Hotel Indigo has to be one of the most unique places I’ve ever stayed, and I mean that in the best possible way. The art hotel trend seems to be taking off around the country, but Hotel Indigo is distinctive in that it manages to achieve a great balance of both art and architecture, and the forward-thinking town of Columbus, Ind. is an ideal locale for such a facility.
Right from the approach, you know Hotel Indigo is definitely not your average cookie-cutter franchise. With huge exterior murals, colorful large sculptures, a funky beamed entrance and lovely landscaping, the emphasis on appearance and aesthetics is immediately obvious.
It gets even better inside. The lobby’s a showroom of interior design, form and function — a smartly outfitted space filled with intriguing details like Modern European-style furniture, sleek lines and brilliant pops of color. Pleasantly, the vibe feels warm and welcoming, not at all haughty or austere. This is also where you’ll find Miles, the hotel’s friendly resident canine ambassador. It’s a great spot to kick back with a newspaper and a cup of coffee, or to just sit and take it all in.
Evocative design elements flow throughout the rest of the hotel as well. Common hallways feature geometric-patterned carpeting, bright colors, and large-scale images. I was lucky enough to snag one of the spacious suites for my stay. A white towel cleverly folded into the shape of a dog greeted me from the kitchenette table in the cozy sitting room, and my bedroom was a comfortable retreat with red paint, a rich wood headboard, a small balcony and an oversized black-and-white butterfly wing treatment on one wall. In contrast, the bathroom was decked out in serene neutrals with a white subway-tiled tub, separate shower, and stalks of bamboo in a vase on the sink.
I loved my stay here, and I can see how this hotel would appeal to a wide range of customers, from business executives to couples to families with young kids. I didn’t get a chance to check out the pool facilities or the Gallery Bar and Bistro just off the lobby, but I’m putting these items front and center on my to-do list for next time. Hotel Indigo also offers quite a few package deals that include meals, drinks and admissions to Columbus attractions (don’t forget to ask about these options when you make your reservations).
Hotel Indigo is located at 400 Brown Street, in the downtown Columbus Arts District. Close by are locally-owned restaurants, bars, galleries and other attractions, and the 26-mile People Trail. For rates, reservations, and more information, call (812) 375-9100 or (877) 846-3446, or visit www.hotelindigo.com.
Large-scale sculptures abound in Columbus, from the kinetic “Chaos I” masterpiece by Jean Tinguely housed in the Commons building to Jo Saylors’ playful “Crack the Whip” bronze creation of four children chasing each other and Dessa Kirk’s glorious “Eos,” a tribute to the Greek winged goddess of the dawn. Renowned sculptor Henry Moore designed the looming arch that adorns the plaza outside the Bartholomew County Public Library, and a series of expansive murals grace the walls of Columbus buildings. And gear heads will want to stop in Cummins corporate headquarters to see Rudolph de Harak’s intriguing “Exploded Engine” in the lobby. The landscaping outside is lovely, too.
Kids can even get in on the action with a visit to the hands-on Luckey Climber, also located within the Commons. At 35 feet tall, this is Columbus’ largest (and perhaps most interactive) piece of public art. The public bike racks scattered throughout downtown also double as art with a colorful “C” design in keeping with the city’s marketing efforts.
For more information about Columbus’ vibrant collection of public art, call (800) 468-6564 or (812) 378-2622, or visit the Visitors Center website.