The Guest House at Graceland

One day last year as I was driving and listening to Elvis Radio on Sirius XM Radio, I heard  about plans for a new hotel that would be built and the opening day would be in October of 2016. I did some research and thought what fun that would be to be able to tour Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and stay at a brand new hotel. I kept my eye on the date that they would be taking reservations. In April of this year I called and made a reservation for the grand opening. I was excited about getting to tour Graceland, but I think I was just as excited about staying in a brand new hotel. When I called to confirm our reservation a couple of weeks before the arrival date, I found out it was “Elvis Fan Appreciation Weekend “ and several events were planned. Double excited!!!

The day came for us to make our 14-hour drive from West Texas. We decided to drive because we had plans to drive on up to Branson, Missouri when we left Memphis.

As we drove up to The Guest House at Graceland, I was amazed at the beauty of the hotel. It was much larger than I pictured and very grand looking. It was designed to resemble Graceland. As we got out of our car we could hear the music of Elvis playing over the speakers which carried  on into the lobby. The décor was gorgeous! All of the staff were very friendly and helpful.  As we made our way to our room on the 5th floor I was taken by the décor. I hope my pictures show just how beautiful it all was. After we got settled in our room, we went exploring around the hotel. I obviously looked like an excited tourist as I was taking pictures of everything from the carpet to the art work throughout the hotel. You won’t find pictures of Elvis at the hotel, but you will see really great pieces of art that feature certain pieces of his clothing he wore while performing.

If you are ever in Memphis, you will want to stay at The Guest House.  At least walk through it and see how beautiful it is. My dream is to stay in a suite someday.  The decor looks even more amazing and fun!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, which you must see it in person…so much better than my pictures!

One more thing….I have to say how sweet my husband was.  I oohed and awed at everything and had to investigate every area of the hotel and he was very patient with me.  Even when I squealed at the hot pink wallpaper and the glitter in the darker wall coverings and had to take pictures, he would just smile. I’m very grateful for that!

ON OUR WAY TO OUR ROOM:

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Each lobby on every floor of the hotel had a different picture similar to this one.
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I loved the carpet and wall coverings. The walls had a little bit of sparkle. The hot pink wallpaper was so much fun!
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Yes, I had to take a picture of the wallpaper.

OUR ROOM:

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The gold room number with the hot pink background and the lightening bolt symbol is such a fun touch!
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Each door had a light fixture with the initials E. P. Isn’t that so much fun?!
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The bed was very comfortable and oh so stylish! Don’t you love the art on the wall? Ignore my suitcase; I forgot to move it.
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The desk area with television that you could watch various documentaries of Graceland and other things going on. It was playing Elvis music when we walked in, how perfect is that?
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The bathroom was very nice. The huge walk-in shower had something called a rain shower?  Oh, and your shampoo, conditioner and lotion had  the Elvis signature on it.

 

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This is the artwork that was in the bathroom.

 

EXPLORING THE HOTEL:

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Two dining choices; Delta’s, which is fine dining and E.P.’s, which is a grill. We tried both and the food was delicious at each one. We also watched an Elvis movie in the theater!

 

 

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The fire pit with heart shaped fire ring.
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The pool is very nice and also very big!
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The business center caught my eye! I loved the artwork.
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The Shake Rattle and Go is where you can get coffee, breakfast foods and snacks.
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The hotel has a staircase and chandelier that resembles the one at Graceland. I pretended I was Priscilla walking down the stairs.  Not really, well… maybe I really did.
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This is a collage of all the art pieces on each floor with the floor number.
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This is one of the sofas in the lobby! I think I would like one for my house as well! I love it when I feel little!
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I loved seeing the hotel at night with all the lights.

Click here to read more about The Guest House at Graceland and to make your reservations!  I have a feeling you need to plan and book your room early, they may stay pretty full most of the time.  Especially when they have the events on Elvis’ birthday and the anniversary of his death. Oh, and in November they have the tree lighting ceremony.  Maybe, someday I will get to visit during each of those events.

If you missed my post on the story of, My Elvis Crush, click here to read.

Tomorrow I will write my last post on this trip.  I will cover the Graceland Tour and the Sun Records Tour.  I want to share some thoughts about a couple of things that I couldn’t stop thinking about as we left Graceland.

Until then, let me know if you have been to Graceland before and if you plan to go back.  I would love to hear!

 

 

My Elvis Crush!

After a recent trip to Memphis, Tennessee and touring Graceland, many memories of growing up with a major crush on Elvis popped up.  Before I share about our actual trip, I had to set up how serious my crush was.  Here we go…..

I was six years old when I first noticed Elvis Presley. I was sitting in the back seat of my parents car at the drive-in movie. I usually would fall asleep at movies and I’m sure I did this time, but not soon enough to notice how handsome he was on the big screen.

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Elvis Presley made such an impression on me at such a young age that he broke my heart when I was 8 years old. I was outside playing dress-up in my mom’s red and white checked dress and her black high heels. I had spread out a newspaper on the ground pretending it was carpet. Someone please tell me I’m not the only one that did such a thing!  I was pretend cooking on my dad’s grill!  (Who needs a play kitchen set?)  As I was standing at my pretend stove “cooking,” I happened to look down at my newspaper floor. I noticed a picture of Elvis. I grabbed up the paper and began reading. It was Elvis’ wedding announcement. This was the famous picture of Elvis and his new wife, Priscilla, cutting their cake.  Tears welled up in my eyes. I then ran into the house calling for my mom. She asked me what was wrong and through tears and much sadness I showed her the picture in the newspaper and said, “He was supposed to wait for me!”  I was so distraught, my playtime was then over.   My life was over at the tender age of 8 years old. I don’t remember much after that, but I do remember being sincerely heart broken. Somehow, someway, I managed to carry on with life.

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Whenever an Elvis movie was on, I would be so excited and would watch intently. I had several of his albums and 45’s. Matter of fact, when I was 12, I asked for the new, “Live At Madison Square Garden” album for Christmas. One afternoon as I passed our Christmas tree, I saw a square wrapped gift.  It was thin just like an album.  With my closer inspection and by pressing the paper down, I could see that I was going to get the album that I had dreamed of.  I had never peeked into gifts before and on this particular day, something came over me. I was home alone while my mother was at work when my eyes landed on the gift. I don’t remember how I justified of doing such a thing.  Before I knew it, I had opened very carefully the album, took it out and played it all afternoon. When I was finished, I put it back and taped it carefully back in place. I know, terrible, right? I’m so ashamed to admit this, but it is what it is. I was a criminal. The guilt must have not been that bad, because I listened to it one more time before I did the final opening on Christmas Eve.  I eventually confessed to my mother what I had done.  Now that I think about it, I think my brother confessed for me.

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A couple of years later, Elvis did his famous concert in Hawaii. We went to my aunt’s house and my mom and I watched it with her. My mom and aunt were squealing, singing and dancing the entire time. I had as much fun watching them as I did watching Elvis.

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One evening when I was 14, I was very excited because an Elvis movie was coming on and I had everything set for the big event. When my mother came home from work, I told her about the movie. She then informed me that we were going to watch something else. She had heard of a preacher named Billy Graham that she wanted to listen to and he had a special on that very night at the same time as my Elvis movie. I was crushed. I thought the world had ended. I cried and sulked like only a 14 year old can. As I was watching the Billy Graham special, I heard about how God sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for my sin and all I had to do was ask Him to  forgive me of my sin and believe on Him and  I would have a home in Heaven someday. Billy Graham gave an invitation where people could go forward and ask Christ into their lives. I wanted that.  I wanted Christ in my life.  I believed.  I slipped into my bedroom and knelt by my bed and asked Christ into my heart. I’m almost certain I asked for forgiveness for breaking into my Christmas present those years before and so much more that I needed forgiveness for.  I wanted a Heavenly Father in my life and how thankful I am that Billy Graham won over my Elvis movie that night. After that night,  I was a new creation in Christ from that moment on and the life change that took place in my life and world leaves me speechless.  (My story was published in Billy Graham’s magazine, Decision, in the September 2010 issue.)  I still had a crush on Elvis, but in a different way.

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Elvis was actually coming to our city when I was a Senior in High School.  The concert was also on a church night. I never missed church for anything. It was a big decision for me to go to the Elvis concert. When I told my youth pastor that I wouldn’t be at church that night because I was going to see Elvis, I felt really guilty. But, my guilt quickly disappeared as I got all settled in my seat. I still remember the thrill of seeing him walk out on stage to the flashes of cameras.  There were so many flashes, it was hard to see him, not to mention my best friend and I were in the nosebleed section of the coliseum.  It was such a surreal moment. This was in 1976, so he was not in the best of shape, but I didn’t care. He still sounded wonderful and just the fact that I got to finally see him was so exciting.

My heart hurt when I heard that he passed away the next year. I was sad for how his life had ended up. I’ve always joked that if he would have waited for me, he would be happy, healthy and alive today. He would also be 80 years old; a bit young for me, but whose counting?

I don’t think I mentioned that when I was around 16 or 17, I was at a youth conference and the speaker spoke on the subject of music. The main topic was on the topic of  only listening to music that glorifies God.  This  speaker also talked about how we should go home and break all of our records that didn’t honor God. Yes… I did it! All of my Elvis, Donny Osmond and Carpenter albums were broken and thrown away. Can we have a moment of silence please!  This was a big step for me. Sounds crazy, but it was okay. I really didn’t miss them because I got really busy with life and music just wasn’t a part of my life like it was before.

I’m still an Elvis fan, but not the crazy screaming crying kind.  I enjoy listening to his music and watching his concerts.  The movies are a bit interesting and as a child you don’t notice some of the content or the cheesiness as you do as an adult.

After touring Graceland a couple of weeks ago, it brought up so many memories of my Elvis crush while I was growing up.  Tomorrow, I will share about our trip.  My husband and I stayed at the brand new Guest House at Graceland.  It was beautiful and I can’t wait to share it with you.  We spent 4 days in Memphis and I look forward to going back someday.

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