The Alexander Indianapolis: Hotel or Art Museum?

I don’t usually write about hotels, because honestly, what is there to say about most of them? They are pleasant, they have comfy beds and white sheets. Sometimes they leave you nice mints on your pillow. I’ve stayed in hundreds of decent hotels over the years, and in most places they have been one of the least interesting aspects of my visit.

Every once in awhile though, I get to stay somewhere really cool, somewhere that isn’t just a hotel, but an experience itself. When that happens I definitely want to share, which is why I am devoting a whole article to the colorful and fun hotel I stayed at in Indianapolis: The Alexander.

 The Alexander is an art hotel, a trendy concept at the moment, but unlike some hotels which merely feature rotating works of art, the Alexander was built around a large selection of specially commissioned art pieces.

The artistic attention to detail starts in the guest rooms which, in addition to being gorgeous, are each different. Can you imagine decorating 157 rooms, each with their own art pieces and different accent rugs, walls, pillows and furniture.

Throughout the hotel are larger art pieces, most of which are reflections or references to Indiana. Even the bathrooms have been decorated with art installations.


The parking garage is full of edgy street art by British graffiti artist Nick Walker.

Most stunning of all is the hotel bar, Plat 99 (the restaurant Cerulean is downstairs), which features 99 colorful sparkling glass lanterns.

It’s my own personal prejudice that I don’t think of Indianapolis as a particularly cultured city. In truth, this gorgeous, hip and most importantly comfortable hotel was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to art in the city.

My stay in Indianapolis was sponsored by Visit Indy. All fawning art-hotel opinions are my own.

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8 thoughts on “The Alexander Indianapolis: Hotel or Art Museum?”

  1. What a great effort the hotel has gone to. I think more and more hotels are trying to lure fewer customers and are going to have to try harder. If you are unlucky enough to stay in an average family-run hotel in England, expect grumpy hoteliers, 70s decor and a frugal breakfast. I would love to stay at a hotel like this that clearly thinks long term and makes a real effort to attract clients.

  2. I wish there were more places like this. It’s a shame most decent hotels are just that: decent, and nothing more. Making hotels into experiences seems like a really good business model too; make your place interesting enough to get talked about and thereby attract more customers! Win-win.

  3. Normally I’m a pretty no-frills kind of person when it comes to travel accommodations. If it’s safe, comfortable, and low-budget I’m there, but this hotel looks pretty awesome. The view from the bar doesn’t look too shabby either.

  4. SO cool. Wow. I especially love the Welcome word search board and the glass lanterns in the restaurant! I think you’ve given me plenty of reasons to visit Indianapolis now 😉

    Happy Travels!

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