Hu. Hotel isn’t your average hotel. One quickly makes this observation after stepping through the double doors right up to the check-in counter positioned intentionally in front of a full-service coffee bar. Marvin Gaye’s “Keep Dancing” sings softly through the speakers, adding to the warm and vibrant atmosphere.
Hu. is an experience of carefully thought-out details, from the local art that lines the walls to the eclectic, soulful mix of tunes that greets you in the lobby. The hotel is adorned with vintage-inspired decor, allowing the old to flirt with the new.
Formerly known as the Madison Hotel, the downtown space was rebranded and reopened last year under the same management company, Aparium Hotel Group. The rebranding wasn’t just a mere name change. The hotel underwent a drastic makeover as well, which included new, custom-made furniture designed by Brooklyn-based company Home Studios, and they expanded the dining options. The updated space is chic and energetic. It’s also nostalgic, with an impressive minimalist design to match.
The new name is inspired by Hugh “Hu” Brinkley, a prominent Memphian and the grandson of John Overton, one of the founders of Memphis. Hugh put the city on the map as a shipping hub by connecting railroads. He also planned the design of the space that is now known as Hu. Hotel.
Hu. has 110 minimalist-style rooms, 44 of which are luxury suites. All rooms mimic the same blue-gray palette and are consistent with the Beaux-Arts style design found throughout the hotel. Hu. has seven room options to choose from: The smallest is the queen-size guest room (240 square feet), and the largest accommodation is the king superior guest suite (850 square feet) that also offers a spectacular view of the Mississippi River. All rooms include a desk, flat screen TV and complimentary WiFi.
Holding true to the hotel’s incorporation of Memphis into their theme, each room contains a photo highlighting Soulsville and a private bar filled with snacks and spirits curated from local vendors. The bar’s selections rotate frequently in order to collaborate with a diverse mix of locally owned businesses.
“If you stayed at the Hu. and never left the hotel, you would still get a taste of Memphis,” says Hu. Hotel Lifestyle Manager Chad West, about the intentionality behind the hotel’s design and local collaborations.
Dining & Drink Options
Hu. boasts three dining options: Hu. Diner, Hu. Roof and Hu. Café. All venues are open daily. The café is what you’ll notice first. After all, it’s also where you check in. The cozy café features a mix of coffees from local vendor Dr. Beans Coffee and Tea Emporium, as well as a variety of freshly made pastries, cocktails and small bites. Hu. Café is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Open for lunch and dinner, Hu Diner has a minimal but mighty menu that appeals to diverse palates. Executive Chef TJ Harville refers to the restaurant as a “modern American diner” and offers his take on a variety of Southern cuisines, including fried chicken livers, octopus, grits, and pan-roasted Tennessee catfish. (This author indulged in the fried chicken sandwich, accompanied with a surprisingly flavorful house salad. Indeed, the food was as enjoyable as the atmosphere.) Art from the historic Ernest Withers collection can be seen throughout the diner, adding to the vintage, Memphis-style ambiance.
Since Hu. Diner’s opening in January, it’s already becoming a local favorite because of the appetizing menu, full-size bar and spot-on Bluff City vibe. The diner is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner hours are Sunday through Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The rooftop lounge, Hu. Roof, is open year-round and boasts a breathtaking view of the city and the Mississippi River. Happy hours at the elevated venue feature live music from local artists and a full bar with signature cocktails and small bites. Enjoy the sunset over the Mighty Mississippi as you enjoy al fresco sips and bites with friends. Hu. Roof is open Sunday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight.
Hu. is all about bringing the community into the hotel by building collaborations with local businesses and brands. The two large meeting spaces, along with the 2,000-square-foot ballroom can all be rented to host community events, conferences, weddings and galas. Additionally, Hu. will host their own open-to-the-public events throughout the year.
Stop by this hip new Memphis hotel to grab a bite, explore the gorgeous interiors or even book a stay to experience Memphis in an all-new way!
Hu. Hotel is located at 79 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38103. To find out more about the amenities at Hu. and upcoming events, visit huhotelmemphis.com.
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