The St. Vincent Guesthouse is a hotel created from an ancient Orphanage. Many simply refer to it as “The Orphanage”. This is where we used to stay when we required paid lodging in New Orleans. It’s also where we recommended people stay. It’s very affordable and very “New Orleans”. And when we say “very New Orleans”, we mean, “sticky-filthy and crawling with cockroaches the size of cats”. If you’ve got a problem with that, you may want to look into some of the cute little bed & breakfasts uptown. The staff are randomly cheery and helpful, surly and quiet or criminally insane. I love them all.

If you were to read reviews on, say, you would see opinions split nearly in half. One group simply loves the “Character” (read: filth) ; “Charm” (read: illiteracy) and “Helpful staff” (read: the guest is happy he was not murdered when he was mugged).  The other half on the “opinion sites” feel like they just got out of boot camp, or lived through a slasher movie, “It seemed so lovely and idyllic! Then the sun went down…”

I am SO kidding! The people there are lovely. They’re just not too overly concerned when you don’t have towels for 3 days. We just know to bring towels now.

So, I will resolve the two by saying that staying at the St. Vincent Guesthouse is an “experience”. You should do it at least once in your life.


This is a baby chute, installed in case of fires.
See, when a room goes ablaze, you start chuckin’ the infants out the window and down the chute.

This is not a joke.


I can’t find an exact date for when it was built. Early 19th Century, far as I can tell.


It looks like this reads: “St. Vinsent Infant Asylum”
not “St. Vincent”


There are many photographs on the wall of nuns caring for the children of St. Vincent’s. This place is a 7-minute walk from St. Mary’s Church, St. Alphonsus and the “Ecclesiastical Square” of the Redemptorist Parish, not to mention “Annunciation Square”.  This was the heart of the Irish (Catholic) Channel.

Some superstitious people are leery to spend time in a place that housed so many ill and destitute children, but I personally have seen very few lesion-covered, crying phantom-babies wandering the halls at night.

These pictures were takes about 5 months after Katrina.


St. Vincent’s is comprised of three buildings shaped in a “U”.
Facing downtown, you see the Superdome to the left…


Panning to the right, you see the World Trade Center


And then the back of front building. In the middle of this U-shaped courtyard is a pool.


“Mary among the bananas”. I think Raphael did one, too.

Right outside of the western entrance there is a large Mary grotto thingy. I can’t really tell what it’s made of. Maybe cement covered in latex paint? I don’t know.

Inside the lobby.


High ceilings mean 4-foot drops for the fans.

Oatmeal? Spittle? Semen? This must be where Wilford Brimley was strangled by Bob Crane”


Stair landing and window- why can’t they be friends?



Stop it with the Pennywise jokes. He ain’t in there!

Spacious parking any damn where you please.


Window escape routes for some.


And quick conversion of rooms to barracks for visiting construction workers.

This place has it all!

Originally published Jan 2009