The Best Hotels to Book Near the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis

Wonder at the 28-story Sky High elevator ride from Big Cypress Lodge
Wonder at the 28-story Sky High elevator ride from Big Cypress Lodge | Courtesy of Big Cypress Lodge / Expedia
Photo of Mariette Williams
7 October 2021

The second-largest city in Tennessee (after Nashville), Memphis is known as the birthplace of rock’n’roll and the blues. Most people come to Memphis for the entertainment on Beale Street, the delicious barbecue restaurants and the stomping live-music joints. When you’re exploring this city on the banks of the Mississippi, you’ll want a great base close to its cultural attractions and museums. Try one of these – all handy for the downtown National Civil Rights Museum, and bookable through Culture Trip.

The Central Station Memphis, Curio Collection by Hilton

Chain Hotel, Hotel
4.5/5 (463 Reviews)
The Central Station Memphis, Curio Collection by Hilton
© The Central Station Memphis, Curio Collection by Hilton / Booking.com
Price Drop
Now from $176 per night
Music lovers lap up the unique perks at The Central Station Memphis. This Hilton brand hotel has a listening room with curated playlists and podcasts, a record wall with over 3,500 vinyl records and an in-house DJ. The 123 guest rooms display edgy details such as wood-paneled headboards, industrial open shelving and eclectic artwork. Eating and drinking is first-class here, too – try 8 & Sand, the trendy lobby bar with a seasonal cocktail list and beers from local Memphis breweries. And don’t leave without sampling Bishop, a French and Southern cuisine fusion restaurant. This hip hotel is close to the Blues Hall of Fame and the Memphis Zoo.
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The Peabody Hotel

Suite Hotel, Hotel
The Peabody Hotel
© The Peabody Hotel / Booking.com
Historic hotel The Peabody first opened in 1869. Nowadays, it boasts 464 elegant guest rooms blending classic and traditional with funky light fixtures and dark-wood furniture. Bathrooms feature white Carrara marble floor tiles and quartz countertops. This level of luxury ensures similarly outstanding restaurants and bars – don’t miss steaks at Capriccio Grill – in addition to all-day in-room dining. Top tip: be in the lobby at 11am and 5pm for a long-standing tradition, as the five resident ducks march through the lobby.
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The River Inn of Harbor Town, Memphis

Inn, Hotel
The River Inn of Harbor Town, Memphis
© The River Inn of Harbor Town, Memphis / Booking.com
Best thing about this place? Most rooms have a terrific view of the Mississippi River. Also, the hotel is minutes away from downtown Memphis. Classic elegance prevails in rooms colored in a palette of dark greens, blues and yellows. Ask about upgraded spaces, which shine out with four-poster beds, large sitting areas and lashings of luxe Frette linens. The inn is renowned for its superb dining options. There’s Terrace, a rooftop restaurant that serves American classics (herb-roasted chicken, filet mignon), Tug’s Casual Grill, for well-portioned comfort food and beers, and Paulette’s Restaurant, a 46-year-old Memphis icon locals love for its steaks and Sunday brunches.
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The James Lee House

Hotel
5/5 (3 Reviews)
The James Lee House
© The James Lee House / Expedia
Originally it was a two-story farmhouse, built in 1848. Today it’s the centrepiece of Memphis’s Victoria Village – a charming boutique B&B in an Addams Family style gothic pile. There are just five suites, each one opulently decorated. Think exposed-brick chimneys, ornate Victorian headboards and polished dark-wood floors. Spa-like bathrooms have been finessed with marble floors, soaking tubs and multi-head showers. The inn is close to major attractions in Memphis like the Blues Hall of Fame and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
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Hotel Napoleon

Chain Hotel, Hotel
4.2/5 (502 Reviews)
Hotel Napoleon
© Hotel Napoleon / Booking.com
Price Drop
Now from $160 per night
Hotel Napoleon inhabits the historic Scimitar Building, home of the Memphis Press-Scimitar newspaper until 1983. Totally renovated, it has 56 rooms and ADA accessible suites that are photo-perfect, with exposed brick and soaring ceilings. Original details – including large framed windows from 1902 – work perfectly with modern elements such as sleek floating end tables. If you’re here with the family, consider the larger suites, with a parlor off the bedroom and a sitting area with a pull-out sofa. Enjoy the nearby restaurants such as Huey’s Downtown for burgers, or tuck into some barbecue at Rendezvous.
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  • Talbot Heirs

    Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
    Map View
    Talbot Heirs
    © Talbot Heirs / Booking.com
    Here’s a place ideal for long-term stays, or as home base for exploring downtown Memphis. It comprises just eight suites (some with large living rooms and fully stocked kitchens). Interiors are bold and eclectic: Suite One really turns heads with its black-and-white checkerboard floors and lavender walls. It’s not a B&B, but each space has breakfast essentials including cereals, milk, tea and coffee. Conveniently, the hotel is also right over a convenience store, and a wine and spirits outlet. A couple of shots and you’ll be ready for the short walk to famous Beale Street, the downtown stretch of nightclubs, restaurants and bars.

    Big Cypress Lodge

    Hotel
    4.6/5 (1081 Reviews)
    Big Cypress Lodge
    © Big Cypress Lodge / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $187 per night
    Unbelievably, this is a hunting-lodge-style hotel contained inside a gargantuan pyramid structure. It’s home to 100ft-tall (31m) indoor trees, a swamp with live alligators and the tallest free-standing elevator in the country. Rustic details fill the 100-plus accommodations – exposed wood beams, fireplaces, stuffed animal heads – and exterior rooms have views of Memphis or the Mississippi River. When sated with the “great outdoors”, flop in the third-floor lobby or dine in one of the four restaurants – perhaps burgers at The Fishbowl, which is home to a 13-lane bowling alley. There’s also a rooftop terrace with two fire pits and live music.
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    These recommendations were updated on October 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Mariette Williams

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