The hotel itself is brand new, fresh, clean and the decor is beautiful. Obviously lots of blue overtones, great use of LED lights and the whole complex feels up to date. Being attached to the Mall of America you’d hardly notice it as it has a complete stand alone hotel look and feel.
PARKING – D+
If you park at the hotel you can valet or self park in the parking ramp attached to the hotel. We self parked. The ramp itself is one of the more confusing mazes I have ever seen. There are signs but there is really no clear marking where the heck the door is to get into the hotel. We parked and found the elevator, then it gets more confusing.
The ramp has two level, we parked on level to which is marked with signs P2.
When you hit the elevator there is no P2 or any indication on the buttons where the heck the hotel lobby was. There were buttons labeled 2, 1, and 0 with a star I think. I guessed the star and was correct.
Going back I remembered parking on the big green P2 level. So I hit the elevator in the lobby after checking out and hit 2. But that was wrong, that takes you to the bar and conference room level, for parking you have to hit #1… there was another couple getting into the elevator that had the same problem.
Parking bad labels, elevator no labels, easy fix.
Parking is $22 a night if you don’t stay there which I assume is purely to keep the mall customers away from a really close ramp because if you stay at the hotel you park for free. However their system needs a BIG fix.
When you park you get a ticket. When yo check in the hotel gives you another coupon ticket that is supposed to let you leave for free without paying. However when I left the coupon didn’t work and from others in the valet area yelling that I heard, it didn’t work for most people. The only way to get out was to pay the $22 via credit card. I then had to park in front, go into the lobby and work on getting the charge back. $22 is a big chunk for parking anywhere. A real pain on check out day.
ROOMS – B
The room was clean, big and very up to day. We stayed on the upper floors, city view. A great view of the airport and of the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. THe room was spacious, we had the King bed, and the LED lighting was very nice. The bathroom was slick and the shower was the rainfall style shower head, in the ceiling not on the wall. There was a great top of the line coffee maker, complimentary water, top TV, the room was very conformable…. until the bed.
We got a King size bed however I don’t think it was a King size bed. We have a King at home and the room’s bed felt more like a Queen size. It wasn’t as wide and was shorter than a traditional King. The pillows were big, very soft and there were lots of them.
The bed itself was awful. Maybe because it’s new, but I have never had a new mattress need breaking in. It was hard, immovable, left like it was a dome, and both our backs were stiff and cramped after sleeping on it. Made for a very uncomfortable night. For as awesome the room was the bed ruined it.
For additional annoyances there is a smoke/CO detector on the wall that flashes bright green lights and the coffee maker strobed to brighter green lights. If you like to sleep in the dark those stood out. I actually threw a shirt over the coffee maker to block it out.
Before we headed into the mall for dinner we stopped off at the bar. FireLake Grill. We each a handcrafted cocktail and they were out of this world. Bravo! My wife had the Calhoon Loon and I had the Sweedish Passing. You can find the menu on FireLake website for details.
The service still has lots of wrinkles to work out.
The ambiance inside was rustic, wood covered walls and ceilings, old style lights and a great view. In hindsight we should have tried the restaurant.
OVERALL – B+
Aside from the parking gaffe and the terrible bed this was a fantastic stay. The hotel is very, very cool and trendy. Another big part of their appeal I see is their party, meeting, conference hosting for businesses and such. Looking at their calendars it appears that’s a big hit and they are busy for a while.
The price is not bad for the hotel, less than $200 a night for a very nice room depending on where you stay. It’s connected to the Mall of America which has plenty to do but is one of my most hated places on the planet not because of the mall itself but because of the people and troublemakers that come out of the woodwork after dark.
I would recommend this to anyone coming to town for a visit and wants to goto the Mall of America.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.