We just got back from another wonderful weekend at my alma mater, Indiana University in Bloomington. I have already published an article on the Top Ten Bars and Restaurants in Bloomington, Indiana. So now I am going to turn my attention to the best places to stay in Bloomington.
Best Hotels Near Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
- The Biddle Hotel and Conference Center at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. 7th Street. The Biddle Hotel and Conference Center at the Indiana Memorial Union is my sentimental favorite. The location is by far and away the best of any hotel in Bloomington, smack dab in the middle of campus and pretty close the all the fun on Kirkwood. I stayed here years ago with my parents on a campus visit so my assessment of The Biddle Hotel may be a little biased. I think the place is gorgeous, classy and about as collegiate as you can get. Just FYI some of the least expensive rooms can be a little small and one couple I sent there last year were not thrilled with the place. And don’t expect a deluxe pool, complimentary breakfast or some of the other amenities you get at the chain hotels. That being said The Biddle Hotel garners a great 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor and very good online reviews. Even if you don’t wind up staying at the The Biddle Hotel make sure you check it out when walking through Indiana University’s breathtaking campus.
2. Hyatt Place, 217 W. Kirkwood We stayed at the Hyatt Place for two nights this past weekend. The hotel is on Kirkwood just west of Bloomington’s beautiful courthouse square and across the street from the Crazy Horse, Irish Lion, Alley Bar and the Tap Brewhouse. The hotel is almost brand new and the rooms are very nice. They have an excellent free breakfast in the morning and, although the hotel was teeming with IU football fans, the hotel staff worked hard to make sure the breakfast area remained very clean. Avoid the rooms that overlook the monster rooftop a/c unit of the bank next door (an issue only if you have reserved a King bed). The management here is outstanding and very accommodative. However, at $569 a night on a football weekend they have to make sure that the elevators are operating properly. One was out periodically during the weekend and all day Sunday creating a very long waits and frustrated guests. Parking is $7 a night. One more kicker, the Hyatt Place Bloomington can be reserved for just 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points which makes it outstanding reward point value. See my great article on How to Maximize Your Hotel Points for more information.
3. Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College
On our latest trip we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn and the Hyatt Place. The Hilton Garden Inn has an outstanding location just a block off Bloomington’s beautiful courthouse square. The rooms are spacious, modern and well appointed. The hotel doesn’t offer a complimentary breakfast; however, complimentary coffee and cookies (big and delicious) are available in the lobby area. A full breakfast and other meals are available at the adjacent Coaches Bar & Grille. The hotel is next to Bloomington’s Morton Street Garage (enter on Morton Street) and overnight parking is available for $7/night. The parking situation is a little bit of a pain (a sign outside clearly directing arriving guests on where to park would help), but not a big deal. The Hilton Garden Inn is an excellent hotel with an outstanding location.
4. Springhill Suites, 501 N. College
We stayed here last year for the Indiana University/Maryland game (shocker IU lost 37-15). Everybody loved the place and the downtown location. The rooms were spacious with plenty of room for three large people. The public areas are relatively small but very well appointed. Their free breakfast was among the best I’ve had on the road. The Springhill Suites also had complimentary snacks and other treats available most of the day—a nice touch. The downtown location is great when you are meeting your friends for a drink or two after the game.
- Courtyard Marriott, 310 S College
The Courtyard Marriott has been completely remodeled since the last time I stayed here 3 years ago. The new iteration is a substantial improvement. The lobby area is open and inviting with a small
bar and restaurant (The Bistro) and plenty of seating. The new outdoor area in the back of the hotel is very spacious with numerous comfortable seating options. It’s almost is like hanging out on your deck at home. The downtown location isn’t quite as good as either the Hyatt Place or the Hilton Garden Inn, but the Courtyard Marriott is very well run and an excellent choice for your Bloomington weekend. As with most Courtyards’, breakfast is not complimentary but is available at The Bistro restaurant.
6. Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1399 S. Liberty
The Homewood Suites is great if you have a large group. The regular size rooms are a bit larger than those you will find in the downtown Bloomington hotel; however, the location (out by state route 37) is a little challenging if you are planning to party it up on Kirkwood. The Homewood Suites offers daily complimentary breakfast and even serves a complimentary dinner Monday through Thursday. All rooms offer a regular size refrigerator and a small kitchen area. So the hotel is great if you have a big crew and want to save a few bucks on meals. The place is kept very clean by an excellent management team and, overall, this is a great place to stay.
- Holiday Inn/Comfort Inn, 1710 Kinser Pike
These two hotels are literally joined at the hip. The Holiday Inn is in the front with the Comfort Inn in the rear. The location is pretty good, but the entrance off Kinser Pike is a bit inconvenient. However, the Holiday Inn’s lobby is very nice with a beautiful cocktail lounge/restaurant area. The rooms are typical Holiday Inn size but still very nice. The Holiday Inn also has a nice outdoor pool (weather permitting). The Comfort Inn side is not quite as deluxe, but you can just walk down the hall and enjoy the comforts of the Holiday Inn.
I group these together because they are literally next to each other on S. Franklin Street. These are great places to stay when the price is right. All of them are relatively new, clean and comfortable. The Towne Place Suites offers three types of suites; studios (360 sq. ft.), one bedrooms (598 sq. ft.) and two bedrooms (624 sq. ft.). The one and two bedroom suites are pretty spacious. It’s a great place to stay if you have a large group and don’t want to shell out the few extra bucks for the Homewood Suites. They also serve complimentary cookies in the afternoon–always appreciated. All rooms at the Holiday Inn Express offer small refrigerators and microwave ovens. The Holiday Inn Express also offer daily complimentary breakfast and complimentary dinner Monday through Thursday. The Fairfield Inn is also a nice place to stay. The rooms are relatively small (250 to 300 sq. ft. for non-suites) but the place is new and a very nice outpost of this nationwide chain. The Fairfield Inn also serves a complimentary breakfast.