The Dansereau House Bed & Breakfast has been honored with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association’s Louey Award for Accommodation of the Year – Bed and Breakfast. Eleven members of Louisiana’s tourism industry were recognized for their tremendous efforts to advance the state’s tourism industry by the LTPA and more than 300 of their peers, at the Louey Awards luncheon. The Awards were presented Thursday, January 26, in Shreveport, as part of the 2012 Travel and Tourism Industry Summit.
“Louey awards are given to members and friends of the tourism industry who have gone the extra mile to promote and even protect Louisiana’s tourism industry,” according to the LTPA.
The Dansereau House, located in historic downtown Thibodaux, opened their doors as a Bed & Breakfast, as well as a special events venue, less than two years ago. Since that time, the Innkeepers Paul and Lori Worrell, have welcomed guests from all corners of the United States, as well as guests from Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and more. They have hosted travel writers, videographers, and screen actors from the US and Canada. Equally as important, they have provided a unique and beautiful environment for the local community to celebrate their family and corporate events.
“We are blessed and humbled by this honor,” said Paul Worrell. The Worrell’s, originally from Florida, moved to Thibodaux to manage The Dansereau House after it was purchased by Damon Baldone, of Houma. Their goal was to open the house up to the community and beyond, with warm hospitality, elegant atmosphere, and excellent service. In addition to the Bed & Breakfast, guests and the local public can enjoy cocktails, hors d oeuvres, and live music at The Drinkery on Thursday evenings.
Each December the house is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with lights, music, and even snow! “This year we were honored to be a part of Christmasfest and the ending-site of the Thibodaux Christmas Parade,” said Lori Worrell, “and to have Santa Claus sit on the front lawn listening to the requests of all the children.” In the weeks after the parade dozens of observers came each night to watch the light show.
The Dansereau House was built in 1847, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970’s. The Bed & Breakfast has six guest rooms, and is available for weddings, parties, and other special events. The Drinkery is open on Thursday evenings, with live music on the veranda during the Spring and Fall seasons.
As a young girl spending her youth in a small town like Thibodaux, I often would pass “the big house” in downtown heart of city. I would often fantasize of living there and imagined in mind how the rooms would look on the inside…maybe it would contain a beautiful chandelier. (I still enjoy things that sparkle.) When I mentioned to my husband that the home was opened as a bed & breakfast and that we should consider staying there he agreed saying “whatever you think” as he looked up from the sports page of the newspaper. He made the reservations and we celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Dansereau House this past month. On the day of our arrival, my husband brought our luggage to the house and after he called me saying “Dude, you won’t believe it, but the place is even nicer than thought.” Our stay there was such a wonderful experience, from the moment we arrived to our departure. Even though we were only moments from home, it felt like a million miles away. The accommodations were outstanding-the restorations and maintenance on the property were impeccable.The home was luxurious but also yielded a warmth and coziness. The innkeepers of the house, Lori and Paul, were FABULOUS!!! They have a wonderful eye for detail and paid attention to the “little” touches that make you feel at home (Thank you for icing the Verdi champagne). Upon our departure from the house, my husband turned to me and mentioned that we should come back “before football season”. My only regret is that we had to return to everyday lives and Lori did not prepare my breakfast the next day. Thank you for this experience I will cherish it forever— I really did live in the “big house” (well, at least for a day). Hoping to visit with you soon!!! Hugs Always, Dawn Belte
We had a marvelous stay at the lovely Dansereau House! Everything is top notch and the attention to detail impeccable! Could not have had better service from the delightful innkeepers! If you are anywhere near Thibodaux, LA…this is a must!! Capt. David and Francoise Tripp, Tallahassee, Florida
For a month in May 2010, I had the absolute delight of experiencing an unforgettable stay and true ‘home away from home’ at the Dansereau House in Thibodaux, Louisiana, while on location filming.
Having arrived directly on an overnight flight from working in Lima, Peru, and on the heels of the first week of the State’s tragic oil spill, this ‘overwhelmed’ guest had no idea what to expect when the driver pulled up to this stunning Heritage House and was greeted by its hosts, Lori and Paul Worrell.
Booked into one of their grander rooms, I was so impressed by the detailed restoration work that had been done that I immediately wanted to see more- and my jet-lagged request turned into both an architectural and historic tour of this exquisite, yet intimate, property, during which Lori and Paul not only endeared me with their welcoming charm, but also kindly offered me any of the other available rooms if one in particular suited my needs more, as I would be on a ‘work’ visit and there for a month. Spotting a fresh dove’s nest on the plantation porch, I chose a smaller room with direct access to it.
Over the weeks, as heartbreaking news poured in of ongoing failed attempts to gain control over what would become the State and Nation’s greatest ecological disaster in history, the Dansereau plantation ‘dove’ porch became not only an improvised private work station but also a respite amidst its protected oasis of Louisiana’s natural beauty. In an area still untouched by the tragedy, my thoughts were increasingly with the locals on the coastal frontline (a mere hour away), as I would return from work each day to this River Road refuge- surrounded by its garden of magnolia and indigenous trees, its reverie of wildlife and birds (which have taken to the restored ‘bird bath’ on the property), and a resident owl who remained unseen but let itself be heard occasionally, in between the lulling chimes of nearby church bells which softly echoed in the Louisiana breeze.
Thanks to the hospitality of Lori and Paul, each day the Dansereau House became more and more of a ‘home’. And each day, the growing threat to its State’s natural wonders and historic richness with which I had become more intimate (Lori and Paul are exceptionally well-educated about both) and the urgent need to protect its unique ecology and economy were only heightened by this increased awareness of how invaluable an asset the bounty of the Bayou State truly is- to both its local residents, and the greater Nation.
So it was with mixed feelings that I discovered that Lori is additionally a brilliant cook, as we indulged in the last days of Louisiana’s local fresh shrimp and crawfish catch with her homemade Seafood Jumbo Recipe (spiced up with owner and State Representative Damon Baldone’s own Cajun sauce). And no doubt it was with mixed feelings that Lori’s husband, Paul, made the discovery that I, too, took immediate note of her ‘baking’ skills- within a week of my stay, a giant size 24/7 ‘cookie jar’ appeared on the kitchen countertop to accommodate the disappearing dozens of freshly baked cookies. The Dansereau House may not be equipped with an official ‘gym’, but “Loris’s Cookies” cravings turned the stairwell into a daily stair-master, as I beat Paul to the depleting jar each night for my midnight snack(s). Ironically, I toned up and lost weight in doing so. (Sorry Paul, but I highly recommend the ‘Dansereau Diet’ to ALL your future guests).
Lastly, I want to thank Lori and Paul for a month of laughter amidst such tough times for all in Louisiana. Effortlessly, you captured its resilient spirit- a spirit that will need to be drawn upon in the days, months, and years that follow this latest and greatest challenge to the State and its residents. When I arrived, I could not have anticipated what extraordinary hosts you would be in terms of your ability to transform a mere guest into an individual who felt and feels authentically connected to Thibodaux and Louisiana. Your knowledge and care as tenders of a piece of Louisiana’s history has made an forever impact on a guest- a guest who is not only grateful, but is now invested in supporting and promoting the welfare and ongoing prosperity of this invaluable State.
As impressively, witnessing weekly after hours ‘work’ visits by the new Dansereau House owner, Damon Baldone, was an inspiration to have been privy to; a ‘State Representative’ who- as a private citizen- has personally ‘invested’ in the restoration and preservation of a part of the deep and disparate roots of Louisiana only underscored the true depth of strength, value, and commitment of those who call Louisiana ‘home’.
I will miss- and already do- the Dansereau House…and my home away from home. As importantly, as beacons of hospitality, elegance, and smiles in times of the ‘cup half full’, I wish you- as individual mascots of a greater collective- much prosperity, and encourage all tourists, travelers, and ‘overwhelmed’ guests to seek room at an Inn of true worth.
Deborah Kara Unger
“Wonderful people, wonderful place. The atmosphere is elegant; we were treated like royalty. Mrs. Lori’s breakfast is delicious, and Mr. Paul’s knowledge of the house is fantastic. I won’t even get started on the bathtub! I could have slept in there! We will definitely be back.” The Rablee’s, Thibodaux, LA, 10th wedding anniversary
“The Dansereau House Bed & Breakfast is a wonderful, classy establishment. Quiet and beautiful, it’s a reminder of the generous hospitality and charm that Thibodaux has to offer. With the friendliest Innkeepers, Paul and Lori make you feel right at home and so comfortable. It’s spacious and calm, and I would recommend it for a great experience.” David Zayas, Actor, (Dexter, Law & Order), filming Samuel Bleak in Thibodaux