Join the Party (or Escape It!)

Join the Party (or Escape It!)

Where to find the perfect Twin Cities hotel.

Hotels have dual natures: They are a mix of public and private spaces, offering opportunities for both relaxing retreats and lively nights out. The right hotel makes it easy to both sequester guests in the luxury of anonymity and treat them to exciting dining and entertainment. Whether you’re planning an important evening or a memorable weekend for a VIP guest, here’s where to find—or escape—the action.

Where to See and Be Seen

Le Méridien Chambers
Even before Ralph Burnet’s boutique hotel became a Le Méridien property, Chambers always had its own signature buzz. On the same energetic wavelength as a Chelsea gallery opening or a high-stakes auction at Sotheby’s, Chambers is equal parts art exhibition, event space, and hang-out for locals and out-of-towners. As an amuse-bouche, guests can present their artist-designed room key for complimentary admission to the Walker Art Center. Minneapolis, 612-767-6900,

Grand Hotel Minneapolis
The name may be imposing, but in this newly renovated Kimpton hotel, the décor is kicky and the vibe is irreverent. Where else but Minneapolis would guests be treated to year-round snow cones in margarita, scotch, blue raspberry, or other flavors? Road warriors and fitness aficionados appreciate the complimentary access to the 58,000-square-foot Lifetime Fitness, with a cycle studio, running track, basketball court, and a six-lane swimming pool. The chic new SIX15 Room offers happy hour until—you guessed it—6:15 p.m., with chef samplings, scotch tastings, and other weekly surprises. Minneapolis, 612-288-8888,

W Minneapolis—The Foshay
Since the W took up residence in the venerable Foshay Tower three years ago, the Twin Cities’ glamour quotient has increased dramatically. Lured by the sleek surroundings and a kaleidoscopic calendar of design happenings, fashion events, and live music, the crowd is a jazzy mix of lovely locals, intriguing W regulars, and high-test tomcats who’ve drifted over from Manny’s after feasting on red meat and reserve wines. To experience the true heart and soul of the hotel, get to the 27th floor, where the naughty princes and bodacious princesses of Prohibition hold court on a late-nightly basis. Minneapolis, 612-215-3700,

The Westin Minneapolis
When is a hotel lobby not a hotel lobby? When it’s a soaring, spirit-lifting, reinvented bank lobby. Formerly the landmark 1941 Farmers & Mechanics Bank building, the vaulted first floor of the Westin is now Bank, a spacious bar-slash-restaurant and favorite gathering place for Twin Cities businesspeople at virtually any hour of the day. The hotel is equally popular with out-of-towners, ideally situated within walking distance of shops, restaurants, the Minneapolis theater district, Target Center, and other venues. Minneapolis, 612-333-4006,

Where to Escape the Scene

Hotel Ivy
Just three blocks from the W but a world away is the Ivy. The two Starwood properties couldn’t be more different and Ivy guests, many from Chicago and the East Coast, prefer it that way. Here, all is calm, quiet, and luxurious. Top-hatted valets park cars in the heated garage as bellmen whisk luggage out of sight. After settling into one of the elegant suites, guests can zone out at the complimentary 5,500-square-foot Ivy Spa Club and fitness center or join the tribe of luxury travelers for a private cocktail party in the hotel’s own Skyway, followed by dinner at Porter & Frye. Minneapolis, 612-746-4600,

The Nicollet Island Inn
San Francisco has the bay, Chicago has the lake, and we have the mighty Mississippi. For clients who’ve never been to the Twin Cities, or anyone needing an alternative to the traditional business hotel experience, this quiet, comfortable, independent nestled on Nicollet Island offers breathtaking views of the water and the Minneapolis skyline. Often named “most romantic hotel” by local publications, the inn provides abundant privacy, care, and comfort. The award-winning, on-site restaurant showcases locally sourced ingredients including seasonal and organic produce, meats, wild game, and fish. Minneapolis, 612-331-1800,

The Saint Paul Hotel
Celebrities, musicians, sports stars, and other bold-faced names land their jets at downtown St. Paul’s Holman Field and head straight for the very discreet Saint Paul Hotel. Tucked next to picturesque Rice Park, the European-style hotel is the only one in Minnesota to be named to Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List. After a workout in the rooftop fitness center, A-listers dine with their entourage at a corner table at the clubby St. Paul Grill or at the convivial nearby Pazzaluna. St. Paul, 800-292-9292,

Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America
Don’t let the water park deter you. For business travelers with limited time or a desire to experience the Mall of America at least once, this Radisson fills the bill. Its rustic but elegant stone, slate, and wood finishes evoke Minnesota’s great outdoors, the public spaces are inviting, and the rooms are comfortable. Situated just minutes from the airport, the hotel is also an easy drive to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Bloomington, 952-854-8700,