Historic Michabelle Inn: Loveliness and Tradition in Louisiana

We pulled into the drive at the Michabelle Inn in Hammond, Louisiana after dark during a downpour. David Bradley, who owns the inn with his wife Sandra, met us with an umbrella to welcome us, let us in, and give us a quick walk through of where we would find what we’d need since he, his wife, and their children live off site. Since we were the only guests, we had dibs on what time we wanted breakfast. 9 a.m? Perfect.

Main hall and entry way with photographs and heirlooms.

Then we were left on our own to enjoy the beauty and comfort of this Colonial Revival style mansion that Sandra’s parents Michel and Isabel Marcais converted from a family home into an inn almost 20 years ago. Family tradition, accomplishments and travels are part of the allure and interest of the main house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hall of family photos, awards and medals.

The side hallway of the guest entrance is filled with photographs, framed certificates and medals that give a nod to the importance of tradition, heritage and excellence of the family, as well as, the prominent guests who have stayed here. Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame is among them.

The family’s chronicles dovetail nicely with the wedding photos of couples who have been married at the inn over the years.

Wedding photos add to the inn’s traditions

The wedding photos, displayed on the walls and furniture of the main entrance and up the winding stairs that lead to the second floor, give a sense that including other people’s hallmark days in the mix of family history adds to the inn’s timeless tradition.

Throughout the inn, the eye to detail is impeccable. Furniture and artwork are pieces that fit into the 1907 time period and have a old European feel without being imposing and weighty. The effect is more of a country manor feel–elegant without being fussy.

The Evangeline, one of two balcony rooms

Our room, The Evangeline, has a king size bed with a wrought iron canopy and a lovely mix of furniture from the antique writing desk to a small wooden dresser and a table for the flat screen TV. The light textured cream-colored floor to ceiling curtains and white walls gives the room an open airy feel. I chose this room because it is one of two guest rooms that opens to the second floor balcony. The other room, the Marie Antoinette is also lovely but is more ornate in its decor. It would have been a fine option if The Evangeline wasn’t available.

At night, the fountain is lit for a lovely view

I must say, after a long drive, sitting outside sipping a glass of red wine while overlooking the lit up fountain was the perfect way to end a day. Another perfect way is to settle into the large jazuzzi bathtub and light the provided candles. No energy for the candles but the whirlpool felt great.

If we had arrived earlier in the day, the living room that doubles as a library would have been the settle in for a spell place to enjoy a cup of tea. We also didn’t have time to enjoy the hot tub or the swimming pool in the separate greenhouse style out building.

The living room and library

We did have time for an engaging conversation with David and Sandra about Louisana and travel as we ate our breakfast of coffee, fresh fruit, a Western-style omelet, croissant and sausage. The breakfast room is lovely with windows overlooking the garden and gazebo.

When we left, it felt like saying good-bye to friends who let us stay in their house as part of our roadtrip. Here’s hoping the Bradley family keeps the Michabelle Inn’s tradition of welcoming guests.

The Blue Dining Room where breakfast and conversation is served.

Other ammenities include WiFi and a refrigerator for guest use in the inn’s common area on the 2nd floor. There’s also a coffee maker and a microwave.

Along with the four guest rooms of the main inn, there is the Creole Cottage with four suites. Like the four guest rooms, the suites have unique decor that captures a particular style from Oriental to Venetian. Each suite has a mini-fridge and a microwave.

Hammond is about one hour north from New Orleans. We booked our room at Hotels.com. for $132. You can also book at the inn’s website. Rates range from $115 to $159.

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein

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