Stay Extravagantly in Memphis, Where Luxury Hotels Are Plentiful and Lush

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

Yours truly has a confession to make: She's a bit of a hotel snob. But if you're looking for the most luxurious hotels in Memphis, then you'll be glad to know you're in good hands. Very good hands.

Our list of the 10Best Luxury Hotels in Memphis covers both those super-high end hotels, as well as those which are a bit less pricey but still offer a lush experience. The hotel market in Memphis, we are glad to report, is definitely on the upswing, having added the new Big Cypress Lodge inside the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in 2015 - which will recommend, and will be coming to this list shortly.

Enjoy your 'me' time in Memphis by spoiling yourself at some of the most posh luxury hotels the city has to offer, like the River Inn of Harbor Town, a lush little hotel tucked away on Mud Island. The River Inn's quiet location, indulgent rooms and lush bedding are enticing, as is its rooftop lounge.

At the historic and recently remodeled Peabody Hotel, indulge in ritzy, on-premises upscale dining at Chez Philippe, or pamper yourself with a treatment at the hotel's spa. Be sure to stay through the decadent Sunday brunch, with it's miles-long dessert buffet.

If you travel extravagantly, Memphis luxury hotels are the only way to fly - and our list of the 10Best will help you make the right choice.

10. 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.

9. 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.

8. Embassy Suites Memphis
Photo courtesy of Hilton Worldwide

Located on Shady Grove Road in East Memphis, the Embassy Suites is a no-nonsense choice for the road warrior. Rooms are large and include a sitting area with a desk, couch and plentiful outlets, so you can set up your office-away-from-the-office. WiFi is free throughout the hotel, making it easy to connect; meeting rooms with full catering services are available, and a business center offers 24 hour access with printing, faxing and scanning available. The on-site restaurant, Frank Grisanti's, is a favorite of east Memphians, and a surprisingly excellent spot in which to host a business dinner. In addition, Circa and Ruth's Chris are just steps away, and a courtesy van can get you to local businesses, shops and restaurants with advance notice.

7. Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis-Shady Grove
Photo courtesy of Hampton Inn Shady Grove

With an east Memphis location and proximity to International Paper, financial service firms and a quick drive to FedEx, the Hampton Inn offers the budget-minded business traveler the perfect combination of convenience and comfort. The hotel features wireless access throughout, and includes wired option in-room; there are two meeting rooms available with a total square footage of just under 1500 for group presentations and banquets. A free shuttle provides transportation to and from Memphis International Airport, as well as to locations within five miles of the hotel. The suite-style rooms allow for business travelers to work in one area and relax in another - a nice perk when you're on the road.

6. 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.

5. Hilton Memphis
Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels

The centrally-located Hilton sits on the edge between east Memphis and Germantown, and is ideal for those with meetings with financial companies in East Memphis. Business services include a business service center with meeting rooms, complimentary airport shuttles, and a modern fitness center for working off the day's stress. Nearby restaurants like Ruth's Chris and Circa cater to the business crowd at dinner, while easy access to the interstate means there's easy access to attractions around Memphis including Graceland and Beale Street. From executive-style boardrooms to large ballrooms that seat hundreds, options for presentations and group meetings are abundant. For more casual meetings, a sleek lobby bar offers the chance to unwind yet still talk business at the end of the day.

4. 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.

3. River Inn of Harbor Town
Photo courtesy of River Inn of Harbor Town

Harbortown - home to the charming River Inn - isn't downtown per se, but locals consider it so (and we get the final vote). The Mud Island location and luxurious appointments combine for a quiet destination for those hoping to escape it all and perhaps cocoon with another, even if it's just for a night. The hotel is actually two buildings, with two restaurants and an excellent rooftop bar, open daily from mid-March through October, which offers calming views of the Mississippi River, less than 75 yards away. Home to the excellent Paulette's restaurant, rooms at the Inn include breakfast for two at the iconic Memphis restaurant - yum. In the area, talk ling walks along the river, visit Miss Cordelia's for a snack, or Cafe Eclectic for a morning jolt of java.

2. 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.

1. 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. All the guest rooms were upated in 2014,and feature cool color palates and sleek furnishings. The old-timey 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).