Indianapolis, IN (WCIA) It’s time to grab your significant other or bestie and make the short trip to Indianapolis for a fun getaway, whether you are looking for the established favorites, or some new fun times.
Bottleworks: A New Neighborhood for Fun
Bottleworks in not just a fabulous new hotel, it’s an entire district of Indianapolis filled with things to do and eat.
The name comes from what used to be the main attraction: the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Many of the buildings here were repurposed from the factory and offices of the soft drink company.
I have to talk about the hotel first. To say it’s unusual would be a gross understatement. It’s beautiful and practical, while still bringing in features of its heritage, such as the red doors on the rooms.
The winding hallways are filled with art and other treasures so you feel like you are going to a museum on your way to your room. National Geographic named it one of the best new hotels for 2021 and I can’t argue with that assessment.
The rooms are also gorgeous and some of the largest I’ve ever seen (and I wasn’t in a suite). They are all slightly different due to the construction of the building and include luxuries such as handwoven robes, terrazzo tiles, and terraces.
Bottleworks Hotel has two evening offerings, Sundry & Vice, with fun cocktails, and Modita, an Asian inspired restaurant, but I had to try The Garage, just across the street in another of Coca-Cola’s buildings. This food hall was packed on the Friday night we went.
The Garage offers so many choices it’s hard to make up your mind, especially since many of them are not foods you are used to. J’s Lobster & Fish Market, Azucar Morena (Arepas), Poke Guru, Gaucho’s Fire (Brazilian), and Chapata Beta (Pakistani Indian) are just some of the choices.
I had the Red Braised Pork Carnitas tacos at La Chinita Poblano, which combines Mexican and Asian, and they were terrific. The Garage also has a few bars, one from local Hard Truth Distilling.
Next door to The Garage Food Hall is a place for endless fun. Pins Mechanical has a ton of old-fashioned pin ball machines, plus foosball, duckpin bowling, ping pong, and bocce. Of course, they also have a bar.
I did enjoy a Vanilla Chai Latte, smoothie, and breakfast sandwich at the Bottleworks Hotel’s Blue Collar Coffee Co. before I left town. I will definitely be back to explore more of this area, which also has Woodhouse Day Spa, the W Nail Spa, Living Room Theater, a unique way to watch films and listen to music. Champaign’s own Sara Siders is actually performing there tonight.
Downtown Indy Still Has Some Old Favorites
If you are just looking for a relaxed getaway with some familiar places, Downtown Indianapolis still has them.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown. It’s an ideal location, with connections to the skyway (a pleasure in the winter when you don’t want to walk outside), and just blocks from Monument Circle. The all-suite hotel offers so much for one reasonable price.
The rooms are very large and have refrigerators and microwaves to heat up leftovers or chill that bottle of champagne. There are even suites large enough for six if you want to plan a bachelor/bachelorette party in this active city.
An indoor heating pool is a great amenity to have, but that’s not even the best offered at the Embassy Suites Downtown Indianapolis. They have a complimentary evening happy hour that includes two cocktails (or wine or beer) and snacks. The night we were there it was pasta salad, veggie sticks & dip, Chex mix and potato chips. Everything was individually wrapped.
The free breakfast is huge with made-to-order omelets and hashbrowns, as well as fruit, yogurt, French toast or pancakes, oatmeal, muffins, juice, milk and coffee.
As much food as there is at the Embassy Suites, you might want to stop at the Chocolate Café for some sweet treats on a short stroll to Monument Circle. The observation deck is currently closed, but it’s still worth checking out this beautiful construction.
A brunch or dinner at Harry & Izzy’s is also recommended for a special meal. Their downtown location can be reached through the skyway so you can keep warm, check out the Art Garden, and maybe do a little shopping at the mall.
Steak is the star at this restaurant, but I also suggest the meatloaf and Toasted Ravioli, which are huge. You can also get the famous spicy St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail here as it’s the same owners as Harry & Izzy. Whatever you order, save room for the chocolate bread pudding, with salted caramel ice cream, whipped cream, and a topping of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. The portion is big enough for four!