Taking a romantic getaway doesn’t always pan out regardless of the best-laid plans — and yet, doing so is possible. Finding romantic accommodations doesn’t require traveling far away. Depending on your romantic checklist, Louisiana has a variety of options.
As Anais Nin said, part of the key to finding romance is in your approach to travel: “The one who travels like a lover searching for new passion is suddenly blessed with new eyes, new ears, new senses.”
Though romance comes in a variety of forms, most can agree that it’s about a quality or feeling of mystery — excitement and remoteness from everyday life.
Maison de la Luz, New Orleans
By anyone’s standards, the Maison de la Luz in New Orleans has a certain hard-to-identify factor that equals doing romance well. First, they do things differently from the standard hotel experience. It’s small. There’s a wall of cubbies behind the front desk, where room keys await.
It has a cozy, beautifully appointed lounge near the front desk, with a well-stocked honor bar. Yes, guests prepare their own drinks and write down what they consumed — and are charged for it at check out.
The hotel is fancy but not pretentious or stuffy. It strikes that balance well, offering top-notch service without a hint of snobbery. The staff is informed and as quietly attentive as need be, offering insightful concierge services.
Being a guest at the Maison de la Luz feels exclusive but welcoming. The whole place has an air of vague mystery about it — and is deliberately out of sync with the hustle and bustle of the day. All the elements work together to create an experience that feels remote from everyday life.
Maison de la Luz offers other surprises (did someone say a secret door to a speakeasy?) which are best discovered on one’s own — or better yet, discovered with a special someone on a romantic weekend. Be sure to check out Bar Marilou while staying at Maison de la Luz.
Yes, guests pay a premium, but they enjoy a refined experience devoid of stuffiness.
Travel writer Cheré Coen considers Bonne Terre to be one of the most romantic getaways around, adding that she and her husband and enjoyed the accommodations provided.
“Bonne Terre is nestled in the woods surrounded by the cutest animals. I fell in love with the turkeys!” Coen said, which is proof that romance comes in all sorts of packages.
“And it’s close enough to Breaux Bridge to get great meals, antique shopping and dancing,” she said.
The animals Coen references are part of proprietor Jennifer Gray’s working farm. Bonne Terre is an accredited Farm Stay with www.farmstayusa.com.
“People can come visit the animals or have an artist retreat,” Gray said. “No one is expected to come out here and work, but everyone who stays is welcome to have a farm tour.”
Should guests want, they can pick up eggs or meet all the animals, which include several varieties of chickens (that lay a rainbow of colored eggs), the aforementioned Royal Palm turkeys, cows, rescue bunnies, horses, goats and ducks.
“Most people who come are already animal lovers. Each of my spaces overlooks a portion of my farm,” Gray said. “They can see the animals or see me out there feeding — and they often get interested, which leads to a lot of animal therapy. Animals bring out the best in people. They help people zone out and let go of some of the worries of life’s problems.”
Bonne Terre has a farmhouse, a studio and a cottage for rent. Gray encourages artists’ and writers’ retreats or couple getaways, with several couples coming for rural honeymoons.
“It’s adult space. It’s not a children’s getaway. It’s not a party place,” she said. “People come and they really get it.”
Looking for a cottage getaway in the heart of Cajun country?
Maison d’Memoire has four charming cottages that offer privacy in a rural setting — plus a lighted bridge across a lake.
The lake is open for fishing. Each of the cottages is at least 100 years old and has been carefully restored. The cottages are situated on 30-acres, which guests are welcome to explore.
The Southern Hotel in Covington got its start way back in 1907 — and it made a comeback a decade ago.
Back in 1907, the Spanish-style hotel primarily catered to New Orleanians looking to get away from the heat. In 1912, it became a sanitarium and resort for patients suffering from respiratory illnesses.
In 2014, with great fanfare, the hotel was restored for more than $8 million and re-opened, hailed as the anchor of downtown Covington’s rebirth.
The Southern Hotel remains a great place to get away and take a breather.
The Inn at Houmas House is a collection of quaint cottages that allow guests to take in the lushness of ancient oaks, as the Mississippi rolls by, just steps away.
Walking around the Houmas House grounds is a treat within itself — with nooks, crannies and hidden paths, benches and flowering archways to enjoy.
Reservations at the cottages includes admission to tour the main home.
Additionally, the restaurant hosts occasional couples dance classes that could be a fun draw for couples looking to rekindle a touch of romance.
St. Francisville Inn, St. Francisville
With its over-the-top decorations, wonderful bar, delicious food offerings and the general charm of the town, the St. Francisville Inn is a great choice for a romantic interlude — especially for those who are fans of interior design and antique treasure.
If the way to one’s heart is through the stomach, the restaurant’s food is worth noting. It has a very eclectic French menu, with notable cocktails to be enjoyed at the gorgeous bar.
It’s also worth noting that the St. Francisville Inn has one of the most charming bathrooms in the state. Be sure to visit the small, but larger than life circus-themed bathroom behind the bar.
Rip Van Winkle Gardens, New Iberia
Rip Van Winkle Gardens is not only home to peacocks, it’s also ripe with romance, with the three cottages in particular.
Cooks cottage is the largest cottage. All three cottages have California king beds with luxurious bedding and spots of whimsy. Each cottage stay includes a complimentary bottle of wine, which can be enjoyed while watching the sun set over Lake Peigneur.
At Rip Van Winkle Gardens, sleeping in is encouraged — and breakfast can be delivered to your cottage.