Indy’s growing, and invites you to come along. Here’s a rundown of some places to stay while visiting Indy, whether for business or pleasure!
Indianapolis has been drawing serious out-of-town crowds as of late. This can be attributed to a few things: The Colts and Pacers seasons are both in full swing, downtown has received its annual holiday makeover featuring the famous Circle of Lights, and of course, the constant flood of conventions held in the city all year round. Included in the list of “reasons why you should come to Indy” are myriad business and investment opportunities. Indy houses one of the largest health networks in the country, which offer prospects abound. Also, a recent Indy Star article entitled 19 Ways Downtown Indy Will Change in 2015, discussed the plethora of ways our city will be expanding, improving, and modernizing in the coming year.
Among the list of changes in Indy include new restaurants (Quill’s Coffee, Rocket 88 Donuts, The Tap, Spoke & Steele, Yard House, Dinosaur Bar-B-Q, and Chef JJ’s Backyard), apartment buildings (Penn Street Towers, Pullman Square, Mentor and Muse, Circa, and Slate), office space (Angie’s List, Cummins Inc., among other spaces yet to be filled), as well as a public space named Playscape, and the rehabilitation of the south side of the City-County Building into a “backyard” of sorts that may include foosball and ping pong tables, a skating rink, and recreational green space. Another very cool addition will be The Stamp, a $40 million concert venue taking over the old General Motors Stamping plant.
If Indianapolis is setting its heights this high for 2015, one can say without hesitation that it will only continue to grow. Along with this massive expansion come massive opportunities. For those of you visiting our fare city with the hopes of getting in on the action that is Indy’s growth, or maybe you’ve heard about all the great things going on in our city everyday, whatever your reasons, we’re here to help you find the best place to lay your head in our city. Without further adieu, here’s a list of Indy’s best hotels, replete with descriptions, history, and even a genuine yelp review!
If you’re looking for luxury, look no further than the Conrad Indianapolis. The Conrad name is ubiquitous within the luxury hotel brands, add in perhaps the most prime location imaginable, and you’ve got yourself one of the best hotels in the city. Located on W Washington St., the Conrad is just seconds away from some of the top attractions in the city. The Circle, as it’s known, is just a block and half away, and the Circle Centre Mall, the Indiana Convention Center, and the Artsgarden actually connect directly to the hotel via a skywalk (fun fact: Indy has more skywalks than any other city in the country!). The Conrad’s location makes is the ideal place to stay if you’re in the city during the holidays. Whether you’re from a rural area of Indiana and are looking to get some shopping done, or you’re from out-of-state and you’re here to see the Christmas wonder that is the Circle of Lights, the Conrad is the place to stay.
The Conrad Indianapolis was completed in 2006, and just one year later received a ranking in Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Hotels in the World! This particular hotel is only one of four Conrad’s in the entire country, the others being in New York, Chicago, and Miami.
Oh Conrard, how I wish I could afford to live in your hotel. The lotion-esq smell, the pillow bed menu, the full size towels — you’re perfect. I appreciate your AM local brew of Hubbard & Cravens in the lobby, friendly staff, and 24-hour room service. We’ll be back.
– Christine Z.
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL UNION STATION INDIANAPOLIS
A union station is described as a multi-train railway station that shares tracks with numerous railway companies. This allows for easy connectivity for passengers traveling long distances across the country. Indianapolis’ Union Station was the first union station in the world! Opening in the Fall of 1853, Indianapolis Union Station is an true architectural gem, with the original clock tower and second station still standing today. This train station is listed on the National Register of historic places.
This historic train station now contains the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This hotel offers 273 rooms including 26 rooms built from refurbished Pullman Traincars.These particular rooms are the actual train cars from the 1800’s, which are still sitting on the original tracks! The term “ghostly travelers” comes up a lot when researching Crowne Plaza Hotel. Some say the busy train station still sees its share of 19th century travelers, from beyond the grave!
Very cool hotel – an old train stationed that’s been transformed into a hotel. It even has a train inside the hotel that’s been converted to bedrooms.
– Justin H.
JW MARRIOT INDIANAPOLIS
This is the newest of Indy’s downtown hotels. The JW Marriot is a quite a site to see, that is to say, you can’t miss it. If you’re coming in from the West, it’s likely the first thing that you’ll see; a giant, blue facade that acts as a sort of mirror providing reflections of the daytime sky. The JW’s outer appearance very much reflects its inner style. The lobby is clean, modern, and very aesthetically appealing with locally based artwork. The building itself is a 33-story bluish glass tower, though that’s no concern if you’re in a hurry to get to the top. This Marriot is said to have the fasted elevator in Indiana.
The JW is the convention center hotel. Located directly catawampus to the Indiana Convention Center, and just a few blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts) “Big Blue”, as it’s known, is heavily connected to the city as a whole. Perpetuating the skywalk theme, Big Blue connects to both aforementioned sites via these elevated, indoor walking paths. Huge convention rooms, banquet halls, and space galore, the JW is where folks network with the movers and shakers from all over the country.
Big Blue is located nearly within White River State Park and Canal, a beautiful downtown green space with walking paths, paddle-boats, bike rentals, an outdoor concert space, and even the Indiana State Museum.
Although we didn’t use all that the JW Marriott had to offer, we had a wonderful stay and the staff couldn’t have been more attentive and pleasant to deal with. Clean rooms, busy atmosphere, fabulous view, especially at 6 a.m.. Will most definitely stay here again!
– Lyn M.
HOTEL BROAD RIPPLE
Lastly, we go to the opposite end of the spectrum to visit the quaint Hotel Broad Ripple. As you’ll discover from the Yelp review below, the Hotel Broad Ripple is the perfect chance for the frequent business traveler to get away from the sometimes-stale environment of your run in the mill hotel chain. HBR very much reflects its surrounding neighborhood. Broad Ripple is actually a suburb of Indianapolis, but just a short jaunt to downtown. The area itself is charming, lovable, and just plain pleasant. It’s filled with fantastic pubs, great local restaurants, and the Monon Trail, which runs right alongside the canal. If fact, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, you could even bike/run/walk the Monon Trail all the way into the city!
This hotel offers all of the amenities of a luxury or high-end hotel chain but with the charm of a boutique, like a continental breakfast featuring breakfast from local farm Traders Point Creamery. Local art hangs from the walls, and local beer is served in the lounge. What more could an out-of-towner ask for?
I’ve stayed in 100s of hotels around the world, so I have high expectations and a broad perspective on what makes a good one. And HBR is it! The rooms are in spectacular shape and so well decorated you’d think you were in Paris. Bonus points for the large grass area where guests can hang out, socialize, read, or just enjoy the view.
– C L.
Along with the current hotels occupying Indy’s streets, there will be a few new additions coming in 2015 which include Canopy by Hilton, Homes 2 Suites by Hilton, as well as a multi-million dollar renovation to the Canterbury Hotel downtown. So there you have it, a place for all types, purposes, and plans. Upon your arrival in Indy, it will soon be clear why the hotel scene is so important to our city. Indy has a lot to offer, and it has plenty of open beds awaiting your arrival!