Saturday, April 20, 2019

Arnaudville Guest Houses Are Lovingly Restored and Incredibly Inviting

Arnaudville is a small community in St. Landry and St. Martin parishes on historic Bayou Teche and some pretty cool things are happening there.

A favorite stop of ours when traveling through the southern part of our state is Bayou Teche Brewing on La. Hwy 31. Besides the fabulous beer and tasty wood-fired pizza, you meet the most interesting and friendly people there.  On our most recent trip we met a guy from Florida who was in town working for developer Tony Adrian at Les Deux Mondes guest houses.

It was an odd coincidence because we had spotted the colorful cottages a few days before and been curious about them, and now, here was this fellow ready to tell us all about them. A couple of days later we had the chance to meet Tony and tour three of the cottages and now we can't wait to return and stay for a few days. In fact, I'm rather obsessed with the idea.

Tony Adrian is an energetic and enterprising craftsman; a former nurse, he now is co-owner and developer in the renovation of seven formerly dilapidated homes on Front Street in Arnaudville. The houses all date prior to 1920s and he was eager to show them to us.

The pastel cottages actually face Bayou Teche and while all of them are not complete yet, the three we saw were ready for occupancy while another is the current residence for the ULL student who does the landscaping and gardening.

Just a few years ago the property was a trash dump and eyesore and neighbors were a little nervous when Tony started moving in more dilapidated houses, but after he removed several dump trucks full of trash, fixed up the houses, and planted some flowers, tensions eased.

The cottages we walked through had gorgeous cypress tables and red oak counter tops, fully updated kitchens and bathrooms, stunning pine plank flooring, and simple, tasteful decor.

The walls feature original art from Nunu Art Collective in Arnaudville. Tony pointed out that he used milk paint made on site on the walls, "no latex paint," he said, shaking his head.

He has built spacious porches facing the bayou for each one. 

"Houses used to front the bayou," he explained. "The street side was the back door, so that's what we did."

You can walk across the street to Russell's and pick up your groceries or a plate lunch; you can spend the afternoon in a hammock just watching the bayou, or you can go down to the brewery for pizza and conversation.  You can even put a kayak in the bayou and explore the historic Bayou Teche.

"Have you ever had loquat?" Tony asked me as we walked around to the street side of the houses; he pointed to a tree filled with pale orange fruit. He plucked one from the tree, bent forward, and bit in, juice dripping everywhere. "You might need a bath when you get through!" he laughed.   The gardens along the cottages are filled with lovingly tended blooming plants, natural grasses, fruit trees, and vegetable plants.  Amber was setting out tomato plants when we were there.

Tony is all about conservation and preservation so he uses natural and local materials when he can; the rooms are all inviting and filled with natural light. He has updated all of the plumbing and electricity.

Some of the cottages are single occupancy while others are duplexes with a shared porch.

The cottages are listed on Air BnB, if you're interested in a stay. I plan to try them all!  In fact, I'm hoping maybe I can talk Tony into selling me one someday, but I doubt he'd be game for that. I get the impression this is a project of love for him.

Further Reading:
Arnaudville Guest House Project Targets Tourists, Artists (Acadiana Advocate, 9/10/14)
Les Deux Mondes Project Grows in Arnaudville (Daily World, 8/23/14)
Waterfront Cajun Creole Cottage on Bayou Teche - 4 Guests (Air BnB)
Waterfront Cajun Creole Cottage on Bayou Teche - 7 Guests (Air BnB)

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