Tucked deep in the heart of the historical Square, lies the proof that Oxford, Mississippi is in with the trends. Oxford has always been a gem in the South, but is gaining brownie points across the board with the newest addition to it's hotel repertoire. Trendy enough for a roof top bar, prime location for Sunday brunch, decor Jonathan Adler would weep tears of joys for, and doors always opened with reasonably priced rooms for visiting college students and families.
The Graduate, which made its Oxford debut this past summer, is the premiere hotel chain in college towns across the country. From Oxford, Miss., to Madison, Wisc., all the way over to Tempe, Ariz., Graduates seem to be popping up left and right! And for good reason! I talked to the concierge here at our local Graduate before paying a visit a few months back. Hearing some he-said-she-said that the price for a room ranged anywhere from $500 to $1,000 (!!!), I had to hear it for myself. It seemed unreasonable for a smaller college town. But when I was told by Amanda at Graduate Oxford that it varied week to week I replied with, "Okay...so any given weekend. Give me an average." The answer was rooms could be anywhere from $179 to $189. I'm sorry... What? College students everywhere, rejoice! There is finally a cool, nice (like, seriously, super nice), hotel that caters to our skinny wallets! Excuse me while I day dream about how much better all college towns would be if we all had a Graduate. *sigh.*
Moving on to the part we are all (maybe thats just me?) dying to talk about. The decor, my goodness, the decor! I died and went to interior design heaven. It is everything anybody who watches HGTV could ever want. Everything is catered to playing up the local charm, history, and dynamic of the town it resides in. From the pink hard wood floors to vintage photos of Ole Miss beauty queens and Rebel football stars displayed proudly on the walls, the lobby screams new wave Southern charm with a touch of nostalgia for days gone. The downstairs restaurant, Cabin 82, is a loving tribute to the holy family of Oxford (the Mannings. As in Archie and Eli. Ever heard of them?) and their cabin at the Neshoba County Fair. Decked out with a swinging bench, bullseye targets, powder blue gingham, and serving all things fried chicken, Cabin 82 embodies the ultimate Mississippi charm. Last but certainly not least, the rooftop bar and restaurant, The Coop, boasts the most spectacular views in Oxford. Serving up incredibly crafted cocktails (get the shimmering martini, you won't regret it) and to die for food like their fried green tomatoes and pulled pork sliders, The Coop has every last detail mastered. Even the check comes tucked into a book, most commonly Faulkner, for the town who bares a novel sized literary history.
Oxford has welcomed the Graduate with open arms and it has welcomed us right back. Whether you stay the weekend or pop in for a drink (or two...maybe three?), the charm is undeniable, the service is impeccable. This soon-to-be Ole Miss graduate can't wait to come back for Rebel football in the fall and stay no where other than the Graduate.