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Bottleworks Hotel: An Indianapolis Landmark


I am always thrilled about a historic building being saved and made into a hotel or other business. So it was when my reservation arrived at Botttleworks Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. This Art Deco gem was once part of the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world.

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The Yuncker brothers, Lee and James, commissioned the construction of the Massachusetts Avenue masterpiece and started bottling in the 1930s. The bottling plant continued to thrive through the Great Depression and for years after. At its peak, the factory produced more than 2 million bottles of soda per week.

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The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Indianapolis filled its last glass bottle in 1964 when the plant moved to Speedway, Indiana, after Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman purchased the franchise.

The plant sat empty until the Indianapolis Public Schools purchased the property in 1969. It was home to the IPS Service Center until 2016. Then the Beloit, Wisconsin-based real estate developer Hendricks Commercial Properties began developing the bottling plant into a hub for entertainment, history, and art.

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When I walked in the front door, it was immediately clear why this hotel was named the best in the U.S. The Yelp business review site ranked Bottleworks Hotel No. 1 on its annual Top 100 Places to Stay in the U.S. list for 2023. It was also recently awarded the prestigious AAA Diamond Rating, North America's premier hotel rating program, with just six percent of hotels in the United States, Canada, and Mexico earning this designation.

The hotel offers a mix of history and modern luxury with distinctive art and architecture.

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A kind desk clerk said my room had been upgraded when I checked in. I was unprepared for the Pemberton Penthouse suite I would call my own for the night. As I entered the bright red door, I saw a billiard table, a living room, and a full bar. The next room had a king bed, a second living room area, and a desk. There was also a powder room and a master bath complete with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. Outdoors was a veranda with seating.

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The fun continued after settling in.

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The Garage Food Hall is just across the street, where Coca-Cola delivery trucks were kept and maintained. Guests find just about any food they might desire, from Italian, Venezuelan, and a noodle bar to burgers and fish. Or, the hotel offers in-room dining, The Club Room, Blue Collar Coffee Co., and Modita with Asian-inspired meals, including sushi, dim sum, noodles, rice, and robata grilled specialties.

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Indianapolis has much to offer from its fine museums, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Conner Prairie, and this beautiful and historic accommodation-destination.

I totally enjoyed my stay. I can highly recommend this hotel, no matter what room you stay in.

For more information about Bottleworks click here.

For more information about the many Indianapolis attractions click here.


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