Pretty much by accident we landed at the Indianapolis Crowne Plaza Union Plaza Hotel. We’ve have good luck with Crowne Plaza before (while still not knowing why there’s that “e” on Crowne) but the Indianapolis facility just combined good location and good price and convenience.
Until we got there and discovered what a great place it is. Turns out that it used to be the city’s train station. It’s no high rise but a horizontal facility with a great train motif throughout. And get this: You can sleep in a Pullman car.
No, not the “das Boot” cramped hammocks of a sleeper but Pullman cars converted to luxury hotel rooms. Very cool.
We didn’t even know we could do that so we”d ordered up a regular room but each morning as we walked out of the quite fine room we saw the “Rudolph Valentino” right outside our door. On tracks, but a high-end car-room on wheels. One of many converted railroad cars which make up a good portion of the 273 guest rooms at the hotel. A hotel employee let us peek inside and it was very nice indeed.
More, they’ve converted the mammoth old train station lobby into a ballroom, elegant in its furnishings, stained glass windows and immense airiness. It’s an eye-opener, popular with weddings and conventions and sight-seeing.
What a neat place. There are statues everywhere of (mostly Asian-looking) train passengers from an earlier era, glistening brassworks and many other elegant touches — at reasonable rates. Located smack in Indianapolis’ nifty downtown, the hotel is within walking distance of great restaurants, sports arenas, monuments and so much more.
But how cool is it to stay in a train car?
We’ll be looking to try on our next visit. (I wish it were for the Super Bowl but I don’t have tickets to watch the Patriots beat New Orleans.)
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