A sweet memory of Memphis outside of all the fabulous music of course, was our little abode for the week. Rather than hang our hat at the renowned historical Peabody Hotel which is world renowned for their red carpet “duck walk” twice a day, we stayed at the very charming luxury boutique Madison Hotel on Madison Avenue.
It’s not quite the same as New York’s Madison Avenue, although it is centrally located and downtown and just a stone’s throw from North Front Street, which is adjacent to the infamous Beale Street, the drag that lives and breathes blues day and night. The area is undergoing renovation so the Madison is in a prime location for the restructuring — it is housed in the historic former Tennessee Trust Bank building and neighbors with its very own Eighty 3 Restaurant (be sure to read my restaurant write-up – it was a culinary surprise we didn’t expect).
The rooms are a combination of luxury modern, charming boutique and all things chic. You’ll find the design both elegant and exquisite even if you happen to be someone who loves historical stays — we do too btw, and we felt at home. In other words, it might be chic but the design is so well thought through that the entire hotel feels homey, from the moment you enter the hotel to the hallway walk to your room.
Below, a close up of the wall – it made me want to play! Yes, really.
They have 110 rooms and suites in total yet it is so intimate you feel as if you’re in a modern B&B rather than an established hotel, even with the charming bellmen outside who open the door for you and give you the best local directions you can hope for, so you can avoid heavily trafficked roads.
The downstairs lobby area extends the modern luxury feel while weaving in both art and music into its decor.
I fell in love with the below artwork, which you can find on the wall in the neighboring Eighty 3 Restaurant, which I’d highly recommend adding to your agenda for a meal or two.
Some of the decor will take you back in time, or…..even make you feel like a rock star at times. How’s this for funky? Inside the elevators are also a colorfully visual delight.
In the lobby in the late afternoon, they serve complimentary hot cider, cookies, fruit and refreshments.
There’s also a baby grand piano just hanging out in the corner in case the keys call to you as they did to me.
One of the things we didn’t take advantage of but wished we did was the gym, which is extensive given the size of the property and…it’s open 24 hours. The gym itself was custom built, carved out of a 100 year old bank vault. Truth be told, they get enough tall NBA basketball players staying there that they’ve cut out the ceiling to accommodate their height. There’s also a 30 foot lap pool for the swimmers among you. There’s in-room yoga and massage as well. Yes, really. Did I mention the beautiful Italian linens in the rooms?
They offer complimentary digital newspapers, valet parking and laundry, and while I’m sure it’s not a regular service offering, we had bikes with us and they gladly found a place to store them during our stay.
We didn’t have time to soak up the sunsets every night given our back-to-back schedule, but it is worth mentioning their lovely Twilight Sky Terrace rooftop, where you can get fabulous views of the Mississippi River and the sparkling bridges that span it, all while taking in a cocktail or two. There’s outdoor patio couches, a dancing fire pit, and architectural shades to cut the heat of the sun if you use it mid-day. Twilight features a live DJ Thursday’s through Saturday’s and Breakfast with the Beatles each weekend May through October.
One other important thing to note here is the service, which is above and beyond, the kind of attention to detail you often find at a Four Seasons. A call out in particular to Shondra Brown, the Guest Service Manager, for handling a screw up on our part with incredible grace.
We sent a package from our hotel in Nashville and had thought it was from the Madison — after a few confusing calls and my growing frustration trying to figure out where our package was, Shondra and her team maintained calm throughout, extending both courtesy and top notch service. Bottom line, we were migrating from hotel to hotel for so long, we were beginning to feel like musicians on a road tour and confusing hotels was the least of it.
Once we realized our error, we easily tracked our package from the originating hotel. Madison Hotel’s team handled this as “service pros”, even though it was in fact, our mistake — this kind of service is lacking in so many 4 and 5 star hotels and it was handled so well, I had to give them a public high five for it. Well done and thanks thanks thanks for a magical experience in Memphis.
79 Madison Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
PHOTO CREDITS: 2 photos of inside of rooms, the 30 foot lap pool and the shot of the upstairs patio terrace are courtesy of Madison Hotel website – www.madisonhotelmemphis.com. Other photos Renee Blodgett.
Disclosure: we were hosted by the Memphis Hotel and local Tourism Board but all opinions expressed are entirely my own. We LOVED this hotel.