Tennessee native, Anthony Petrina knew he needed a job during college, but he never imagined it would be herding ducks across The Peabody Memphis red carpet. Petrina loved this job so much that after graduating from the University of Memphis he joined the hotel restaurant’s staff. Eventually he became Duckmaster at The Peabody Memphis Hotel.
What exactly is a Duckmaster? Petrina explained, “I’m in charge of the care of The Peabody Ducks, an 80 year old Southern tradition here at the hotel.”
Petrina takes his job very seriously and with a great sense of pride since only four Duckmasters have come before him since the 1940’s.
Built in Tennesse in 1925, The Peabody Memphis four-star hotel has become a part of the National Register of Historic Places. The Peabody Memphis also holds more formals balls and gatherings than anywhere else in Tennessee. I even saw the South’s Grand Hotel lobby filled with men and women dressed in their best, waltzing throughout several ballrooms on the mezzanine the night of my stay.
Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, I was able to walk from the hotel to great shops and restaurants. A one night splurge for us, I wish I’d had time for a dip in The Peabody Memphis indoor swimming pool and a trip to the Sunday brunch buffet.
Since The Peabody Memphis is full of ducks it is no wonder there are pet-friendly hotel rooms, along with junior suites. I stayed in the deluxe double room, one of hundreds of smoke-free rooms. The room came with a desk, chair, 42” flat screen TV and high-speed wireless Internet. There is complimentary overnight shoeshine service offered to all hotel guests. While I rarely order room service, we loved the milk and house baked cookies. Rates start at $209. check the website for special offers and package deals.
The ducks are the highlight of the hotel at The Peabody Memphis, and they make sure you don’t forget it. There is duck shaped soap and a rubber duck in the bathroom, duck logos on the bath towels and even a silk scarf covered with little ducks available for purchase in the gift shop.
Because of its rich history The Peabody Memphis offers daily history tours from 11:30-12:30 led by the Duckmaster for a nominal $5 fee. There is also the daily Duck March at 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Review and photos by duck lover and University of Oregon graduate Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of The Peabody Memphis, however, all opinions are my own.