On so many occasions throughout this lockdown I have felt immense gratitude for the home and garden I love, in a neighborhood I love, in a city I love. Things could be so much worse for me.
Despite my fondness for my setting and despite the fact that I am not in any way ready for a return to full on “normal,” I could use a change of view (this sounds terribly privileged because it is) and I have the urge to start exploring the treasures our region has to offer.
I am starting with Abita Springs on the western side of St. Tammany Parish. The small town was originally a Choctaw Indian village and takes its name from nearby medicinal springs.
Last Friday, the Abita Springs Hotel was among the first small businesses in the area to reopen its doors to the public after statewide stay-at-home orders were lifted. Built in a beautifully restored 1890s home, the hotel offers peaceful and stylish accommodations in tranquil Abita Springs. The five-room hotel combines the luxurious feel of a boutique hotel with the convenience of a neighborhood guesthouse. Rooms overlook lush hotel grounds, a charming courtyard garden, and one of Abita’s famed artesian springs.
With five unique rooms awash in natural light and outfitted to impart peace and comfort, the Abita Springs Hotel has created new comprehensive cleaning guidelines to ensure safety and peace-of-mind for guests and staff, along with new policies that reflect its commitment to the health and well-being of the public. The hotel has exacted expanded social distancing measures and thorough cleaning and disinfecting practices, including: a maximum property occupancy of 10 guests; contactless check-ins; CDC-recommended cleaning and disinfecting guidelines, using only EPA-endorsed disinfectants; suspension of mid-stay housekeeping (fresh towels and supplies will be delivered to guests by request, and exterior receptacles will be provided for discarded items); Elimination of multi-use amenities ( throw pillows and blankets, magazines, books, and other hard-to-clean items have been removed from guest rooms); hand sanitizer will be available to guests throughout the property.
Hotel co-owner Rachel Hudson said, “We built this hotel to give people a comfortable, relaxing place to enjoy the beauty of Abita Springs. Many of us could use some serenity, fresh air, and a change of pace right now. Our hotel is a place where that can be found, and we’re thrilled to be able to share it with the world again.”
For those planning to travel later this year, the hotel is also offering gift-card purchases, which can be made on their website. Guests interested in long-term weekly or monthly bookings can learn more about these discounted rates via phone (985-951-4200) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Guests can use the booking code “STAYCATION2020” to receive 10 percent off on all reservations.
Within walking distance or a short drive from the hotel several places are currently open for curbside pickup and delivery, often with outdoor seating: Abita Brew Pub, Abita Springs Café, Honey’s Snoball Shack, and Vera’s Seafood. Artigues Abita Market is a well appointed small grocery in the area. Abita Brewery Tap Room is open for to-go pints and growlers and the extensive Abita Springs Farmer’s Market is open Sundays 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m. across from Town Hall for both drive-thru and pedestrian service.
Consider packing your mask and your PPE talismans and taking a little adventure in aid of our neighboring communities and they fight their way back to life just as we are. For the latest information on openings as well as businesses and attractions still closed in St. Tammany visit sttammanytourism.com.
Have a great week, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love, even if you are doing it from afar, digitally, or over the telephone. We need each other more than ever so take the time and make the effort to reach out. While you are at it make an effort to forgive past misdeeds and share some love. Please reach out to me if you have something to share or I can help in some way because You’ve Got A Friend in Me.