Greenwood - The Alluvian Hotel

We visited Greenwood on our "Grand Tour of the Delta" years ago and really enjoyed our time there. One of our favorite memories was seeing the famous Alluvian Hotel, where we took a brief, but impressive, tour of the public areas. What a cool hotel! Minimalist in the best sense of the word, with beautiful art and flower displays, modern furniture, and marble-floored public areas that aren't cold or off-putting. It was so impressive that we decided we wanted to stay there someday. And, someday finally arrived!

We got to Greenwood about mid-afternoon and, while our carb coma was wearing off (slowly), we were still far from energetic. We checked in – easy enough since we had booked online – and set off to have a look around town, beginning on Howard Street, since that's where the hotel is. Our first stop was just a few doors down: Made in Mississippi – a great store full of interesting and beautiful things...an absurdly large number of which one or both of us already own, given our propensity for buying anything that is made in or shaped like Mississippi. There was much to admire there anyway though, including some stunning local pottery.  The Mississippi Gift Company

After that we just walked around, admiring everything in the windows of the Viking store (which was, sadly, closed for the day) and oohing-and-aahing over charming old buildings. Greenwood is very clean, and they have a lot of brick sidewalks and crossing strips; these things add a lot of refinement to downtown's overall look.

And thank you, Greenwood, for saving these old painted ads! There's a certain charm to them.

We were particularly impressed with the courthouse, which is not only massive, but really beautiful.

And, like almost every Southern courthouse, there is a Civil War Memorial.

Once all the stores closed, we began looking for the restaurants on our list. No, we weren't hungry – at all – but there are four famous restaurants that we have never tried, and we hate to miss any opportunity. One restaurant of interest was at the hotel, Giardina's. Its reputation precedes it, and it is definitely a place we would like to dine, but we really wanted to try one of the old-timers, one of the places people are either asking us about or scolding us for not having tried. 

At the top of our list was Lusco's, a real icon; any restaurant that can stay in business for over 80 years deserves a visit! We had hopes of sitting in a curtained off booth just for the experience, having missed the whole Speakeasy era and everything. Unfortunately for us, we were there on a Monday and it is closed on Monday. (Mondays, by the way, are second only to Sundays for finding things closed, but we couldn't alter our travel dates.) So, we decided to visit Crystal Grill, another local icon, but with pie! For the last fifty years or so, they've been known for their pies with “mile high meringue.” That sounds nice, although probably not as nice as the pie part, and as we all know, there is always room for pie, so it only made sense to go to Crystal Grill.

Imagine our surprise when we saw the sign on the door saying they were on vacation.

We had another good option, however, in Delta Bistro. So, even though we weren't hungry, we were able to convince ourselves that if we didn't eat now, we would be hungry later. We went in and found a very modern restaurant full of young Foodies – always a good sign. We opted for appetizers: cups of shrimp bisque along with a salad for Marian and crab cakes for me. Then, for reasons we can't really explain, we decided to share a piece of the lemon pie they are famous for. The food was really good, but we should have stopped with the soup. Actually, we should have grabbed a couple of those green apples the Alluvian sets out for guests and just dropped by the Bistro for a drink. As it was, we made ourselves totally miserable, a stupid, stupid thing to do. So, we waddled back to the hotel and settled ourselves in our room.

And it was lovely. Lovely room, lovely dressing area, lovely bathroom. So nice. We both have stayed at more luxurious hotels, but there is something really special about The Alluvian. We discussed this at length and finally decided that there is just a zen quality about the whole place. So quiet. So soothing. It is really a wonderful experience to stay there.  Check out the "The Alluvian Hotel" 

The hotel itself is rather small - there are only something like 45 rooms, plus a few suites and loft apartments, and maybe that's why it seems to run so smoothly. The few other guests we saw appeared to be there on business; the only staff we saw were at the front desk - a smiling, friendly desk clerk and an equally pleasant bellman. There's no hubbub; the hotel is refreshingly quiet.

Since our room was so nice, we wanted to just enjoy being there. So, we tried to force ourselves to stay up and read and watch TV until the sun went down – yes, that was our goal, and a pitiful one at that. However, we couldn't even attain that small goal, so we finally gave up and just closed the curtains. The bed was super comfy and the linens luxurious, so we woke up totally refreshed. The Alluvian has the whole "comfortable night's sleep" thing down pat.

Needless to say, we were up early the next day, feeling good and ready to hit the road. Incredibly, given the events of the previous day, as soon as we showered and dressed, we took the elevator up to the top floor for breakfast. Yes, we did.

Breakfast is included, so we expected the standard feast of inexpensive carbs, and we vowed to restrain ourselves...to just eat a little something. Breakfast is served in the Terrace Room.  It's beautifully done and, like the rest of the hotel, has a quiet elegance about it. It was sprinkling rain so we didn't get to sit outside and enjoy the view, but the room itself was perfect. And the view of the buffet was fantastic!

photo courtesy The Alluvian Hotel

What a great breakfast! Great tasting food, beautifully served. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, bagels, juice, fruit, scones...there they all were, waiting for us. It was the same basic menu that many other hotels serve, but the preparation and quality were a cut above; everything we tried was delicious. But, as nice as it was, it probably seemed even nicer because it was at The Alluvian with its zen-like decor, its upscale clientele, its invisible staff, and us. Just perfect.