Looks like a new hotel was added for down town. It's on the circle and in its description says it has a dress code.
Interesting. This was actually the one downtown hotel removed from the housing portal this year.
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group
I've never stayed at the Columbia Club, but I know in the past others have said the dress code was not particularly enforced during Gen Con. Particularly if you were simply coming and going from your room.
People have reported that they don't allow outside food, and that the rooms are dated, usually cramped, and hot water is unreliable. It's a private members club renting out guest rooms rather than an actual hotel.
Looks fine if you just need somewhere close to sleep and take a (sometimes cold) shower, but don't expect the amenities or service of an actual hotel.
I hate to necro a thread, but I happened to spot this. Having stayed at the Columbia Club, I can corroborate the dated rooms and unreliable hot water. The bathroom was unnecessarily big (with a shower booth that could probably accommodate three people while the shower itself barely put out enough water pressure for one to bathe) while the rest of the room was small and over-furnished. There were maybe two available outlets and neither was in a convenient location.
I don't think the outside food issue came up, and as the dress code only applies if you're in certain parts of the building (if you're just coming and going they don't care).
It's fancy-looking, and aesthetically I found it charming enough (but I'm 40 and spent a lot of time around my grandfather growing up), but in terms of service and amenities it was little improvement over a random side-of-the-road Quality Inn I stayed in once.
It is always fun to trash the Columbia Club, but for as much as I would never stay there again after my experiences in ... 2005? it is still certainly better than not being downtown. And it is not, like, unsafe or anything, which would be the only reason I would personally say you must avoid a place at all costs.
But yes, its whole vibe is different than any other hotel specifically because it is not strictly speaking a hotel at all, and thus is surprising they are in the block.