For tourists wanting to spend time in New Iberia, The Bayou Chateau has become one of the most popular spots in town.
Founded by husband and wife Mickey and Tiffany Bellott in 2015, an empty building in downtown New Iberia was renovated by the couple as private suites for use as a bed-and-breakfast.
The Bayou Chateau is their first studio style apartment with a large balcony overlooking the Bayou Teche. Eclectic taste makes for a fun atmosphere that includes a Murphy bed and barbecue pit for long weekends.
The Bellotts are also in the midst of opening the Baits Motel right across the street near the Sliman Theater, and are hoping to open that around the time of World Championship Gumbo Cookoff later this year.
Mickey Bellott said the opportunity came to open The Bayou Chateau based on advice from the Iberia Industrial Development Foundation. After not being sure what they wanted to do with the building, one of the recommendations thrown out was a bed-and-breakfast business.
The suites have become largely successful due to the modern look of the interior, the scenic location near the Bayou Teche and the hospitality of the Bellotts.
Why did you and your wife decide to open The Bayou Chateau?
When we purchased the building we let IDF (Iberia Industrial Development) know that we were going to be neighbors. We told them we were not sure what we were going to do with the building. They were extremely helpful 15 years ago when I was starting Royal Security Solutions in New Iberia and I trusted any advice they recommended.
One of their suggestions was to look at possibly doing a bed-and-breakfast type rental.
How did you find the location and how long did it take to renovate?
The building was a vacated rental that was owned by my grandfather’s niece. She came to us for ideas on what she could do with it. We liked the location and decided to purchase it. It took eight months to renovate it. (For) the Chateau Royale (it) has been two years since we started and we are still renovating.
How’s it been owning a business in downtown New Iberia?
We enjoyed being a part of downtown so much we joined the New Iberia Downtown Alliance, and this year became board members. We want our downtown to grow and help others succeed. We are part of an ecosystem that can help grow the downtown.
How has the local community responded to the Bayou Chateau?
Everyone loves it.
When are you the busiest?
From September to May.