Most Romantic: Discretely tucked off a quiet downtown side street, the intimate Madison Hotel, 79 Madison Ave. (tel. 866/44-MEMPHIS [446-3674] or 901/333-1200; www.madisonhotelmemphis.com), is an upscale boutique property offering sumptuous furnishings, first-class service, and rooftop river views.
Best Historic Hotel: Even if The Peabody, 149 Union Ave. (tel. 800/PEABODY [732-2639] or 901/529-4000; www.peabodymemphis.com), weren't the only historic hotel in the city, it would likely still be the best. From the lobby, with its marble fountain full of live ducks, to the excellent restaurants and updated rooms, everything here spells tradition.
Best for Business Travelers: Travelers with high expectations and pinched pocketbooks get the best of both worlds at the Hampton Inn & Suites-Shady Grove, 962 S. Shady Grove Rd. (tel. 800/HAMPTON [426-7866] or 901/762-0056; www.hamptoninn.com), an exceptionally well-run, affordable hotel in a beautiful residential section of East Memphis.
Best Place to Unleash Your Inner Rock Star: Guests at the new Westin Memphis Beale Street, 170 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. (tel. 800/WESTIN1 [937-8461] or 901/334-5900; www.westin.com/bealestreet), can call down to the front desk to have a classic 1956 Les Paul Goldtop VOS or one of several other Gibson guitars delivered to their rooms. With a virtual amp and headphones, you can pretend you're jamming next door at Ground Zero Blues Club -- or headlining a tour across the street at the FedExForum. Available to VIPs and regular Joes alike, this free perk comes with no financial strings attached -- except your credit card as security.
Best for Families: Spacious suites with kitchens and comfy sectional-style sofas around 42-inch flatscreen TVs make Hyatt Place, 1220 Primacy Pkwy. (tel. 901/680-9700; www.hyattplace.com), in East Memphis, my top pick for vacationing families. Close to restaurants and such kid-friendly attractions as the Lichterman Nature Center, it also offers a convenient, central location for exploring the city.
Best-Kept Secret: Having opened just 2 years ago, the River Inn of Harbor Town, 50 Harbor Town Square (tel. 901/222-1531; www.riverinnmemphis.com), is still somewhat of a hidden gem -- a small, European-style hotel offering exquisite furnishings, gourmet food, impeccable service and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River. Need I say more?
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.