The exterior of The Peabody Hotel in Memphis
Photo Credit: Krause & Johansen

5 Surprising Facts About Memphis’ Legendary Peabody Hotel

The Peabody Hotel is a place that everyone can enjoy with its fine-dining and famous ducks, this hotel has something for everyone.

You know The Peabody Memphis hotel. Whether you’ve stayed there yourself, seen the stunning red neon sign glowing over downtown Memphis or heard about those famous ducks who march from the roof to the lobby fountain and back every day, chances are you’re on a first-name basis with The Peabody.

While the Peabody has certainly earned a spot in popular culture, there are a lot of things about this iconic hotel that you might not know. Go behind the scenes to discover some of the lesser-known facts and hidden gems The Peabody has to offer.

You've  probably never seen the same duck twice.

Photo Credit: Peabody Hotel

The Peabody is most famous for the five North American mallard ducks who live on the roof and entertain guests twice a day with their regal march to and from the lobby fountain. But did you know a Peabody duck's career lasts only three months? The ducks are raised on a farm outside Memphis and live at the hotel for three months. After that, they go back to the farm, where they get to live in the wild. It’s a pretty sweet gig, but it makes you wonder if they miss the daily swooning from throngs of adoring fans.

The Peabody ducks’ digs are almost as nice as the human ones.

During their three-month stint at the hotel, the Peabody Ducks live in the lap of luxury in a $200,000 Royal Duck Palace on the roof. The palace is made of marble and glass and includes a fountain, a grassy “front yard” and a replica of the hotel where the ducks can nest. Despite the fancy housing, the hotel staff and the Peabody Duckmaster don’t domesticate the ducks or treat them as pets. After all, they may be famous and adorable, but they’re still wild animals. 

The Peabody is historic in all the right ways – and modern where it counts.

The Peabody Hotel celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2019. Of course, the sense of history here is palpable, from the ornate decor of the grand lobby to the tradition of service honored and carried on by every employee.

But guests of The Peabody will find this historic property is also perfectly modern in all the best ways. A recent renovation of all 464 guest rooms includes bright, spacious bathrooms, local art and all the thoughtful touches you’d want from a luxury hotel from bath products to bedding. You’ll feel the same magic guests have felt since 1869 with the finest 21st-century upgrades.

Guests are in for a fresh and sophisticated dining experience at The Peabody’s Chez Phillipe. Named the number 1 Best Hotel Restaurant in the country by USA Today, this award-winning concept features modern American cuisine with a French flourish presented as an artful culinary journey over four or seven courses. The menu celebrates local and sustainable ingredients while evolving seasonally, changing as often as every two weeks, and even can be enhanced with a five-course wine pairing curated by The Peabody’s house sommelier. Chez Philippe is the mid-South’s only Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond rated restaurant and has been honored with the Award of Excellence from both Distinguished Restaurants of North America and Wine Spectator magazine.

From Ducks to Jack Daniels, themed packages can customize your experience

Any stay at The Peabody is going to be special, but an array of themed packages offer visitors ways to experience different sides of the hotel based on unique interests and Memphis experiences.

The “You Don’t Know Jack” package, for example, gets you one night’s deluxe accommodations plus a Jack Daniel’s cocktail in the Peabody Corner Bar, and a bottle of special-edition "Peabody Select" Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey to take home.

Can’t get enough of the Peabody Ducks? Book yourself an unforgettable “Ducky Day” package, which includes, among a long list of duck-themed treats, the honor of serving as the Honorary Duckmaster for a day, assisting the Duckmaster with a march through the lobby. You’ll even get your own brass-head Duckmaster Cane to take home so you can reenact your experience whenever the mood strikes.

So, whether you want to see the ducks in motion, dine in the elegant new restaurant or just have a relaxing stay, The Peabody Memphis is the place to go.

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