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This dilapidated beauty on the banks of the Mississippi River is best known as the home of Graceland: altar to the King. Or as the home of the blues. It’s also got a great reputation for barbecue food. But Memphis is a lot more than that, it’s an old city, with old time-y charms, but also a lively, vibrant city which looks forwards as well as backwards. The best places to stay in Memphis range from basic B&Bs to five star palaces, which mirrors the city’s own housing situation - there’s poverty, but there’s also a lot of regeneration going on.
Our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Memphis can be found quite close to the river. Which is conveniently located for strolling through the city, eating out in the evening, Beale Street for the blues and Graceland.
Memphis is awash with great museums, music venues and barbecue restaurants. After you see Graceland you might want to pop down to Sun Studio, the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum or the Stax Museum of America Soul Music? Or the WC Handy Mouse Museum: a ‘shotgun shack’ on 4th Street which once belonged to the ‘father of the blues’. Or the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, an old clapboard house thought to be a station for runaway slaves. You could also visit the National Civil Rights Museum, of even Memphis Zoo with its two resident Giant Pandas?
And after eating your fill you might like to stroll down to Mud Island, or past the impressive old Sears Crosstown building, or along the beautiful old Mississippi.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Memphis are ideal bases for exploring this fascinating city.
- The Madison Hotel started life in 1905 as a bank, but it’s now a 110 room boutique hotel with large windows and contemporary furnishings. And spa baths. There’s a great roof terrace overlooking the Mississippi.
- The River Inn of Harbor Town is a welcoming hotel with an Old South/ Old World feel - think cracking fireplaces, art and antiques and four-poster beds. There’s a rooftop with panoramic views and Paulette’s continental restaurant.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Memphis for you?
Best Hotels in Memphis
Madison Hotel 110 rooms from $163Memphis (Tennessee)
1905 bank turned boutique with original features, ornate tiled floors and large windows, complete with contemporary furnishings. Elegant, comfortable rooms with city views and spa bath tubs. Must try the World cuisine at Eighty3 and catch the sunset over the Mississippi from the Sky Terrace.Fishing - Herb Parsons Lake is a Reservoir lake which sees runners and fishing lovers.Sights nearby - Graceland, former home of Elvis Presley, is open to the public.Lively - Hip and happening.Full of characterRecommended by - Tablet
The Peabody Hotel 464 rooms from $249Memphis
An historic hotel dating back to 1869, known for its resident duck walks since 1933. Opulent, traditional decor, a top rated French restaurant, the famed Lobby Bar, indoor pool, hot tub and a full service spa. A haven for business and leisure travellers, ideally located in the centre of Memphis.Local markets - Shopping at independent boutique storesSights nearby - Graceland is a 10 minute drive away.Swimming Pool - An indoor swimming poolFull of character
River Inn of Harbor Town 28 rooms from $257Memphis (Tennessee)
Old south meets European intimacy, welcoming guests with crackling fireplaces, art works and antiques. Four-poster beds in the elegant rooms as well as fine linens. Paullette's Restaurant offers continental cuisine, or head to the rooftop for panoramic views. Explore Memphis by bike or foot.Sights nearby - Graceland, Elvis Presley's former house, is worth a visit.Romantic - Good for couples.OpulentFull of character