Nothing irks me more than reviews complaining that their champagne tastes were not met by their beer budgets. Please, get your expectations in line with reality.
I gave the Econo Lodge five stars because it perfectly met - even exceeded - my expectations. After reading some reviews here, I pictured myself barricaded inside a filthy room protecting my wife from any number of menacing characters outside while mold grew over our bodies from the leaking fixtures. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I have stayed at the Peabody and other downtown hotels many times but all I wanted was a cheap, clean, safe room in close proximity to Beale Street with covered parking so that we could spend a brief night before catching an early morning train. I received that and more for a third of the price of other downtown Memphis properties.
From the exterior, it is nothing architecturally stimulating. After all, it's a hotel atop a parking garage for goodness sake - a unique property actually. The lobby was small but clean. The desk staff was very friendly and as efficient as possible after dealing with the six clowns checking in ahead of me with bad attitudes and worse body odor. I discussed barbeque comparisons to the Rendezvous with the clerk and he suggested the Blues City Cafe on Beale at Second which turned out to be a great recommendation.
After the prompt check-in, we drove up the ramp and found a great parking spot on the second floor right near the elevators. We had absolutely no problems with, or fear of the elevators which carried us up to the ninth floor with no glitches whatsoever. We walked to our room passing the very nice pool and courtyard area. Had it been 30 degrees warmer, I would have been chin deep in its crystal blue waters with a bottle of suds enjoying myself to the maximum.
We inserted our card into the electronic lock and were greeted by an expansive room with decent furnishings, great climate control in spotless condition. The bathroom, though smallish, was impeccably clean with the tub/shower combo and toilet enclosed behind a door with the sink and vanity outside in the room - a typical motel configuration of no concern to us. There was a desk, lamp with electrical outlets, chair, entertainment center with a large CRT television with working remote, another seating area with table and a very comfortable king bed. And guess what? The sheets and comforter were clean and smelled like a spring day in an Irish garden.
We took one of the twin elevators back down to street level and walked the three short blocks to Beale Street. The area in between is much cleaner and safer than I remembered it years ago. Obviously, the city had taken note of it's previous condition and took action to make it safe. Judging by the activity in the area, other pedestrians felt the same way.
We encountered a few panhandlers but they were quite ingenious and pleasant in their approaches. One gave us a very thorough, interesting history of a renovated building and another sang a song for us. I was happy to provide them $1 each for both the information, entertainment and attitude - much cheaper than a tour guide or floor show.
The return to the hotel was uneventful and enjoyable after the large, wonderful meal on Beale and drinks at BB Kings. We watched a movie back at the room before retiring early. The television, though dated, worked perfectly, had more than adequate channel selection and the remote worked without a hiccup.
We awoke at 5 am the next morning refreshed, had immediate and very adequate hot water in the shower, and easily hauled our luggage down the elevator and back to our vehicle for our trip to the Amtrak station to catch our early train to New Orleans. Mission accomplished with complete and utter satisfaction.
The price we paid for this experience was extremely reasonable compared to the overpriced alternatives in the area, and the value was exceptional - well beyond my expectations. My only hesitation is in sharing this review fearing that the Econo Lodge will become so popular with others for a trip with similar needs that prices will increase and availability decrease.
For those complainers and doubters, please continue to rant and drive people away. For myself and others who appreciate purposeful value, please keep it a secret so this little gem will remain accessible for our needs.
I may even spend more than one night next trip...
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- Also Known As:
- Econo Lodge Downtown Memphis Hotel Memphis