Are you an Old Miss alum? Do you have a child who attends school there? Does your SEC team play Ole Miss in Oxford this year? Are you merely interested in visiting a town filled with special people, attractions, history and RESTAURANTS? Consider Oxford, Mississippi, and when you do, then also consider staying at the Graduate Hotel. I absolutely loved it when I had a chance to stay there recently.
CONVENIENT TO EVERYTHING!
Graduate Hotel is a block away from the downtown square or a short walk to Mid-Town Shopping Center on North Lamar Boulevard in the opposite direction of the square. The University of Mississippi campus can also be reached on foot if the weather is nice and you’re up for a stroll. At the shopping center, you’ll find several notable restaurants, and you’ll pass some gorgeous homes along the way. Around the square, you’ll find even more great restaurants, plus enough shops to keep you busy for hours. My favorite shops were Square Books, Off Square Books, and Square Books Jr. Do you detect a theme there?
Graduate Hotel is SO convenient, in fact, that students often happily set up their study areas in the lobby and take advantage of the hotel’s free wi-fi. Free snacks are even offered to students during exams each semester. The hotel management wants the lobby to be “the living room of the community.” If you’re a Baby Boomer like me, I can guarantee the presence of those students will rejuvenate you.
COMFORTABLE GUEST ROOMS AND PLENTY OF AMENITIES
Comfortable beds, great TV reception and channel selection, adjustable room temperature, that all-important high-speed internet, well-placed chairs/lamps/electric outlets, and, of course, PLENTY of hot water in the shower are all mighty important in my list of desirable hotel room traits. What about you? Graduate Hotel offers all of those plus other surprises, such as toiletries by Malin + Goetz.
Parking is free, there’s a coffee shop in the lobby, and a large, well-equipped fitness center is available 24/7.
UNIQUE CONNECTIONS TO OLE MISS AND TO OXFORD
Graduate Hotels are uniquely suited to the major college campuses in the towns/cities where they are located. In other words, this is not a chain in any of the normal senses of the word. Every Graduate Hotel suits its particular place.
Two of the first fun touches I noticed were the framed silhouettes for Archie Manning and his wife Olivia on the walls of my room with the endearing nicknames of “King” and “Queen.” If Oxford has a royal couple, then those two are IT! The coffee shop/sidewalk cafe off the lobby is named “Cabin 82.” You guessed it. That’s the number for the Manning’s cabin on a nearby lake. The decor is suggestive of the Neshoba County Fair. “The Coop” on the top floor is a restaurant bar with a chicken theme, but its name comes from Manning son Cooper, who is also an investor in the hotel.
References to William Faulkner also appear in the halls and in the guest rooms — his drawings, some of his quotes, etc. etc. And the reception desk is reminiscent of a library with book-filled shelves hinting at Oxford’s literary history.
Some of the furniture pieces resemble trunks and locker rooms from dorm rooms of old, and there are touches of red and blue EVERYWHERE. Actually, though, there’s a surprising amount of PINK. When I inquired, I learned that the designers of the Oxford Graduate went to The Grove and carefully observed all the tailgate happenings during a home football game. They noticed that the male students were dressed in very dapper, bold prints featuring pink, and many wore bowties. They translated that into carpet designs and even stained the hardwood floors in the lobby a light pink!! It works beautifully and gives the whole place a vibe that matches a large college in the South. Oh, and just one more subtle touch. The floor tiles at the entrance door are cleverly arranged in HT-HT-HT patterns. Ha! “Hotty Toddy!”
There’s a rumor floating around that Auburn will have a Graduate Hotel in the future. I can’t wait to see how those developers and investors will set the scene in the Loveliest Village on the Plains. These are fun places. Look for one when you visit Ann Arbor, MI, Athens, GA, Charlottesville, VA, Madison, WI, Tempe, AZ, Berkeley, CA, Lincoln, NE, or Richmond, VA. I guarantee you’ll want one near your own alma mater.