Most cities have a historic, landmark hotel, and Indianapolis is no different. The Omni Severin Indianapolis is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and we were excited to be guests at the Downtown hotel on a recent visit to the Circle City.
The Omni Severin Hotel is a luxury property without the steep price tag. Serving as the longest-running luxury property in Indy, the hotel is in a prime location for visitors looking for all the fun the city has to offer.
Indianapolis is an event city, thanks to Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Indiana Convention Center. Several of the Downtown hotels are connected to the convention center via the Downtown Skywalk, including the Severin. What that means to me is no matter the weather outside, the elements won’t affect an event. There are more than 300 shops, restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues nearby, so saying the hotel’s location is prime is an understatement.
If the weather is nice and you’re up for walking, many of the great sights of Indianapolis are within walking distance, from the White River State Park and its museums, canal and the zoo, to Monument Circle and several of the city’s cultural districts, including Mass Ave. But even if you’re not up for walking, the city’s easy to drive.
What else did I like about the hotel? I like properties with history, so when we were given a tour and learned about its 100 years of continued service, I thought that was pretty cool. (On that note, keep an eye out for special $100 rates to celebrate the anniversary.) The Severin is a local favorite, at least for events. We were there Labor Day weekend and there were three weddings. If you’re interested in booking your own wedding there, you better go ahead and get your name on the list. There is a three-year wait.
Other than its location and history, I really appreciated the kindness of the staff. And this is where I need to be clear about my why I choose a particular accommodation. I don’t base my lodging decisions on if a hotel’s staff goes out of its way to make me happy. I don’t care if random hotel employees I encounter in the hallway smile and say hello. But then again, I don’t often seek out luxury properties. I’m OK crowding into a room with a couple of my friends and having to sleep on the floor. I’ve done it more than once on guys’ trips (one of the downfalls to booking rooms through Priceline: you can’t indicate number of beds desired).
That’s why my lodging crush on the Omni Severin, at least on the surface, seems out of character for me. But let’s be clear: This was a family trip, meaning quality of lodging moves up on the priority list. And I really appreciate staying in a nice hotel where our son is made to feel at home. We’ve stayed in our share of properties where I’ve felt on edge about if our son is interrupting the enjoyment of guests around us.
That was never a problem at the Omni Severin, where the valet attendants constantly interacted with him, talking to him about his love of sports, offering him water bottles on a hot day, and truly seeming to be interested in how he was enjoying our visit.
How about some of those luxury touches in Omni Severin that I “don’t care about?” Well, I don’t really care about plush carpet in the hallways. But on the walk from the elevator to our 12th-floor room, my feet felt like they were sinking into comfort.
I don’t really care about fancy little soaps, hand towels folded in artistic ways and a turn-down service. But I did think it was really cool when the staff took an extra minute to care for our son’s friends who were unable to join us for dinner, settling them in for a comfortable night.
And I may or may not have brought home an extra box of those nice bath soaps left in the room (they smelled so lovely).
I don’t really care about a front desk staff that goes above and beyond the usual duties. Sure, be nice while you check me in, give me the key and tell me where the elevator is located. But I really don’t expect you to take an interest in my child. So when the front desk staff at the Omni Severin engaged our son in more than just token pleasantries, that made an impression.
I have to admit that I enjoyed the Severin’s staff. On our second day as I waited for a valet to bring our car around, I had a great conversation with the other attendants. Yes, it’s their job, but they seemed genuinely interested in where we were off to for the day. I’ve worked jobs for tips, and I’ve worked jobs that required a general expertise in B.S. And all I know is these valet guys were the real deal. I think a lot of other hotels, not to mention bars and restaurants, could model their employee training programs on whatever it is the Omni Severin is doing. For starters, it would be called giving a damn. I’m all for giving a damn.
I like the Omni Severin. I love the history of the building. I love the idea of a hotel where I can walk out the door and be to several good restaurants and bars, sports arenas and museums all in just a few minutes. And I do like the idea of being treated like a special guest by everyone working at the hotel.
The room wasn’t bad either.
The Omni Severin gets lots of cool points for having a really solid lobby bar stocked with local beer in bottles and on draft.
I’m sure Indianapolis has loads of solid lodging options. I know we were happy with our experience at the Omni Severin.
We were guests of Visit Indy and the Omni Severin. In no way were my opinions shaped by the comfortable bed, shower with perfect water pressure, luxurious rooms and really friendly staff of the hotel.