- Reviews: 204
The Big Pink Guesthouse: What a treasure!
On our most recent trip to Mississippi, Nathalie and I had planned to stay in the Tunica area, but fate had other plans for us. Just as we pulled off the exit ramp to make a quick stop in Clarksdale, our car broke down (yes, AGAIN!) and we had to stay there instead. The apartments above Ground Zero were sold out, but luckily the guests who had made reservations across the way at The Big Pink Guesthouse had cancelled at the last moment, allowing us to have the entire building to ourselves for the weekend!
Finding Big Pink made us feel like we were in "The Three Bears," because this place was "just right" for me and Nathalie. It was owned and operated by Tommy Polk, a renowed Nashville songwriter whose gold records were all over the walls. Musical instruments were omnipresent on the ground level, highlighted by a grand piano (on which the chambermaid gave an impromptu performance in the morning; she's the keyboard player for the locally-prominent Super Chikan band) and a sitting room full of vintage guitars.
This inn was loaded with special touches. In addition to the coffee service with elegant Italian biscotti and the well-stocked mini-fridge in our guestroom, the downstairs kitchen was packed with an intriguing array of surprises. We helped ourselves to goat cheese, frozen pizzas, breakfast muffins, plus a nice assortment of soft drinks and beers. The thoughtful treats made us feel very much at home!
The innkeeper stayed next door at a building he recently transported to the Big Pink site. It's going to be a museum and it's already filled with memorabilia rivaling the Delta Blues Museum just across the parking lot. At night, local musicians gather on the porch and have a few beers and the atmosphere is very congenial indeed!
Please visit my separate photo travelogue so you can see what makes The Big Pink Guesthouse so special. For one thing, the building used to be an ice cream factory! I know that the innkeeper was striving for a New Orleans feeling, but I thought the building also reminded me of some of the excellent B&B's I've seen in Massachusetts, sort of a Salem groove. The long staircase would be perfect for a bride making an entrance, and the large courtyard features a lovely fountain just right for making wishes come true. I know that Nathalie and I can't wait to go back!
- Reviews: 44
Shack Up Inn Bed and Beer: The Soul of Clarksdale
I would reccomend the Shack Up to anyone. It was very different and more fun than anywhere I have ever stayed. You can't truly enjoy Clarksdale, Mississippi with out staying at the Shack Up. Culture and heritage will swallow you up.
The Shack Up Inn has about six or seven old shacks. The shacks have been moved fom their original location and are now all in a row on the Hopson Plantation. All of the shacks were owned by cotton farmers. They also have a couple of Bins and those are bigger and better. I think one of the bins even has heated bathroom floors. Each shack has a story behind it.
There is a commissary on the plantation and they have bands every once in a while and you can bring your own beer or buy some there.
- Reviews: 204
Delta Cotton Company Apts. (above Ground Zero): Elegant Apartments That ROCK!!
We went to Clarksdale to soak up local atmosphere, so the last thing we wanted to do was stay in a chain motel. We knew there were a variety of unique lodging styles available in the town, so we decided to show up without a reservation and let our instincts guide us to the place that was just right for us.
Don't be fooled by the gritty juke-joint exterior of Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club. Yes, this old factory building once housed some sort of cotton warehouse, but there's a surprise upstairs. Directly above the blues cafe are several elegant furnished modern apartments of various sizes, each named after a particular grade of cotton. They are luxuriously appointed with fully-applianced kitchens, high ceilings reminiscent of lofts in Manhattan, stylish track lighting and bathroom fixtures, cozy beds with warm comforters and crisp linens, fluffy towels, and every possible convenience a guest might require. A coin laundry was down the hall, with food and entertainment just down the stairs. This place had it all!
I was intrigued that, instead of a hotel registration card, I actually signed a mini-lease for 3 days' rental of the apartment. I guess that's why my daily rate was a flat amount instead of lodging tax piled onto it, which was certainly fine with me! It was an excellent value because the two of us were dwarfed by the size of the room -- you could have hosted an entire cocktail reception in it, and that's probably exactly what they do for visiting celebrities!
The grounds are monitored by closed-circuit surveillance at all times in order to keep bar patrons from wandering upstairs, and guests are encouraged to "look before you leave" at the TV monitor in the stairwell.
Nathalie and I were too tired from our long car trip to go downstairs to the club at night, even though she would have been welcome to do so (it's a Mississippi custom that kids can go to bars under parental supervision). She conked out early and I watched cable TV with the captions on as I listened to the group performing downstairs. Maybe most tourists wouldn't enjoy being directly on top of a live band, but for me, it was the best of both worlds!
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