Best Indianapolis Hotels

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During a recent trip to Indianapolis, travel writer David Duran stayed at the Conrad Hotel. Here’s his take on the experience.

Located in the heart of Circle City, steps away from hundreds of attractions and restaurants, the Conrad Indianapolis provides an unparalleled luxury experience. Having been the first Conrad Hotel to be built from the ground up, the property shines as a proud example of the brand’s vision of perfection.

This was my first visit to the city and I didn’t know what to expect from a place I didn’t know much about. I purposely booked at the Conrad because I was familiar with the brand and knew it would provide that level of service I was accustomed to during my travels. I was also looking forward to staying in one of the new suites that had just been unveiled.

The Welcome

I landed in Indy right around the end of the Indianapolis 500, the one thing I knew about the city. On a side note, the airport was the first airport built after the 9/11 attacks, and there’s a reason it’s been voted number 1 airport in the U.S., year after year – it’s perfect in every sense of the word. When I arrived to the Conrad, I entered the lobby to find a racecar placed right there, dead center, staring me in the face. It quickly reminded me where I was and although it was a fun touch, I was happy to see it removed during my stay, since it was just a temporary display during race week. I knew I was going to be inundated with fast cars and race talk throughout my stay, so I was wanting my hotel to be a little bit of an escape from that madness, which it truly ended up being.

Hotel Overview

With 241 guestrooms, 20 corner suites, 2 executive suites and one gallery suite, the Conrad Hotel isn’t over doing it and can provide that level of exceptional service that they are known for. Rooms come with 42-inch LED televisions, Conrad signature bedding, Italian marble and granite bathrooms, which include 15-inch flat screen televisions as well as upscale bath amenities (with guests given the option to select from 1 of 3). The Evan Todd Spa & Salon features a 24-hour fitness center, infinity-edge pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

The Collection Suites

I was fortunate enough to be staying in one of the new suites, part of The Collection. An entire floor was taken over and redesigned to make room for the four impressive suites. Each of the suites immerses guests in an environment of world-renown art, thoughtfully executed details and upgraded amenities. When the doors opened to the private lobby of The Collection, I was greeted by dark tones of wood and Carrara marble, in addition to a beautiful sculpture by Gino Miles. Each of the suites captures the spirit of a style of art and is adorned with works from some of the masters. Pieces by Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, William John Kennedy and Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Russell Young and others encompass the walls of the suites.

Collection Lobby Conrad Indianapolis Review

The suites are all state-of-the-art, and I had so much fun with all the buttons and controls. There are pre-programmed lighting schemes to help set different moods and massive windows throughout, all with blackout curtains…all controlled remotely. I stayed in The Modernism Suite, which featured work by Picasso. When I first walked into the hallway of the suite and noticed the piece of art straight in front of me, I was more than shocked to see the hand-signed etching from Picasso. There was a guest washroom, a beautiful dining area with an oversized wet bar. The living room was inviting with splashes of yellow and a massive television. The separate bedroom was ample in size but it was the bathroom that stole my heart. The separate soaking tub, the television within the mirror and the built in closet space was something out of a dream. The Collection consists of The Modernism Suite, The Contemporary Suite, The Pop Suite and The Surrealism Suite. Here’s a look at each:

The Modernism Suite

The Modernism Suite Condrad Indianapolis

The Contemporary Suite

The Contemporary Suite Condrad Indianapolis

The Pop Suite

The Pop Suite Conrad Indy

The Surrealism Suite

The Surrealism Suite Conrad Indianapolis

Fine Dining…and Drinking

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Conrad’s signature restaurant, The Capital Grille, does not disappoint. In the evening the menu is superb, featuring aged steaks and seafood. One can order a la carte or ask the chef to create a custom full-course meal. Although it’s a fancy setting, it’s not intimidating once inside. The staff is overly attentive and inviting.

I spent some time in Tastings, which adjoins the hotel at ground level. Voted “Best Wine Bar” by Indy-A three years in a row, the tasting room features the largest by-the-glass wine list in the city. There’s a good selection of cheese platters and appetizers from their tapas menu to accompany the wine. Tasting pours come in the form of generous 2-ounce pours, so it was fun to sample a bit before making a selection. In addition, there is an impressive spirit collection as well as local beers on tap. On Wednesdays, Tastings teams up with the Conrad and offers wine novices and aficionados the opportunity to enjoy a tasting led by their Certified Sommelier, and for $30 includes wine tastings with small plate accompaniments.

Just Outside the Doors

Museums and art galleries line the streets of Indianapolis while the restaurant scene is booming. A collection of monuments and memorials that are comparable to those found in our nation’s capital can also be visited and explored. I took advantage of the Pacers Bikeshare network of over 250 bikes located throughout the city. The city also features an eight-mile Cultural Trail that is filled with art and takes you through Indianapolis’ niche neighborhoods, like Fountain Square.

About the Author: David Duran is a Brooklyn-based luxury, hospitality, culinary, and overall freelance travel writer who contributes to such publications as Fodor’s, Travel + Leisure, Destinations Weddings & Honeymoon, and Caribbean Travel + Life, among others. When not traveling 20-25 days a month for his work, he spends his free time planning more travel! To read some of his work, check out his online portfolio, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @mrdavidduran.

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