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Riverside Hotel
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Reviews (73)
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57 - 62 of 73 reviews
Reviewed September 9, 2011

The proprietor, Frank Ratcliffe, knows the blues. The historic building the houses the Riverside Hotel also knows the blues, having been the local hospital for black folks, back in the day. Bessie Smith died in that hospital, and many of the big names have stayed at the Riverside since Rat's mother opened it as a hotel, decades ago. It's not the Ritz. It's the Riverside. The host is a pleasant and helpful man, and will be glad to tell you stories of the old days. THe rooms are nicely set up in antiques, an dare comfortable. The prices are fine. Stop into the Riverside for a weekend, Walking distance to Ground Zero, or better still hit Red's just down the road - a real juke joint. Ask Rat to take you down to Dockery, or out to the Crossroads. If you like blues music and history, you ought not to miss this place - it's a piece of history.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank GiveMeEat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2011

Like others have said, the owner, "Rat" is a font of knowledge, and LOVES to talk. He will do just about anything for you, including drive you around town. There were about nine of us there, and all of us, including Rat, who knows everybody in town, went out to the clubs. Each room is pretty much as it was when some of its more famous residents stayed there (Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, even JFK Jr.) I cannot wait to go back, and it's worth every penny of the $65/night.

Room Tip: Call ahead and give your name to reserve a room.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank Joshua C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2011

I love the RIverside and I love it's owner Rat. If you are coming to Clarksdale for the blues history then you have to spend at least one night here. It IS blues history and Rat will share with you the hotel's story about all the famous musicians who stayed in the actual rooms you stay in. The rooms are clean and comfy. The only issue is the bathrooms are shared. There are two shower/toilet rooms for men and one for the ladies. There's only about 6 hotel rooms so there isn't a crowd waiting in the AM but you do need to know this so if you have issues about bathroom/shower sharing you may want to look elsewhere. Also, there's no internet. However, even for just one night, for the experience, you should stay here. It's right down the street from Red's Blues Lounge and the other downtown places. I stayed in the Muddy Waters room...a room he stayed in for many a night while in Clarksdale. So cool!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mitchmurr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2011

I recently attended Jon Gindick's Harmonica Blues Camp in Clarksdale. I was at first disappointed to learn, that, as the last applicant for the camp, there was no room for me at The Shack Up Inn where the camp was to be held, and that I would have to find an alternate place to stay. As usual, Trip Advisor directed me to The Riverside Hotel and it's proprietor, Frank "Rat" Ratcliff. I never got back to the Hotel before 10PM, and usually later, and was always up and gone by 0900. I picked Ike Turner's room. As others have recorded here on TA, it is a no frills stay - The TV in my room didn't work, the window AC unit was a little noisy the only night that I used it, but those nuances only added to what was a wonderful and restful stay - The room was clean. The shared bathrooms were fine for me, but I am not sure that my wife would have been ok with the situation. But if ever in Clarksdale by myself again for this camp or another reason, I won't even think twice about staying there again!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank love2travel2802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2011

This is the real deal, it's like living in/amoungst Blues history... Rat is good, good man-and a great host. I didn't know much what to expect but I am glad I gave it a shot.

In terms of accomdations-I would say they are no-frills but comfortable. This is pretty similar to a hostel-but with a lot more going for it. You can research the history part on line-but it is extensive and a part of the Blues Trail to be certain. The bathrooms are down the hall-but very well kept and very modern. To look at the place from the outside, you might be put off-but then again-that probably keeps away a lot of boring people. If you are comfortable staying in a friends guest room/oat Motel-you will be fine here-and you will get a great experience.

Anyway-I can't wake to go back to Clarksdale and shoot the breeze with Rat and my Clarksdale peeps. Honestly-this was the highlight of a 3-week trip. If you can, stay a few day's-one of them on a Friday or Saturday... Also-visit Red's Juke a few blocks down the street. Red makes the best BBQ and is Saltier than most sailors...and host some of the best REAL Blues out there...

Also noteworthy are the many great restaurants and great vibe of this town. Clarksdale, Red's and the Riverside will be in my dreams for months to come. I can't wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank troy mcclure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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