There’s a number of buzzy, luxury hotels in Memphis, Tennessee—from glamorous art-deco to ultra-modern properties—but none have incorporated themselves into the local framework quite like ARRIVE Memphis. Opened in 2019 and owned by Palisociety since 2020, the boutique destination is located in the heart of Downtown, right across from the National Civil Rights Museum. It blends vintage pieces and industrial style to craft an overall unique, cozy experience which has quickly made it a meeting place for newcomers and residents alike.
Upon arrival to the hotel’s lobby (which doubles as the all-day bakery and coffee shop, Hustle & Dough) one immediately gets a sense for ARRIVE’s eclectic and inviting style. Between armchairs, roomy vintage sofas and Persian rugs, locals and hotel guests mingle amongst the smell of coffee and fresh bread. Here, there’s a unique charm that comes from being in a space that’s part of the neighborhood—and it greets visitors even before checking in with the friendly staff at the cafe’s counter.
“The furniture and all the vintage items were sourced locally and it created this lobby vibe, where people from the community felt connected that they could come and use it,” Avi Brosh, founder of Palisociety, tells us. “It doesn’t feel precious at all and that’s why people feel comfortable—almost put-your-feet-up-kind-of-vibe. There’s something very special and unique about that.”
Upstairs, 62 rooms are equally warm, pairing vintage and subtle nods to Memphis with industrial style. Across the property’s studios, deluxe studios, doubles and corner lofts, exposed brick and concrete (kept and salvaged from the building’s former lives) are softened by plush rugs, natural lighting via the large warehouse windows and glass barn doors.
Vibrant bathroom tiles and custom artwork are by artist Michelle Fair, who was a former student at the Memphis College of Art graduate school, which the building was home to previously. Fair’s various artworks adorn the walls above the beds as well as the hotel’s keycards.
“The Palisociety platform overall takes a slightly irreverent point of view to the design, meaning it’s not formulaic in terms of the way that the hotels are put together,” explains Brosh. The confluence of patterns, from Fair’s wallpaper art to the vintage rugs, and unique finishes like the industrial-style faucets certainly speak to the refreshed aesthetic of ARRIVE.
While the hotel is design-driven, nowhere does it feel over the top or pompous due, in part, to how ARRIVE and Palisociety approach each hotel as its own entity, allowing the location and history to influence the look and feel. “A lot of times hotels in these markets don’t get design-forward hotels that are very neighborhood-centric. I think it’s really that [ARRIVE] Memphis feels very proprietor-driven in an eclectic space,” continues the founder. “Everything feels a little bit more residential in nature.”
Like all of the 25 properties under Palisociety’s growing roster, ARRIVE Memphis thrives in its independent design. For Brosh, who never studied design yet crafts hotels with charming, unrepeated character, this distinctness is akin to foregoing convention. “My lack of design background is probably one of my biggest assets. Because we don’t know necessarily what the classic rules are, so therefore all of the hotels are really a sort of a collection of rule breaking,” he says.
At ARRIVE, the food and drink programming is equally unexpected and robust, featuring Japanese sandwiches alongside traditional pastries and handpies at the cafe. In addition, the property’s Bar Hustle and gastro-pub and shuffleboard bar Longshot, offer other places for locals and guests to converge over classic cocktails and, for the latter, inventive takes on Southern fare like gochujang-flavored fried chicken sandwiches.
Elsewhere, the hotel offers places to work (beyond the café) as well as play. The 1,200-square-foot conference room allows guests to take meetings, video calls or simply work from an office away from home. Once the workday is done, guests can journey to the Poker Room, an intimate space for eight that is modeled after Elvis Presley’s billiards room at Graceland.
Unfussy yet sophisticated, industrial yet comforting, ARRIVE’S marriage of opposing styles and eras makes for an elevated stay in Memphis that still feels (and is) a part of the city’s scene. “I really think,” says Brosh, “that it tells a story, in the same way that we do our other hotels from a design perspective, that in and of itself is unique.”
Images courtesy of ARRIVE by Palisociety