Hotels Easy on the Wallet Are Easy to Find in Memphis

By Sally Walker Davies, Memphis Local Expert

Using the words 'budget' and 'hotel' in the same sentence can make a traveler shudder with thoughts of dark, dank rooms located in a sketchy neighborhood far from a city's attractions. But when it comes to budget hotels in Memphis, you can certainly get more than you might expect.

This list includes well-known chains with free breakfast options, like the Hyatt Place in Germantown and the Hampton Inn on Shady Grove. Most of the hotels offer complimentary parking, free wifi, and other spiffs, including cookies or complimentary evening happy hours.

This isn't one of those lists that goes by strict dollar figures. Rather, for our list of the best budget hotels in the city, we chose hotels in the $70 - $120 range that are well-located,  offer clean accommodations, and - perhaps most importantly - are the kinds of places we would stay or recommend to our friends. Because Memphis is a driving kind of city, and its attractions are spread out geographically, we included hotels from diverse parts of town that offer convenient and quick access to attractions.

The prices we list are the lowest rack rate we found online; remember that all of these hotels also offer discounts off those rates for members of AAA, CAA, AARP, and other organizations.

10. Best Western Executive Inn Memphis
Photo courtesy of Best Western Tennessee

This no-nonsense hotel is adjacent to the airport, and less than two miles from Graceland and offers a convenient location from which to explore the city. Rooms feature a beverage station, mini-fridge and microwave, cable TV, high-speed Internet access; surprisingly, room service is also available - not something you see in most budget hotels. There's free daily breakfast service, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, business service center, and free on-site parking. A complimentary airport shuttle service is offered. Note that the area in which the hotel is located is primarily industrial / business, so services such as dining and shopping are not readily available.

9. Econo Lodge Downtown

It's difficult to find a budget hotel in downtown Memphis, given the fact that many of the city's attractions are located downtown, which of course pushes the prices up. But the Econo Lodge is the exception, with its Third Street location (some rooms even overlook the Mississippi River), which gives walking access to Beale Street, the Orpheum, Gibson Guitar Factory, FedEx Forum and Mud Island River Park. The hotel is one of the few that still offers smoking rooms, and there is a nice courtyard pool for when the weather permits. On-site is an outlet of A& R Barbecue, as well as a cocktail lounge. Parking is not included in the room rate, however - and runs about $10 / night.

8. Hampton Inn Poplar
Photo courtesy of Hampton Inn Memphis Poplar

The Hampton Inn on Poplar is located in the heart of East Memphis and offers easy accessibility to I-240 and I-40, so touring Memphis and its sights are a snap. Within the neighborhood (although be forewarned this is not a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, despite the sidewalks) are a number of great restaurants including the original Corky's barbecue, just across the street, and the excellent Mosa Asian Bistro, around the corner on White Station. The hotel is a typical Hampton Inn, which means you know you are getting nicely appointed rooms and public spaces, with free breakfast and wifi. This is a popular hotel that books in advance and often sells out, given the excellent location and price.

7. Quality Suites Near Wolfchase Galleria
Photo courtesy of Choice Hotels International

Located in the Germantown / Cordova shopping corridor, each of the hotel's guestrooms offers daily newspaper, free breakfast, free parking, and more. The hotel's amenities include a include coffee shop, bar/pub, laundry service/dry cleaning; pets are allowed (for an additional fee). There's an indoor pool with jacuzzi and a workout room; the hotel isn't too far to Shelby Farms and its excellent hiking / biking trails and huge children's playgrounds. Access to Interstate 40 is easy (although be warned rush hour traffic on Germantown Parkway can be heavy in each direction), and most of the city's major attractions are a short drive.

6. 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.

5. Staybridge Suites Memphis - Poplar Ave East
Photo courtesy of IHG

Located in an office park area in East Memphis, the Staybridge Suites is an excellent option for the whole family, as well as those traveling with pets. The hotel accepts up to two dogs, 80 pounds or less, for $75.00 for stays of 1-6 nights or $150.00 for stays of 7 nights or longer. Located in an office park on the city's East side, the Staybridge offers a free airport shuttle, breakfast buffet, and wifi - as well as an easy location for exploring the city. Close by is Shelby Farms with a huge playground for kids and miles of walking trails, and attractions such as Graceland and Mud Island River Park are about a 20-minute drive.

4. Hyatt Place Memphis/Wolfchase Galleria
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels

Set adjacent to the popular shopping, dining and entertainment area known as the Commons at Wolfchase, the Hyatt Place Wolfchase Galleria is also near to such popular attractions as the Colonial Country Club, Davies Manor Plantation, the Memphis Botanic Garden, and the University of Memphis. A visitor can also quickly reach the popular downtown area in less than twenty minutes as well. The hotel is unusual in that it offers such services as self-registration, concierge and tour desks, and a wine café; breakfast is complimentary as is parking. Germantown's charming shops are just about four miles south, and the town center of Collierville, with its historic square, is about a 20 minute drive.

3. Courtyard by Marriott Memphis East/Lenox Corporate Park
Photo courtesy of Marriott Courtyard Memphis East

The Courtyard is another good spot for the road warrior making a quick visit to Memphis to visit the companies located on the east side of town, including Fedex, International Paper and more. With a hip decor and renovated Starbucks and a bistro, the feel is much more chic than one would expect; amenities include free wifi throughout the property, business services including package pickup and shipping services,and a meeting room that can accommodate up to 40 guests in a variety of configurations. FedEx is just two miles away, and because of the easy access to Interstate 240, getting downtown or to the medical center is a snap.

2. 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 families or the road warrior. Rooms are large and include a sitting area with a desk, couch and plentiful outlets, and the couch converts to a bed. Wifi is free throughout the hotel, making it easy to connect. 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.

1. 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.