Minneapolis, MN, USA ~ Four Seasons

August 2022

We’ve had some great hotel experiences in our hometown(s) of Minneapolis/St. Paul but none that we would call “five-star.” Therefore, when ground broke on the Minneapolis Four Seasons a few years ago, we immediately added it to a list of places we’d like to stay. The property opened in early summer 2022, but based on a few opening reviews, we thought it would be best to give it a handful of weeks for the team to work out some bugs. We’re glad we did. While we won’t say the hotel rises to our list of all-time favorites, it was enough to make us see our home city through fresh eyes.

Solid execution from start to finish

Because we wanted the full tourist experience, we decided to take the train from our home in downtown St. Paul to the Four Seasons in downtown Minneapolis. As we approached the front doors of the hotel with roller bags in tow, a valet greeted us and asked – in a playful and friendly way – where we were coming from and if we had walked from there. We told him we were arriving from across the river and then had a nice but quick chat about being from the same city. We would learn later that this is a Four Seasons thing – making personal connections with guests – but we have to say that it felt totally authentic.

During our two-night stay, this first experience with the valet was representative of our encounters at the hotel. From the reception staff and housekeepers to the servers and bartenders at the hotel’s two restaurants, we felt like we were dealing with pros. And we’ll admit, it had been some time since we had experienced that. The pandemic and its aftermath had understandably thrown the hospitality industry for a loop, and for the last few years we have calibrated our expectations. But with the exception of a few small things – and things we didn’t really need such as the clothes pressing serving – the Four Seasons seemed be operating on all cylinders, and we embraced it.

A room with a view

The hotel occupies 8 floors in the middle of the tower with offices below and residences above. Our room on the 24th floor delivered views of the Mississippi River and the metropolis from downtown toward the northwest suburbs. We had fun looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows and identifying landmarks we had spent time in on the ground; in fact, from the hotel, many of Minneapolis’s iconic buildings are visible. The room was thoughtfully conceived and well-executed with design-grade furnishings throughout. Everything just worked: The drapes opened upon entering. The integrated technology was advanced but intuitive. The storage allowed us to unpack our admittedly small bags and store them away (although we had a small quibble that the luggage rack couldn’t be stored in the closet without getting in the way of hanging clothes). The coffee/tea bar was well-stocked. And the bathroom was luxurious with an oversized shower and separate toilet closet. The room did, however, still feel like a room in a corporate property, which isn’t necessarily a detractor but worth noting.

The hotel’s amenities, only a few of which we took advantage – those mostly connected with food and drink – were also an appeal. (We will note that our reservation at Mara, the hotel’s restaurant, was only possible because we were staying.) And, of course, the entire property was brand new – not a scratch or dent, which added to the allure. All in all, we felt like we were having a luxurious getaway, even if we didn’t feel anything distinctively “Minneapolis” beyond the view.

Re-inspired by Minneapolis

Perhaps the best part of the Four Seasons stay was that it helped restore our belief in our city as an urban core with things happening. We had the good fortune of being at the Four Seasons on an amazing late-summer weekend, and the city felt alive. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Minneapolis has had its challenges in the last few years, but all of the people we encountered – from diverse age groups, socioeconomic statuses, ethnicities, cultural and religious backgrounds – helped make the city feel energetic, vibrant and inviting. This may have had nothing to do with the Four Seasons, but we’ll always give the hotel credit for a weekend that re-inspired us.

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