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The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis has few flaws. Reviews are great, in fact. Out of towners love its comfort, reliability, cleanliness, and proximity to downtown attractions. Locals love the in-house FireLake Grill and lobby bar. So far, so good, right? Of course, there's a but...
There's one complaint that we see pop up now and then from guests--it's that the hotel's service can be impersonal at times and that it just doesn't sparkle the way they envisioned a 4-star hotel should.
Well, we think we can consider that problem officially solved. Last week, Radisson announced the property will be converted into a Radisson Blu, meaning if the hotel is considered "upscale" now, it will soon be "upper-upscale." Basically, more Ps and Qs, and maybe a white glove or two.
When we saw how dog-friendly the Grand Hotel Minneapolis is, we were sad we didn't bring our pup with us to the Midwest. But we were traveling with our girlfriends en route to a wedding and what we did discover is that this Kimpton property downtown makes the perfect pad for a good, old-fashioned girly catch-up.
Our Queen Queen Deluxe was super spacious, and had lots of cute and comfy touches, from the chaise lounge to the signature zebra-print Kimpton robes and full-size dispensers of C.O. Bigelow toiletries in the shower.
Check out our room video and photo gallery and you'll see just how well this spread can accommodate three chicks keen on doing very little but lounging about, drinking some wine, snacking on Twizzlers and talking until the wee hours of the night.
Dog-Friendly Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Minneapolis Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
We don't often get to the Midwest so we get very curious about the hotels there. We were thrilled to find on a recent stay at the Grand Hotel Minneapolis that this one totally lives up to its Kimpton reputation for being dog-friendly.
It certainly helped that the day after we checked-in was 'Take Your Dog to Work Day,' which the hotel seemed intent on celebrating. The front desk staff told us they were expecting a few canine guests to check in that day as well, so there were plenty of beds, bowls and treats for them on hand.
Take a peek at our spin through the lobby and a few other spaces at The Grand, and you'll see pet-friendly touches and a pretty nice looking place for humans to hang out, too.
Busted. That's what happened to three party-goers at the W Minneapolis on New Year's Eve who were arrested for base-jumping 32 stories off the Foshay Tower, the 80-year-old building which houses the W Hotel.
Investigators said David Juntunen, 36, of Minneapolis and three other men took the elevator up to the 30th floor around 1 p.m. Wednesday and bought tickets to the observation deck. Officials said the men then walked up one floor higher and used a wrench to unbolt a ceiling gate. That is where police said Juntunen jumped more than 400-feet with a parachute. The group video taped the jump and left without incident.
Apparently these base-jumpers didn't know the first rule of committing a crime (if indeed base-jumping is a crime.) The trio partied in the hotel's living room bar with a laptop and were overheard bragging about the jump, even showing some video they took to other peeps at the bar. Hotel security called the police, who arrived to arrest the trio. They resisted arrest and are now cooling their heels in jail, accused of obstructing the legal process.
The party featured a faux funeral procession with ladies in minis pallbearing a coffin filled with top-shelf vodka. We can't figure out why on God's green earth the hotel's promoters decided on this odd performance piece, but can only assume it has something to do with a misdirected attempt to be ironically cool and shocking.
Further, the hotel's "living room" (lobby) is filled with custom-made pleather chairs. And it calls its bathrooms "water closets" to add a cherry on the pretension sundae. Though we have to admit, it looks like you get a killer view of the Twin Cities from inside the tub in the hotel's suites. CityPages has a great photo album to check out from the bash here.
Last time we checked on the progress of the historical renovation that will become the W Minneapolis - The Foshay, they were predicting an opening date of July 28--a date that's obviously now been and gone.
Now the W Minneapolis is lining up for an August 13 opening--that's this Wednesday. The opening special rate is $155 a night (up until September 30) but you have to book by the end of today! If you miss that there is also a three nights for two deal going.
We're intrigued by a note on the W Minneapolis website, and it's something you should know if you're planning a stay for mid-September. A "large private event" is booked in for September 17 and 18 (mid-week) which might cause some "noise and inconvenience" in the public parts of the hotel.
We've stayed in our share of hotels fashioned out of historic buildings. Usually, we're appreciating the free WiFi too much to actually notice. But the new W Hotel Minneapolis might be a bit different.
It's inside the landmark Foshay Building, and workers have already uncovered and refurbished an arcade ceiling in the main entryway. Upstairs, offices are being gutted and turned into rooms. The boardroom used by the building's former owner, Wilbur Foshay, will be a new bar and restaurant, with original mahogany paneling and casement windows intact.
By the time the work is finished--and who knows when that'll be--investors will have dumped $75 million into the project, five times what they paid for the actual building. Right now, the opening date is set for July 28, 2008.
The W expansion train keeps on trucking. Minneapolis will get its first W Hotel next year, if all goes according to plan. The Starwood brand plans to turn the historic Foshay Tower into a 229-room hotel with 18 suites and lots of meeting space.
The Foshay is a sort-of miniature Chrysler Building, an opulent skyscraper built at the height of the art deco age. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so it'll be interesting to see if the refit is actually finished in under a year. (The W planned for DC is also in a historic building.)
Besides the standard laundry list of in-room amenities, the plan for the W Minneapolis-The Foshay includes two bars, a restaurant and an observation deck on the 31st floor. It also connects with the Nicollet Mall via skybridge, so you won't have to actually go outside to go shopping.
Starwood just opened The Westin Minneapolis in a refitted bank building downtown, making it the first Westin in the state. Since it's in the old-school structure, expect to find the vaulted lobby, bank vault and classical details played up. That being said, the place has a load of modern amenities.
In room, you'll find iPod docking stations, flat screen TVs and WiFi that'll cost you $12.95 a day. ($13? Not how you end up on our good side.) And since it's finally warming up in Minnesota, you won't even need to use the elaborate skyway system that the hotel links up with to avoid the frigid outdoors.
But the Westin has to do something about its opening deal. Almost always, hotels offer cut-rate rooms or upgrades when they first open, since there are always kinks to work out at any new property. The Westin Minneapolis is only offering double points if you stay with them. Guess if you find your stay unpleasant, you can always book a room at a different hotel with those bonus Starpoints.
· Westin Hotels coverage [HotelChatter]