The “Lillian Russell” car, like the 20+ cars converted to rooms in the Crowne Plaza Union Station is a little like a wrinkle in time. It has a teeny little closet, a teeny little bar (with refrigerator), and a teeny little bathroom. The lush king sized bed (a mystery how they got the mattress in???) was comfortable, as were the two club chairs, the desk and the flat screen TV. Union Station is still an active, multi-level station, with trains moving through periodically during the day and night. The décor is period-appropriate, and you have a sense of what long-distance travel was like in the 1920’s and 30’s.
It is a good idea to get help with luggage, as the Pullman steps up to the room are steep and narrow. I was carrying heavy camera equipment plus luggage and was grateful for the assistance. The bathroom is similar to other historic hotels of the era, and the bar with refrigerator was a treat. Room service is fast, hot and good. The steak sandwich I ordered was one of the best room service meals I have ever had in 30 yrs. of business travel.
The building itself is an architectural wonder; it makes you wish the elevator would take longer so you can enjoy it a bit longer.
I can’t say enough about how accommodating the staff is. In every instance…taking me to retrieve an article I had left behind on an appointment to the very knowledgeable help finding some obscure places I was seeking for photos…if someone couldn’t help, they found someone who could. Waiters and waitresses remembered customers from day to day, and regulars were welcomed like family. The housekeeping staff does not start that irritating “housekeeping” tap on the door at 8 am, which seems to be standard in most hotels these days, and were very quiet in the hallways. It is a convention hotel, so large groups of guests came home “happy” late at night, but that is pretty standard in any downtown hotel.
These cars sit as they rolled in on original tracks. Teens would find it fun to roam the hotel at will, as the Grand Hall, Station and of course, the room they have adjacent to yours down that narrow corridor with the Alice in Wonderland sized door would be just odd enough to be fun. The on-site restaurant is good (Breakfast buffet may be the best meal of the day), and it is a short complementary van ride to the Zoo, the Market, River and you can walk through a covered walkway to shopping and sports venues.
I would not consider another hotel. I want to take my grandkids on a business trip with me (28-10 yrs) to experience this bit of live history.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Take a video tour. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center at Historic Union Station is 'housed within America's first Union Station.' Our hotel s downtown Indianapolis location is ideal. We re just steps away from both the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts & convenient to Bankers Life, home of the Pacers, Circle Centre Mall, The Indianapolis Zoo & White River Gardens, The Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Hall of Fame Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions, The Children s Museum & downtown nightlife. Our Romanesque revival-style hotel features 273 guestrooms, Pullman's Restaurant & Lounge and over 50,000 sq ft of meeting space. We're best known for our 26 authentic Pullman traincar guestrooms named after prominent personalities from the early 1900's. Another popular feature of the hotel is the white fiberglass ghost travelers dressed in period clothing, and still lovingly haunting the premises. Our hotel is still an active train station, which enhances its ambiance and authenticity. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown (Union Station) Hotel Indianapolis