MEMPHIS, TN—The Guest House at Graceland, located near Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion here, is nearly eight months away from its grand opening. Dignitaries, designers and construction teams associated with the hotel held a topping-off ceremony at the hotel construction site to put the final beam in place.
The 450-room resort hotel was designed by Hnedak Bobo Group (HBG). Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) sought out HBG directly for the project. EPE said they found two primary challenges: creating a design that would complement and celebrate Graceland without taking away the mansion’s prominence as the focal point; and ensuring the hotel fit aesthetically into the residential neighborhood in which it is located. According to EPE, both were accomplished.
“The hotel easily fits right into the context of the Graceland mansion,” said Mark Weaver, HBG principal and lead designer for The Guest House at Graceland. “From the main entry door to the large gabled roof and columned entry portico, our goal was to make this hotel look as if it was built not long after Graceland itself. It will feel like it has always been here.”
Originally built in 1939, the classic revival style Graceland mansion features a signature front portico. The central portion of the hotel’s exterior celebrates the original mansion in form, scale and in the materials used, according to EPE.
The expansive southern porch is another prominent design feature of The Guest House at Graceland. Both the hotel’s restaurant and lounge are designed to embrace the front porch with outdoor seating and dining on the veranda to capture that southern family gathering feel, according to EPE.
HBG designers researched the mansion for more than two years and worked with Priscilla Presley to capture the essence of both Elvis’ personal style and the historic Graceland mansion.
“We all recognize Graceland almost as a time-capsule of 1970s design,” said Weaver, “If Elvis was here today, he most likely wouldn’t design his new guest house to look like it was still 1975. So, we took cues from his design style using contemporary pieces to pull it all together. We focused on creating a sense of intimacy between the guest and the property, creating a way for visitors to have an informal and personal experience as a true guest of Graceland that has previously not been possible… an experience that—we think—would make Elvis proud.”
The hotel’s grand opening event will be held Oct. 27–30.