Downtown Memphis Offers Loads of Lodging Options near FedEx Forum

Photo courtesy of Springhill Suites
Photo courtesy of Peabody Hotel
By Sally Walker Davies, Memphis Local Expert

Downtown Memphis is home to the FedEx Forum - home court for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association and the University of Memphis Tigers - always one of the best teams in college hoops. The Forum is also ground zero for big concerts, the circus, monster truck shows and more - so there's rarely a dark night at the palatial events center, which is located just off Beale Street and only a few blocks from the Mississippi River.

Finding lodging near the Forum - and by near, we mean within a few blocks walking or a quick trolley ride away - is easy, and there are options for every budget and taste. From lush and historic hotels to accommodations for families and the budget-conscious, there's no shortage of downtown hotels that can serve as home base for a night at the Forum - and give you easy access to many of the attractions in downtown Memphis.

The sleek and contemporary Westin Beale Street overlooks the Forum and even offers some NBA-sized rooms with extra-long beds and high shower heads. Visiting teams usually stay here – you can tell if  there's a fan base outside the hotel on game days. The historic Peabody Hotel is just a quick three blocks from the Forum, with the moderately priced and extremely well-located Hampton Inn Beale Street right in the middle of all the Beale Street action.

Whatever your budget or style, our list of the 10Best hotels near the FedEx Forum will help you find just the right accommodations.

10. Holiday Inn University of Memphis All Suite
Photo courtesy of IHG

Most folks don't know that the Holiday Inn chain of hotels got it start in Memphis; Kemmons Wilson started with one hotel on Summer Avenue, creating a nationwide empire of roadway inns. The Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis is part of the hospitality management school named for Wilson - and a training ground for those hoping to follow in his footsteps. The all-suite hotel is pleasant,comfortable and nicely-priced, with an on-campus location that's close to everything. There are two restaurants, a lounge, and a fitness center; the University's excellent art museum is just steps away, and the surrounding neighborhood offers a number of small restaurants.

9. SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown
Photo courtesy of Springhill Suites

With a location along the Main Street Trolley line,proximity to the Mississippi River and just a short walk to the delights of downtown Memphis, the Springhill Suites is an excellent option for families looking for an affordable yet convenient accommodation. The FedEx Forum, Beale Street, National Civil Rights Museum and AutoZone Park (home to the Memphis Redbirds baseball team) are easily walkable from the hotel,as is the river and Mud Island, just a block to the west. The hotel offers 147 suites with high-speed Internet and kitchenettes; daily breakfast is complimentary. A fitness room, swimming pool and business center are on-site.

8. Best Western Plus Gen X Inn
Photo courtesy of Best Western

This boutique-y budget offering is in Midtown, close to some of the city's best restaurants and nightlife, as well as downtown attractions. On the Madiosn Trolley line and situated in the Medical District, the hotel offers well-appointed guest rooms complete with cable satellite television and high-speed Internet access. A complimentary continental breakfast featuring fresh made waffles is offered daily, and there's a 24-hour fitness center and business center. The trolley line offers quick and inexpensive access to downtown attractions, and just a few miles away, you can explore Graceland, wander through the Beale Street Historic District or visit the Memphis Zoo.

7. Holiday Inn Select Memphis - Downtown
Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Downtown Memphis

Few know that Memphis was where the Holiday Inn was born - and the downtown option of the hometown brand is a perfect setting for those looking to economize yet be close to it all. With its Union Avenue location across the street from AutoZone Park - home to the Redbirds, a farm team of the St. Louis Cardinals - the Holiday Inn is situated just a few blocks from all the major downtown attractions and surrounded by loads of locally-owned restaurants. The Rendezvous, famed for its Memphis-style barbeque, is just out the side doors (follow your nose, and the smoke from the cookers). A terrace-level pool and fitness room will entice the kids.

6. DoubleTree by Hilton Memphis Downtown
Photo courtesy of (c) 2013 DoubleTree

The DoubleTree offers excellent proximity to Beale Street and AutoZone Park, home of the minor league Memphis Redbirds (an excellent space to watch a ballgame), as well as a myriad of downtown attractions and shopping.. Like most of the properties in this line, amenities include free WiFi and cookies, and an on-site T.G.I. Friday's restaurant serves as the hotel eatery. The Main Street Trolley, Beale Street and the Cotton Exchange Museum are just a few blocks away, and the surrounding area includes a variety of locally-owned and quite good restaurants, from Charlie Vergos's Rendezvous to Automatic Slim's, and the tony Chez Philippe in the adjacent Peabody Hotel.

5. Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Memphis
Photo courtesy of Courtyard Marriott Downtown

The hotel features the newest concept in Courtyards with the 'Refreshing Business' lobby which includes areas to relax, unwind, and do business. A Business Library complete with a fax machine, printer, copier, and computers as well as a large flat screen, and a variety of books. The location - smack downtown near Raymond James/Morgan Keegan and AutoZone - is perfect for arranging business dinners and meetings while keeping an eye on the bottom line. Every guest room has complimentary Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the property. Four meeting rooms offer 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including an executive board room of the scenic Court Square and a media room that holds 15 people comfortably. At the end of the day, the rooftop deck with its city and river views is a great spot in which to unwind.

4. Madison Hotel
Photo courtesy of Madison Hotel

The chic Madison is the best boutique hotel in the central business district, and oozes sophistication and big-city amenities. Luxuriously appointed rooms blend geometric wall coverings with bold colors, and many have a river view (ask for a room on a high floor facing west to lock in the view). Bathrooms are generally small yet still lush, featuring soaking or jetted tubs and touches of stone. The Twilight Sky Terrace is open daily, with drinks and small plates offered and during the summer is a more refined alternative to the nearby Peabody Hotel's rooftop gatherings, which are raucously festive. The hotel's restaurant, eighty3 - now with outside patio dining right on Main Street - is a perfect spot for a quick meal or drink before heading out to discover the Memphis music scene; the Main Street Trolley is the perfect ride to the South Main or Beale Street.

3. Hampton Inn & Suites at Beale Street

The Hampton Inn on Beale is smack in the middle of the Beale Street action, being just one block north of the intersection of Beale and Third. A number of rooms offer balconies, affording a birds-eye view of the always-on pedestrian life around Beale- but don't be dismayed by the thought of all those revelers; soundproofing glass and a rule that any open containers of alcohol have to stay on Beale means there's a better chance than you'd think of getting a good night's sleep. Beyond exploring Beale, this is a great spot to headquarter if you're also planning to catch a Broadway show at the Orpheum and a baseball game at AutoZone Park. Out of all the downtown hotels, this would be the least child-friendly, given the proximity or revelers on Beale; the clubs are open practically all day, so there's always a bit of rowdy behavior around the hotel.

2. The Peabody Memphis
Photo courtesy of Peabody Hotel

The grande dame of Southern hotels, the historic Peabody is a treat for the senses; opulence abounds, a dynamite restaurant pleases the palate, and the famed ducks entertain both adults and children. The old time-y pool area - a throwback to the glamour days of indoor hotel pools - intrigues kids, and the chance to watch the duck parade and enjoy duck-shaped soaps and other in-room amenities are added bonuses for families. For business travelers, this is the perfect spot to impress if a meeting room is needed, or to discuss deals in the quiet corner bar. Surrounding the hotel is an array of dining options, with the famed Rendezvous just across Union Avenue and down a back alley, and the hotel's own Chez Philippe is a grand dining experience (coat and tie definitely required).

1. The Westin Memphis Beale Street
Photo courtesy of The Westin Memphis Beale Street

If you're high-tech, high-style or simply high maintenance, then the Westin Beale Street offers sleek, luxurious surroundings in which to conduct your business. The downtown property is a natural choice for anyone meeting with AutoZone, financial services, or medical industry teams; six ballrooms can be configured in a variety of meeting set-ups, and event space rocks with views of Beale Street and the FedEx Forum. During basketball season, the Westin plays home to visiting teams, so be sure to keep that in mind when planning group meetings or events. The Westin's business center is open 24 hours a day, with staff available during regular business hours to help with faxing, scanning and more; WiFi is available throughout the hotel at an additional charge.