Bottleworks Hotel is the centerpiece of the new Bottleworks District in Indianapolis.
News of new hotels is constant and food halls have been popping up nationwide for years, but put the two together, add shops, spas and entertainment, and you’ll discover the newest trend in urban revitalization: the district. While the rise of the mixed-use building continues, the most forward-thinking developers and urban planners have already moved on to mixed-use blocks (and sometimes multiple blocks), creating entire micro-neighborhoods with all the necessary businesses to entertain around the clock, all with a unified design that becomes its own destination within a destination. Among the poshest of these new neighborhoods, Indianapolis recently celebrated the opening of the Bottleworks District, breathing new life into aging landmark buildings from the city’s past and restoring them to full glory with modern uses. Here are some highlights of the gorgeous new Bottleworks District in Indy.
Rotunda above the spiral staircase.
Inside the former Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Indianapolis, Bottleworks Hotel opened its doors in December, giving the city one of the sexiest new places to stay in the region. With a dramatic deco exterior and meticulously restored interior showstoppers like an ornate rotunda housing a dramatic spiral staircase and the terrazzo-floored reception with original and painstakingly matched ceramic tiles lit by repurposed globes from Paris street lamps, it’s well worth a stop to ogle a revived piece of history (and snap some Instagold) even if you’re not staying. Do stay, though.
Rooms are dressed in black, white and gray with pops of Coca-Cola red.
Where offices and a sprawling bottling plant once stood, 139 modern rooms and suites are dressed in blacks, whites, and grays with bold accents of Coca-Cola red and gleaming metallic hardware, all under sultry black ceilings. Some rooms include private rooftop space and others include original floor and wall tiles, but all are hung with original photographs that echo the ambiance of the monumental portraits lining every hall of the hotel (take a close look at these glam images: plenty of them are actual crew members who worked on the construction and restoration of the property). From sumptuous textiles and serious mood lighting to the evocative scent permeating the property, a Coke lifestyle has never been so jet set.
Just across the quaint brick street from Bottleworks Hotel, The Garage opened in January as the city’s first food hall and marketplace. Housed within a pair of commercial garages that once sheltered Coke trucks (and later buses for the city school district), 38,000 square feet of revitalized space are home to more than a dozen food vendors, a bar, and a handful of community businesses including a swanky barbershop alongside specialty retailers, all with strong ties to the city. Look for everything from American diner fare at Clancy’s Hamburgers and Venezuelan arepas at Azucar Morena to Asian-fusion tacos at La Chinita Poblana and Peruvian pasta at Abbiocco Pizzeria. Or go straight for dessert with small-batch scoops at Lick Ice Cream, where you’ll find brilliantly paired flavors like Gingersnap & Lemon Curd, Earl Grey Peppermint and Cedar & Whisky. Speaking of whiskey, sample a flight from Hard Truth Distillery, directly across from Lick.
The mid-March opening of Woodhouse Day Spa in the Bottleworks District will make it the only current spa in Indianapolis. The Woodhouse brand is known for approachable luxury and a wide variety of treatments, and while there are already a few surrounding the city, the Bottleworks location will be the first in the country to include a halotherapy salt cave, including heated 0-gravity salt chairs. The microclimate of these caves is touted for potential skin and respiratory benefits, but the ambiance alone is worth a visit for a unique zen escape (ask about renting the room for yourself or a small group for total exclusivity). Whether you come for a therapeutic stone massage, an organic seaweed wrap or a Lavender Dreams sleep treatment, your blissful relaxation will always begin with a plush robe and reflexology sandals to cradle your body as you sip warm tea in the designated quiet room and gently inhale the oil-infused air throughout the spa. Pro Tip: While the front door is open to all, hotel guests have private, interior access, so feel free to slink down in your hotel robe if you’re already comfy.
Living Room Theaters, Indianapolis
If eating, sleeping and pampering aren’t enough, you’ll be glad to know the Bottleworks District comes with plenty of entertainment, too. Among the most impressive is Living Room Theaters, taking theatergoing to new levels of comfort (and safety). Theaters here are equipped entirely with automated recliners and, because they extend so comfortably, rows are naturally spaced more than 6 feet apart, so social distance is built in. If you’re worried about next-door neighbors, rest assured that the theater’s ticketing software automatically blocks the necessary seats on either side of you (or your party) to keep you properly separated. The tech continues with state-of-the-art audio, visual and lighting systems for a fully immersive experience that begins before you even enter your showing. The onsite restaurant and bar offer proper meals along with beer, wine, and cocktails, all of which can be consumed with table service before or after a film or in the theater on sliding tables at each seat (no deliveries are made once the movie begins, to preserve the viewing experience). Don’t worry, traditional movie theater concessions are also available.
I’m a full-time globetrotter obsessed with experiencing everything the world has to offer (except shark diving . . . I don’t want to talk about it) and learning to be a