Big Cypress Lodge Review: The Memphis Hotel Inside an Iconic Retail Store

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The Big Cypress Lodge is located inside this structure in Memphis, Tennessee, which is one of the tallest pyramids in the world.

Rising 32 stories into the Memphis skyline along the scenic backdrop of the Mississippi River and famous Mississippi Flyway, Big Cypress Lodge combines the excitement of urban exploration with the tranquility of the great outdoors.

What is the Memphis Pyramid?

Formerly known as the Great American Pyramid and the Pyramid Arena, the pyramid-shaped marvel was built in 1991 to pay homage to the city’s namesake, Memphis, Egypt, the home of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Rising 321 feet tall with base sides stretching 591 feet, it ranks among the world’s tallest pyramids.

Built to serve as a 20,142-seat basketball arena, the structure was home to the University of Memphis men’s team and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies until 2004. In 2015, Bass Pro Shops opened an incredible 535,000-square-foot megastore inside the structure that includes the 100-room Big Cypress Lodge.

The Bass Pro Shops Pyramid is more than just a store—it’s an experience. Yes, there’s shopping. But there’s also dining and recreational activities like bowling and archery.

And nestled within its grandeur lies Big Cypress Lodge, where I was able to retreat to luxurious accommodations after a day of exploration.

Join us to explore the world!

Double Queen room at Big Cypress Lodge with an interior view of the Bass Pro Shop.
Double Queen room with an interior view of the Bass Pro Shop. Photo credit: Theresa DeMaria

As I stepped into the grand foyer of Big Cypress Lodge to check in, I was immediately immersed in a hotel unlike any other I have experienced. Towering cypress trees and lush greenery evoke the natural beauty of the surrounding wilderness, creating an atmosphere of adventure and discovery.

The hotel lobby’s front desk, resembling a grand hunting lodge, welcomed me with its American rustic charm and warm hospitality.

Room options at Big Cypress Lodge can accommodate groups of all sizes and ages, offering everything from cozy cabins with complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room dining to expansive suites featuring flat-screen TVs and luxurious treehouse lodgings.

Kids will revel in the imaginative decor and thoughtful amenities, while adults will relish the modern furnishings and sumptuous bedding for a comfortable stay.

Dining Options at Big Cypress Lodge

Sunset views from the Lookout dining at Big Cypress Lodge.
View from the Lookout at Sunset. Photo credit: Theresa DeMaria

The Lookout at the Pyramid

I took an exciting ride on the country’s tallest free-standing elevator to reach the observation deck, where I immersed myself in sweeping panoramic views of Memphis, Tennessee from The Lookout.

It’s the perfect spot to treat yourself to a specialty drink and relish a delectable meal while taking in the city’s stunning skyline.

I indulged in the signature Pyramid Margarita: a delightful blend of pineapple-infused Corazon Tequila with a hint of sweet Jalapeno spice, perfectly complemented by the savory Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops served with garlic mashed potatoes, cinnamon apples, and a luscious bourbon glaze. Every bite was bursting with flavor—an absolute culinary delight!

Bowling alley at the Fishbowl in the Big Cypress Lodge.
Bowling Alley at The Fishbowl. Photo credit: Theresa DeMaria

The Fishbowl

As a guest, I found myself captivated by the joyful atmosphere at the island-themed bar on the main floor of the Pyramid.

It served as an ideal retreat during breaks in my bowling game or after a day filled with exploration. Positioned for prime views of the 13-lane Fishbowl and the live sporting events playing on the surrounding TVs, the bar offered a laid-back ambiance perfect for savoring the moment.

The firepits at the Big Cypress Lodge
The inviting firepits of The Mississippi Terrace, a seasonal spot for creative cocktails and light bites. Photo courtesy of Big Cypress Lodge

The Mississippi Terrace

Whether seated at the bar or while enjoying a round of bowling, I couldn’t resist indulging in the mouth-watering truffle fries from The Fishbowl and Wahlburgers Wild menus.

Welcome to happy hour! During my stay, I had the pleasure of experiencing the enchanting ambiance of The Mississippi Terrace, particularly delightful during the warmer months.

It was the perfect spot to unwind while enjoying live music and delectable light bites, inventive cocktails, and breathtaking views of downtown Memphis.

I opted for a cozy s’mores session, made possible with a convenient kit available at the front desk. I roasted marshmallows while taking in the picturesque skyline with a full bar, inviting fire pits, and comfortable outdoor furniture, creating a truly relaxing retreat.

The following morning, I embraced the tranquil atmosphere on the Terrace while practicing a session of guided sunrise yoga provided by The Big Cypress Lodge. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.

The amazing Den of Big Cypress Lodge.
The Den of Big Cypress Lodge Photo credit: Big Cypress Lodge

The Den

The Den of Big Cypress Lodge resembles a majestic hunting lodge. The warmth and charm are palpable, with impressive deer antler chandeliers casting a soft glow, a roaring fireplace crackling in the background, and inviting seating areas beckoning me to unwind.

From this relaxing spot, I overlooked the bustling shopping floor of Bass Pro Shop below while sipping a complimentary morning cup of joe or to refresh in the afternoons and evenings with some delightful fruit-infused water.

Delectable burgers from Wahlburgers Wild at the Big Cypress Lodge.
Delectable burgers from Wahlburgers Wild. Photo credit: Theresa DeMaria

Wahlburgers Wild

Back on the main floor of the Pyramid, I discovered the world’s only Wahlburgers Wild, owned by chef Paul Wahlberg and his brothers, actors Donnie and Mark.

Here, amidst the lively atmosphere, I explored an array of inventive burgers alongside a variety of signature “wild” menu items. From indulging in Venison Chili to savoring a Bison Burger and beyond, there was no shortage of delicious options to satisfy my appetite.

Things to Do at Big Cypress Lodge

Families visiting Big Cypress Lodge are in for a treat with its breathtaking indoor cypress swamp, stretching across more than 100,000 square feet. It’s a mesmerizing ecosystem where towering cypress trees, serene ponds, and live alligators captivate visitors. Elevated boardwalks ensure a safe experience.

For those seeking relaxation, the lodge’s intimate spa awaits, offering rejuvenating treatments like body wraps and facials for both adults and children.

And, of course, there’s the 535,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop with its 100-foot tall cypress trees and two expansive floors of immersive retail space. The highlight? An impressive display featuring over 600,000 gallons of water, where I observed 36 varieties of fish native to the Mississippi River.

Outside the Pyramid, outdoor enthusiasts will find endless opportunities for exploration, from fishing and boating on the Mississippi River to hiking and wildlife spotting in nearby parks.

Editor in Chief- Forest & Bluff Magazine Senior Style Director/Fashion Editor all four publications of JWC Media. Produce and art direct 20+ shoots per month in the Chicagoland region. Experienced freelance Fashion Stylist with a demonstrated history of working in the entertainment industry. Strong arts and design professional skilled in Trend Analysis, Photography, Luxury Goods, Advertising, and Trend Forecasting.
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