food and cocktail tour once we arrived. It is a 4-hour tour that introduces you to some of the best food and drink locations in town, and lets you sample some of the best.
It was a great deal more fun that just going to lunch somewhere. Read this explanation of the tour from the provider.
Begin your walking tour at the award-winning Red Fish Grill in the French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans. Begin with alligator sausage and seafood gumbo, with freshly baked French bread and homemade butter as you learn a bit about the colonial period of Louisiana’s history.
Move four blocks down and enter Pepper Palace to discuss the Cajun influence and sample an unlimited variety of hot sauces, BBQ sauces, Buffalo Wings sauces, salsas, dry rubs, and more. Receive a free bottle of Louisiana-style hot sauce when shopping there.
Afterward, visit Leah’s Pralines, a 3rd generation family-owned candy store. Sample traditional pralines and their unique Bacon Pecan Brittle. Then, visit the iconic Napoleon House restaurant for two of their specialties — muffuletta sandwiches and a refreshing Pimm’s Cup cocktail.
Arrive at the award-winning Dickie Brennan’s Tableau to sip your next cocktail: the French 75, a combo of fresh lemon, brandy or gin, and bubbles. After Tableau, visit the Creole Cookery for their slow-cooked red beans and rice.
From there, you pass through famous Jackson Square towards Café du Monde, then along the French Market area, ultimately landing at the James Beard Award-nominated Cane & Table. Sample their unique curry pork skins and a classic daiquiri.
As you might image that was a blast. After it was about time to check-in so we headed back to the resort and checked-in. Our bags had already beaten us to our room and we could shower, refresh, and relax before dinner.
The drinks on the tour were not enough to make anyone feel too amazing, but they were good ones, so I would not have driven afterwards for a bit. One thing they did make me want to do was have some more adult beverages. After our shower and change, we headed back out to face the quarter and find our next hot spot. Determined to eat some more, and drink some more, but this time with some live music.
We landed at the 21st Amendment for a few drinks. Next, over a few blocks, we found the Old Absinthe House. Absinthe is an interesting drink. When poured over a sugar cube, Absinthe has an almost nonexistent taste but a fast sense of feeling. It will warm your chest on the way down, and it seems to be a drink you feel faster than others. Almost like drinking in a hot tub, just without the tub.
Before things got out of hand, we went for dinner at Broussards. The menu here offered some of the best choices from the region. Seafood, Farm, or fine steaks all ready for the table. Here I had a filet that was great and we shared that and a duck breast that was out of this world good.
Day Two an Adventure
Waking up slightly the worse from the night before, we started to move slowly but gradually picked up our pace. We needed to get ready because today I had booked us on a plantation and airboat tour that would last most of the day.
We booked an airboat and Oak Alley Plantation experience and it was ideal for us. The guides who took us through the plantation knew their stuff.
Here is the tour provides description of the tour and airboat adventure.
Discover Louisiana on a guided day trip from New Orleans to the historical Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets included, and a bayou airboat ride. Benefit from round-trip transportation from your New Orleans hotel.
Start your experience with hotel pickup and relax on the drive to Oak Alley Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation home by guides in period dress while you hear and learn about the times of slavery.
Take in the house’s Greek Revival architecture, the antique farm equipment exhibits, and walk around the grounds where 28 evenly spaced, huge oak trees grow. Browse the blacksmith shop and souvenir shop, or stop for a snack (at your own expense) in the restaurant.
Continue onto Barataria Basin for an airboat tour of the bayou swamplands, where your local captain will guide you through the swamps, marshes, and lakes. Travel at high speeds for an exciting ride, then slow down to spot local wildlife on this exciting airboat experience.
Look out for alligators, birds, and other animals. Every airboat tour is unique, so you never know what you’ll see. Even in winter — when alligators hibernate — you’ll have a good chance of spotting these reptiles.
Back on dry land, return to the bus for the drive back to New Orleans, where you’ll finish off your trip with a convenient drop-off back at your hotel.
What was nice about the tour is the added benefit of being picked up at the resort and brought back after the tour. It was a little thing but very convenient for us.
After more than 9 hours of boat fun and plantation tours, I was ready for a few more cocktails and some live music and food. Brennan’s was a great choice. We had amazing Gumbo, then seafood options for our main dish.
After dinner, we walked a few blocks over to Hermes Bar for a few drinks.
Day Three headed to the water
Since 1941 Dookey Chase’s restaurant has offered an amazing creole breakfast or brunch buffet. This is a great buffet but with that special creole twist of spices and butter. Creole cooks know how to use butter. Their secret recipes involve drowning everything in amazing melted, slowly churned butter. While not great for your midsection, the food here is heaven sent for butter lovers like me.
The buffet was amazing and included everything one could imagine and more. The shrimp was so flavorful that you did not want to just call it shrimp. You had to add Cajun to the name because it was so good and unique here. How much does fresh melted butter with Cajun spice improve shrimp? (Just picture me at 6’4” extending my hands apart as far as I can).
After a brunch style buffet experience, I was about ready for a nap. But I pushed that away by walking with my friend. Next to see the local waterway, we have booked a cruise on the local steamboat. This is a 2-hour jazz cruise where you travel the water way on the steamboat while you enjoy jazz music in the background. I have done this cruise before with the lunch and it is good, but today we had just finished at the buffet so we were just along for the ride and music.
The guide here was knowledgeable and kind that talked you through the narrated tour. Essentially, the music could be enjoyed on the boat, the meal, and also in another area the talk through the local history and waterway.
I also enjoyed the tour of the steam engine room and the walk through how steam power impacted the early development of shipping in the area.
Want your own amazing New Orleans trip book it through TZort.