It’s not enough to be located in the center of Naperville; its goal is to be the heart of Naperville. Although it may seem like a standard boutique hotel on the outside, visitors will find it actually reflects the city’s history and culture and is a keen proponent of its values.
Linked To Naperville
Part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, the newly opened Hotel Indigo Naperville Riverwalk boasts 101 guest rooms plus a full service restaurant and bar in its main building linked by a skywalk to Elements at Water Street, a 7,000 square feet event venue with 57 additional rooms and an outside terrace. It’s the anchor of the new Water Street District development, which includes high-end stores, restaurants and a parking garage for 520 cars.
Riverwalk visitors have been excitedly watching it rise above the DuPage River for the past two years. Although the hotel may be part of a chain, the development is pure Naperville. It has been built by Marquette Companies, the locally based property company, and has appointed leaders who know the city very well.
General Manager Daryl Barnes lived here for 20 years before moving to Texas six years ago. Under his leadership, the Hotel Indigo Waco Baylor was voted the best of the group of 50.
“IHG ran a national search when they were looking for a general manager here,” said Barnes. “They brought me back to Naperville and now my goal is for us to have the number one Indigo here.”
Barnes hopes that the hotel will become not just part of the downtown area, but the whole community.
“We outreach constantly,” he said. “You’ll see our staff volunteering in their green t-shirts everywhere. Community service is a big part of who we are and it fits so well into the culture here.”
Element of Surprise
Dave Miller is Managing Partner of Elements. For the past 20 years he has run the Naperville based catering company Chef by Request.
“Previously I’ve been a vendor in other locations, now we’ll have our own venue,” explained Miller. “We’ve already booked more than 30 weddings for next year.”
Elements will feature a 4,200 square feet ballroom able to hold up to 250 people. There are also two meeting rooms and an outdoor terrace. Along with the main hotel, the entire building will have a rustic, industrial, urban feel combining historical touches and local art work in a contemporary setting.
IHG is bringing Director of Sales Doug Kelly back to Naperville from Chicago where he worked for several Kimpton hotels.
“This is the first time I have been given just one hotel and I’m excited to put all of my energy into it,” said Kelly, who is also a Waubonsie Valley High School graduate.
Kelly says the hotel has something for everyone. “The good thing about our rooms is that there is something for every kind of traveler. We have 18 king suites large enough to hold business meetings, to two queen suites that can sleep a family of six. The Plank Bar and Kitchen is named for Plank Road which stretched from here to Chicago. Guests will be able to relax after work and enjoy eclectic cuisine.”
“Naperville was an industrial farming community and we have worked with these elements to create a really unique experience,” Kelly added.
Kelly says Naperville is quickly becoming a destination for travelers. With the Riverwalk commonly known as the crown jewel of the city, there are high hopes that the Hotel Indigo will soon become a well-loved gem.