Some cities are built on rock-and-roll, but small towns are built on bed-and-breakfasts. Or at least around them. Nothing captures the character of both a city and its people better than staying in a cozy B&B. And we stayed in an amazing one called the Violet Hill Bed & Breakfast, part of a group of four gay-owned-and-operated, historic-home B&Bs.
Walking into Violet Hill felt like walking onto the set of a romantic comedy (there's always a bed and breakfast in those damn things). But seriously, it was truly like a movie set. Attention to detail at every turn, antique furnishings, modern amenities, and a few of the rooms with Jacuzzis built for two (we tried our best to cram in four, but it didn't work).
Now, if you've ever stayed at a subpar B&B (and trust us, we have), you may not ever want to go back. Some of them consist of a semi-private room where you can hear the goings-on of the owners, only to awaken exhausted to a continental breakfast of cold cereal and Sam's Club danishes. NOT at Violet Hill, or any of her sister properties.
Here, we awakened completely refreshed and dined with three lovely women from the rooms upstairs. There's one breakfast seating, so you best be on time or Charles may just knock your door down and pull you out of bed himself. But it would be worth it. Like one of Santa's elves, he gets to work early in the morning making a sumptuous feast that will hold you most of the day. Ours consisted of hazelnut bread pudding (he says it's nice to start with dessert), followed by individually prepared frittatas, cheese grits, fresh biscuits, sausage, juice and coffee. And every bite was amazing.
In fact, every detail here from the linens to the Gilchrist and Sommes bath products in the rooms to the wicker furniture on the back porch and the riverside cabanas, Violet Hill was difficult to leave. But hopefully we'll be back soon.
We're determined to fit four into that damn Jacuzzi.
Violet Hill Bed and Breakfast
917 Washington Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
View their other B&B properties at www.natchitochesbandb.com
If you're not able to find one of these guys' B&Bs when you visit, we also spent a night at a great little 20-room hotel right in the historic district. The Church Street Inn is clean, the rooms are spacious and the staff is extremely accommodating.
The Church Street Inn is by far the nicest non-bed-and-breakfast in town. The others don't have near the sophistication or charm of this boutique property.
Rates are reasonable and for anyone who doesn't like the idea of sharing breakfast with perfect strangers, you can hunker down here with total privacy and never see anyone but yourself in the mirror if that's what you want. (But the bathtub only fits one.)
120 Church Street
Telephone: (318) 238-8888
Toll Free: (800) 668-9298
Photos by Rod Orta