5 Things We Love About Hotel Indy

A 1969 concrete cube that once housed an insurance company and a law firm is now Hotel Indy, a 90-room boutique property at the corner of Washington and Delaware streets. The hotel officially opened October 27 after a three-year project to convert the site into Indiana’s first entry in the Marriott Tribute Portfolio. Forbes included it in its 60 New Hotel Openings Around the World For Fall 2021 piece, helping build buzz for yet another highly anticipated downtown hotel offering.

Here, five Hotel Indy features we love.

The prime location.
Exterior of Hotel Indy
Exterior of Hotel Indy.

Hotel Indy is on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, essentially in Gainbridge Fieldhouse’s front yard, and a short walk to Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, Monument Circle, and popular restaurants. In other words, practically the epicenter of downtown—exactly where you’d want to stay as a visitor.

All the nods to Indianapolis.
The Hulman restaurant inside Hotel Indy
The Hulman restaurant inside Hotel Indy.

Hotel Indy comes by its name honestly. Developed by Speedway-based KennMar, the property is a partner with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Its first-floor restaurant is dubbed The Hulman, named after Tony Hulman Jr., who purchased the IMS in 1945 and oversaw its return to prominence following World War II. (The black-and-white checkered tile in The Hulman is no coincidence.) The Hulman’s coffee bar, The Brandon, is so named because the hotel sits on the Brandon block from the 1800s. Elsewhere, coffee-table books pay homage to James Dean, Steve McQueen, and Kurt Vonnegut, and artwork (see below) highlights other cultural icons. Tinker Coffee Co., Just Pop In, and West Fork Whiskey are just a few local brands offered.

The I-want-that-in-my-home decor.
A light-drenched hall inside Hotel Indy
A light-drenched hall inside Hotel Indy.

The Brutalist-style architecture softens inside thanks to a mashup of midcentury modern and Art Deco: curved lines everywhere, gold accents, and muted tones of mint, mustard, and coral in the numerous seating vignettes.

The city views.
View from Cannon Ball Lounge.
Looking west on Washington Street from The Cannon Ball Lounge.

The newly added sixth floor is home to The Cannon Ball Lounge, named after Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, who won the first motorized competition at the IMS in 1909. You could sit indoors, maybe under the disco ball, but the open-air space offers some of the best vistas of downtown and beyond. And speaking of city tributes, the pattern in the carpeting just outside the Cannon Ball Lounge should remind you of a certain 2.5-mile oval.

The artwork.
Indianapolis mural at Hotel Indy
Derrick Carter’s Indianapolis mural outside Hotel Indy.

We predict that Derrick Carter’s colorful “Indianapolis” mural, which depicts 200 years of the city’s history, will be Indy’s next big selfie spot. Find it on the hotel’s south side, near the main entrance. Inside, check out Casey Roberts’s collection of busts of Indy elite, including Madam C.J. Walker and Wes Montgomery, near the elevators.