The Memphis Peabody Hotel is a beautifully decorated remnant of the old south, with a full buffet and marching ducks. It is an experience enjoyable for all the family, where adults can enjoy the delicious food and even the youngest children can enjoy watching the ducks.
In 1869, the original Peabody Hotel opened in Memphis, Tennessee; expanding and relocating 56 years later to its current location. Named for George Peabody, this hotel beautifully reflects the era, and it has earned a place in the National Trust for Historic Preservation – The Historic Hotels of America.
Location and Parking
Located at 149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN, the hotel is about 15 minutes from the Memphis International Airport and downtown. Its proximity to other Memphis landmarks makes it central and convenient. For a fee, there is both Valet parking on the premises and Self-Parking a block away from the hotel.
There is lavish décor through the lobby, and decorations are granite and marble in contrast with the more modest restaurant. It is spacious with tones of pale greens and tans, and the area feels warm and welcoming lending to the history and air of the old South.
What makes The Peabody Hotel uniquely famous is its marching ducks. The ducks, five in number, live on the roof in a duck penthouse. Twice daily, these ducks take the elevator down to the lobby to march across the lawn at 11 am and 5 pm. The march is popular and attracts many visitors to the hotel especially the kids. Expect to call on the early side to catch a good seat on the floor near the ducks if you want to see them up close and personal. The marching duck tradition began 90 years ago, and many guests come to experience and take advantage of the Ducky Day Family package.
For fans of the web-footed quacking marchers, they will be happy to hear that the Peabody restaurant incidentally does not offer duck anywhere on the menu and has a lovely brunch on Sundays that locals and travelers enjoy.
The brunch is catered by the Capriccio Grill between 11 am and 2:30 pm and you can make reservations online. The presentation of the delicious eats is a visual delight! It is elaborately laid out, and there are high standards in their meal preparation. From the breakfast items like cereals, muffins, cheese grits and sausage grits, eggs, breakfast potatoes to the more brunch and lunch items on the menu; it feels like a cozy diner. The salads are colorful; fresh vegetables and fruits whole or prepared and elegantly presented. A generous selection of bread, cheeses, cold cut meats and smoked fish is available. In the hot food section, there are other typical Southern cuisine items like Butternut squash ravioli, baby-back ribs, ratatouille, fried chicken, mixed vegetables and garlic butter shrimp. At the carvery, they have prime rib, calamari, and deep-fried ravioli. Finally, the dessert table is simply beautiful. The in-house chefs have prepared mousses, tarts, cakes, cookies, crème brûlée, croissants, cakes and even a hot chocolate pie.
Out of all the dishes offered what surprised us the most in a good way were the items dipped in chocolate at the dessert table such as potato chips, pretzels, and bacon, which turned out to be a firm favorite.
The staff was incredibly friendly and replenished our drinks in a timely manner. They regularly cleared the used dishes to make room for the new dishes filled with food offerings.
Autism Travel Tips:
- If you don’t want to wait in line, then book to come later after 1:30 pm. This is best for those that prefer avoiding crowded places.
- Seating is comfortable with the tables relatively far from each other, so customers don’t feel cramped.
- The lighting in the area is a combination of natural and artificial, and the noise element is lower as the tables aren’t too close to each other.
- Since brunch tends to be a longer experience, antsy kids can get coloring books, or parents can bring tablets. Our son found the lobby self-playing piano fun and spent quite a bit of time watching it.
- As the food is served buffet-style, most diets can be accommodated. However, if you travel with someone with severe allergies to any ingredients make sure you ask the server about it before you dine.