England, Europe and Middle East, Hotel Reviews, London, Newsletter, United Kingdom

Hotel Indigo Coventry. A luxury boutique hotel celebrating Coventry’s history.

19/03/2024 by .
Hotel Indigo Coventry

Michael Edwards stays at the brand-new Hotel Indigo Coventry

This is Motown. No, not Detroit but Coventry. More two-tone trombone-tooting Specials and Bad Manners malarkey than silky smooth Diana Ross or moon-walking Michael Jackson. And the brand-new Hotel Indigo proudly celebrates that this is Coventry.

Blue-sky thinking dominates at Hotel Indigo Coventry, this boutique hotel which opened in January 2024. Its barcode columns are striped silver blue, paying homage to all things Coventry. Welcoming artwork plays with history: a flame-haired Lady Godiva rides a push bike side-saddle. Her horse – and historical accuracy – put out to grass.

There is a true Coventry welcome at Hotel Indigo Coventry. God cakes, a triangular flaky pastry mincemeat turnover, dating from the 14th century when godparents gave them to their god children, have been delivered to our room. But we decide to save the complimentary Peeping Tom gin for later.  That gin is named after the one voyeur who didn’t avert his eyes when Lady Godiva rode allegedly naked through the city centre. Though the historical jury is out on the veracity of that story.

Hotel Indigo Coventry

Rooms and suites at this 101-room boutique hotel focus on three distinct themes. It was the spinning wheel of the medieval textiles industry, weaving a cloth with a distinctive blue shade, that brought the wealth to fund the substantial black and white houses that still survive today. A blue that lives on in Coventry City football club’s shirts. Whilst at the bar there’s the club’s official lager, Sky Blue Army, from local brewery Dhillon.

Other rooms celebrate Coventry’s regeneration and re-imagination. From 1938, Coventry, as an engineering centre, knew it would be in the firing line when war came: stockpiling gas masks, digging air-raid shelter trenches. An 11 hour Luftwaffe bombing raid on 14th November 1940, killing 548, meant that post-war, Coventry’s town planners would have to start afresh.

A new ring-road, ahead of its time, kept the city centre free of traffic. “You can walk from Indigo to the Cathedral and to the Herbert Museum in about 10 minutes,” tourist information told us.

Our suite recalls the heyday of Coventry’s motor industry. A nostalgic advert for Coventry Cars with the naive – and ambiguously worrying slogan – “Here and there” greets us. Beyond the wide Hypnos bed, headboard luxuriously cream upholstered like a Jag, a collage of pictures shows the colour swatches for an E-type Jaguar.

Decor maybe automotive nostalgia but the comforts are contemporary: Egyptian cotton bedding, a refrigerated minibar of soft drinks and fresh milk, plus a Nespresso coffeemaker. Sat in a two-seater sofa, we select from multiple channels available on a 40” flatscreen television.

Hotel Indigo Coventry

Sometimes it is forgotten that the bike industry came before the car. The lifts are wallpapered with newspaper cuttings on the cycle industry and a penny-farthing bicycle is mounted on the wall in Cogs Bar. But by the 1920s many bike manufacturers were switching to automotive production. For the full story, visit the Coventry Transport Museum.

By the 1980s, Coventry according to The Specials, with the car industry declining and unemployment spiralling, was a “Ghost Town”.  Appropriately black and white murals, in Indigo’s public areas, recall the birth of two-tone music. The Specials didn’t just have “A message to you, Rudy”; they had a message of racial integration for everyone.

For most visitors to Coventry, Sir Basil Spence’s cathedral is the first stop and the ultimate symbol of the City’s ability to reimagine, reinvent and regenerate.

Cathedral Hotel Indigo Coventry

In the austere post-war years, concrete and steel for a controversially modernist structure were more readily available than stone for a traditional gothic rebuild.

Steadily won over by the splendour of the stained-glass windows, Graham Sutherland’s tapestry, a charred timbers cross from the original cathedral roof, all imbued with the spirit of reconciliation, a 1999 Channel 4 poll voted Coventry Cathedral Britain’s best loved building of the 20th century.

After a day of culture, it’s time to head back to Hotel Indigo Coventry. for a drink in Cogs bar and a meal served in the spacious high-ceilinged restaurant. It is a menu sourced locally from Warwickshire whenever possible.

Hotel Indigo Coventry

As a social hub for Coventry, it is appropriate that there are sharers of British charcuterie, baked Camembert and a bread board. A wine wall adds to the conviviality.

Head Chef Marek Jani’s team create visual drama as they work in the open kitchen. Steaks are a speciality. Rump, rib-eye and fillet are joined by a free-range pork tomahawk with a house rub. For a lighter touch there are pan-fried sea bream, roasted courgettes with cous cous or a superfood salad.

Hotel Indigo Coventry, strategically positioned a two minutes’ walk from the railway station and on the edge of the compact city centre, is the latest development in Coventry’s regeneration. With the Indigo’s comforts, even if blue is the city’s colour, there’s no need to get the blues in Coventry.

Tell Me More About Hotel Indigo Coventry

Hotel Indigo Coventry Friargate Coventry CV1 2GN
T: 024 7510 2350  E:  enquiries@coventry.hotelindigo.com

Room rates from £103


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