Ever since my wife and I moved to Indianapolis in 2004, we've wanted to stay in a train car at the Crowne Plaza hotel. "What?!?" you say...

The Crowne Plaza occupies the city's old train station (I love seeing old buildings repurposed and preserved) and as part of that, they have a number of guest rooms available in train cars.

These are nothing like the sleeping accommodations in the Pullman cars of old. They're very comfortable and quite charming, and each room occupies fully half the car, and each has a theme based on a movie star who was popular during the heyday of train travel.

I had the occasion to stay at the Crowne Plaza when the company I was with at the time held its annual meeting there and found it to be very pleasant in other ways as well.

The food catered into our meetings was quite good in both quality and variety -- several notches up from your standard banquet fare. The service in the bar off the lobby was also excellent, despite the throngs of my thirsty colleagues who congregated there after the day's activities. And the staff was uniformly friendly and helpful.

Finally, the Crowne Plaza is close to several popular downtown venues, including Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse. All in all, a place worth visiting if you have occasion to be in downtown Indy.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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