Subject: Help with New Orleans!
Hello Everyone,

I have an opportunity (if I can do it inexpensively enough!) to present a paper at a research meeting in New Orleans, Dec 3-7. My dilemma is that since it is such a large conference, all of the downtown hotels are requiring that bookings be made through the convention housing service. Personal past experience with various housing services utilized for major conventions have left me disappointed, mostly with miscommunication between service and hotel. I once had been faxed reservation information for a particular hotel, only to arrive in the evening to find that the hotel had no booking for me, and since, my reservation had been made through a housing service, they weren't going to do anything to help me, and basically told me to take it up with them.

So my questions are, can any New Orleans natives (Callie?) recommend some very good bed and breakfasts, or small inns in the downtown area near the convention centre, and for the travel agents on our list is there a way to end run a housing service and get a direct booking with a hotel? The housing service advertises a special 'convention rate' but they all seem VERY EXPENSIVE i.e. average rate for single/double occupancy being about 190/205 US, and, once the 11% hotel tax is factored in and conversion to our Canadian dollar, I'm looking at parting with over $300 a night for a place to sleep.

I've asked my travel agent here to look into things for me, but Travelzine has so much expertise, I'd love input from folks.

Many Thanks (in advance)

John Wiernikowski Hamilton, Ontario CANADA