Stay at The Caldwell House during Fairs and Festivals

Louisiana is well-known for its many fairs and festivals. There is hardly a town in the state that doesn’t Giant Omelettecelebrate something with a fair or festival of some type. Many times, there are several festivals on the same weekend within a short drive of each other. Abbeville, though small in size, has many excellent festivals and celebrations throughout the year.

Most of the festival events in Abbeville take place in Magdalen Square, located only 2 blocks from The Caldwell House. Guests who stay at The Caldwell House love the convenience it offers during any events held at the Square. They can come and go all day at will.

When attending a fair or festival in another town — Lafayette, Kaplan, Erath, New Iberia — The Caldwell is a great place to stay, as well.  The smaller towns do not offer accommodations as luxurious as The Caldwell House. In the larger cities, the festivals usually bring in many people. The hotels and motels are full, the restaurants are busy, and the traffic is horrific.  At some point, guests want to get away from all the crowds. A short drive to Abbeville affords the ability to leave the crowds behind, dine comfortably in one of our fine restaurants, and get a quiet night’s sleep.

Room rates are another reason to stay at The Caldwell House. It is quite common for hotel and motel room rental rates to be increased during a festival or event and often there is a minimum stay of at least 2 or 3 nights. The Caldwell House does not increase its rates and does not require a minimum stay – neither for festivals, holidays, or any other busy times of the year — always the same reasonable rate for luxury accommodations and consistently great service.

To get a list of events happening in Vermilion Parish, visit The Most Cajun Place on Earth.

Plan to book ahead — rooms at The Caldwell House often sell out during holidays and festivals. Reserve online today at  www.thecaldwell.com or call 337-281-0807 to book your room.

Advertisements

Why Stay in a Bed and Breakast? – Part II

A bed and breakfast that is right for you and your family can offer a whole new dimension to your vacation by creating a memorable experience usually not found in a hotel, condo or other accommodation. If you are wondering, “Why stay in a bed and breakfast?” on your next vacation, here are some tips to help you with that decision.

  • Staying in a bed and breakfast offers a break from your normal routine when at home.  Have you ever reserved a condo for your vacation and found yourself doing the same things you do at home – cooking and cleaning?  This will not happen at a bed and breakfast.  Staying in a B&B relieves you from your everyday chores.
  • A bed and breakfast offers an intimate, home-type atmosphere, where you can experience the uniqueness of the establishment which is often an historical accommodation.  The comfortable and relaxed atmosphere is a definite contrast to the hustle and bustle of busy hotels.  After a day of touring, it is so nice to come back to a quiet “home”, soak in a jacuzzi tub if your room includes one, or relax in a “social room”, reading books or watching DVD’s about the local area, enjoying a warm fireplace in the winter and maybe a glass of wine or sherry.  Many B&B’s provide free internet access, and some provide a computer for the use of its guests.   Personal service and attention are what make bed & breakfasts, like The Caldwell House, special.
  • B&B managers and owners, having lived in the area for a time, can often give you great advice on favored restaurants, festivals, and the best places to visit.
  • You won’t have to go far for your first morning meal, and it won’t be the breakfast bar at the hotel.  “Breakfast” is half the name, and most B&Bs provide breakfast, varying from a light continental breakfast to a full, hot gourmet breakfast.  Caldwell guests often remark how “fabulous” the breakfast was when they submit reviews after their stay.  If breakfast is important to you, search for a B&B that provides what you enjoy.  If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure that the bed & breakfast you choose can accommodate your needs.  In many B&B’s, you get what you are served without being asked.  If you want to know what that will be, be sure to ask.
  • The ability to purchase packages is another reason to choose a B&B, which are usually more reasonably priced than if you ordered the same amenities at a hotel. The packages that The Caldwell offers bring a lot of business to us.  The most popular is our Honeymoon Package, but Romantic Getaway, Anniversary and Birthday packages are also popular.  We can even custom-design a package for you.
  • The opportunity to meet other guests is something many travelers enjoy.  Guests at The Caldwell House often linger over breakfast chatting with other guests, comparing restaurants and suggesting tourism sites.  These same people sometimes meet up again with each other in the evenings as they sit and relax on the porch, perhaps with a glass of wine or sherry.  If this is important to you, you may want to choose a B&B that serves a full breakfast as that is when you will be more likely to meet others.
  • Bed and breakfasts can be a good option for business travelers.  Most B&Bs have free wireless internet, flexible breakfasts and innkeepers who are willing to accommodate you for unusual check-in/check-out times.  For those travelers who need to do work at the B&B, the peace and quiet over a noisy hotel is greatly appreciated.

Staying at a B&B, particularly returning often to a B&B which you enjoy, will make your vacations and visits pleasant and memorable.  We love when our guests return to The Caldwell House again and again because they feel like it is their “home away from home” and they become our friends.  We hope you will give us a try and see why The Caldwell House has 62 5-star reviews!

Vacationing in a Bed and Breakfast – Part I

Travelers spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect lodging.  Oftentimes, the bed and breakfast option is overlooked.  Do you remember the hotel room you stayed in several years ago?  Probably not.  But if you had stayed at a B&B, you would remember.  Why consider a B&B? Probably the most common reasons are because a B&B offers a quiet, home-type atmosphere with personal attention, awesome breakfasts and a chance to meet the innkeepers and fellow travelers and learn more about the area from locals who live there.  Every B&B is different and each reflects the personality of the owner/innkeeper as chef, waiter, housekeeper, decorator, gardener, historian and tour guide.  In the travel world, it is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

The managers of The Caldwell House often visit and stay in B&Bs around the country to learn about the industry and bring back new ideas and ways of doing things to impress our guests. They have visited B&Bs in North Louisiana, South Louisiana, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi and Washington, DC.  The B&Bs ranged from 5-star historical establishments to a fishing camp and everything inbetween.  Each had rooms which reflected the owner/innkeepers style and appreciation of their inn and each offered unique amenities and various ways of running a bed and breakfast.  There is always something to bring back to The Caldwell and the managers always blend a little of what they learn into The Caldwell experience.

Many people who come to The Caldwell House have never stayed in a bed and breakfast before.  They are not sure what to expect — what will the accommodations be like, will The Caldwell House have some of the “hotel” conveniences they are used to?  Our trained staff know how to put our guests at ease immediately.  Upon checking in, guests are personally shown to their room, explained the features of each room (luxury bath products, robes, snacks), given a brief tour of the home to point out the 24-hour coffee and tea service, shown where they can have access to beverages, given suggestions on what to see or where to eat, and have any questions answered to help guests enjoy their stay.  To sum it up:  Caldwell guests receive personal service and attention that is simply not available at 5-star hotels.

Before opening and operating a bed and breakfast, innkeepers must be of the mindset that they will be welcoming guests into their home, whether it is actually “their” home or a home that they own or manage while living offsite.

Staying at a B&B adds a memorable touch to a vacation, but B&Bs are not for everyone, nor are they a good fit for every vacation.  With that in mind, we will offer, in a series of newsletter articles beginning with this one, advice on what travelers should consider before deciding on a B&B or other accommodation.

Watch for The Caldwell House July newsletter which will help travelers determine whether or not to choose a B&B or hotel and, if the choice is a B&B, what they should know before making their reservation.

Evangeline Master Honeymoon Suite at The Caldwell House

Photo by Shane Falgout, Studio 2640

The exquisite sleigh bed with its luxurious bedding always draws “ooh’s and aah’s” when guests are given a tour of the home.  Set within a turret of windows, the bed becomes the focal point of the room.  The magnificent king-sized bed is dressed in comfortable luxury bedding especially for the bride and groom.

Across from the master bed is a sitting area with a gas fireplace, table and chairs, which provides a cozy area for the bride and groom to share a glass of champagne after the wedding (if the wedding reception is held at The Caldwell).  It is also the perfect setting for a private in-room gourmet breakfast the next morning. A large-screen TV is set inside a mahogany armoire in the sitting area.

Adding to the luxury of the honeymoon suite is a large jacuzzi-spa tub and pedestal sink.  Bathed in candlelight just for the bride and groom, this area provides a romantic setting for relaxation at the end of the wedding day.  The master bathroom also has a separate shower.  Luxury bath robes and spa toiletries are complimentary with the honeymoon stay.  A small mirrored dressing table sits between the bedroom and bathroom, giving ample space for makeup and hair styling.

A overnight stay in The Caldwell’s Evangline Master Honeymoon Suite is a beautiful ending to a perfect wedding at The Caldwell House!

Why tourists come to Abbeville

People in this area often wonder why tourists come to visit a small town like Abbeville.  Guests who come and stay at The Caldwell House do so for various reasons.  Probably the most popular reason is to eat in one of our fine restaurants.  As guests tell us, “there is no better place to eat seafood than in Abbeville”, and we couldn’t agree more.  When guests return from dinner, they love to share their experiences with us and we always love hearing how much they appreciate our food.

They may come for our food, but they are also happily surprised at the friendliness of the townsfolk.  Many of our guests walk to restaurants and shopping, and they often come back with stories of people who greet them on the street and engage them in friendly conversation.  For many people who live in other areas of the country or world, this is unheard of.  The people of Abbeville should be proud.  The beauty of the town and the friendliness of our townsfolk make staying here a memorable experience for many tourists.  And the food makes them want to return.

The second most popular reason for guests staying at The Caldwell House is to visit family in the area.  The Caldwell offers them a place to return to sleep in luxury after a day of visiting relatives.  Sometimes our guests invite family members to eat breakfast with them, and we are always happy to accommodate them with advance notice.

The Caldwell House treats guests to a hot, gourmet breakfast each morning.  Since we use as many local ingredients as we can to promote our area, and we tell the guests what we are serving and that it is locally produced, many of them shop locally to purchase these products before they leave.  Once we had guests who purchased so many food products, they had to ship them home because it was too much for them to carry with them.  We are proud of our local foods and proud to be able to offer them at The Caldwell breakfasts.

And what about the ghosts? We have had guests who WANT TO COME to The Caldwell House to experience ghosts, for surely a 103 year old home has ghosts!  We have heard of others who WILL NOT COME to The Caldwell House because it has ghosts, none of which the staff has seen or experienced.  But who knows….maybe ghosts really are there and are waiting for the right guests to scare!

Stories of Caldwell Events

Bed and Breakfast rental by basketball team:

For two years in a row, The Caldwell House hosted a basketball team from out of town who came to Abbeville to play in a tournament.  These were 13 year old boys with their parents.  The first year they came, it was just before Mardi Gras.  While the staff was preparing breakfast, the boys all came downstairs dressed in the luxurious white robes we provide for our guests, each grabbed a handful of Mardi Gras beads we had in a display in the parlor, and paraded around outside to the horror of their parents, but to the delight of our staff.  During this same basketball team rental, while the boys and their families were eating breakfast, one of the parents came downstairs with a white sheet over him to try to scare the boys into thinking he was “The Caldwell ghost”.  He was not very convincing and we are happy to report that no evidence of a “real” ghost has yet been seen.


Oysters:

On one particular weekend in October of one year, a couple from up north visited Abbeville and stayed with us just to eat oysters in a different restaurant each night of their stay.  On the same exact weekend, a couple came from Texas to eat oysters in a different restaurant each night.  Neither of these couples knew each other, though they both explained that this is something they do every year – come to Abbeville to eat oysters.  For both couples, they had just discovered The Caldwell and promised to be back every fall.

Wedding and Reception Adventures:

We have had many wedding and reception adventures, but two stand out from all the rest.

Once, the mother of a bride wanted to give her daughter a wedding reception she, nor her family and friends, would never forget.  The daughter was a model and had many friends in the modeling agency where she worked.  During the reception, the bride was surprised with a “fashion show” by her friends.  Guests were seated, music was played, and the girls and guys put on a fashion show especially for the bride and groom.  Later, the bride and groom were treated to a dance routine given by the young men of their church (ages 13 on down) which was created just for the bride and groom.  This wedding reception was the most unusual we have held at The Caldwell and it would be difficult for anyone to try to top it.

The next most unusual wedding and reception held at The Caldwell consisted of a bridal party of 12 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, a matron of honor, flower girls, ring bearers, and of course the bride and groom.  The names of the bridal party which were given to The Caldwell staff prior to rehearsal had to be revised when it was determined that some of the party could not make the wedding and others who fit into the dresses and tuxes were substituted to fill in.  Even with such a large bridal party, the wedding and reception was a complete success.

Uninvited Guests:

The majority of The Caldwell’s wedding ceremonies are held outside in our East Garden.  While having a wedding under the oak trees in front of a pond adorned with little white lightss or under the stars in the sky sounds romantic, outside weddings present experiences not found in indoor ceremonies.  An outside wedding is subject to uninvited guests – neighborhood pets.  At one wedding, prior to the wedding party coming down the aisle, a cat strolled down the aisle, seeming to want to be part of the bridal party.  Someone took the cat and held it during the entire wedding so it wouldn’t be trampled upon by the bridal party.

In another wedding, when the bridal party was standing at the arbor entrance to the ceremony site ready to walk down the aisle, a large dog decided that he, too, wanted to be part of the wedding, and it took a while for our staff to chase him away to keep him from walking down the aisle, which probably would have been terrifying for the guests, as well as the dog.  We’re happy to report that he did run away and did not attend the wedding.

Unique Ideas:

Some brides and grooms want their wedding to be totally unique, something memorable for family and friends.  We have an evening wedding reception scheduled where there will be a ping-pong table complete with glow-in-the-dark ping pong balls; besides a book for guests to sign in, one wedding couple furnished real rocks for guests to write messages on which the couple could display in their garden after the wedding. We have had Mardi Gras groom cakes, and cakes of every size, color, flavor and decoration that you can imagine.  Never do we have two weddings and receptions alike.  Our brides and grooms have so much imagination!

Engagement Proposals:

Twice in the past 6 months, we have had a hopeful groom rent The Caldwell for the purpose of proposing to his future bride.  The Caldwell staff enjoys in participating in this type of event and assists the groom in whatever way possible to make the proposal a complete surprise for the bride and a memorable experience for the couple.  One groom brought in real rose petals and used battery-operated candles to line the way to the bed in the Evangeline Master Suite upon which he put a large heart of red rose petals.

The staff at The Caldwell House can hardly wait to see what will happen next!

 

Bed and Breakfast or Hotel?

While hotels may be the best choice for business travelers because of the predictability of the rooms and amenities offered, a bed & breakfast may offer a unique and personalized environment for guests.  This alone makes a bed & breakfast a good choice for family vacations.  Hotels generally offer a sterile environment, while a bed & breakfast provides a more intimate atmosphere.

In a hotel, the only staff person you may come into contact with is the person who checks you in.  After that, you are just a number – “guests in Room 203”.  No one knows your name – no one cares to know you.  For bed & breakfast owners, however, their number one priority is taking care of their guests and getting to know them.  They realize that the experience they provide at their B&B is what will make guests want to return again and again.  Many B&B’s are family-owned and offer personalized service, available only in upscale hotels.

Unlike chain hotels, each and every bed & breakfast is unique in many respects.  In the same town, on the same street, each bed & breakfast will have a personality of its own.  They are unique depending on the location as well as the  personality of the innkeeper or owner. They are often located in historic homes, near landmarks or museums.  Getting to know the owner or innkeeper is an important part of the B&B experience and, oftentimes, this is what keeps guests coming again and again.

The many advantages of staying in a B&B include a friendly atmosphere in a home-type environment.  Most B&B’s offer guests a quiet parlor for enjoying conversation and front porches with rockers or swings for reading and relaxing.  Typical amenities offered by a B&B for no additional charge (unlike most hotels) are free wireless internet, free drinks and snacks, freshly baked items, luxury bathrobes, etc.

Breakfast is one of the most delightful experiences for choosing a bed & breakfast over a hotel.  A hotel may offer a large breakfast buffet, but these foods will normally be relatively the same from one hotel to another; the main difference will be in the amount of selection guests have.  Additionally, the cost of a hotel breakfast is usually not included in the price of the room.  Breakfast is included with the room rental of a bed & breakfast and it is a very important part of the experience – after all, it is half the name!  In a bed & breakfast, food is usually served plated, and in a leisurely and relaxed manner.  Guests can meet other guests and, oftentimes, breakfast can last an hour or more as guests share their experiences and get to know each other.

If you’re celebrating an important event, a bed & breakfast is the perfect choice.  Many innkeepers of  bed & breakfasts offer personalized service to help create a memorable experience for a guest.  Some bed & breakfasts offer “packages” which allow guests to add special items to their room rentals, such as cheese platters and chocolate-covered strawberries, gift certificates to a restaurant, flowers, etc.  Most innkeepers are happy to go out of their way to create these packages for guests.  Innkeepers know it is in helping to create these special events that assure guests a memorable experience that may make them want to return again and again.

Room rates vary significantly depending on the style of the bed & breakfast, the location, and the size of the B&B.  To find a bed & breakfast in an area where you intend to visit, you can go online and research bed & breakfasts, and oftentimes states have associations of bed & breakfasts listed with descriptions, pictures and rates.  Local chambers of commerce and tourist centers can also give you this information.

Try staying in a bed & breakfast on your next vacation, and you may discover it can be your “home away from home”.