The Memphian

The Memphian

THE SHORT VERSION

The Memphian is a stylish hotel in artsy Overton Square, away from the neon drinks of Beale Street.

Scene

Neon-colored artwork and Instagrammable decor abound

The Memphian is one of the few hotels beyond downtown and Beale Street, though it’s still imbued with Memphis’ famous energy. There’s an accessible chic vibe that’s easy to catch in the lobby: a grand piano sits below a sign reading “All Drama Must Remain on Stage” within steps of a fishing-lure chandelier above the check-in desk, and photographs that are accented with bright colors hang on the walls. While the style seems most welcoming to Gens Y and Z — think: amethyst geodes in a butterfly design in front of a pastel background — you’ll likely find guests are often a mix of young families and older couples.

Location

The hotel is steps away from Midtown’s best live music and theaters

Overton Square is known for its affiliation with the arts, home to organizations like Ballet Memphis, the Black repertory Hattiloo Theatre, Playhouse on the Square and TheatreWorks. Mural-covered buildings house restaurants, live music venues and stores. While Beale Street and attractions like the National Civil Rights Museum are a 15-minute drive away, there’s plenty to see near The Memphian. 

For our full guide to Memphis, just head here.

  • Malco Studio on the Square is an indie theater that hosts first-run and classic films, located right across the street from the hotel. It also hosts the On Location Memphis Film Festival.
  • There’s always live music in Overton Square. Lafayette’s Music Room started in the 1970s as a venue that helped launch the careers of Barry Manilow, KISS and Billy Joel. The modern incarnation is a Louisianian restaurant and bar that continues to host up-and-coming acts across all genres. The Zebra Lounge is a second location of a Chicago institution, bringing the same jazz music and cocktails every night of the week. It’s right behind the hotel’s parking lot.
  • Chef Kelly English has been a longtime presence in Overton Square, starting with The Second Line, which takes its name from the famous New Orleans parades. The menu includes Crescent City classics like barbecue shrimp, jambalaya and roast beef and gravy po’ boys. Panta is located in the converted home next door, with a Spanish-inspired menu and seating woven between the rooms. Highlights include the gin and tonic tasting, where you can mix your own with different botanicals, and dishes like patatas bravas and garlic shrimp.
  • Overton Park, a sprawling 342-acre green space, is nearby. It’s home to countless attractions, including the Levitt Shell, a 1936 Works Progress Administration amphitheater where Elvis played an early performance, now hosting live concerts and events. Here you’ll also find the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Memphis College of Art and the Old Forest Arboretum. The Hogwarts-esque campus of Rhodes College is on the northern side of the park.
  • Memphis is blessed with a number of excellent record stores, but Shangri La Records, located in a former home a few blocks from the hotel, is frequently cited as one of the best. The staff can recommend titles from the new and used collection or you can browse the stacks, organized by genre with a special shelf for artists that recorded at the famed Sun Studio and Stax, like Elvis Presley and Wilson Pickett. There’s also a listening station to sample before you buy. 
  • Memphis Made Brewing is one of Memphis’ many craft breweries, flexing the city pride with its “I Heart Memphis” mural in the back. The taproom has their complete offerings, including the popular Cat Nap IPA. There’s often a food truck park outside to grab post-beer snacks.
  • Vintage lovers should make a beeline for Flashback, a nearby store selling vintage home decor and clothing. Check out the velvet Elvis painting hanging on the wall, above rows of funky glassware, records and hats. 
  • The trendy Cooper-Young neighborhood is a short walk south, home to boutiques, cocktail bars and restaurants like The Beauty Shop (where Priscilla Presley got her hair done!), Alchemy and Imagine Vegan Cafe

Rooms

While the lobby decor is visually expressive, rooms are more understated

Opened in spring 2021, The Memphian has 106 guest rooms, including nine suites, all of which are pet-friendly. Guest rooms come with free Wi-Fi access, Lavazza espresso machines, refillable water bottles with water stations on each floor and HD televisions with streaming capability (although, who has time for TV when in Memphis?). 

The Memphian’s room types include:

  • Standard King Room: These 350-square-foot rooms have plush bedding, velvet chairs, a work desk and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.
  • Standard Queen Room: The queen rooms come with two beds but have the same features as the king rooms. 
  • Junior Suite: These over-500-square-foot rooms have a king-sized bed and an additional sofa bed in the living room. 
  • Suite: The 720-square-foot suites have an additional seating area, separated by a door, with a sofa bed, television, wetbar and table.

Amenities

The hotel is home to the neighborhood’s only coffee shop and rooftop bar

The hotel has two restaurants, open to guests and the public. Complicated Pilgrim is an art-filled coffee shop and cafe by day, with breakfast sandwiches and baked goods, and Southern-inspired entrees and a full bar by night. The walls are accented with colorful woven baskets placed alongside paintings encrusted with jewels.

Tiger and Peacock is an over-the-top rooftop bar with both indoor and outdoor space, along with plush jewel-toned seating and animal artwork like the zebra behind the bar and a giraffe holding a crystal chandelier. It’s accessed from an elevator separate from the guest elevators. If you get the chance, sit in the disco ballroom, which has a plush pink booth, patterned wallpaper and a Studio 54 playlist. The menu is shareable dishes, like the steak and peach flatbread and shoestring fries, along with funky cocktails inspired by zodiac signs. It’s popular with the girls-night-out set, who get there early for the best seats in the house.

Other miscellaneous amenities to know:

  • Those teal bookshelves in the lobby are actually a store where you’ll find artisanal goods like Cast of Stones soy candles and crystal-encrusted sunglasses that would make Elvis Presley proud. 
  • Parking is an additional 10 dollars per day, with in-and-out privileges, and they have two electric car charging stations. 
  • There’s a 24-hour fitness studio with treadmills, free weights and ellipticals tucked off the lobby. 
  • And bonus: The hotel is a part of Marriott’s Tribute Collection, so guests earn Bonvoy points.