Nice hotels are hard to come by in Memphis these days. Sure, you have the South's (formerly) Grand Hotel, The Peabody, which was overrun by undesirable years ago. You have a very few other notables such as the Madison or Westin, although these can bring an undesirable crowd as well.
Then we come to River Inn at Harbor Town. Tucked away in sleepy Harbor Town is a true gem! My parents had been talking about it for a couple of years. They drive 80 miles from North Mississippi frequently on weekends to stay here and eat at Paulette's (a Memphis institution).
We went up to celebrate their anniversary two days after Christmas and I instantly fell in love with this charming Southern inn. Their general manager is German and obviously runs a tight ship. He is very visible throughout the property and it shows (well, there were a few slip-ups to be discussed later).
Notable standouts are the complimentary glass of wine upon check-in, and the nightly turndown service featuring port wine and a truffle. I was unimpressed by the Lindor truffles. I expected something from Dinstuhl's of Memphis or some other non-commercial chocolate, but they are definitely on track with this offering.
Rooms are very nicely appointed with classic southern furnishings and VERY nice lamps. Each room is slightly different.
Where I found the property to be falling apart was in the bathroom. The soap dishes were coming un-mounted from the tile in the shower and my toilet had a leak. The funny thing is that the turn-down attendant obviously noticed the leak and placed a towel behind the toilet to catch the dripping water. I would have not expected such a tacky remedy for this issue. I didn't want to re-pack and move, so I just let it be for the night.
Paulette's new home is inside River Inn, and the food is as wonderful as I remember it being. One fail, however was the escargot. Served in mushroom caps and not nearly as hot as they should have been, they were a big disappointment. Otherwise, the food was great. Our waiter tried WAY too hard to be funny, but overall it was a pleasant evening.
One of the best amenities here is the complimentary breakfast, served in Paulette's every morning. This is no run of the mill hotel breakfast. A full cooked to order meal is more than ample to get the day started.
Overall, a great property. They do need to stay on top of things falling apart in rooms, however.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury Boutique Hotel with European ambiance and Southern hospitality located I Harbor Town on a peninsula on the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis. 2 miles from Beal Street, FedEx Forum and Orpheum Theater, half mile from St. Jude Children Hospital. most room/suites are overlooking the Mississippi River, the hotel is offering 3 restaurants/bars, Paulette's (fine dining), Tug's Casual Grill and the Terrace offering small plates and hand crafted cocktails with having the best view in town of the Mississippi River, ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- River Inn Of Harbor Town Hotel Memphis
- River Hotel Memphis
- River Hotel Of Harbor Town