Updated May 2020.
When I think of the Peabody Hotel, I think of ducks. And actually, when I think of ducks, I think of the Peabody! The ducks are certainly their signature, but the Peabody has even more to offer! I remember staying here with my family once when I was maybe four, so maybe that’s why the ducks made such an impression. I recently got to go back to the Peabody for a long weekend with my family, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you all about it! So here it is: The Peabody Hotel, Memphis.
The Peabody Hotel’s history goes back farther than the ducks, who waddled and swam their way into our hearts in 1933. The original Peabody Hotel opened in 1869 at Main and Monroe Streets and became “The South’s Grand Hotel.” Today’s Peabody is larger and grander than the first, and it has been wowing guests at its present location since 1925.
For more about their history, check out the hotel’s website! They also offer a 2-hour history tour at 11:30am each day, right after the morning Duck March! The tour is $10 per person, and the Duck Master will be your tour guide! The hotel is the place where Elvis had his prom, signed his first record deal (on Peabody letterhead, no less), and the men’s clothier in the hotel (Lansky’s) dressed Elvis in his signature clothing!
But the hotel holds more history than just the King of Rock and Roll! The Belz family, who owns the hotel, has quite an extensive collection of historic artifacts, some of which are on display throughout the hotel!
So what’s with the ducks? The Peabody Ducks are world famous for their daily marches and their adorableness as they swim around in the hotel’s fountain. Back in 1933, the hotel’s general manager and a friend of his went duck hunting in Arkansas. They were a little inebriated upon their return and thought no one would mind if they put their live duck decoys in the hotel fountain. And sure enough, the guests were delighted!
Seven years later, bellman and former circus animal trainer Edward Pembroke thought it would be fun to train the ducks to march into and out of the fountain each day. He was the first official “Duck Master” and served in that capacity for 51 years! The current Duck Master chooses an honorary Duck Master to help him march the ducks in and out each day, so be sure to come by at 11:00am and 5:00pm to see this adorable site, and if you’re traveling with kids, one of them could be the honorary Duck Master!
And don’t forget to visit the “Duck Palace” on the Skyway up on the rooftop when they’re not swimming in the lobby!
For more about the Peabody Ducks, check out
Your Ultimate Guide to the Peabody Ducks!
The Peabody Hotel defines southern hospitality. It truly is “the South’s grand hotel,” and their kindness and friendliness shows through from the moment you walk into the door and step over to the guest registration desk. As soon as you walk inside, you’re greeted with the scent of flowers, smiling faces, and if you arrive between eleven and five, the sound of people ogling over the ducks in the fountain.
Our Junior Suite came with a king-size bed, cushy and beautiful turquoise chairs, a beautiful desk, and a large bureau with more than enough storage space for our trip. We slept very well on our trip!
Our bathroom was a little on the small side, but it was perfect for just two people! They did an amazing job of fitting in quite a lot of shelving and storage in very logical and convenient ways. Often times hotel bathrooms can feel cluttered once our personal toiletries are out where we want them, but this petite bathroom situation was so well done, we had no complaints!
Hotels are just a place to sleep when you travel, but with special little touches, hotels can make your room feel extra “homey.” From their soft and ducky robes to their in-house coffee shop, the Peabody made me remember how good the South can be!
Is there anything cozier than a hotel robe?
Coffee is available for guests every day in the bakery just off the lobby!
We heard multiple piano players and heard a local chorus perform during our stay!
Love legedary luxury? Read Legendary Hotels of the World!
The Fitness Center
I was beyond impressed with the Peabody’s fitness center! They allow locals to become members of their gym, which I always like to see—the equipment is usually maintained better when the same people use it regularly, and there is also usually more equipment variety in hotel gyms that are also used by local members!
Free Weights and Yoga
I am always more excited for free-weights instead of machines, and I like to be able to move around a lot. Their separate and spacious free-weight room was everything I could have asked for and then some!
There is a nice variety of the cardio equipment available for all!
There were so many impressive weight machines! They were not crammed together, which I very much appreciate!
Pool and Hot Tub
Bring your swim suit and don’t forget the pool area, too!
Word to the wise… Mr. Belz, the 92-year-old owner of The Peabody Hotel, still uses the gym every day! Keep an eye out—you might be working out with the main man! #FitnessGoals!
Christmas at The Peabody
And if you hadn’t already noticed from the photos, we got to stay at The Peabody Hotel at Christmas time. It was truly magical, from the decorations to the music! I’m so glad it worked out for us to be there for Christmas, and I hope you can make it there for Christmas, too! The Peabody offers afternoon tea with Santa (get your reservations super early!), Christmas carolers, a gingerbread display, and decorations to the hilt!
Have you been to The Peabody, or would you like to stay and see it for yourself? Comment below!
And don’t forget to explore my United States Page for more about Memphis and beyond!
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