NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA-- With over 200 thousand people attending Essence Festival, the most important thing about the Essence Festival for visitors, besides the festival itself is finding a place to stay! Two local gems are The Duchess Bed and Breakfast and the historic Hubbard Mansion. Both are black-owned by natives to the city.
Hubbard Mansion is centrally located on st. Charles Avenue; conveniently next to the streetcar line. It was started out of the dreams of owner Don Hubbard and his late wife Rose. "My wife was originally from Natchez, and there was a house that she liked that she had never been in as a young girl and so we designed the house with those columns on the front. The interior of the house was designed by my wife Rose. It's all her style, all the colors. Everything is in place. All the knives and forks are in the same place, everything where she thought it worked," says Hubbard.
Five gorgeous period-furnished rooms of luxury bear sophistication and charm, uniquely different.
A few streets over in the Irish Channel the Duchess Bed and Breakfast offers eight rooms with a perfect blend of contemporary and antique styles named after the owner's grandmother.
Innkeeper, Juanita Jackson is quite proud of the name saying, "we called her Duchie. The spin was saying the Duchess in honor of her. By working in the hotel business, I thought a bed and breakfast would be cool to open because I've seen in but it wasn't traditional for people of color. This house was a house that was not in the best condition and I was able to work with the city to tear it down and start from brand new."
Tourism is a big business here in New Orleans and it provides a boost to the hospitality industry here. As such, it's important that no matter where you choose to stay in the Big Easy, that you book your room early.
Essence 25 on WGNO-TV is brought you by Rouses Markets.