The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Peabody Hotel Little Rock

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 28, 2010

As I think I mentioned in the Nashville post, the Husband and I were looking to try unique and/or boutique hotels along our road trip west to our new home in Nevada.  The first website I used to look for hotels was the Preferred Hotel Group website.  It was here that I found the Peabody Hotel Little Rock, the first hotel I booked for the trip.  It looked like it would be a nice hotel, in a good location, at a reasonable price.

The hotel was easy to find and as we pulled up, we saw that parking was valet (we didn’t see any other place to park).  From the moment we got out of the car to the time we checked out, we were VERY impressed with the customer service.  All of the employees at the Peabody Hotel were incredibly friendly and welcoming.  It was wonderful.

Check in was simple and quick and we headed to the room to drop off our stuff.  We had a King room which was very spacious.  We later learned that the bed was incredibly comfortable.  We didn’t have much of a view from our room but when we’re staying in a room just one night, that doesn’t concern us.

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IMG_8497 The bathroom was spacious but not overly so.

IMG_8498 The toiletries included a soap duck. 🙂

IMG_8499 So, the ducks… the Peabody is famous for them! I hadn’t heard of them before, but the Husband had and we were impressed with how they were intertwined with so much of the hotel.

IMG_8501 No ducks in this photo, but I liked the touches in the lobby.

IMG_8503 Okay, so back to the ducks.  The Peabody Hotels have mallard ducks who are resident at the hotels, march to and from the main fountain at 11am and 5pm daily, and hang out all day for visitors to see.  The tradition started over 70 years ago when some guests who had gone hunting had tried to sneak in their decoy ducks they brought hunting with them.  When they went to bed, the ducks snuck into the fountain and as word spread, the other hotel guests had gathered to watch them in the morning.  Since then, the hotels have sponsored ducks in their fountain to bring entertainment to the guests. (I think I got the story correct – off of memory from the presentation the next morning).

Each morning at 11am, the ducks at the Peabody Little Rock, walk from their Duck Palace to the 2nd floor elevator and make their way to the first floor.

IMG_8572 With John Philip Sousa’s King Cotton March playing in the background, the ducks (one male and four females) follow their Duck Master along a red carpet (an actual carpet) to their fountain.

IMG_8577 Up the steps they go to fountain for the day.  The way they ran to the fountain, you’d think that they were starved.  (They aren’t – prior to this march, they’d had a head of lettuce – guess they’re just excited to get into the fountain!)

IMG_8582 The fountain has two platforms of bird seed for them to enjoy, and enjoy they do!

IMG_8589 Keith, the Duck Master of the day, was very friendly! He explained the history to the group and then answered any questions the guests had.  If you look closely at his cane, it has a duck head 🙂

IMG_8594 We spent a handful of minutes enjoying watching the ducks swim, bathe, and eat.  We learned from Keith that the ducks are raised on a local farm for all of the Peabody Hotels.  They’re raised in teams of five – one male and four females.  They spend about a year at the hotel before heading back to the farm for a number of months (if not longer) of rest and relaxation.  They stay in reserve at the farm in case anything happens to any of the other teams.  For example, the current team worked previously at the Peabody Little Rock and had been back at the farm when the last team had a female who began limping.  You can’t replace one duck on a team as they are territorial so the whole team leaves and another one comes back.  We found this to be fascinating!

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IMG_8616 As we headed back to our room to get our things to check out, we saw the sign for the reserved elevator for the ducks.  Apparently, they used to have a nicer sign that also had the history on the back, but it mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago when a high school group was staying at the hotel 😉 They’re working on getting a replacement. IMG_8620 On our way back down, we caught some photos of the view out the back of the hotel…

IMG_8621 As well as some from the lobby.  The lobby itself reminded us a lot of the hotel we stayed in in Greenville, SC.

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Overall, we had a very lovely stay at the Peabody Little Rock.  We highly recommend it if you find yourself in the city!

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