The Grand Hotel Minneapolis: Historic + Hip

Built in 1915, The Grand Hotel Minneapolis in the heart of the city was originally the Minneapolis Athletic Club—a prestigious social club back in the day. Some of that historic dark wood and clubby ambiance still pervades, but now that the hotel is one of the Kimpton properties, it’s been infused with their typical boutique boldness and whimsy. There’s the geometric lobby floor, the funky furniture, the stripes by the elevators.  Then there’s the great lion sculpture reclining on a seating ottoman–the first thing visitors see at the top of the entryway’s partial stairway leading into the lobby and to the check-in desk. 

A valet was at the entrance when I arrived and whisked my suitcase up the short staircase and over to the check-in desk where staff were young, friendly and welcoming. They chatted proudly about the hotel’s amenities: the hosted wine hour in the lobby, the 58,000 square feet of workout facilities (the hotel is next to the Minneapolis Life Time Athletic Club and hotel guests are given complimentary access), their LifeSpa and Salon, and free WiFi (if you join Kimpton’s Karma Rewards—free and easy to sign up).

This is an AAA Four Diamond property and it shows. My room (there are 140 rooms and suites in the hotel) was a beautiful and expansive Premier King Room situated on the 15th floor (rooms above 10 need a card for elevator access). 

In a spacious corner of the building, it was light-filled and lovely: windows on the one wall offered a great view onto another historic downtown Minneapolis landmark: the Foshay Tower. 

With the lux king bed, comfy lounge chair, desk area, flat panel t.v., and even a fainting couch (you never know when you might need one), it also had plenty of outlets for all your electronics, IHome sound system, honor bar, and yoga mats in every room (but no coffee maker). 

My all marble bathroom included the added indulgence of a t.v. mounted over the deep soaking tub (this is part of what makes the room one of the hotel’s Premier vs Standard rooms). 

Besides a walk-in shower, there are the appreciated extra touches like a lighted magnifying mirror, thick lush bath towels, C.O.Bigelow soaps and lotion (mounted on the wall), and the Kimpton’s cool signature animal print robes.

There is no restaurant belonging to The Grand, but on the hotel’s mezzanine level there is the Rare Steak & Sushi restaurant; and the hotel is located amid all sorts of great downtown dining options. I did enjoy cocktails and appetizers at The Grand’s SIX15 Room on the main floor. Just off the lobby, the bar offers a nice craft beer selection and might have the best Bloody Mary in the Twin Cities (make sure Sean makes it for you). It’s crafted with the housemade bacon-infused vodka (do ask about it—it’s awe inspiring). They also serve delicious smaller bites: think smoked trout, pork pot stickers and calamari fries, or bigger bites like burgers and walleye fish tacos. 

In the morning, there is complimentary coffee in the lobby, but I’d suggest checking out the skyway system that hooks most of downtown Minneapolis together—it’s up the stairs from the lobby, and around the corner. Tip: you’ll also find Peace Coffee first thing when you enter the skyway there—a fantastic little coffee shop that also sells the local favorite Patisserie 46 pastries (a very good thing).

Hotel room rates start at approximately $145 (depending on season and night of the week). The place is pet friendly (extra fees) and parking is a hefty $38 for overnight valet. Speaking of: if you are driving to the hotel, there is valet station on the corner of 7th St. and 2nd Avenue. And even though the sign says no right turn onto 2nd Avenue, apparently the rule is waived if you are heading to the hotel whose entrance faces 2nd Avenue.

For more information or to make reservations online, check the website. You can also make your reservations through the all the usual booking sites such as Priceline, Hotels.com, Expedia or Travelocity.

Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was hosted by the hotel.

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