Memphis Tennessee: Staying At The Peabody Hotel
When we travel, we always prefer staying in unique, independent hotels over big chains. The history and stories behind these places are almost always worth seeking out. On a recent trip to Memphis, we chose to stay at one of the souths most famous hotels, The Peabody Memphis. What makes this hotel unique? What was our trip like and why should you visit The Peabody? Keep reading to find out.
Initially opened in 1869 and rebuilt in 1925, The Peabody has been called the "Souths Grand Hotel." It certainly lives up to the name. From the moment you enter the dark wood-lined lobby and glance up to the mezzanine, you realize you're someplace special. Bustling with people at the many tables and couches, you would feel at home spending a considerable amount of time in the lobby. Whether there for a drink or the famous Duck March, visitors come in and out all through the day to experience the hotel.
Besides the decor, the hotel itself holds much history. Elvis spent his senior prom here, and they even have a contract he signed on Peabody letterhead. Many movies have been filmed here as well. It's also in a great location. Just steps from Beale St and a short drive to Sun Studios and The Civil Rights Museum. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. You won't be disappointed with a stay here.
The rooms at The Peabody were recently renovated. They are light and comfortable. It was a lot larger than we expected as well. We had a corner suite and the light filtering in was terrific. The dream beds they have added are crazy comfortable. We slept great and thought the little "duck" touches in the room were great. What is it with the Peabody and ducks?
So what's the deal with The Ducks? They started as a practical joke in the 1930's by the then general manager of the hotel. After a hunting trip, they thought it would be funny to place some ducks in the lobby fountain. The guest loved it. Since 1940 the hotel has employed "Duck Masters" to train and lead the daily duck marches from the roof to the central fountain. It's definitely a unique experience and one that we enjoyed a lot. Even if you can't stay at The Peabody, you should stop by to see the performance and have a drink. The march is twice a day at 11 am and 5 pm. It's incredibly popular so show up early to have a place to sit.
The Peabody has a few different bars that you can relax in and have a drink. Our favorite was at Chez Philippe. Jordan, the bartender there, is a fourth-generation bartender going back to his great-grandfather. He takes his craft seriously, and it shows. He made us their two most popular drinks, the smoked old-fashioned and the french kiss. The old-fashioned was something we would typically order. It's a classic old-fashioned, made with fresh ingredients like brandy soaked cherries. The twist is that after it's made it spends a little time in a glass smoker. The smoke isn't just a gimmick. It added a lot to the flavor and the spectacle. The French kiss was more of a dessert drink, made with flavored vodka and topped with fresh cream. It was a great way to finish up our time at Chez Philippe.
I love hotels that let you on the roof. The Peabody has a gorgeous rooftop area where the Ducks are housed and where you can get a fantastic view of the city.
Feathers Spa (Get it? Feathers...Ducks...lol), is located on the lower level. It's a full-service spa with a sauna and plenty of treatments to choose from. Charise had an Ashiatsu massage. The masseuse climbs on top of you, grabs hold of the ceiling and does most of the work with her feet. It's deep tissue, so if you're not used to it, they'll take it easier on you.
We ate most of our meals out of the hotel during our trip. However, when we return, we plan to eat a Chez Phillpe for sure. The one meal we did eat at The Peabody was wonderful. We had an in-room breakfast on our last day. You can never get tired of room-service. After a great nights sleep, we woke up to waffles, eggs benedict, fruit and of course...coffee. It's not the cheapest way to eat, but it's probably one of the best.
We enjoyed our stay at The Peabody very much. The hotel staff was great and really took care of us. We can't wait to find ourselves in Memphis again. Tap here to read more about our trip to Memphis. What do you think of The Peabody? Have you ever stayed there? Have you ever been to Memphis? Answer below in the comments.