I worked for Mississippi Magazine for the better part of 23 years, yet I had never visited the adult home of Mississippi’s favorite son, Elvis Presley. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Elvis’s music, but I have never been a fevered fan. I guess I just never made it a point to get to Graceland. So, I was actually really excited to accompany my friend Jane Foster of Southern Shine on her trip to Memphis, Tennessee, to stay at The Guest House at Graceland. (Be sure to check her post about the great outfits she wore and our adventures HERE.) We had a fabulous fun time, even though the weather was dreadful. In fact, I would say that it is a great place to be if you are faced with a rainy getaway. The staff was excellent, as was the security.
No Heartbreak at this Hotel
The Guest House has only been open since late 2016, but it has already developed a super loyal clientele. You could tell by the interactions between the employees and the guests, and by how everyone was laughing and mingling together in the lobby. Speaking of the lobby, I’ll admit I expected something resembling a 70s Elvis jumpsuit as far as the decor was concerned. I mean it IS all about Elvis there. But what I saw was a beautiful hub, centrally situated between the north and south towers—tastefully decorated—with a touch of glitz that simply has to be there in order to be true to the The King’s memory.
Our room had plenty of space for two women with WAY too much luggage for a two-night stay. Again, the room’s decor was a great balance of bling and style. The bathroom, (full disclosure, we were in a handicap accessible room) was quite roomy with nice lighting and space for two women to get dolled up at the same time. Soon after we arrived, the staff generously sent up THE best cheese plate which we kept in the room’s fridge and snacked on all weekend.
Way More than Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
The hotel has two full restaurants, one a little fancier than the other. EP’s Bar & Grill offers more casual fare and a full bar with plenty of TVs for sports fans. I enjoyed the Turkey Burger, and followed it up with Banana Chocolate cake. Delta’s Kitchen has a more upscale feel, with a dinner menu that mixes in Tennessee and Mississippi Delta farm favorites. I had the Salmon, which was really tasty. Delta’s Kitchen is also where you’ll find the AMAZING breakfast buffet. If you just want a muffin and a cup of coffee, Shake Rattle & Go has it covered. The Lobby Lounge also has a full bar and basic a la carte dining selections. This is where you’ll want to hang out to hear nightly live music featuring Elvis era songs.
Welcome to His World
The Guest House has a revolving shuttle to Graceland and Elvis-centered museum exhibits, so even with all the rain we had, there was never a lack of something to do. A quick ride across the street and a couple of tickets later, we have stepped back in time to the 1970s, where Elvis’s home remains preserved pretty much exactly as he left it. As anyone who has been will tell you, it is smaller than you would imagine a King’s residence would be. Each room was unique and over the top, of course. The walls are covered in memorabilia, and everywhere you look is evidence of his life with Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie. The barn outside provides a climate-controlled oasis complete with flat screen TVs for several rescue horses.
At the museums, you can get an up-close look at Elvis’s cars, stage wardrobe, and an archive of interesting items. There at the complex, Jane and I met a fascinating woman named Alene Alexander who had actually worked for Elvis before Graceland was a tourist attraction, taking care of his horses. She was an original employee of Graceland when it became a tourist attraction, and did recently try to retire, but instead was convinced to serve as Graceland Ambassador. On the day we were there, she was headed to lunch with Priscilla Presley, who happened to be in town for Elvis’s 85th birthday celebration.
A Little More Action, Please
As part of the Elvis 85th birthday celebration, Jane and I were gifted tickets to a concert featuring members of the original TCB Band and other musicians, playing along to a huge video screen of Elvis concert footage. Priscilla herself addressed the crowd, and Elvis backup singers, The Imperials harmonized along with The King’s voice. It was almost like I would imagine being at one of his shows would have been like. There is no denying his appeal. I mean, is it terribly disrespectful to say that man was fine?
Even though a lot of events were specifically for the birthday celebration, the staff said that there are always musical events happening there on the property. In beautiful warm weather, there are games and movies on the lawn, and a large beautiful pool.
I’ll admit, I was never a die-hard Elvis fan, as I was 9 years old when he died. But as a Mississippian, this trip definitely gave me a new found appreciation for the impact that Elvis Presley had on the music world and on our culture. If you’d like to book a trip to The Guest House, start HERE on their website.
And if you happen to like the sweater and snake print loafers I wore on the trip, I have linked the thumbnail pics here where you can shop directly through my links. I do receive a very small commission when you shop through these links, and I truly appreciate it!