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I wonder what Elvis would think of The Heartbreak Hotel!
Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel (Memphis, USA)
Member Name: catsholiday
Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel (Memphis, USA)
Date: 19/08/09, updated on 17/08/11 (161 review reads)
Advantages: Close to Graceland ( in Graceland really) Free bus into Memphis, Some Elvis decor
Disadvantages: Bar area poor & tiny, Horrifically expensive souvenir shop
We chose to buy a package price stay at the Heart break Hotel and entrance to the Graceland Park/museum.
This is the package we booked on the website:
* One night deluxe accommodations for two people at Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel with free continental breakfast
* Two reservations for the Graceland Platinum Tour, which includes an audio-guided tour of Graceland Mansion and grounds, and a self-guided tour of Elvis's two custom airplanes, Elvis's Automobile Museum, Private Presley and the Sincerely Elvis Museum.
We paid about $160 per couple and shared a 2 double bedded room in the hotel so I think it was actually quite good value. I looked at other hotels in the area and they might have been a bit cheaper but we thought lets go really kitsch and do the whole thing properly as we will not go another time.
COLLECTING OUR PASSES:
We arrived at the Heartbreak hotel at about 10.30 am and although our rooms we not ready they put our cases in a store and gave us our Graceland passes. From the hotel you just walk across a car park area to the Graceland ticket office. Show your passes and then you get given special tickets with each bit that tear off as you go to each exhibit.
THE OUTSIDE AREA:
The hotel has no garden it is in a parking area adjacent to the Graceland Park, in fact you walk across the car park to the ticket office of Graceland which is very convenient and as with all American hotel/motels there was plenty of free parking right beside the hotel.
The Hotel doesn't really look anything special from outside, a simple white building with a large Logo near the top. In front of the reception area is a covered drive through area where posh people can be dropped off or less posh people like us could wait for the FREE mini bus to take you to Sun studios or Beale Street in Memphis. This is a brilliant service as you can go into Memphis and have a look around and a few drinks then catch the FREE bus back from Beale Street without worrying about finding the centre or parking or having a drink - a really great service we found.
THE RECEPTION AREA:
This is Elvis/50's tacky kitch in the extreme, just exactly what we were hoping for. There were plastic gold arm chairs and leopard skin print arm chairs in 50's style, a red sofa, a leopard print chaise long ( my favourite) and an old style black and white TV with Art deco lights and a dark carpet.
You walked from the main door directly to an older style high reception desk where the staff were very helpful with storing our luggage, explaining the Graceland ticket and the free bus to Memphis timetable. On the top of the desk was a bottle of disinfectant hand cleanser ( swine flu addition).
To the left of the reception area is the extremely tacky and very expensive souvenir shop. There were some quite interesting items but it was so expensive I refused to buy anything as a matter of principle as I hate being ripped off.
This is a link for a virtual tour of this area if you fancy seeing a bit more. :http://www.elvis.com/epheartbreakhotel/vtour/
GOING BEYOND RECEPTION:
Our room was on the 3rd floor so we went round to the left of reception and then turned right towards the lift - no more kitch here, just normal hotel looking plain carpets and ordinary lift, all quite disappointing. The corridors were again very plain but we arrived at our room and with a element of anticipation opened the door.... into a very ordinary hotel room . Hmmm what happened to the lovely tacky rooms I'd seen on the website? More about these later.
We booked a double room with 2 queen beds as we decided we could share with my daughter and boyfriend for one night. The beds were good sized queen beds and very comfortable with plenty of pillows (no pillow menu though). They had navy blue covers and there were side lights for each person. The room was quite dark even with the curtains pulled open but we were not staying in there long so it didn't matter really.
At the far end of the room there was a comfortable chair and low table as well as a desk and chair. On the left hand side was a sink and kettle as well as a small fridge and enough sachets for teas/coffees for a night. None of this was sparkling new and shiny, everything looked clean but well used. The standard I would expect from an average motel in America and certainly not anything special.
I forgot to mention the cable/color TV with free 24-hour Elvis movie channel. Unfortunately we did not make much use of this as we arrived in late from Memphis then had a couple of drinks in the bar downstairs before falling very tired into our beds.
The bathroom was adequate. There was a single basin, toilet and shower over a bath unit all perfectly functional and clean but plain and average.
From the window of our room we had an excellent view of the heart shaped swimming pool which unfortunately we did not have time to explore more closely as we chose to go into Memphis instead after we had visited Graceland on our first day. The next day we had the 500 mile return drive to Gatlinburg so we had to set off really early in order to manage the drive in one day. On the way to Memphis we broke the journey about 100 miles outside Memphis so we could have an almost full day there.
On the website I had seen these amazing suites decorated in the tackiest of tack and really wanted one of these but was a little put off by the price and I quote from the website :
"Themed suites (double occupancy) begin at $549.00 weekdays, $559.00 Friday and Saturday and $595 Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Each themed suite can accommodate up to eight people."
You could also not get the package price which included entrance to Graceland with the suite so that clinched it we had to put up with the boring double standard room instead.
DOWNSTAIRS TO THE BAR:
We thought the bar might be quite an interesting place to enjoy a drink but it was TINY. There were a few seats in the bar area and the bar was quite tacky but I reckon I could have done a far better job and i am not an interior decorator by any means, so this was another disappointment. We took our drinks and sat at a table in the dining area with quite a few other people and faced a large screen where they were showing non-stop Elvis movies with the sound up. This was a bit like being in a village hall for a movie, not comfortable and the room itself was just that, a large room. We were much let down by this as neither the bar area nor the film showing really added to the atmosphere. If you are going to show Elvis films then provide comfortable chairs facing the screen, if you are offer a bar then make a bit of effort to make it somewhere pleasant to sit and soak up the ambience. I feel they have missed an opportunity to really offer something special in this hotel and they are only interested in getting people in with tempting photos on the website and then the reality is a bit of a letdown when it could so easily have been great fun.
In the morning we got up early ready for our long journey and breakfast was available in the same rather soul less room where we sat 'enjoying' our drink and Elvis film on the previous evening. The Americans have this self serve breakfast down to a fine art as the food offered is easy to select and can be eaten with plastic cutlery and paper plates ( Not very eco but cheap I guess). There were hot meaty/cheesy things which i have no interest in but they had pancakes and syrup, donuts and all the usual sticky sweet bun things. There was tea and coffee (real coffee not instant) and cereals with milk. It was all very easy and convenient and probably had no nutritious value at all - except thousands of calories but it did keep us going until we stopped for lunch on the way.
We left our room and checked out - we had spent nothing on the room so we just had to hand the key in which was quick and easy and then we were on our way.
If you are visiting Graceland I am sure there is not a more convenient hotel than this one right on site. Parking was easy and there was plenty of it. You walked to Graceland from the hotel so you couldn't be closer really. The FREE bus to Memphis was wonderful, so convenient and easy and that alone must be worth a few dollars onto the price of the stay. When I checked local hotel/motels in the area this was not that much more expensive and considering how close it is to Graceland I thought it was worthwhile. Breakfast was included and we could get the Graceland package with the hotel stay combined which worked out quite good value I felt.
The hotel was not as wonderfully tacky and 1950s as I had hoped but it was certainly themed in some areas and it was clean, comfortable and a good price so all in all I would recommend staying here if you are visiting Graceland.
Thank you for reading and trust this might be of use to someone. This review may be posted on other sites under my name:
Summary: Convenient for Graceland a free Memphis bus but not that different from other hotels really
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