Nottoway Plantation Resort
What We Love
- The intriguing history of the plantation, once home to sugar magnate John Hampden Randolph and his 11 children
- Walks on the levee, with views of the barges and other ships plying the Mississippi
- The understated, updated elegance of the cottages, with porches and rocking chairs for reading books on local history
- The austere White Ballroom, viewed on the guided tour of the main plantation house
What To Know
- Nottoway has 40 guestrooms, seven in the main plantation house and the rest in cottages and outbuildings scattered about the grounds
- Restaurant choice is limited; the restaurant on the estate is delightful but falls somewhat short of New Orleans standards
- Nottaway’s grounds have a tidy, modern resort feel; fans of rustic patina and shabby chic may be disappointed
- Nottoway hosts as many as 300 weddings a year, so be prepared for festiveness, especially on weekends
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Just 90 minutes from New Orleans, Nottoway Plantation is an enclave of Old South elegance nicely updated for travelers who want contemporary conveniences. The intimate resort clusters around an impressive 1859 plantation house designed by prominent New Orleans architect Henry Howard. It stands out not only for its grand scale but for its intricate Italianate style, 15-foot ceilings and cypress wood structure harvested from nearby swamps. The handsome, leafy grounds abut the Mississippi River levee, and unlike many former plantation houses in these parts, the property also comprises modern outbuildings, such as guest cottages, a small recreation/fitness building and function spaces for weddings, which are a specialty here.
Bed and Bath
There are just seven guestrooms in the main building, with the rest spread among cottages on the grounds. Duplex Cottages echo the traditional style of the antebellum mansion, with dark wood floors, antique-style furnishings and heavy drapes in gold and chocolate shades, but all have WiFi, flat-screen TVs and spacious modern bathrooms. Both the Carriage Houses and Cottages have that Southern essential: a porch with rockers overlooking a small pond.
The grounds — down to a handful of acres from the several thousand acres of sugar cane at the plantation’s 19th-century peak — invite exploring. There’s the family cemetery where John Randolph and his wife are buried, a small parterre-style garden and a pool within a bricked-in courtyard. Nottoway has the feel of a small cruise ship (there’s even a salon offering manicures and hair styling), a sensibility that extends to the ground-floor Mansion restaurant, where the best seats for dinner are in the glassed-in area facing the towering oak trees.
In the Area
Take an early morning tour of the plantation house, when the light is soft and the sun slants in through the windows, then go for a drive along River Road, with stops to scramble up the levee to see what’s on the other side. While Nottoway is one of the South’s most impressive antebellum mansions, there are many more to explore in the area; check out Oak Valley, Laura Plantation and Madewood. Go farther afield on a daytrip to Baton Rouge, where you can take a tour of the state capitol, a de facto monument to populist governor Huey Long, or hunt for alligators among the cypress trees and Spanish moss during a swamp tour in the intricate, prehistoric Atchafalaya Basin.
How to Get There
We stayed 3 nights in New Orleans and decided to spend some time in the country at a plantation. We chose Nottoway because its one of the largest antebellum mansions and because you can stay in the mansion itself. We selected the John Hampton Randolph (04) room which is on the second floor in the Boy's wing. It was a nicely decorated, clean room that had the charm of an 150 year old house. The bathroom was modern and clean. The room's entrance door is an exterior door that is accessed from the veranda on the second floor. We spent some time on the veranda in the rocking chairs admiring the beautiful grounds and landscape. Note that there are steep stairs to climb to get to the second floor.
The mansion is beautiful and well maintained. The views of the mansion from different angles are impressive and its easy to take many great photographs. The tour of the mansion was very interesting ($20 per adult) with a tour guide in period costume. The White Ballroom and Gentlemen's Study are gorgeous as are the other rooms. We had a nice dinner in the restaurant and then went back to our room. The area is very quiet at night. We also enjoyed the breakfast buffet.
We stayed a second night in the carriage house which was also a nice room with nice clean bathroom. Although the carriage house room was more modern, I prefer to to stay in the mansion itself to experience its charm and history.
From this location you can visit other plantations. We took a relatively short trip to Houmas House which is another plantation house well worth visiting. We also drove by Oak Alley and viewed the mansion from the outside only but heard this tour is also very good.
Overall this was an excellent stay for us. We really enjoyed our first stay at a plantation resort.
Enjoyed this tour. Great tour guide and history of the plantation era. The tour guide did an excellent job! This is a must see on your tour of the LA plantations. Beautiful place to picture back in time.
We stayed in the boy's wing for a night during our cross country trip. The grounds are gorgeous and we made use of the pool. It was the last week of August, so it was a very quiet stay. Not much happening in the area around here, but we planned to make the most of the plantation amenities while we were there so that didn't bother us. Staff was friendly and the self guided audio tour was informative. I'd love to go back.
My friend and I wanted to spend the night at a plantation and decided to stay at Nottoway. The good part was our excellent and informative house tour with Donovan. I could tell that he really likes showing people the house and it’s history and architecture. The other good was the sweet bartender who let us sample wine. The food in the restaurant was very good too. The bad was the check in staff. It was raining, but the lady who checked us in wasn’t very friendly and didn’t give much explanation on the directions to the carriage house. She gave us the key, a map of the hotel and we were on our way. No nice suggestions or talk with her! Our room (204) was ok but it was dark and no better than a room at any other (nonplantation) hotel. Now for the ugly, I don’t know if I believe in ghosts or spirits but I had horrible dreams all night and at one point I woke up with the feeling of some kind of weight being placed on me. Almost like being buried alive. This is not the hotels fault but I will never go there again. Just thinking of Nottoway sends chills up my spine.
My wife and I returned to Nottoway for the first time in 24 years and found it to be the exceptionally romantic hideaway we remembered! We arrived after a long day in New Orleans and found it to be the soothing restorative experience we were looking for after a crazy Mardi Gras filled day in the Big Easy. Everyone was warm and friendly. This is true Southern Hospitality at its finest and not to be missed!