Hotel Indigo opens next week as downtown Chattanooga adds another boutique hotel

DeFoor Hospitality Group opens 117-room, 11-story tower on Sixth Street

Downtown Chattanooga's West Village is seeing more lodging space with the opening of a Hotel Indigo next week.

Chattanooga-based DeFoor Hospitality Group, which also raised the nearby Westin Hotel and has led in the redevelopment of the nearby area, is opening the 11-story tower on Sixth and Pine streets on Wednesday.

Richard Pauley of DeFoor Hospitality said the company is in a lease-to-buy arrangement with locally based ViaNova Development, which was the initial developer of the Hotel Indigo.

He said that DeFoor Hospitality also obtained the franchise agreement for the 117-room boutique hotel, which is located across Sixth Street from the downtown YMCA.

"It's a perfect addition to continue to strengthen" the West Village, Pauley said, adding that he didn't know the development cost of the hotel.

Peter Kartanos, the hotel's general manager, said that opening during the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge, but the Indigo has "a strong support system."

Indigo is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group brand, and the new Chattanooga hotel is its 124th such property, he said.

Kartanos said IHG has preferred vendors which provide cleaners and disinfectants. Also, workers at the hotel, which currently number about 20, are trained to wear the proper safety protection and focus on cleaning the major touch points in the rooms, he said.

Pauley, who also is director of sales and marketing at the Westin, said the Indigo won't open at 100% occupancy due to the pandemic.

"It's going to get a little time to make things perfect," he said. "We've got an opportunity to make sure things are excellent."

The hotel was converted from an apartment building. ViaNova started the project to change The 300 apartments into the Indigo, announcing its plans in 2018. Its officials believed the Indigo would fit the emerging West Village part of downtown with its eateries and small shops.

For many years, the building was the St. Barnabas Apartments for senior citizens.

Kartanos said that since the structure was an apartment building, it was well suited for adaptive reuse into a hotel. The hotel's windows are designed to block out noise from nearby U.S. 27, he said.

Rooms are modern and fairly spacious, though Pauley noted the units aren't as large as in the Westin, which the DeFoor brothers opened in 2017 at Pine and M.L. King Boulevard.

He said each Indigo tries to reflect the city where it's located.

"They're all unique," Pauley said, adding that its operators see its patrons as wanting to get out and enjoy Chattanooga and its outdoors.

Still, the hotel offers a business center, meeting rooms, fitness center, plentiful outdoor space off the lobby and a restaurant and a bar, which features a large, polished black walnut surface with built-in cell phone chargers.

John Croy III, the hotel's food and beverage manager, said the restaurant will sell sandwiches, salads and share-able plates.

"We hope the community will come here and eat," he said.

Kartanos said the hotel lobby was designed with the help of local artisans with features to reflect the geography and the Chattanooga area in general.

"It's all about the community," he said.

Officials said they don't expect the Indigo to compete directly against the Westin.

"The Westin and the Indigo will be a complement to each other," Pauley said.

Week-day rates at the Indigo are expected to range from $129 to $179, he said. During weekends, rates likely will go from $169 to $199.

Contact Mike Pare at Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.