The following post is a guest blog from Kirk Stelsel who has been a client, a guest and a fan of our hotel since 2010 when we hosted his wedding party and guests. Kirk's post comes to us voluntarily and he was not paid or encouraged to write on our behalf. Follow Kirk on Twitter: @kirkstelsel THANKS FOR THE RECOMMENDATION, KIRK!
Being put in charge of planning a bachelor party is both an honor and a burden.
Anyone who has ever planned an event of any sort knows how hard it is to please an entire group of people by meeting everyone’s needs, ensuring everyone has fun and getting everyone on the same page.
Thankfully, one part of my planning was easy – picking the hotel for our downtown Indianapolis bachelor party. When it came to location, price, quality and service – I knew the service was good based on the way they handled my wedding – the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown was the only place I needed to contact.
Dinner at a local favorite for pretty much all the guys involved, Scotty’s Brewhouse, was a short walk down Pennsylvania Street from one of our favorite downtown Indianapolis hotels. After dinner, moving on to the best place to enjoy nightlife in the entire city, Mass Ave., was easy to walk as well.
If its basketball or football season and you want to take in a game as part of your bachelor party, the HGI is one of the closest hotels near Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a Pacers game and is an easy walk. Catching a Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium is just across a compact downtown, so either a healthy walk or a very short cab ride. If music is your thing, the Murat Centre (now the Old National Centre) is right down on the street on the aforementioned Mass Ave. The HGI is one of the closest hotels near Murat Centre.
I’ve stayed at this hotel three times now, and had countless wedding guests stay there, and every time has been exceptional. The rooms are always clean, the staff is always friendly, and both my bachelor party and wedding guests went out of their way to tell me what a great hotel I had picked for them. If you want a downtown Indianapolis hotel for your bachelor party with bang for your buck, service and some pretty cool history, check out the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown.
Rib America Festival. Downtown Indianapolis. Labor Day weekend. 2012.
You know this is one of my absolute favorite annual events in downtown Indianapolis if you pay attention to the blog. I remember going even when I was in high school, driving 30+ minutes to come downtown at the Murat Centre parking lot. The event has long since outgrown that small lot and now calls Military Park its home.
My top three reason you should do Rib America Festival this year:
1. GREAT FOOD - Of course this event is all about the eats. Presented by Indiana Pork Farmers, you have the opportunity to sample some great smoked, dry rubbed or slathered meat from around the country. Ribs, rib tips, pulled port, chicken, turkey...it's all there. Corn bread, spiral cut potatoes, tons of sauces, grilled corn, funnel cakes...it's all there. Yes, they serve booze, too.
2. GREAT LIVE MUSIC -
Let's kick things off with Friday night's lineup featuring:
Saturday's lineup is something different for Rib Fest this year and I am SO excited to see this change in the schedule. They are presenting a jam band day, which I will not miss.
3. PEOPLE WATCHING:
Always one of the best elements at any type of festival. It's great to sit around and watch people walk, or stumble, by. Check out the crowd having a great time. Talk to your fellow festival-goers to find out which stand has the best sauce, best ribs, best deal.
The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown is proud to be the Official Hotel sponsor of this year's Rib America Festival...for the fifth consecutive year! Our three star hotel downtown Indianapolis has some great offers for you as we partner once again with this year's festivities:
Rib America Indianapolis Hotel Package - Ribs & More includes your overnight guest room, breakfast for two in the restaurant, two admission tickets and 20 food and beverage tickets to use at Rib America Festival. Click the link to find out more!
Rib America Indianapolis Hotel Deal - ROOM ONLY RATE includes only your Indianapolis hotel accommodations.
You may even run into the winner of this year's people's choice award...or a musician if you stay with us!
As of today, February 8, 2012, the parking rates at the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown have increased to the following:
Self-parking: $18 per car, per night
Valet parking: $25 per car, per night
Both parking options still include unlimited in and out privileges when you charge it to your hotel room Indianapolis.
We don't like increasing our parking rates, however, we work with third party garages and their price increases affect our rates. We have been thankful to provide some of the least expensive hotel parking of all the downtown Indianapolis hotels for the entire time we've been open and we continue that trend even with the increase.
Christmas seems like it gets here earlier and earlier every year and Thanksgiving is JUST around the corner! Before you know it you are taking out your menorah or Christmas tree, lighting that first candle and wrapping presents when you realize you forgot to search for that perfect hotel, one where your in-laws would really at home.
The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown is that perfect hotel. All decorated for the holiday season, our downtown Indy hotel staff wants your family to have a wonderful holiday season without being in your hair 24/7!
Our hotel accommodations
For families with children, you might suggest Aunt Harriett and Uncle Harry reserve one of our
We have other
Tip: Our rates during holidays are usually quite low compared to the rest of the year! SHH! Don’t tell anyone, this is just between us. ALSO, you can earn Double HHonors Points or a free night stay certificate before December 31st with four stays!
Ways to participate in Super Bowl XLVI without a ticket, ideas 5-1:
5. Check out the new Chase Near East side Legacy Center and Indianapolis Youth Education Town
The NFL supports the development of a Youth Education Town in each city. This leaves a lasting legacy for the youth and families in the area. Indy's Super Bowl will focus on Arsenal Tech High School. You can see the webcam of the center's pr ogres here.
Sign up for newsletters and updates leading up to the Big Game. Keep in touch with 1st & Green, Super Service and more! Keep in touch with our hotel as well! Find the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown on Facebook and Twitter!
3. Encourage kids to be active with the NFL Play 60 Challenge
You've probably seen the commercials. This program is geared toward schools, but you can certainly apply its principles to your neighborhood, after-school care, kids, etc. The challenge to to get kids outside and playing actively for 60 minutes a day at school and home. Let's help prevent childhood obesity! Our Indianapolis meeting hotel staff is considering starting up a workout program a couple evenings a week. The cookies at the Front Desk continue to put pounds on all of us! Ha!
2. Celebrate "all things football" in Super Bowl Village
Georgia Street is under construction to turn into a great pedestrian-only boulevard in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It will lead directly to the NFL Fan Experience in the convention center. We are one of many hotels near the Indianapolis Convention Center even at six blocks away. NFL will be represented with all 32 franchises surrounded by bars, nightlife, great dining and live music!
1. Be your own pro-football star at the NFL Experience
An interactive theme park dedicated to football? Yes, please! Memorabilia. Kids' football clinics. Autograph sessions. More. More! MORE!! The most exciting thing? TICKETS ARE AFFORDABLE FOR THE NORMAL PERSON!
As you might have guessed, hotels are sold out, restaurants will be packed and to get to Super Bowl XLVI the normal person may have to sell an organ or their soul. I'm sure to be on call 24/7 and sleeping in the office that weekend. Luckily, we just ordered new, comfortable (I hope) chairs. Ha!
There are plenty of other ways to get involved with the Super Bowl in downtown Indianapolis starting right now! A list created by the Super Bowl Host Committee gives us the top ten things we can do to be involved in the BIG GAME without a ticket!
10. Fight breast cancer with Indy's Super Cure
Indy has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at IU Simon Cancer Center. You can contribute financially, become a tissue donor to increase the diversity of breast tissue samples received to help fight cancer and/or volunteer at the Komen Tissue Bank. Tissue donation events will be taking place up to and including the week of Super Bowl XLVI.
Lady Victory, the 38' tall bronze sculpture who has sat on top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument since 1893, returns to her spot overlooking the city, 284 feet above ground. Victory was removed in the spring time and split into four pieces so she could be restored to her original grandeur. Crews tried to place her atop the Monument last Tuesday through Friday but Mother Nature would not cooperate with unfavorable wind conditions.
The job isn't over yet. Victory, who is also known as Miss Indiana, still has to be finished, waxed and buffed. Not that kind of wax! She will be finished by crews working on scaffolding to finish her off with bronze finisher, patina and clear coat to restore her golden brown color before adding the wax protectant. It' just like having your car repainted!
Lady Victory was standing in the northwest quad of Monument Circle for four days before workers attempted putting her back up. This was the first time in 117 years people could get close to her. Traffic just around the Circle from our three star hotel downtown Indianapolis was backed up while residents and visitors stopped to take photos. None of mine turned out very well.
"When things go smoothly at a hotel, there is really no way to judge how they truly operate. It is when a problem occurs, that you can tell what management's attitude is."
This is my new favorite hotel quote. A guest recently stayed at our hotel and wrote about her visit on the blog 2 Wired 2 Tired. Although we have many guests stay with us who may review their stay on Expedia, TripAdvisor and through Hilton's guest satisfaction survey, it really catches our interest when a guest posts something on their blog. Blogging a review usually evokes more of a story-telling dialog and we can find out more in depth how things went instead of a simple satisfaction scale.
We had no idea "Tired Grandma Judy" was here to write about her stay and her trip to Indianapolis. So when our General Manager came to the morning staff stand up meeting with her blog post, we were excited to hear what she wrote. Of course we'd like it to be a glowing review of our downtown Indy hotel! It wasn't. As soon as we heard the quote above, we all took a deep breath, preparing ourselves for what we were about to hear.
Upon settling in to their room, Judy and Grandpa Randy had multiple phone calls from the Front Desk but no one could be heard on the line. Then a knock on their door presented someone from our maintenance department to switch out the broken phone, which Grandpa Randy said wasn't needed. Another phone call and Judy "was beginning to get irritated."
They opened the door again and there stood Megan Mills, our Guest Service Manager and Dave Kalbfleisch, Chief Maintenance Engineer. Megan explained that one of the valet drivers accidentally scratched the bumper of their car on a wall and she wanted them to come down to look at it. Maintenance was still there ready to replace the phone.
"The damage to our car was minor [but] the Hilton Garden Inn offered us a rental to get around the city the next day, while they got it repaired. I told them I just wanted to take it home to the person I knew. They agreed and asked us to get an estimate and they would mail the check out immediately."
After day two passed and they hadn't yet received the check, Judy was followed up with by our General Manager, Richard Letko. The check was received the next day to cover the scratches. "We were very pleased."
"Pleased with the valet for reporting it, he easily could not have and we probably would not have noticed until after we had left Indianapolis. We were also pleased with the front desk for being persistent and handling the incident in an appropriate manner."
PHEW! What a relief! Although we're never happy when a guest has an issue or inconvenience during their stay, we are pleased that we were proactive in contacting the guest, being completely candid about what happened and quick in following up and resolving what happened.
Judy goes on to say,
"The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown would be my recommendation for those attending the Super Bowl in 2012, the Big Ten Championship Football Game, or those simply visiting Indianapolis."Thank you, Judy and Randy, for staying with us this time. I am SO happy to hear everything turned out all right and we handled your situation in an appropriate manner. I hope you will stay with the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown again the next time you are in or through Indianapolis. We would be pleased to have you stay with us again...sans bumper scratches.
Christmas in July? Yes, please! Now is the time of year when all you planners out there are thinking toward planning holiday parties for your company, organization or family. The heat index yesterday was 113 degrees in downtown Indianapolis, so to cool down a bit I'm thinking of winter also. But let's not rush it...
Our staff has a great offer for holiday parties at our downtown historic hotel Indianapolis. Don't wait to book your holiday party in our beautiful Benjamin Harrison Ballroom or on the spacious second floor mezzanine. This Indianapolis hotel package offers the following:
2011 marks the inaugural race Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon & 5K. The start line is on the north side of Monument Circle, just one half block away from our downtown Indy hotel. The race then heads north on Meridian, west on Michigan to tour the IUPUI campus, east back to downtown and then south around Monument Circle. The course continues north on Pennsylvania Street, east on 38th past Indiana State Fairgrounds and south on Fall Creek Parkway. Connecting with Delaware Street, runners will head south with a quick jaunt through the historic Lockerbie neighborhood passing some great Indy landmarks and then finish up on Market Street at the Indianapolis City Market.
Phew! I'm tired just typing all of that!
The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown is very proud to be the official headquarters hotel of the race and to be a part of this great event!! The Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon & 5K will have many great events in our newly renovated hotel Indianapolis, too. We will host the packet pickup and onsite registrations, the pasta dinners and fashion shows, too. There will be exhibits from St. Francis Women's Health, Paul Mitchell Salons and more.
This race benefits the non-profit organization Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run, according to the blurb on the IWHM5K website, "promotes physical, emotional, social and intellectual development in 3rd through 8th grade girls. The girls complete the 12-week program with a stronger sense of identity, greater self-confidence, a healthier body image and a better knowledge of what it means to be a member of a team and a community."
The Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon & 5K has been so popular this year already! In early July our special discount hotel Indianapolis rate for the race sold out! Not to worry, you can make reservations at our sister hotel, the Hilton Indianapolis. They are equidistant from the start line, on the same street as our Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown and just a few blocks from the finish line! You can make your reservations at the Hilton online or call 317-972-0600.
If you can't run this year but still want to be a part of the event, please check out volunteer opportunities to assist the runners!
Rib America Festival is coming up again this Labor Day weekend. There are only 43 days left until the festivities begin at Military Park. You can always count on Rib Fest to be a smokin' hot, sweet and spicy good time. Live music, great BBQ, drinks and sunshine drain the energy out of us for four days...and it feels so good!
This year we are proud once again to offer hotel accommodations Indianapolis at a discounted price. For $99 per night, plus tax, stay at the official hotel of Rib America. We also have a great downtown Indianapolis hotel package which includes two admission tickets to the festival, 20 food & beverage tickets and breakfast for two in our downtown Indy hotel's restaurant, the Great American Grill. Act quick, though, because this Indianapolis hotel package is almost sold out!
Our Hilton Garden Inn is located just five blocks from Military Park - a quick walk or a $5 cab ride. The IndyGo Red Line Circulator also has $1.75 single rides picking up one block north of the hotel and dropping off at Military Park. Don't forget to check Sunday and holiday schedules as the Red Line may not be running.
Call our downtown Indy hotel today to reserve your Rib Fest hotel reservations Indianapolis downtown! We'd love to have you join us in the best BBQ affair of the year!
Over the weekend, Kirk Stelsel and wife Laura stayed at our Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown. They planned a "staycation" in downtown Indy for Kirk to blog about on Doing Indy's blog. The happy couple spent Saturday night with us, had dinner at Mesh on Mass Ave and then went to an Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field.
Kirk and Laura were married on April 24, 2010. We were one of their selected Indianapolis wedding hotels for their guests to stay while in town for their nuptials. It was good to have them back here with us just over a month after they celebrated their one year anniversary.
Kirk is posting three installments on the Doing Indy blog. The first is about our downtown Indy hotel and their experience here. The second will be about dinner at Mesh while the third is reserved for the Indians game. In the first blog, already posted, Kirk talks about how their three star hotel downtown Indianapolis is within walking distance or a short cab ride to many things downtown, one of my favorite features of our HGI.
If you want to read Kirk's blog and hear it from a real guest, other than my sales blog, please check it out and comment on it!