On the top of my list of the 7 Wonders of the Hotel World is the rooftop bar with a water view.
My favorite feature of Hyatt Centric Beale Street in Memphis is the spacious rooftop lounge with a view of the Mighty Mississippi, the Hernando de Soto Bridge and a pyramid that houses the world’s largest Bass Pro Shop.
We also loved its location within easy walking distance of the music scene on Beale Street, fantastic restaurants like The Arcade where Elvis indulged in his favorite peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and the National Civil Rights Museum.
Here are the 5 reasons we love the only hotel on Beale Street in Memphis.
Beck & Call Rooftop Lounge
Hyatt Centric Beale Street takes top honors in the lounge category for its spacious wraparound rooftop bar, Beck & Call Rooftop Lounge. The outdoor area is spacious enough to fit hundreds of your closest friends and in the evenings it provides a front-row view of the Mighty Lights, a nightly light show on the Hernando de Soto Bridge, also known as the M Bridge for its shape. Lighting up the sky with different and colors and patterns since 1973, Mighty Lights runs at the top and middle of the hour every night.
Beck & Call is open Thursday through Sunday and you can enjoy live music Thursdays and Sundays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. You can grab a burger, salad, wings or tater tots along with a signature cocktail like the Smoked Old Fashioned, whisky, wine or beer.
For more intimate seating, walk around the side of the building for a smaller seating area, fire pit and a view of the city.
There’s also a bar in the lobby area where you can pick up snacks 24/7.
Outdoor pool with cabanas, large fitness center
One of the biggest surprises for me was the spacious outdoor pool with cabanas and sitting areas, not always something you find in a downtown hotel. The pool is heated and open year-round. Although the weather was a bit chilly there were still sun-worshippers lazing on the lounge chairs.
The 24-hour fitness center is well-equipped, with large floor-to-ceiling windows facing the pool.
Large suites with river views
I was lucky enough to stay in a 788-square-foot Big River Suite. True to its name, it has close to 180-degree views of the river through the large windows in the bedroom and parlor. I could see the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge, Big River Crossing and the M Bridge.
On the first day I was there I could also see a riverboat on Beale Street Landing that paddled away later in the afternoon, taking its passengers up the Mississippi River.
The seating area includes a TV, recliner with ottoman and sectional sofa. It also has a table with four chairs and kitchen area with a mini fridge, coffee maker and sink.
The bathroom has two sinks and shower with an exterior covered in Memphis-related words. In addition to an armoire for storing clothes, it also has a bench that was a perfect place for my suitcase.
Location on Beale Street
Hyatt Centric Beale Street is the only hotel on Beale Street. Within a few minutes of walking out the front door, we were strolling by the bars and restaurants, enjoying the strains of live music, whether it was 11:30 a.m. or 8:30 p.m.
The hotel is also within walking distance to other attractions, including the Orpheum Theatre. the National Civil Rights Museum, the Peabody Memphis and the Old Dominick Distillery.
We could also walk to Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies on S. Main Street, the place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth or pick up some gift items. I recommend the truffles. Just down the street is a DGX, a baby Dollar General, where you can pick up toiletry items you need.
Access to Hyatt’s new brand hotel, Caption
Hyatt has introduced a new brand, Caption, which has a location right next door and can be accessed directly from the lobby.
Caption by Hyatt Beale Street doesn’t have a traditional lobby, but rather lots of seating spaces more like a coffee shop. There’s a smaller enclosed seating area perfect for getting work done and a room with a pool table. It also has a nice shaded outdoor area where we enjoyed lunch one day.
The restaurant, Talk Shop, serves breakfast, sandwiches and small plates. Try Netta’s Chicken Sammy, a hot chicken sandwich named for its creator, Memphian Chernetta “Netta” Wiggins.
Top Things to Do in Memphis
I had only breezed through Memphis once years ago on a trip from Atlanta to Little Rock with my dad to see my grandparents. I really enjoyed spending time in the city, getting to learn about its music heritage, experiencing its southern hospitality and digging into the local cuisine that included ribs from The Rendezvous and chocolate salty balls from Ibis.
Here are places I recommend you visit on your next trip to the Home of the Blues.
• Ride the Memphis Trolley. Hop on a vintage trolley car to travel around the city. There are three lines: Main Street Line, Riverfront Line and Madison Line. Rides are just $1 or $2 for an all-day pass.
• Walk across the Big River Crossing, the longest pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi. About halfway across you’ll see the sign that you’ve crossed into Arkansas.
• Stroll down Beale Street and stop in any of several places to hear live music. Step into the courtyard of the Irish pub Silky O’Sullivan’s to see the Irish diving goats.
• Visit the National Civil Rights Museum housed at the Lorraine Motel where you can see the room where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed the night before he was shot on the balcony of his hotel room.
• Take a ghost tour with Memphis Ghost Tour where you’ll learn of some eerie tales. You’ll visit a few haunted places, including the dive bar Earnestine & Hazel’s, recognized as one of the most haunted places in the country. Our group was invited to tour the bar, including the infamous upstairs, but several of them did not dare to enter.
• Sing into the microphone used by the stars during a tour of Sun Studio, known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll.
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– Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief