This intimate 28-room hotel on the Mud Island peninsula has the feel of an upscale mansion with a lot of luxury in the small details. A gourmet breakfast served at the well-regarded Paulette’s Restaurant is included in the room rate, and other welcome touches include a glass of port along with chocolate truffles as part of the nightly turndown service. Some guest rooms have small balconies overlooking the Mississippi, with more river views at the modern Terrace restaurant. Parking is also free, which is a big plus. It’s a bit of a hike to Beale Street, so travelers looking for something with a similar boutique vibe but closer to downtown attractions could try the Madison Hotel.
Warm, homey elegance, with modern river-view restaurant
Unstuffy elegance abounds in this hotel, with the comfortable, living room-like lobby dominated by a crystal chandelier and small piano. Burgundy chevron-striped chairs are clustered around a wood-burning fireplace with an antique mantel from New Orleans, perfectly accented by small candles. The hardwood floors, from an old Virginia textile mill, are covered with oriental rugs. Paulette’s has a similarly classic look, with crimson chairs and simple sconces. The Terrace restaurant is a bit more modern, with raw, industrial-looking floors, sleek wooden tables, a wall covered with greenery, and views of the river from floor-to-ceiling windows. Tug’s has the feel of a laid-back but elegant sports bar.
In a Mud Island development, a little far from downtown
The River Inn is set on a quiet corner in the Harbor Town development on Mud Island, a peninsula between the Mississippi River and Wolf River Harbor. The nearby streets have several condo buildings, shops, and restaurants, and the Mississippi River is across the street. While the hotel is directly adjacent to downtown, it's about two miles from Beale Street and the FedExForum arena, so it's not ideal for travelers looking to walk everywhere. Going south, it’s about 10 minutes by car to the main downtown attractions and 15 minutes to Graceland and the airport.
The mix of Standard and Superior rooms and suites are comfortable and romantic, with sumptuous linens on the four-poster or canopy beds. The floral carpeting and fabrics might be a little tired looking, but they don’t bring down the luxury of the spaces. Some rooms also have small wrought-iron terraces. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, safes, robes, irons, and ironing boards. The penthouse suite has a mini-fridge and small sink. Taupe-colored bathrooms have large vanities and shower/tub combos, while suites separate soaking tubs and stall showers. Wi-Fi is free.
Free gourmet breakfast and turndown service with port and truffles
There are a lot of little, luxurious touches at the River Inn, including a glass of wine on arrival and a turndown service with port wine and chocolate truffles. The room rate includes a full gourmet breakfast at Paulette’s Restaurant. Also on the premises is the rooftop eatery Terrace, which serves cocktails and mostly small plates with a lovely view of the river, and Tug’s Casual Grill, a low-key spot with pub fare. The hotel has a tiny fitness center with cardio machines. It also offers concierge and room service. There’s a separate banquet and meeting space called River Hall, with a wraparound porch overlooking the Mississippi. Parking and Wi-Fi are free.
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