This hidden gem of the Midwest is mostly known for the famous Indianapolis 500 car race. But Indianapolis, Central Indiana also offers a rich history, museums art galleries, and a thriving creative scene which is reflected in its collection of hotels. Climate-controlled skywalks also link some of Indianapolis’ main attractions and hotels, making getting about on foot a year-round pleasure. From stylish boutiques to hip and striking, here are my picks for the cool and unique hotels in Indianapolis…
Our Top 3 Best Cool and Unusual Hotels
The Ironworks Hotel is one of my favorite places to stay in Indianapolis’ north side neighborhood. I love this ultra-hip, Instagrammable haven that seamlessly blends industrial-chic style with modern comfort, using natural and reclaimed materials.
While visiting, I couldn’t help but admire its timeless charm, reminiscent of 20th-century aesthetics, featuring high ceilings that harken back to old-world architecture. Despite its recent modernization, it still draws a crowd seeking a touch of history.
During my stay at this exceptionally-rated hotel, I experienced its versatility, with spaces for meetings and events, making it a stylish backdrop for unique wedding photos. The guest rooms and suites, spacious and effortlessly cool, captured my heart, especially the Founder’s Suite with its private rooftop terrace and fire pit.
For dining, I tried the in-house eatery, Rize, which caters to events and serves delicious breakfast and lunch. Exploring further inside the Ironworks Keystone Building, I discovered a variety of restaurants, from fine dining to sushi, Mexican, and Italian.
What I enjoyed the most was the hotel’s prime location—it’s a stone’s throw away from The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, The Canal Walk, and the lively Fashion Mall at Keystone. This strategic placement put me amid all the action while allowing me to appreciate the captivating architecture that has made this hotel a true Instagram sensation.
While visiting, the rooftop lounge offered stunning views and an Instagrammable setting.
Insta worthy industrial chic design
Onsite gym and rooftop lounge
Hip in house restaurant and bar
Extra charges for pets
No breakfast options
No pool or spa
I discovered a hidden gem in downtown Indy at Ironworks Hotel, one of my favorite places. Hotel Indy, Indianapolis, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, welcomed me with its cool design, captivating artwork, and the friendliest staff, creating an unforgettable experience.
While visiting, I loved being within walking distance of the vibrant Circle Centre Mall, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, concerts, and other exciting events. Staying here puts you right in the heart of the action. Exploring the city’s culinary scene was a joy, with trendy restaurants and lounges steps away.
As I stepped into the lobby, I was immediately greeted by sophisticated modern decor, cozy fireplaces, and coffee table books showcasing the thrilling world of racing. It felt like a warm welcome.
Ascending to the hip rooftop Cannon Ball Lounge was a highlight. The stunning city views and the rhythmic beats of a live Saturday DJ created an electric atmosphere I experienced firsthand. Savouring delectable delights at the Hulman restaurant was a treat. They served a delightful breakfast to start my day and offered memorable lunch and dinner options. The culinary experience was indeed a reflection of the city’s vibrant spirit.
The rooms maintained the same stylish vibe with vibrant accents of deep red velvet chairs and chic 1970s-style drapes. Thoughtful features like ample wall sockets, cabinet space, a mini fridge, and a coffee machine made me feel right at home. A separate workspace was an excellent addition for catching up on work if needed.
While staying at Ironworks Hotel, I saw that every detail was designed to make my stay exceptional. It all started with the jaw-dropping modern architecture, and I can confidently say this hotel left a lasting impression on me.
The rooftop Cannon Ball Lounge was a highlight, providing electric city views and live DJ beats.
Instagrammable decor and hip vibe
Stunning rooftop lounge and views
Trendy restaurant and hip onsite bar
Chic outdoor terrace
Parking and breakfast is extra
Pets are extra
No pool or spa
While visiting Indianapolis, I stayed at the Bottleworks Hotel, a transformed Coca-Cola Bottling Company that has retained its original art décor and unique architecture. One of my favorite places, the lobby, with its gleaming tiles, seamlessly blends the charm of the roaring ’20s with modern luxury found in the bedrooms’ elegant greys and dark woods.
My room offered carefully curated artwork, views of historic Carrollton Avenue, and open-air terraces. The hotel boasts five distinctive event spaces, and ‘The Library,’ among them, is a spacious indoor venue flooded with natural light and adorned with wooden bookshelves.
For dining, I enjoyed the convenience of in-room options, and being in the vibrant Bottleworks district meant access to many high-quality restaurants and bars. The Garage, a community hub for food, drink, and Indianapolis goods, was at my doorstep.
During my stay, I experienced the culinary delights of Bottleworks Hotel, a haven for food enthusiasts. The hotel hosts acclaimed restaurants and artisanal food halls, offering diverse cuisines. It was a foodie’s dream come true, with the vast array of options available. I love this place for seamlessly blending history, luxury, and a culinary adventure into one unforgettable experience.
My favorite aspect was exploring the retro-modern architecture and culinary delights within the Bottleworks district.
Onsite modern spa and wellness centre
A fitness centre and fun billiards
Terraces with city views
No microwaves in the room
No swimming pool
Parking is extra
During my visit to Indianapolis, I discovered a gem in the city’s art scene at the Conrad Hotel. The first floor houses the impressive ‘Long-Sharp Gallery,’ featuring renowned artists worldwide. Exploring the second floor, I encountered artworks with special ties to the city, adorning the luxury guest rooms and suites designed in stylish shades of grey or classic creams. The presence of masterpieces by Dali, Picasso, Warhol, and others elevated my stay into a living art experience.
Indulging in the hotel’s culinary offerings became one of my favorite pastimes. The traditional grill restaurant served delectable dishes, while the award-winning wine bar stood out with its extensive wine list and craft beers. The hotel’s amenities, including the pool, fitness center, spa, steam room, and sauna, perfectly balanced relaxation and leisure. For those with business needs, the Conrad Hotel boasts 12 meeting rooms accommodating both large events and intimate gatherings.
The hotel’s strategic location, with a skywalk connecting to Circle Centre Mall and the Indiana Convention Center, made it an ideal hub for business and pleasure. Being steps away from downtown added to the overall convenience of my stay.
As I marveled at the Conrad Hotel’s sleek glass exterior nestled within the Arts Garden, I couldn’t help but appreciate its status as an architectural marvel in downtown Indianapolis. Stepping inside, the interior seamlessly blended contemporary elegance with nods to the region’s cultural heritage, creating a timeless and captivating atmosphere. Experiencing this fusion of art and luxury firsthand, I wholeheartedly recommend adding a stay at the Conrad Indianapolis to your bucket list.
Experiencing art in every corner, especially the renowned Long-Sharp Gallery, elevated my stay.
Sleek glass building and cool retro-modern decor
Indoor swimming pool and gym
Award-winning wine bar and fine dining
Upscale full-service spa and trendy wine bar
Pool closes early
Not for the budget-friendly crowd
Parking is charged extra
Stepping into Le Meridien Hotel, just a sky bridge away from the Indiana Convention Center, immediately became one of my favorite experiences. The ideal fusion of business and pleasure is evident in every detail.
The trendy décor, characterized by warm amber tones and carefully curated art, created a cozy atmosphere I loved. The bedrooms, adorned in soothing greys and clean whites, were all about relaxation. The on-site restaurant offered modern dishes, craft cocktails, and an impressive wine list, all enjoyed in a relaxed setting with whitewashed brick walls and wooden floors.
I took advantage of the 24-hour fitness center and explored the smart meeting and event spaces during my stay. From the moment I entered, the grand lobby captivated me with its harmonious blend of contemporary design and timeless charm. What sets Le Meridien apart is its physical allure, impeccable service, exquisite dining options, and world-class amenities. It truly stands as a luxury beacon in the bustling urban landscape of Indianapolis.
Whether in town for business or pleasure, Le Meridien Hotel surpassed expectations with its refined ambiance and unparalleled hospitality. It has rightfully earned its place as one of the most recommended stays in the city on my list and for thousands of visitors each year.
The stylish retro-modern decor and the ambiance of the on-site restaurant were delightful.
Stylish retro-modern decor
On-site trendy bar and restaurant
Well-equipped fitness center
Golf course within 3 km
No pool or spa
Extra charges for pets
Downtown Indianapolis stole my heart, and at the core of it all, the Columbia Club became one of my favorite places. Stepping into its regal lobby, I was greeted by high, beamed ceilings, dark wood paneling, and polished floors, an instant immersion into the city’s rich history and timeless elegance.
The stately interiors, adorned with ornate detailing and exquisite artwork, created an unmistakable atmosphere of refined luxury. My room, cozy and equipped with all the modern comforts, quickly became a comforting retreat.
While visiting, I discovered the Columbia Club’s legacy of hosting events and banquets. The meeting spaces, each grand in its own way, catered to weddings and special occasions, adding a touch of grandeur to every celebration. The grill restaurant, a true delight, elevated loved American dishes, perfectly complemented by signature cocktails and selected beers. Every dining experience was a culinary journey in itself.
The hotel’s health and wellness center offered fitness classes and a well-equipped fitness center. And for those seeking relaxation, a steam room, sauna, and whirlpools provided the ultimate escape. Immersing myself in the captivating architectural splendor and storied past of the Columbia Club, I realized why it had remained an iconic establishment for over a century. It wasn’t just a hotel but a beacon of refined social gatherings, a place where elegance met history.
In every moment, I experienced the allure of a bygone era, indulging in the epitome of urban sophistication at the highly esteemed Columbia Club. This place is not just a hotel; it’s an experience that stays with you, a testament to the city’s grandeur and timeless charm.
The ornate interiors and exclusive club feel made for an elegant stay.
Dark wood panelling and exclusive club feel
Great downtown location
Onsite spa and wellness center
Signature cocktails and three onsite restaurants
Pets not allowed
No fridge in rooms
Parking is an extra daily charge
While staying at The Westin Indianapolis, I found it one of my favorite places. The hotel is conveniently connected to the Circle Center Mall and Indiana Convention Center through the city’s renowned sky-bridges. It’s also close to fantastic dining, shopping, nightlife, and the impressive Lucas Oil Stadium. Being within walking distance of Indiana University-Purdue University was a significant perk.
I love this hotel for its prime location and striking architecture and exquisite design, creating a setting for an extraordinary stay. Every detail seems to have been carefully considered, resulting in a seamless fusion of comfort and style.
The Westin Indianapolis goes above and beyond with its exceptional amenities, including spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms. The state-of-the-art fitness center and spa made my stay even more enjoyable. I appreciated the modern tech amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, movies, and high-speed internet access—perfect for a tech-savvy individual like me.
I tried the gym during my stay and had a delightful experience at the Ten Hands Social Bar & Eatery, which stays open until midnight. The American menu and the marketplace offered various options, from a quick snack to a leisurely coffee break. Whether attending a conference or exploring the city’s rich heritage, The Westin Indianapolis provided a sanctuary for me to unwind, rejuvenate, and truly embrace the art of living well. It’s an experience that I believe most people won’t forget anytime soon.
The striking architecture and exceptional amenities, like the state-of-the-art fitness center, made my visit memorable.
Sleek and modern boutique feel
Elegantly appointed guest rooms
Modern onsite bar and restaurant
The bar closes early
Parking is extra
No pool or spa
Tru By Hilton
I love this bright and cheery hotel! While visiting Indy, it quickly became one of my favorite places. The helpful staff and its prime location next to Lucas Oil Stadium make it the perfect choice for any trip. Close to all the events, concerts, shopping, and dining spots and just off I-70 for easy access to other places is a major plus.
As soon as I stepped into the sleek and stylish lobby, I felt the dynamic atmosphere that effortlessly blends comfort, innovation, and whimsy. What caught my attention is the 24/7 marketplace offering gourmet coffee, tea, and hot chocolate anytime, and it’s so convenient to grab snacks, beverages, or single-serve wine and beer – all charged directly to your room.
The guest rooms are thoughtfully designed, striking the perfect balance between functionality and style. Each room impressed me with sleek furnishings, tech-savvy amenities, and an ambiance that oozes comfort and sophistication. The light-filled rooms feature king-sized Serta beds, a workspace, 49″ HDTVs with premium channels, a mini-refrigerator, and a gym to maintain my fitness routine.
One of my favorite aspects was the complimentary breakfast served every morning – a hot and cold buffet with the best pancakes. Beyond the comfort of the room, there are inviting communal spaces to relax, socialize, and connect with fellow guests. The lobby’s work nooks with power outlets, free Wi-Fi, and remote printing made my stay even more convenient.
If you’re ready to discover a new standard of contemporary hospitality, Tru By Hilton Indianapolis Downtown will not disappoint. While staying at this fantastic hotel, I experienced top-notch service, modern amenities, and a vibrant atmosphere that made my Indy trip memorable.
The bright, cheery atmosphere and convenient location next to Lucas Oil Stadium stood out.
Modern decor and funky vibe
Onsite gym and daily breakfast
Reasonably priced room rates
Parking is extra
No pool or spa
In downtown Indianapolis, Alexander became one of my favorite places. The uncluttered décor and abundant natural light beautifully complemented millions of dollars of commissioned and curated local and international art. I fell in love with the wall adorned with exquisite birds taking flight and the ceiling adorned with beautiful blown glass lights.
During my stay, the guest rooms and suites captivated me with meticulous design, achieving a perfect blend of comfort and style. Each space boasted hand-chosen furnishings, plush fabrics, and artistic touches, creating an atmosphere of refined luxury that I thoroughly enjoyed. What struck me the most were the plush guest rooms, featuring specially commissioned works of art set against soft grey interiors. It felt like a unique haven, ideal for sharing on socials or hosting a special event or wedding indoors or outdoors.
And when it came to dining, The Alexander exceeded my expectations. Plat 99 offered bespoke cocktails, local beers, and delightful small plates, treating my taste buds to a fantastic experience. The Market Table’s open kitchen served local and seasonal dishes, while Nesso Italian Kitchen satisfied my craving for traditional Italian fare.
The Alexander isn’t just a hotel; it’s a living gallery that left a lasting impression on me. The impressive collection of original works from local and international artists transformed every corner of this architectural masterpiece into a canvas of creativity and cultural immersion. It wasn’t just a stay but a captivating journey of visual discovery.
In the heart of Indianapolis, The Alexander proved to be more than a place to rest; it was an intersection where art, luxury, and hospitality converged, setting the stage for an extraordinary experience I will always cherish.
The hand-chosen furnishings and curated art made each space unique and elegant.
Modern minimalist decor
Great downtown location
Suites with kitchens perfect for longer stays
Modern onsite fitness center
No spa or wellness
Breakfast is extra
The Nestle Inn, near downtown Indianapolis, has become one of my favorite places for both leisure and business. Just a mile from the Indiana Convention Center, this award-winning B&B-style Inn boasts a rich history of over 100 years, deeply rooted in the local community.
While visiting, I fell in love with the Inn’s ability to transport me to a bygone era. The recently restored Victorian-era townhouse perfectly blends quaintness and comfort, evoking a sense of nostalgia that captivated me from the moment I stepped inside. During my stay, I discovered that each guest room at Nestle Inn tells a unique story. The six elegantly decorated rooms in calming tones come with their bathroom, adding a touch of luxury to the experience.
I appreciated the unfussy decor, mirroring the simplicity of the service. Self-check-ins were available, and I received breakfast vouchers that I could use at local coffee shops and restaurants, adding a personalized touch to my stay.
The Inn regularly offers in-house cooking classes for those seeking a more social experience. It was a unique and enjoyable way to connect with other guests while honing my culinary skills.
My mornings at Nestle Inn began with a delectable homemade breakfast crafted with love and featuring locally sourced ingredients. This set the perfect tone for a day of exploration and discovery in the charming surroundings. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a solo escape, or a cozy retreat with friends, Nestle Inn seamlessly combines the past and present. I experienced the charm and hospitality that make this Inn a remarkable destination.
The vintage-chic decor and homemade breakfast options made for a cozy and delightful stay.
Quirky vintage-chic decor
Varied homemade breakfast options
On-site library and cooking classes
Located very near Massachusetts Avenue
No pool or spa
No gluten-free options
While visiting Omni Severin Hotel, one of my favorite places, I entered a world where history and elegance dance together. The imposing 1900s building, meticulously restored in the heart of downtown, welcomed me with open arms, offering skywalk access to Circle Centre Mall and the Indianapolis Convention Center.
Entering the lobby, I felt like a 1920s movie star strolling down a broad marble walkway. The hotel is a living testament to the city’s rich heritage, providing a luxurious sanctuary amidst the vibrant energy of downtown. My guest room became a tranquil haven, adorned with plush furnishings, sumptuous bedding, and exquisite décor seamlessly blending classic and contemporary styles. The ambiance was a perfect reflection of the hotel’s commitment to luxury.
Events at Omni Severin were nothing short of spectacular. The ballroom, with its soaring ceilings, white columns, and grand chandeliers bathed in natural light, transported me to a world of timeless elegance. The bedrooms’ traditionally luxurious design in neutral tones offered a comfortable retreat.
I love this place for its 1913 Restaurant, named after the hotel’s construction year. I experienced a culinary journey where local ingredients met traditional and historical dishes with a modern spin. The award-winning chefs curated a menu that ranged from farm-to-table delights to innovative cocktails crafted with precision.
The hotel’s sports and fashionable wine bar added another layer to my experience, featuring fine wines, ports, cordials, and delectable small plates. And let’s not forget the indoor pool and fitness center, rounding out the experience with relaxation and rejuvenation.
In conclusion, while staying at Omni Severin Hotel, I immersed myself in a blend of history and modernity, enjoying the luxurious accommodations, exquisite dining, and the vibrant atmosphere that defines this iconic landmark.
The elegant decor and access to downtown attractions via the skywalk were exceptional.
Elegant decor with city views
Large indoor swimming pool
Live sports events and fine dining
Connected to the Circle Centre Mall and Indianapolis Convention Center
Park is extra
Extra charges for WiFi
Extra charges for pets
Old Northside Bed & Breakfast
Nestled in the heart of the historic Old Northside neighborhood, I stumbled upon this charming red brick bed & breakfast adorned with cascading ivy—an instant favorite of mine.
During my stay at this meticulously restored gem, I felt transported to a bygone era, escaping the hustle of the city just beyond its doors. The place is gorgeous, and I loved its welcoming atmosphere.
What caught my fascination was the rich 100-year history of the house before it transformed into a delightful B&B. Original artwork, hand-painted murals, and captivating ceilings all contributed to the unique character of the place.
Each room at the Old Northside Bed & Breakfast was a haven of comfort, boasting a bath and a charming fireplace in many cases. From the enchanting bridal room with its double Jacuzzi to the library room adorned with books and antiques and the adorable rose garden room featuring a skylight and climbing rose decoration—every space had its distinctive mood.
No detail was spared in crafting an atmosphere of indulgence and relaxation, from the plush bedding to the inviting clawfoot tubs. What I especially appreciated was the flexibility in breakfast timings. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the enticing scent of a gourmet breakfast made waking up early a pleasure, but the bonus was having breakfast available whenever I pleased. This personal touch added to the overall enchantment of my stay.
Vintage-chic decor and original art
Four-poster beds and private jacuzzis
Very tasty breakfast
Few plug points in rooms
Vintage decor won’t suit everyone
No swimming pool
Looking Glass Inn
Nestled behind a charming garden with a neatly trimmed privet hedge, Looking Glass Inn, a delightful wood-paneled residence, has been a cherished part of Indianapolis’s Old Northside Historic District for over a century. During my stay at this boutique bed and breakfast, I couldn’t help but feel a personal connection to the city.
The allure of the inn lies in its seamless blend of historic charm and contemporary comfort, capturing the essence of Indianapolis. The common areas exude a welcoming, home-from-home atmosphere. Each bedroom, adorned with a distinct color palette – from duck egg and sage green to pale rose and honeyed gold – boasts stylish, modern interiors.
The commitment to visual allure and comfort extends beyond the rooms. The Hideaway suite, my chosen haven, offered a spacious yet cozy retreat for my family and me. The thoughtful touch of having continental breakfast baskets delivered to our room added to the overall experience. Various eateries and parks are conveniently located nearby for those wanting to explore. Looking Glass Inn is more than a mere accommodation; it’s an immersive invitation to embrace the artistic spirit of Indianapolis. Its old-world charm and proximity to diverse cuisine made it one of my favorite places to rest my head while visiting the city.
My favorite aspect was the Hideaway suite’s cozy retreat and the personalized breakfast delivery to the room.
Vintage chic decor
Some rooms have cozy fireplaces
Charming garden and outdoor furniture
Daily breakfast and onsite snacks
Parking is compact
Not pet friendly
Vintage decor won’t suit everyone
Fort Harrison State Park Inn
One of my favorite places to unwind in serene natural surroundings without the hassle of camping (and the potential bear encounters) is the Indiana State Parks Inns.
While visiting, I fell in love with the Fort Harrison State Park Inn, just a 20-minute drive from downtown Indianapolis. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, and trail rides.
Approaching the inn, I couldn’t help but be captivated by its colonial-style architecture, a nostalgic nod to a bygone era. Stepping inside, I was in a world of refined sophistication and natural splendor.
During my stay, I had the choice of accommodations in the Main Lodge, Harrison House, or the Officer Homes. The Garrison Restaurant, adjacent to the golf course, was a delightful spot for breakfast. The historic buildings, adorned with antiques and period furniture, provided all the comforts. I stayed in a room with a cozy window seat, and some even had jacuzzis, adding a touch of luxury.
The Fort Harrison State Park Inn is more than just lodging; it’s a portal to a realm of natural beauty intertwined with timeless charm. The mere presence of this place offers a break from the mundane, providing an excellent opportunity to reconnect with nature.
One of my favorite places was the historic buildings adorned with antiques and cozy window seats.
Very picturesque surroundings
Great activities such as golf and hiking
Great family-friendly rooms and breakfast
No onsite swimming pool
Some carpets need updating
No onsite spa
Stone Soup Inn
The Stone Soup Inn in the heart of Indianapolis’s Old Northside neighborhood is now one of my favorite places. It’s a quaint, charming haven that combines history with modern comfort effortlessly. While visiting, I fell in love with the inviting ambiance, transporting me back to a bygone era where stories unfolded in every corner.
Built in 1901, this historic bed and breakfast boasts Mission style and Victorian antiques, offering four distinct guestrooms, four lofts, a carriage house apartment, and a garden studio. During my stay, I tried out the jacuzzis and steam showers and even enjoyed cable TV in my room; some even feature full kitchens.
The wraparound porch became my go-to spot for relaxation, offering views of the enchanting garden and lily pond. The living room, adorned with a baby grand piano and fireplace, quickly became a favorite retreat, as did the library. The Stone Soup Inn is not just a place to stay; it’s an immersive experience.
While staying here, I experienced the culinary delights of a homemade feast skillfully crafted with locally sourced fresh ingredients. The inn’s timeless atmosphere worked like a charm, lulling me into a peaceful slumber where dreams seemed to intertwine with the whispers of history. This isn’t just a place to rest your head; it’s a rejuvenating getaway I won’t soon forget.
Unique quirky-chic decor
Free onsite parking and free WiFi
Daily breakfast and massage services
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
I’ve been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, express.co.uk, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and metro.co.uk. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.