Taking advantage of the freebies at Memphis’s top value hotels translates to more money for Graceland, Sun Studio, and late-night blues joints.
The 144-room Hampton Inn is not extraordinary or indulgent, but it is solid, and just around the corner from Memphis' vibrant Beale Street Entertainment District. Some of the spacious guest rooms have balconies with Memphis skyline views, and all come with flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, coffeemakers, desks, and free Wi-Fi. Suites have separate living areas and kitchenettes with full-size refrigerators and dishwashers. The hotel has a small fitness center, an indoor pool and hot tub, free hot breakfast (or take-away breakfast bag), and free tea and coffee in the lobby 24 hours a day.
Considering its prime downtown location across from Mud Island River Park and a short drive away from Beale Street, this Comfort Inn delivers decent value. A big plus here is a seasonal outdoor rooftop pool with views of downtown and the Mississippi River. Guests also have access to a free continental breakfast, while the parking garage is relatively cheap for downtown. There is wear and tear throughout, though; the hotel feels years behind Hampton Inn & Suites.
The all-suite Residence Inn Memphis Downtown, housed in a 1930s Art Deco building, is within walking distance of the Beale Street music clubs, and several other downtown attractions. The 90 rooms range from Studios to Two-Bedroom Suites with Mississippi River views, and come with full kitchens, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Their decor is modern, with shades of brown and gray brightened up by attractive teal accent walls, and their size and kitchens make them especially suited to families, groups, and travelers on extended stays. Breakfast is free, and the hotel offers a free grocery shopping service and evening receptions with free wine and beer a few nights a week. The hotel also has a fitness center, a business center, and a lovely rooftop terrace that's open in the warmer months.
While Comfort Inn is dated and right in downtown, La Quinta Inn & Suites Wolfchase is modern and on the outskirts of Memphis. The 67-room value chain property is a short walk to the Wolfchase Galleria Shopping Mall (the area's retail mecca) and about a 25-minute drive from downtown. The modern and spacious neutral-toned rooms are a step up from many La Quinta properties, and come with microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, large flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a saltwater indoor pool and hot tub, a business center and meeting spaces, and a fitness center. Breakfast is also included in the room rate, and while there is no on-site restaurant or bar, plenty of fast food is within a five-minute walk of the hotel.
The 190-room Holiday Inn Select Memphis Downtown (Beale Street) is in a great location, across from the famous Peabody Hotel and a six-minute walk to Beale Street’s nightclubs and other attractions. While all of the rooms at the Comfort Inn come with free breakfast and have microwaves and mini-fridges, only certain Holiday Inn packages include breakfast and guests must upgrade to Holiday Inn's Executive Club Level Rooms to find those kitchenette perks (as well as bathrobes, free microwave popcorn, free bottled water, and turndown service). An outdoor pool with a sundeck and a small fitness center add to the property's appeal, but on-site parking is valet only and can be expensive.
This Days Inn is as close as you can get to Graceland without actually staying there. It was the first hotel built after Elvis died in 1977, and while the decor is still stuck in that time period, it’s an affordable value for Elvis-obsessed tourists. The place is crammed full of Elvis photos and memorabilia, even in the Double and King Bed rooms. Guests who embrace the kitsch can relax in the guitar-shaped outdoor pool and enjoy The King’s music playing throughout the day and evening. Daily rates, which include a full breakfast, are half of what they are at the Heartbreak Hotel, which is located a bit north on the Graceland property itself. However, this lacks a full restaurant and gym, and decor can feel dated.