The city once known for checkerboard flags and racecars added a bit of sophisticated elegance to its catalog of urban hotels. The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel is a sleek, contemporary property located in CityWay, the downtown hub of commerce and culture in Indianapolis. The 209-room hotel opened in January showcasing over 50 contemporary works of art by more than 25 international renowned artists. We attended the grand opening to learn more about the new wave of art, culture and modern mixology in Indy.
You get the vibe the moment you walk in. The entrance leads to an elevator backed by a metallic 3D mural called “Standing Wave” by artist Alyson Shotz. You’ll want to reach out and touch it. The living room-style lobby is a comfortable space for groups to gather. The overhead lights by Jorge Parto twinkle over the comfy couches topped with patterned throw pillows and abstract accents. All pieces were selected by Dr. Lisa Freiman, head of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Contemporary Art department.
“I’m always thinking of magical concepts for Indianapolis,” says Freiman. “Art is the way we are set apart from other hotels, but it’s accessible to those who aren’t as creative.” The artists used the city to create a genuine sense of place.
The Platt 99 lobby bar is the new place to be in town. A fun menu of light bites and creative cocktails brings a bit of funk to the town that keeps the history of CityWay brewing. Each drink has a story behind it and the menu is a chronology of cocktails starting from the time of Prohibition.
“I wanted to list our drinks in a timeline to illustrate them in a historical manner,” says GM Michael Gray, who incorporates local spirits into the drinks. “If you’re lucky you’ll travel through time with our menu.”
I bite into a braised pork belly slider on a brioche bun, a staple choice of meat in Indiana. The bar gets pretty lively and groups gather around heaters on the 45-seat patio, the most popular spot for group buyouts.
“When I used to come to Indy, I’d always be in a sports bar or Irish pub,” says Jim Smith, creative director for Buckingham Development. “It’s great to see something new and innovative in the city.”
The guest rooms all have digital imaging on the wall that is available for purchase, and every print is unique to the individual room. The dark wood floors, trendy light fixtures and minimalist look are chic, inviting and warm. Sustainability is a big factor at The Alexander, with technology to control the electricity and air conditioning based on the amount of body heat detected inside the room.
At the grand opening party in the 3,500-sf ballroom, the band Earth Harp from America’s Got Talent performed smooth tunes, and there were dueling pianos at Market Table restaurant. Cerulean restaurant is the fine dining establishment serving small tapas inside a “birdcage” setting. Be sure to try the cheese platter with berries and honey; it’s big enough for a few people to share.
Outside the meeting space, counters display the hotel’s “Thoughtful Foods for Thoughtful Minds” selection, an F&B concept used between group meetings.
Most of all, I was surprised how roomy the property is and how the eclectic art gets people mingling.
“This property is so unique to the meetings market because it’s not a big box,” says Steven A. Rudnitsky, president/CEO of Dolce Hotels & Resorts. “I don’t know any other hotel that bridges the gap between meetings and lifestyle quite like this hotel.”