A recent stay at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis illustrated to me how a hotel renovation can turn a tired business space into a fresh brand vision.
I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis every couple of years for the last decade to attend an annual trade event that regularly rotates through various cities. My last stay was early on into the 25 million dollar renovation project that the hotel was undertaking and meant we dealt with a temporary lobby and ongoing construction around us. But boy was that worth it.
This was my first stay since the renovations were completed in 2012 and the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis seems to be an entirely new hotel – only the old bones remain as the new property vision is contemporary and high-touch.
My Uber driver deposited me at the front entrance of the property on the Nicollet Mall, a popular walkway in the heart of downtown Minneapolis late on a Saturday evening. The staff immediately sprung into action, offering to assist me with my luggage.
Check in was efficient and my Diamond status was immediately recognized. The hotel was sold out for the conference I was attending but the staff had allocated me a room that met all my normal requirements. I thought the chocolate dipped Oreos at the check in desk were a nice touch and I noticed that they rotated different treats each day during my stay.
I was assigned room 1726, a king room around the corner from the elevator bank. The room was elegantly appointed in sleek contemporary furnishings. I liked the room layout where there was a clear delineation between the bathroom and bedroom areas.
The bed was very comfortable – I had great nights of sleep all three nights I was there.
The desk area was a bit small but I appreciated the easy access to electrical outlets for charging.
The furniture in the sitting area was elegant and stylish, but not entirely comfortable. It was definitely a case of form over function.
I enjoyed the spacious shower in the bathroom.
I loved the spacious vanity area in the bathroom. It was nice to have a place where I could sit and style my hair and apply my makeup each morning. This would also make the room easy to share with a travel companion.
Overall, I would say the room was comfortable but not somewhere I’d want to spent long days. As this is a business/convention hotel versus somewhere I’d go for a weekend escape, however, I feel they meet the needs of users.
One of the things I love about the property remodel is the open spacious lobby. I mentioned that I wouldn’t want to spend long hours in my room – but I found myself grabbing my iPad and heading to the lobby to sit and work several times during the conference. The décor was intended to reflect the region and the blues and greys coupled with natural stone and heavy wood pieces definitely invoke a feeling of Minnesota lakes and trees. One of my favorite features was a long bench carved from a tree so that it looked like a fallen log. Small cocktail tables were placed nearby to allow several individuals to use that for seating.
Food and beverage offerings are one of the WOW points of this property. The hotel bar/restaurant is an open concept dining venue called Prairie Kitchen & Bar. The central feature of the restaurant is a large long bar running through the center of the 5,000 square foot space with table seating on each end. The menu features a variety of farm-to-table offerings with a slant towards regional Scandinavian-styled cuisine. A dish I sampled was the corn fritters with lavender honey. They stunned with their simplicity in presentation and focus on flavors. The cocktail, beer, and wine lists are substantial and reasonably priced. I particularly liked the beer list with it’s focus on regional microbrews.
For those in a hurry, Market is a lobby-based deli offering coffee-based drinks, simple deli offerings, baked goods, and bottled drinks.
Food and beverage for the conference I was attending was amazing as well – the offerings all embraced the Hyatt philosophy of “Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served” and reflected a focus on balanced healthy offerings of regionally indigenous offerings.
For those with Regency Club access, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis has a beautiful club. I was unfortunately thwarted in my attempts to photograph it as it was crowded with colleagues and my clients each time I entered. But mornings saw a variety of hot and cold breakfast foods while evenings featured charcuterie platters with high quality meats and cheeses along with other antipasto accompaniments. The spread would place this among the top Regency Clubs I’ve visited within the United States.
I did not have the opportunity to check out or photograph the workout facilities but some of my colleagues commented that they were nicer than expected.
Something that I think sets this property apart, beyond the extensive remodel, is the staff. Everyone I dealt with in my four days there was exceedingly friendly and guest focused. At one point I had an issue with a missing Fed Ex delivery and no less than five staff members were on it trying to track down my package.
The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis makes me wish I had clients in Minnesota so that I could visit more often. I actually look forward to the next opportunity I have to stay at this property.