(Third) Rate the IL Hotel: Indianapolis

It’s time once again for the game that’s sweeping the land as fast as a janitor who’s paid per broom-stroke…..(Third) Rate the IL Hotel!!!!  Now here’s your host, the gentleman whose elevator is always waiting in the lobby…….Jason Benetti!!!!!

Thank you Charlie O’Donnell.  It’s a pleasure to be here.  Check out your local Toys ‘R’ Us soon for (Third) Rate the IL Hotel:  the board game.  Traverse faulty Internet, find your own TV-stand pizza boxes and make it so the window can’t open in your own home.

If you’ve just joined the game, we take recent lodging that the Chiefs have stayed in, give you three positives and three negatives and (somewhat) arbitrarily assign a score between 0 and 100.

Today’s challenger is the Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis.  Located behind the NCAA Headquarters, this hotel has everything:  Flavored water, a T.G.I. Friday’s and, look over there, it’s a front desk employee who looks like Miles from Lost.


1) The Detangler.  Quick quiz:  Which of the following is “The Detangler?”:

A) An episode of 48 Hours Mystery

B) Catwoman’s nephew

C) The conditioner at the Courtyard Indianapolis

D) A nickname given to New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz

Correct answer:

2) Courty-art deco.  The floors are deep, sanguine red.  There are black-and-white photos on the wall, sharply framed in a deep ebony outline.  There’s even one of these:

I’ve always wanted one of those.  It’s a marshmallow plant, right?

3) Under the cover of darkness.  Sometimes, the Chiefs’ travel leaves the team (and its other party members) in need of a good night’s rest.  One of the major components of good REM sleep is a lack of sunlight in the room.  In some hotels, the drapes don’t pull completely together.  This leaves a sliver of sunlight to peek through the covering.  At seven in the morning, then, the weary traveler feels as though he is being interrogated by a member of the Army Rangers with a tiny flashlight.  The Courtyard’s drapes are perfect.  They make the room feel like the inside of a trunk.


1) Like “the kitchen’s on fire,” but worse.  Let’s preface this by saying that the T.G.I. Friday’s I’m about to reference is attached to the hotel, but is not an official part of the hotel.  So, inclusion of this negative is rather like the act of auditing a class.  It’s good to listen to, but accountability is minimal.  I walked into Friday’s looking for a meal and a place to write the previous edition of (Third) Rate the IL Hotel.  I said to the gentleman at the host stand, “table for one.”  I very quickly became persona non grata.  He asked me if I wanted to sit at the bar–standard, it seems.  My response was no.  He then yelled behind him to another waitress, “One-top.”  Thanks to Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain’s  rollicking expose on the restaurant industry, I know that means “a table for one.”  I did not hear the woman’s reaction, but I can only assume it was negative.  The man came back to me and asked for my name.  It was going to be a wait.  Charade.  They had at least a dozen empty tables, I said.  His response was that the waitstaff was “overwhelmed” right then.  Yes, overwhelmed with a lack of delight about someone taking one of their tables without a group in tow.  I was seated five minutes later.  New rule:  seat people eating alone and we, as a subset of the population, we will agree to tip well.

2) Service error.  We were over this briefly last time in Indianapolis.  The bank of elevators has a total of three in the fleet.  Two of them are regular guest elevators.  One is both a guest elevator and a service elevator.  You, as the guest, have no control over which one you get.  So, you may be forced to enter the module with this number grid:

I’d rather not ride with the linens.  It scares me when the back door opens and I can see into the laundry area.  I don’t need to know that my sheets are just one of a couple thousand sets.  Makes me feel like I’m going to contract something or other.

3) AC adapter.  Thanks in part to its ability to be cloaked in shadows, the room stays quite cold during the day while the team is at the ballpark.  It’s difficult, though, to sleep with the unit on because of the location of the vent which spews the Icelandic air.  The vent was mounted in the wall near where the window met the bed.  This leaves the sleeper to feel like he’s being breathed on by Jack Frost.  That’ll get you sick pronto.

Rating:  88.  If we find out, though, that the restaurant is owned by the hotel, the rating may fall to 23.

If you have any hotel thoughts, email jasonbenetti@syracusechiefs.com.  Look forward to hearing from you.

1 Comment

These are too good! Keep ’em comin’!

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