By Karen Holly Berliner
The 1991 hit song "Walking in Memphis" originally by singer and songwriter Marc Cohn, so powerfully recalls this iconic artists first visit to Memphis—the strong roots of some of the most influential musicians such as Al Green, Isaac Hayes and of course, Elvis Presley. Per the beautiful lyrics, the song embodies a lot of the spirit and character of the city and as you walk through town (as indeed you can cover quite a bit by just plain walking), lines from the song point out wondrous things about Memphis and some key sightseeing spots. First and foremost, to take in these simple and ready pleasures, it’s best to check into a lodging spot which allows you central access.
Enter Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis.
With its history infused location being the very first hotel on Beale Street (just 15 minutes from Memphis International Airport) Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is scant footsteps from Downtown Memphis, where its distinct musical culture, Memphis-centric food, dining spots and vibrant nightlife await in all of its color and glory, quite proud and unapologetic at that!
This dynamic 227-room hotel opened April 2021 as the only hotel to tout a Beale Street address, resplendent with top notch cuisine, a sprawling rooftop bar and interior and exterior design elements, inspired by the heritage of Memphis, ‘Home of the Blues.’ Fusing history with contemporary flair, the front desk and concierge desk are made from repurposed metal and materials from the historic William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop Building, designed by the Memphis Metal Museum. Have a stroll throughout the hotel and take in the wall folk art, that akin to an old speaker, treble clef inspired light fixtures and hallway carpet pattern designed to mimic sound-waves. Keeping with the theme, the guest rooms and suites each have wallpaper behind the beds with images of original materials from the Ironworks building. The king rooms feature shower walls etched with the names of different signature elements for which Memphis is known.
BECK & CALL
At Beck & Call here again, guests will notice wallpaper that looks like the acoustic foam of a recording studio, as homage is paid throughout the many spaces. Perched eight stories high Beck & Call is a bustling rooftop whiskey bar serving uniquely crafted cocktails and small plates. The whiskey menu is comprised of a well curated collection of whiskeys and bourbons, including local flavor with libations from Grind City Brewery and Old Dominick Distillery, just steps away from the hotel. This is Memphis’ only rooftop bar and dining venue, showcasing unobstructed views of the Mississippi River and famous “M Bridge” (where the view of the M Bridge Light Show can be enjoyed!). The wrap-around balcony allows for panoramic views of both the riverfront and city skyline and features fire pits, an outdoor bar and intimate seating for gathering.
CIMAS LOBBY LOUNGE
CIMAS Lobby Lounge promises a vibrant and social atmosphere where you can sip to your hearts delight, on a variety of libations before or after a night on the town.
CIMAS is the hotel’s signature eatery situated on the Mississippi Riverfront, serving Latin-American inspired fare with a Southern twist. Look out for delightful menu choices fast becoming signatures, such as the Beale Street Burger, bacon, American cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, smoked cheddar remoulade with barbecue spiced fries and so many other palate pleasers. Dine inside or dine alfresco on the outdoor patio with views of the river and its resort-style pool.
Meetings & Events Housed within the circa-1879 historic William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop Building, the hotel boasts about 9,000 square feet of meeting space (12,500 sq. ft. total.) The space has been restored to create a state of the art meeting venue, while keeping the building’s old world charm, including the original exposed brick walls and beams with dramatic arched windows overlooking the Mississippi. Though the warehouse itself is historic, everything inside is fully updated for the 21st century, including modern audiovisual technology.
The meeting spaces include THE FOUNDRY, PATTERN SHOP, WEDDING SHOP and the EVENT LAWN, all set up for ease in accommodating.
Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis at a Glance:
1. Downtown’s only resort-style pool featuring a zero-entry infinity pool, cabanas and a deck for hosting live entertainment
2. Beck & Call rooftop whiskey bar
3. Lobby dining options including CIMAS and CIMAS Lobby Bar
4. A 24-hour Lobby Market with handy grab-n-go beverages and snacks
5. 12,500 sq. ft. of meeting space
6. A state of the art 24-hour fitness center
7. 24-hour room service, complimentary Wi-Fi and valet parking
8. Pet-friendly accommodations up to 50 lbs.
And As You Walk Through Memphis……
……perhaps you will take a stroll across Big River Crossing, where you can have one foot in Tennessee and one foot in Arkansas or give your walking shoes a break and hop aboard an authentic vintage trolley car through historic Downtown.
GRACELAND HOME OF THE BLUES
Blues, rock-n-roll, soul and jazz music can be heard nightly along Beale Street and throughout the city, though what’s a trip to Memphis without visiting Elvis’ homeland, Graceland? Experience the magic of Graceland this holiday season with festive events to celebrate one of Elvis' favorite times of the year. In season, visitors can enjoy their Holiday Lighting Weekend on November 17-19 and special holiday tours of Graceland Mansion and grounds, decorated for the Christmas season from November 17-December 23. Graceland will be adorned for the holidays in 2022 from November 17, 2022, through January 8, 2023.
BEYOND THE MUSIC
The National Civil Rights Museum should not be missed, with exhibits tracing the history of the civil rights movement from the 17th century to the present.
The Big Mojo Tour
An inside look at Memphis’ music scene with the Big Mojo Tour, a fun, musical journey featuring Memphis’ greatest attractions including a guided tour of Sun Studio, where legends like Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis launched their careers. Also, the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum and Stax Museums offer guided tours and memorabilia from legendary artists such as Johnny Cash and B.B. King. THE FOOD SCENE
Mouthwatering barbeque fare awaits you at Memphis’ world famous BBQ at Rendezvous. Next time, enjoy an evening listening to the Blues live complete with a happy hour at BB Kings, right on Beale Street
The Orpheum is a landmark performing arts spot that’s been an iconic part of Memphis since 1928. Check out the schedule and indulge in the magic of the live arts.