Conrad Indianapolis: As Distinctively Yours as a Little Old Lady

April 12, 2012

I always stay at the Conrad when I come to Indy. It’s probably your best bet, though Indy gets more and more interesting each time I visit. One of these years there will be a real boutique hotel here with hipsters and everything.

Meanwhile, you can be part of the Hilton chain and be treated like the corporate number you are. What a drag.

I was first assigned a room nowhere near as good as the one they put me in last time. Why? Because the Hilton people have no idea what they did for me last time. Not even their computers remember. So back downstairs it was to switch to room 1403 (a suite on one of the corners). 1403 is a very nice room.

The living room section with very nice windows (they should open the curtains).

Looking from the couch back to the 80s style desk peninsula. Desk peninsulas are no longer in style.

Or rather, set of rooms. There is a living room area, a bedroom, a large bathroom and a smaller bathroom with some halls connecting everything. Reasonable layout.

Nicely appointed bedroom.

And real plants…which is a welcome addition suitable for old lady hotels.

Nice plants on every table.

Here’s the problem with Hilton as a chain. They have no idea I have been here multiple times. They offered me water on checkin and when I requested sparkling had it “sent up” for a major fee (what a bait and switch ripoff). And the last straw relegating them to “wrong generation” status…Net costs an arm and a leg.

That’s right. Here in America where business hamsters at the Courtyard by Marriott get free Net, Hilton wants to charge me $41 and change for 3 days of (not so hot) Net. Net should be like electricity and oxygen…part of the deal. Only little old ladies and people in a previous generation are willing to pay for Net these days, mostly because they did not grow up with it. Pathetic. Hilton, get a clue! Even Paris knows that Net is necessary (and she is no genius).

At least the bathrooms are good.

Guest bathroom through two doors.

Master bathroom from the glass shower cube.

Plus the shower is great. Bring your own soap and shampoo though unless you want to smell all flowery (need I say…like a little old lady?).

Glass shower good.

Final verdict? Nice place—for your parents. Four shower heads and several extraneous surcharges for the Conrad. Maybe they will use the margin to buy a real CRM system.

Now on to the really great news. Mixology has arrived in Indianapolis! After a well constructed dinner at R Bistro with absolutely exceptional service, we drove back to the center of town for a drink or two at The Libertine.

Two separate barkeeps (actually, one barkeep and one certified mixologist) served us, neither of whom wanted to be named yesterday (this is not San Francisco is it?). I had an interesting concoction that has yet to earn its label. We’ll call it the Indypendant…though since Jonathan made it, maybe the Fernet Hum Drink is a better name.
.5 oz lime
.75 oz Hum which was a new one on me
1.5 oz Fernet

Yes, the Fernet dominated the drink. Not quite ready for prime time, but interesting nonetheless. I will have to get some Hum for my bar and play around with it.

Tonight we went back and I did some work with the Hum. Turns out that the barkeeps were Jonathan Stern (soon moving to SLO) and Michael Gray (who is actually a certified card carrying mixologist…whatever that means). Here are the drinks I came up with. The first needs some adjustment but was not too far off.
New Mexico
1.5 Rhum agricole
.5 Hum
1 lime juice
2 grapefruit juice
.5 simple syrup (an addition by Jonathan that was definitely necessary)

And the one that is a keeper.
Radical Moderate
1 Willett rye
.75 Hum
.75 Dolin’s sweet vermouth
dash orange bitters (bitter truth though Reagans #6 would be better)
luxardo cherry

Brian had a Jonathan concoction.
Cynar Stinger which if you were a mixologist and not a barkeep would be called a Bitter Sting
1.5 cynar
.375 White Creme de menthe
Lime squeeze (big)

On night one I also sampled some Vieux Carre Absinthe from Philly which was very nice. (I asked for sparkling water and simple syrup treatment. The brown sugar cube they used was a bad idea. Oh well.)

Night two was a blast. The Libertine will be a mandatory stop on any future Indy trips.

And a final piece of mixology news. Must try out The Rail in Bloomington (apparently introducing mixology to that storied college town). I hesitate to include their Facebook link (ouch…need website please).

Indiana is getting better and better. Sadly, we may just have to stop using the term mixology. See?

3 Responses to “Conrad Indianapolis: As Distinctively Yours as a Little Old Lady”

  1. […] mixology news, The Rail (as rumor had it in Indy is a very good bar indeed. I was fortunate to meet both of the owners. Andy Butler is a Bloomington […]

  2. […] their internet.” Get with the program guys, you’re putting your entire chain on the same level as Indianapolis! Plus the net service once you do authenticate […]

  3. […] Hiltons? You can have them all. But if you have to come to Indy, you might as well stay at the Conrad. It’s the highest most five-star link in the Hilton family, and it has everything required by the moneyed graying class. […]

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