Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where to Stay: The Alexander

Where to Stay in Indianapolis: The Alexander Hotel - Style Jaunt, A Fashionable Travel Blog
The Alexander's lobby, which is actually on the second floor.
Photo by Stjepan Alaupovic
I recently wrote up five of the country's coolest art hotels for SheKnows.com and at the top of my list is The Alexander, which I stayed in during my visit to Indianapolis earlier this year. Indy first popped on to my radar last October when we stayed one night on the city's edge during our drive from Phoenix to New York City.

So, I did a little digging and found out that there's a lot happening in this funky Midwestern town, including the opening of an 8-mile bike- and pedestrian-friendly Cultural Trail. The Alexander is Indy's newest hotel and one of the best stops along the path. (Oh, and the hotel rents out free bikes to its guests!)

The hotel's 60+ pieces, which are spread throughout its public spaces and guest rooms, are curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Where to Stay in Indianapolis: The Alexander Hotel - Style Jaunt, A Fashionable Travel Blog
Paul Villinski's installation made from old vinyl records.
Photo by Stjepan Alaupovic
My favorite installation is the flock of birds created by Paul Villinski that's made from old vinyl records. I think we took a million photos of it! On the same floor you'll find a giant portrait of social activist and cosmetics entrepreneur Madam CJ Walker, America's first self-made female millionaire, which is constructed from 3,840 plastic combs.

Where to Stay in Indianapolis: The Alexander Hotel - Style Jaunt, A Fashionable Travel Blog
Rooms at The Alexander are crisp, cool and comfortable.
Photo by Stjepan Alaupovic
It's the hotel's garage that just might be the biggest draw for art lovers. British graffiti artist Nick Walker painted several large-scale murals throughout the space. They're big, bold and playful, and are said to portray Walker's alter ego - a vandal character who disguises himself as an English gentleman. Even if you're not an aficionado, you may recognize his work. Stanley Kubrick commissioned Walker to recreate the graffiti art of New York City for Eyes Wide Shut and he also was featured in the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" music video.

Where to Stay in Indianapolis: The Alexander Hotel - Style Jaunt, A Fashionable Travel Blog
Graffiti art by Nick Walker.
Photo by Stjepan Alaupovic
Our first meal on our tour de Indy was at The Alexander's Cerulean restaurant and it was such a good sampling of what was yet to come. Considering Indiana's abundance of open space and lush farm land, I shouldn't have been so surprised by how great its local food scene is. Still, it really blew my mind. We did not have a single bad meal here. At Cerulean, we had farm-fresh rhubarb in a cinnamon crumble and melt-away short ribs with homemade spaetzle and shallot mascarpone. Delish.

We also paid more than one visit to the upstairs Plat 99 bar for cocktails. They're all made with local ingredients and I got a kick out of the bar's menu, which is a walk through boozing history starting in 1850 with an absinthe-based drink. Plat 99's design is worth a mention, too. Very retro, very Mad Men.

Where to Stay in Indianapolis: The Alexander Hotel - Style Jaunt, A Fashionable Travel Blog
The entrance to Plat 99, a great spot for fresh (and strong!) cocktails.
Photo by Stjepan Alaupovic
If you're considering a visit to Indianpolis - and really, you should - check out my New York Post article for more info on the best places to eat and drink in the city. Dobar tek!

Do you have a favorite artsy hotel? Tell me about it!

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