The so-called “Twin Cities” (about 20 minutes apart by car) regularly feature in lists of the best places to live in the US – but don’t mistake low crime rates, cleanliness and order for dullness; this is a place that loves life and lives it to the full, with some seriously impressive restaurants, bars and other great things to do.
Minneapolis is the livelier and more modern of the pair, and you’ll find dozens of parks, a gorgeous riverfront along the Mississippi and three major sports stadiums within about a mile of each other here. St Paul retains a more stately air, its cathedral and Capitol buildings presiding over Downtown from their respective hills.
Though St Paul tops the charts when it comes to hotels, with elegant Saint Paul Hotel attracting accolades aplenty, Minneapolis is the better place to base yourself, with a wider range of hotels and the chance to stay in the city’s vibrant Downtown. Location is key when it comes to these top 10 hotels.
Best hotels in Minneapolis/St Paul
The Twin Cities’ top address simply oozes sophistication, from its elegant rooms with king-sized beds and plush chenille chairs to the wood-paneled bar lined with black and white portraits of local stars. This is where St Paul’s great and good come to have afternoon tea – or even to get married – and the hotel has hosted everyone from JFK to Charles Lindberg. The location is unbeatable for St Paul too, right across from Landmark Center cultural center and within easy walking distance of the river.
If you’d rather be in Minneapolis, Le Mèridien is the top choice – for its rooms scattered with contemporary art, its hip Mercy Bar and Dining Room and its location across two historic buildings in the heart of Downtown. There are theaters and restaurants aplenty within walking distance, and it’s just under a mile to the Walker Art Center, where guests are treated to free admission. There’s also a gym, in-room massages and bikes you can borrow free of charge.
Offering midwestern hospitality in the very center of the city, the Kimpton has arguably the best location of any Minneapolis hotel – close to all three stadiums, the light rail station and numerous museums, restaurants and theaters. Rooms here are chic (if a little masculine), with plenty of wood and leather, and guests also get access to the LifeTime Athletic Club right next door, which has a vast gym and squash court. For dining, the SIX15 Room serves local produce and there’s also a daily hosted evening wine reception and morning coffee service.
Rather not be surrounded by the city? Stay just outside Downtown on Nicolett Island and you’ll be surrounded by water instead. That water is the Mississippi River and many of the rooms here have views of it, as well as the parks that line it and the city beyond. The style here is classic, with wrought iron bedsteads, drapes and plush carpets, and there’s a dining room serving afternoon tea, romantic dinners and five-course Sunday brunches. With its river views and intimate atmosphere, it’s no wonder this is often voted the most romantic dining experience in the Twin Cities.
Although business travelers love Loews for its easy access by Skyway to many of the city’s top companies, the hotel also goes the extra mile for kids and for pets. There’s a “kids closet” of toys, car seats, strollers and other useful items for families to borrow, while pets get their own room service menu. Rooms are elegant and spacious, and there are three bars and restaurants to choose from. Top pick is Releve, where customised cocktails are served with small plates designed to match.
The iconic Foshay Tower – modelled on the Washington Monument – is now home to the W hotel, which has blended its Art Deco style with contemporary cool design. Rooms go from “Wonderful” to “WOW”, with each category featuring luxurious bed linens and a TV and DVD player with well-stocked media library. The Fit gym is open 24/7, while Manny’s Steakhouse serves up some of the city’s best prime cuts. Being in the Foshay Tower means a central location too, with all of Downtown’s attractions on the doorstep.
Another of the city’s eye-catching towers, the Ivy Tower, is also now home to one of the city’s top hotels. Hotel Ivy offers understated pet-friendly rooms with window-filling city views, a Fitness Club and a spa with 14 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy, steam and sauna. The on-site restaurant Monello serves Italian dishes, mostly from the Campania region, while the decadent Constantine bar mixes a mean cocktail. Right on the doorstep here is the Minnesota Orchestra, and it’s less than a mile to Target Center for basketball or live music.
Close to the river and on the edge of Downtown, this Marriott hotel has a great location for those looking to explore on two feet. You can walk to the US Bank Stadium for one of the Vikings’ football games or to the Guthrie Theater for a show, and the Riverfront district is right on your doorstep. The hotel itself occupies the historic Milwaukee Road Depot building and has sleek rooms, a relaxed restaurant serving classic dishes and a fitness center with indoor pool.
Another well-located Downtown Minneapolis hotel, the Marquette is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. The hotel is linked to the Minneapolis Skyway for easy access to many of the city’s offices, restaurants and shops and you can also walk to the US Bank Stadium for football, Target Center for basketball and the Hennepin Theatre District for a performance. Rooms are bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows, while Jacques restaurant serves Northern Italian cuisine and classic cocktails. There’s also a small gym.
Located right between the US Bank Stadium and the riverfront Gold Medal Park, Aloft doesn’t scrimp on location to offer its budget-friendly stays. Rooms here are stacked with technology, from the huge TVs and fast wi-fi to the app that gives you keyless entry, while amenities include a 24/7 cafe, indoor pool and always-open gym. The hip WXYZ bar is here too, hosting DJs and live music, and the Re:mix Lounge is a great chill-out space for drinks and a game of pool.