Hilton Hotel, downtown Indianapolis, IN
120 West Market St.

Diana, Csillag, MaceVindaloo, BunchBox, Susu, Runt, Rosie, VagBoy

It's tempting to skimp on hotels when one looks at the total costs of things which make up a holiday or a get-away. I mean, you just sleep and wash up, right? As long as the sheets and towels are clean and the shower works, what more can you want? Why not spend the money on entry fees or souvenirs or fine dining instead?

And yet when you stay at a nice hotel, the trip is so much better. (We're talking about a hotel, not a resort, here.) True, some towns and some hotels are incredibly pricey and could include things you will not use or appreciate. But when standing in line at C3, one's spirits can get tired, and the Force — either dark or milk chocolate — will not help. What DOES help is a wonderful bed, sound insulation, hot water, a pool, and never seeing the staff even though they clean and make your bed perfectly.

We are SO glad we opted to stay at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, rather than some cheaper option outside of town which would have required driving or shuttling in daily. It meant not having to find parking (an important consideration when one has to circle blocks or pay for it in garages with "no vacancy" signs up in a business district), and being able to drop off purchases or retreat for a short nap was wonderful. The jacuzzi (where we squeezed up to a dozen instead of the specified six people) and lap pool was a great way to recover from a hard day on our feet.

Since C3 was so huge, downtown hotels were booked out early, and we applaud ourselves for booking abotu 4 months in advance. It was really worth it — we even got souvenir key cards depicting the shatterpoint-style battle between Obi-wan and Anakin on Mustafa. There was a good breakfast buffet restaurant in the lobby. The staff was friendly and they have a "storage" option for those who arrived early or had to leave late from their rooms; if the rooms were not available, the porters would take care of your bags while you run around town. (We especially loved Alex, the porter who took care of our many bags and didn't have a condescending bone in his body about being Star Wars freaks! Actually, the first guest we saw in the hotel was a member of the 501st sans his helmet ... didn't bat an eye.)

Though there is no garage attached to this property, they did offer valet service. Basically, you unload your car and someone drives it away to park elsewhere. You don't worry about it till it's time to leave, and the car valet is prompt and courteous. It's so nice when things happen like in the movies! What's more, we had decided to save some time and money by bringing some sandwich and breakfast fixings with us, and the porters and valet weren't phased at all by the coolers or bags of groceries. They are ultra-polite and non-judgemental and very professional without being impersonal or rude.

There were drink vending machines on each floor and an ice machine — so we didn't miss the in-room refrigerators which weren't in the rooms we checked into. We simply filled gallon Ziploc baggies with ice and our meal fixings stayed nicely chilled. And no need to hide the coolers from the maid!

When you stay in a nice hotel, remember to tip the invisible maid who refills your soap and shampoos, makes the beds, etc. It really was a wonderful place to stay, and if we every find ourselves in Indy again, we'll stay at the Hilton. By the way, this property used to be the Adams Mark, and we stayed here during C2, too. The Hilton made many improvements, so it's better than ever!

photos from www.hilton.com

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