Courtyard by Marriott, downtown Indianapolis, IN
501 West Washington St., 317-635-4443

Diana, BunchBox, MaceVindaloo, Csillag, Rosie, SuSu

We were hooking up for a HutCon, and decided to do it in Indianapolis. What is a HutCon? If three or more Hutties are in one location doing fun things, that qualifies as a HutCon! Of course, this many of us going to Indy meant that we needed hotel space and so we went online to search.

The city's tourism site had lists of hotels, many running specials. Since we were attending the LOTR Exhibition, one of us remembered that the Courtyard by Marriott was directly across the street from the Indiana State Museum, which was hosting the exhibition. It was pricier than motels further afield by about $100 per night, but it did offer a very good complimentary breakfast, had an excellent location for our planned activities, and included two complimentary tickets to the exhibit itself. As we'd previously paid $14 per viewing, we thought that wasn't a bad value.

Alas, we found out that there were only two tickets given per stay, not two tickets per day. And when we checked in, a few of us nearly hurt ourselves seriously — it was snowing and the floors were wet, and we skidded and slipped on the lobby floors. The tiles were uber-polished things, and we can't imagine what they might have been meant for ... certainly not flooring! The four or five people behind the counter were too busy talking amongst themselves to warn us about the floors.

We'd been traveling all day — cancelled flights, bad traffic accidents, etc., so we wanted to be lead to our rooms and bed down. But no one offered to take our bags or even lead us to our rooms. As we'd noted, they were too busy chatting to each other to help customers. One of us had to go and ask a couple of times where the room was located.

Because one of us is a heavy smoker, we asked for a smoking room. Over the phone, we were told there were only two in the whole building, and we might not get it. Well, we did, but we kind of wish we hadn't. The room smelled really, really, really bad. Not moldy, or dirty, or dirty laundry, just ... can't describe it, maybe just really badly musty? It was bad. Maybe they assumed smokers can't smell anything anyway?? We didn't get another room because given how grumpy we were, the smoker really wanted a cigarette — or 20 — and didn't want to have to go outside in the frozen tundra that was Indianapolis.

The bed was very comfortable with wonderful pillows that were made of that pseudo-feather synthetic. If you wanted a firmer pillow, it was in the armoir drawer. The room had only one chair, however, so there was nowhere for the other person to sit, or for guests coming to visit, either.

There is a pool listed on this property, but it's outdoors. With four inches of snow on the ground, we're not likely to be taking any plunges. It made us grumpy, since we'd packed bathing suits! In fact, this motel seemed to have far fewer amenities than cheaper places which happened to be much less conveniently located.

The "special exhibition tickets" turned out to be the manager's business card, to be presented to the museum's ticket window. We were tempted to take a bunch of business cards on the counter! And when we called ahead to ask about the timed tickets, the person at the motel said, "I don't know what you're talking about."

To summarize: nice king-sized bed, great pillows, decent breakfast offering, smelly room, overpriced. If it wasn't for the closeness to the museum (and thereby its very convenient downtown parking for all of us, especially during the football and basketball games nearby when there was no parking spaces to be had), we would recommend overlooking it. If we're back here again, we'll look elsewhere next time.

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