Suite Experience: Peabody Hotel

Suite Experience: Peabody Hotel Front Facade of the Building

The Peabody Hotel is a pad of youthful luxury in the center of downtown Memphis. Imagine the younger, more demure cousin of the Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental. That, in essence, is the Peabody Hotel. But today, we are not here to pad along the wide atrium or sink our teeth into the French cuisine or even to lie down in the spacious rooms. We are here for another reason.


Yes, the waddling kind. The Peabody Ducks are only slightly less famous than Donald, Daffy, and the Aflac Duck. Slightly. They’ve been on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and (wait for it) Sesame Street.

Suite Experience: Peabody Hotel Sign In Front

Perhaps, you’ve heard the story. Back in the 30s, General Manager Frank Schutt had returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas. He had taken to whisky as Tintin’s dear friend Captain Haddock and thought it would be a splendid idea to leave the call ducks in the fountain.

When he woke up the next morning, hopefully more sober, he thundered towards the atrium.

Billions of blue blistering barnacles!

Everything was in place. The ducks hadn’t thrown a bird-brained tantrum. They quietly swam in the atrium all night and the guests were in love with their new fine-feathered friends. Thus started the journey of the Peabody Ducks.

Now, the ducks march from their rooftop home (cough – palatial mansion – cough) at 11AM and 5PM everyday. Locals, tourists, children (a mix), all wait for the ducks to waddle across their very own red carpet at the sound of steady and grand music.

Suite Experience: Peabody Hotel Interior

It’s cute. It’s charming. It’s free. Why not?

We snap pictures. The duckmaster, donned in red, holds a duck-headed cane by his side and gently coaxes the ducks forward. His wide-swept gestures aggrandize the act and you must admit, it is slightly kitschy, but the ducks are adorable. As the lobby gets filled, we breathe a sigh of relief. I’m glad we decided to come thirty minutes early. The gift shop is complete will duck memorabilia so if you are looking for a glass duck statue, this is the place.

But the best part is the letter to the chef, an unassuming framed document, stating that no duck can be served in the French restaurant. After all, the ducks are guests like us.

Peabody Hotel Ducks

As the crowd recedes, the ducks continue to swim politely and quietly, unfazed by the visitors. For wild, undomesticated animals, they are quite docent. We wander the floors until we hit the roof for some of the best views of downtown.

Just a half-mile from here is Beale Street, the life of Memphis at night. After the sun sets, we will stroll past the rows of shops and restaurants and local businesses until we find ourselves in Memphis’ bursting blues scene.

Have you ever been to the Peabody Hotel? Would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Haha, I would LOVE to see this! Such celebrities these ducks have become!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Celebrities is definitely the right word! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • I would really enjoy taking a trip here and seeing this. I did not know about the history either so it was nice to read about that. The ducks are so cute.

    • Thanks Sheri! The ducks are indeed super adorable! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Ive never been (would love to go) and I’m sure if we went as a family the ducks would be my kids favorite part!

    • I’m sure your kids would love the duck march! In fact, young children (twelve-ish and under) can sit on the red carpet with the ducks (which is super fun)! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • What a gorgeous hotel! I love those ducks. How cute.

    • Yes, it is so pretty! And the ducks are so adorable! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Teresa Gilbert

    Wow what a lovely eye catching place! Would love to go there one day!

    • The hotel decor is very grand and it looks incredibly luxurious for mid-range hotel! Hope you get a chance to visit! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Troy

    The Peabody is such a beautiful hotel. We have a Peabody here in Orlando and the duck March is absolutely the cutest!

    • Ooohh! I never got a chance to see the one in Orlando (I thought they shut down the duck march there a few years ago) but I’m positive it was just as adorable as the one in Memphis! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • I have been to the Peabody Hotel once when I was in Memphis on business. Unfortunately we did not get to see the ducks due to the time we were there, but it sure is a beautiful and historic hotel!

    • That’s great! It is a very pretty hotel with such a charming history! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Beth Shankle Anderson

    I love this post! I’ve been to the Peabody in Memphis and I’ve seen the ducks and it was an awesome experience! Thanks so much for sharing yours!

    • I’m glad you had a great time! It really is such a fun experience! ☺️

  • Editor-in-Style Good

    ooh! I have never been to Memphis but am so intrigued after reading about Peabody! I have written it down to look into further for when we go next year!

    • I hope you have a great time! If you are visiting Memphis, be sure to check out Sun Studios as well. And for a small town escape Collierville is less than forty minutes away. 😊

  • I knew I had heard about that hotel! Now I remember why, the ducks! lol I have never been to Memphis but if I get to go, I definitely want to indulge in my touristy experience.

    • Yes, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure tourist delight! But sometimes (especially in this case) touristy activities can be such fun! 😊

  • CourtneyLynne Storms

    What a fabulous hotel! I’ve been to the Peabody in Orlando!

    • Yes! Isn’t is quite charming? 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Valerie CottageMakingMommy

    I’ve been to Memphis and haven’t heard of the hotel but would love to go.

    • That’s awesome! There is so much to do in Memphis, I never feel like I’m finished visiting! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • cewtypye

    I love the fountain! I could really see my family enjoying a stay here!

    • Yes, the fountain is so pretty (and the ducks adore it as well)! 🙂 xx – Anshula