Where to Stay

Published in September 2006.

cute kids in a swimming pool

FOR WEARY TRAVELERS seeking a restful respite after a long day of business meetings, site-seeing or museum touring, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the extended metro have an abundance of accommodations to suit your needs. Whether your travel itinerary has you stationed in the suburbs or sticking close to downtown, you’ll find a plentiful mix of unique boutiques and price-competitive national chains everywhere you look.

It may be called the City of Lakes, but Minneapolis is a cosmopolitan city boasting first-rate dining and shopping in addition to outstanding hotels. Eight miles of skyway system offer visitors climate-controlled, stoplight-free foot travel between a multitude of stores and restaurants, as well as access to the Minneapolis Convention Center, Target Center and Hennepin Avenue Theatre District. More than 3,500 hotel rooms are connected to this sidewalk in the sky, allowing you to get from your hotel to your downtown destination without ever stepping outdoors. From the classic glamour of the Grand Hotel to the swanky, state-of-the-art features of Graves 601 Hotel, downtown Minneapolis suites are sweeter than ever.

Cultural opportunities abound in downtown Saint Paul, and the range of hotel options is also just as plentiful. Saint Paul’s own skyway system warms your walk to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, or the Science Museum, Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Xcel Energy Center or the Landmark Center. Whether you seek the historic luxury of the Saint Paul Hotel, the business traveler amenities of the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel or family-friendly fare at the Holiday Inn RiverCentre, you are sure to sleep easy in Minnesota’s capital city. In January and February, visitors come from far and wide for a chance to be a part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival—“the coolest celebration on earth.” With more than 1,500 rooms within walking distance of the festivities at Rice Park, you can enjoy the intricate ice sculptures and then make an easy retreat to the comfort of your nearby hotel room.

Today, visitors can splish-splash and swim year-round at one of three indoor water parks in the metro area: The Grand Rios Indoor Water Park Hotel, The Depot Hotels and the new Grand Lodge Hotel, adjacent to Water Park of America. Each features its own uniquely themed indoor water park, open to hotel guests as well as the general public. Beyond comfortable beds and spacious rooms, the wet-n-wild fun waiting to be had is reason enough to make reservations at one of these kid-tested, parent-approved locales.

Bloomington Hotels

If shopping is what you crave, check into one of the 33 hotels in Bloomington, ranging from the convenient Country Inn & Suites to the French-inspired Sofitel Minneapolis, or the all-new Grand Lodge, adjacent to the equally new Water Park of America. If you’re one of the 40 million annual visitors to the Mall of America, or seek the Swedish wares at Ikea, both are located in this visitor-savvy southern suburb. Most area accommodations offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the mall as well as the MSP International Airport. And thanks to the light rail line, with a station in the lower level of the mall’s east parking ramp, you can keep connected to the energy and excitement of downtown Minneapolis shopping without having to worry about driving directions or parking meters. Check the Bloomington listings in this section for accommodations options, or visit www.bloomingtonmn.org for more details.


1200 E 78th St, Richfield, 55423
(612) 869-8600
Located less than a mile from Mall of America and three miles from the airport, the AmericInn is centrally located for all Twin Cities destinations.

2221 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington, 55425
(952) 854-5555
Country Inn & Suites at Mall of America is located directly across from Mall of America and just minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

5401 Green Valley Dr, Bloomington, 55437
(952) 831-8000, (952) 831-8426,
Experience the newly redesigned European-style Crowne Plaza Bloomington. Conveniently located just minutes from the Twin Cities International Airport and Mall of America with complimentary transportation. Complimentary wireless Internet throughout. Amenities include junior olympic pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, fitness center, business center, restaurant, lounge and meeting space. Redefined. Elegance. www.cpmsp.com

1700 E American Blvd, Bloomington, 55425
(952) 854-8900
Just next door to the all-new Water Park of America is Grand Lodge-—a lovely, 400-room hotel offering guaranteed admission to the water park, three restaurant options, a full-service spa, family convenience and much more. Visit www.waterparkofamerica.com for more details.

4201 American Blvd W, Bloomington, 55437
(952) 835-6643, (800) HAMPTON,
Free hot breakfast, free wireless Internet access, free local calls, 24-hour shuttle to and from Mall of America and the airport; 24-hour restaurant attached with lounge next door.

5601 W 78th St, Bloomington, 55439
(952) 835-1900
Just 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the Mall of America, the Sofitel Minneapolis features a redesigned modern interior atrium lobby, 276 spacious rooms, six suites and award-winning restaurants. www.sofitel.com


Published in September 2006.


405 S Eighth St, Minneapolis, 55404
(612) 370-1400, (800) 372-3131
In the heart of downtown. 159 spacious, well-appointed guest rooms. Free deluxe continental breakfast. Exercise room, pool, whirlpool and sauna. High-speed Internet. Easy walk to Metrodome, convention center, Target Center and downtown entertainment. Meeting facilities for up to 250 people. Freshly baked cookies served warm nightly. www.bestwesternnormandy.com

900 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, 55403
(952) 844-6551
This new boutique arts hotel is like its famed sister in New York’s Fifth Avenue retail district. Located in the historic Hennepin Theatre District. www.chambersminneapolis.com

1700 Third Ave S, Minneapolis 55404
(612) 871-4249
Executive accommodations in National Register landmark; restored, timber-framed Coe Carriage House. Fully furnished living room, kitchen, three bedrooms, marble bath with Jacuzzi tub; situated one block from Minneapolis Convention Center. Easy walk to downtown entertainment and cultural centers; pleasant alternative to hotel.

618 Second Ave S, Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 338-2288, (800) 556-7827
Downtown Minneapolis; connected to the indoor skyway, excellent shopping, exquisite dining and entertainment. Located steps away from the light rail transit connecting you to the MSP Airport and the Mall of America. 223 deluxe guest rooms, each with coffee/tea, hair dryer, iron/board, on-site fitness center, two restaurants, outdoor skygarden and banquet facilities.

225 S Third Ave, Minneapolis, 55401
(612) 375-1700
Historic lodging, meeting and recreation complex featuring two Marriott hotels. Located in the Minneapolis Riverfront District, your choice of a Courtyard by Marriott or Residence Inn.

1500 Park Place Blvd, Minneapolis, 55416
(952) 542-8600, (800) 222-TREE
The Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis Park Place is located just minutes from downtown Minneapolis, providing easy access to the convention center, Mall of America and other local attractions. Our hotel offers 297 guest rooms, the Twin Cities’ only dedicated Glatt Kosher kitchen, a full-service restaurant and high-speed Internet access.

615 Second Ave S, Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 288-8888
Understated and elegant, this 140-room boutique hotel brings a new standard of style and luxury to the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Complimentary access to a world-class, 58,000-square-foot athletic facility. Stylish guest rooms, many with oversized, marble bathrooms with Aveda amenities, and a full-service spa. Swanky martini and sushi bar.

601 First Ave N, Minneapolis, 55403
(612) 312-1138
Prominently located near First Avenue nightclub, across from the Target Center and adjacent to Block E. Experience award-winning design, first-class service and luxurious surroundings throughout the 255-room hotel. Cool, hip, high-touch rooms include 42-inch plasma TVs, T1 lines and wireless Internet in all public spaces. Connected to the skyway.

1001 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, 55403
(612) 376-1000
821-room Victorian hotel in the heart of downtown. Skyway connected to the convention center, business district, retail, dining and entertainment establishments. Featuring the Serenity Bed by Hilton. Amenities for the sophisticated traveler include an executive level with concierge and lounge, health club, business center, and SkyWater Restaurant and Bar. Over 70,000 square feet of luxurious function space for your next event. www.minneapolis.hilton.com

1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 55403
(612) 370-1234
On Nicollet Mall, located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis near the Metrodome, Target Center, State and Orpheum theatres, and Orchestra Hall; skyway system connects this outstanding hotel to shopping and entertainment; rooms offer skyline view of the city and are spacious with upgrades and suites available; full-service health club/spa; four fabulous restaurants from casual to fine dining; valet parking; swimming pool and more than a dozen retail shops within the Hyatt complex.

710 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 333-4545, (800) 328-4782
A four-diamond, boutique-style hotel
located in the heart of downtown at the IDS Center and Nicollet Mall. Deluxe oversized guest rooms. In-room steam bath or whirlpool rooms available. Connected to shops, restaurants and entertainment by skyway system.



 Published in September 2006.

1313 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 55403
(612) 332-6000, (800) 522-8856
A full-service hotel with 321 exquisite guest rooms, warm Midwest hospitality and a prime location in downtown Minneapolis on famous Nicollet Mall. Conveniently located and connected by skyway to over 50 restaurants, shopping, sporting events, theater and vibrant nightlife all within walking distance. Parking available on-site. Amenities include a pool, sauna, exercise suite, restaurant, lounge, gift shop, and Thrifty Car Rental services.

30 S Seventh St, Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 349-4000
The Minneapolis Marriott City Center is ideally located in the heart of downtown, connected to 64 blocks via the skyway system. Near City Center mall and numerous Fortune 500 companies, we are minutes away from all your business needs. For the shopping and sports enthusiast, we are convenient to Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Target Center and the Metrodome. www.marriott.com/mspcc

95 Merriam St, Minneapolis, 55401
(612) 331-1800
A quiet oasis on the Mississippi River, the Nicollet Island Inn combines the classic and the modern to produce a truly intimate hotel, restaurant, bar and banquet destination. www.nicolletislandinn.com

615 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, 55414
(612) 379-8888
Located on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Door-to-door shuttle service within a five-mile radius. Minutes from light rail transit to Mall of America and the airport. 304 comfortable guest rooms and suites. Full-service amenities include Starbucks, Applebee’s restaurant and the elegant University Lounge. www.radisson.com/minneapolismn_metrodome

35 Seventh St S, Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 339-4900
In the heart of the upscale downtown Minneapolis business district and connected by skyways to shopping, dining, sports, theater and entertainment options. Our features include 357 tastefully decorated guest rooms, informal restaurant, a cocktail lounge, fitness center, whirlpool and banquet rooms. Ask about our weekend value rates.

410 N 10th St, Minneapolis, 55403
(612) 339-9311, (800) 423-4100
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the Ramada is only one block from the Hennepin Theatre District, two blocks from the Target Center and within walking distance of more than 30 restaurants. Our location provides easy access to major freeways, and we also offer free parking.


11 E Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, 55101
(651) 292-1900
Full-service, recently renovated hotel that offers breathtaking views of the Mississippi; the award-winning Carousel Restaurant; 475 guest rooms; and an indoor pool.

1739 Old Hudson Rd, St. Paul, 55106
(651) 771-5566, (800) 367-3935
Complimentary continental breakfast and wireless, high-speed Internet. In-room coffee maker. Serta bed sets. Five miles from Saint Paul; 15 miles from Mall of America. www.exelinns.com

175 W Seventh St, St. Paul, 55102
(651) 225-1515
Adjacent to the Xcel Energy Center and the RiverCentre, within walking distance of the Science Museum, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and many other downtown attractions.

341 Dayton Ave, St. Paul, 55102
(651) 222-0243, (866) 324-9067
A bed-and-dinner in the Ramsey Hill neighborhood, the Rose Arbor Inn offers a charming stay in historic Saint Paul. www.rosearborinn.com

350 Market St, St. Paul, 55102
(651) 292-9292, (800) 292-9292
This historic landmark is a 254-room, full-service, luxury hotel located in downtown Saint Paul. www.stpaulhotel.com



3430 Northdale Blvd, Coon Rapids, 55448
(763) 323-0010
When staying at the AmericInn of Coon Rapids you can expect the very best: the best quality, the best service, and definitely the best night’s sleep with Quiet Nights, Rest Assured. Minutes away from Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, Bunker Beach water park, Anoka Aquatic Center and Anoka Halloween Festival.

2050 Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center, 55430
(763) 566-7500, (800) 634-3444
83 guest rooms including 17 assorted suites. Deluxe breakfast bar. Complimentary high-speed Internet (wired and wireless). Indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna. Exercise room. Small meeting room. Corporate rates. Local shuttle service. In-room movies. Guest laundry. Free parking. Handicap rooms available. Children up to 18 years stay free in same room as parents. Discounts: AARP and AAA.



 Published in September 2006.


6900 Lakeland Ave N, Brooklyn Park, 55428
Grand Rios Indoor Water Park Hotel offers the ultimate in comfort with two restaurants, lounges, wireless Internet access, a gift shop, workout facilities and more. One of Minnesota’s largest indoor water parks, combined with a 3,800-square-foot arcade, will create lasting memories for the whole family. www.grandrios.com


2200 Hwy 10, Mounds View, 55112
(763) 786-2000, (800) 634-3444
70 rooms and suites. Indoor pool with large waterslide, sauna and whirlpool. Meeting room for up to 600 people. Attached to the Mermaid Convention and Event Center, American Grille and 32-lane bowling center. Discounts available.


21800 Industrial Blvd, Rogers, 55378
(763) 428-4346
Located off I-94 and Highway 101, adjacent to Cabela’s, just minutes from Minneapolis. Enjoy our complimentary continental breakfast, indoor pool, whirlpool, free wireless Internet access and more. www.americinnrogers.com


2540 Cleveland Ave N, Roseville, 55113
(651) 367-3908
Centrally located just six minutes from downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. 257 well-appointed guest rooms equipped with all the modern conveniences. Over 8,000 square feet of newly renovated meeting space. Experience the “Yes, I can” empowerment our team has; we do whatever it takes to make your stay an exceptional experience.


3505 Vadnais Center Dr, Vadnais Heights, 55110
(651) 483-1625
Located off Interstate 35E and County Road E, just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Enjoy our complimentary continental breakfast, indoor pool with waterslide, whirlpool, fitness center, business center and more.



15000 Glazier Ave, Apple Valley, 55124
(952) 431-3800, (888) 489-STAY
63-room hotel near numerous restaurants and shopping. Free shuttle to Mall of America, Minnesota Zoo and Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport. Complimentary enhanced continental breakfast, indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna. Free wireless Internet. Whirlpool and two-room suites available. www.americinnhotel.com


570 Pond Promenade, Chanhassen, 55317
(952) 934-3888, (800) 634-3444
78 rooms only minutes west of I-494 on Minnesota Highway 5 and Highway 101 south. Indoor pool, recreation area, whirlpool suites, continental breakfast, fitness center, in-room coffee, meeting rooms. Houlihan’s restaurant adjacent. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Hazeltine National Golf Club, Old Log Theater nearby. Minnesota Renaissance Festival and Valleyfair Amusement Park 10 miles. Mystic Lake Casino 12 miles.


5861 Blaine Ave E, Inver Grove Heights, 55076
(651) 450-7511, (888) 881-STAY
80-room hotel adjacent to restaurants and movie theater. Minutes from downtown Saint Paul. Free shuttle to Mall of America, Minnesota Zoo and Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport. Complimentary enhanced continental breakfast, indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna. Free wireless Internet. Whirlpool and extended stay suites available. www.americinnhotel.com


2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake, 55372
(952) 445-9000, (800) 813-7349
The official casino hotel of Mall of America. In addition to the most slot machines and blackjack tables in Minnesota, Mystic Lake offers 416 luxurious hotel rooms, an indoor atrium pool and four unique restaurants, including an award-winning buffet. Mystic Lake is conveniently located 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Mall of America and the airport. www.mysticlake.com


4100 12th Ave E, Shakopee, 55379
(952) 445-6775, (800) 634-3444
Hotel features the Splash Adventure Indoor Family Fun Center with pool, 108-foot figure-eight waterslide, wading pool and toddler waterslide, sauna, whirlpool and arcade games. Wonderful selection of suites and standard rooms. Complimentary enhanced continental breakfast. Excellent location near Valleyfair, Canterbury Park and Mystic Lake Casino. www.americinnhotel.com



8511 Hudson Blvd, Lake Elmo, 55042
(651) 714-8068
Reward yourself with a memorable stay at the Wildwood Lodge. Conveniently located on I-94 in Saint Paul, this distinctively designed boutique hotel is only minutes from all Twin Cities hot spots. Experience the soaring atrium pool area, 24-hour fitness center, spacious guest rooms and nostalgic bar. The Wildwood Lodge is also connected to the award-winning Machine Shed restaurant, serving a complimentary hot cooked-to-order breakfast to all hotel guests. www.thewildwoodlodge.com


Published in September 2006.



521 Willow Dr, Long Lake, 55356
(952) 475-4422
“Quiet Nights, Rest Assured.” Upscale, limited service lodging. Amenities include free high-speed Internet access. Complimentary use of computer in lobby. Free enhanced continental breakfast featuring “make your own Belgian waffle,” heated indoor pool and whirlpool, game room and much more. Located 15 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis, we are the closest hotel to downtown Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka.


3131 Campus Dr, Plymouth, 55441
(763) 559-6600, (800) 333-3333
A retreat within the cities. Resort-like
atmosphere at I-494 and Highway 55, minutes from downtown entertainment, shopping at Ridgedale and the Premium Outlets of Albertville; Lake Minnetonka nearby. On-site three-story fitness center, tennis and sand volleyball courts, bonfire pit and barbeques. Specializing in meetings, conferences, weddings and retreats. Meeting packages available for planning. www.radisson.com/minneapolismn_plymouth



2400 Vermillion St, Hastings, 55033
(651) 437-8877, (800) 634-3444
Spacious lobby with fireplace. Color TV-VCR, no charge for local calls, six suites with whirlpools. Indoor/outdoor patio, pool and Jacuzzi. Guest laundry. Located on Highway 61.

300 33rd St, Hastings, 55033
(651) 437-8870, (800) 456-4000
24-hour desk, complimentary continental breakfast, free local calls, pool, whirlpool, adjoining rooms, whirlpool suites, meeting rooms. Group rates available. Special weekend rates.

1520 Vermillion St, Hastings, 55033
(651) 437-3155
Free local calls, family units with kitchens, all major credit cards accepted. Low daily, weekly, monthly and commercial rates.

2400 Vermillion St, Hastings, 55033
(651) 438-8888, (800) 800-8000
24-hour desk, free local calls, fitness room with hydro massage bed, guest laundry, remote TV, whirlpool suites, Internet access, adjoining rooms. Group rates available Sunday through Thursday. Higher rate on weekends and special events. www.super8.com

620 Ramsey St, Hastings, 55033
(651) 437-3297, (888) 846-7966
Award-winning, 1880 National Register property with snuggle-in spaces, double whirlpools, fireplaces. Evening snack and large breakfast guests can schedule in suite or dining room. In-house gourmet dinners, full cookie jar and ice-cream freezer. www.thorwoodinn.com



I-35 & Hwy 21, Faribault, 55021
(507) 334-9464, (800) 634-3444
AmericInn Lodge & Suites of Faribault, Minn., conveniently located just off of exit 59 on Interstate 35. Sixty-two rooms, indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna. With free expanded continental breakfast, fitness center, free wireless high-speed Internet, and whirlpool/family suites. Minutes from both the Medford Outlet Center and Cabela’s. Surrounded by lakes, bike trails and golf course. www.americinn.com


P.O. Box 2125, Tofte, MN 55615
Voted “Minnesota’s Favorite Resort” by Minnesota Monthly. Named “Most Romantic Resort” by Lake Superior Magazine. Fireplaces, in-room Jacuzzis, two saunas, outdoor year-round pool and hot tub, three award-winning restaurants and bakery. www.bluefinbay.com


245 Florence Ave, Owatonna, 55060
(507) 455-1142, (800) 634-3444
100 guest rooms and suites. Indoor pool, spa, conference room, free enhanced continental breakfast. Restaurants nearby. Cabela’s four miles. Medford Outlet Center six miles. Mall of America one hour away. www.americinnhotel.com


Published in September 2006.

Bed and Breakfasts

McCormick House

Hayward, Wisconsin: Toasted crumpets were once bloody hard to find in Hayward. But that changed when a pair of longtime London residents moved to the 3,000-person town and converted a former lumber baron’s mansion into a six-room inn where the basic package includes high tea, British bangers, and the chance to perambulate in a formal English garden. Posh amenities, such as feather-soft bathrobes, and more thoughtful touches, like nightly presentations of homemade ice cream, ensure that even Elizabeth II would surely feel at ease in Cheesehead country. (Marmite sandwiches available only on request.) –J.H.

Who you’re sleeping with: urbanite refugees, business travelers
What’s cooking: go native with flapjacks, blueberries, and Wisconsin maple syrup, or opt for the full English experience (eggs, back bacon, grilled tomatoes) with a side of buttered “soldiers.”
Don’t miss: afternoon tea in summer—replete with fruit scones and clotted cream
In your room: HD-TV, Frette linens, imported Molton Brown soaps
Royal appointments: Wedgwood china and Sheffield silver
Best activity in the event of English weather (i.e., rain): choose from a library of more than 200 DVDs.
Local attractions: the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum
Shopping options: a five-minute walk from McCormick House brings you to downtown Hayward. Periodical lovers will find a Shinders-sized selection at Book World. Ice-cream aficionados should sample the Almost Sinful mix at the West’s Dairy.
Seasonal distractions for sporting chaps: skiing, biking, croquet
$: $125–$195

McCormick House
10634 Kansas Ave.
Hayward, Wisconsin

Spider Lake Lodge

Hayward, Wisconsin: Whatever you might say about Al Capone, the man knew a good fishing spot. Legend has it that during the hottest weeks of summer, he repaired to the lake-dotted wilds of western Wisconsin, a shady Shangri-la where a crime boss could trade his trusty Tommy gun for a rod, a creel, and some bootleg thirst-quencher. There’s no hard proof that Public Enemy Number One ever visited Spider Lake Lodge, formerly Moody’s Fish Camp, opened by an auto mechanic who left Chicago in the 1920s—supposedly for health reasons (can fresh air heal a broken nose?). But the handsome resort, with its log beams, stone hearths, stuffed moose heads, wicker-filled porches, and Pendleton blankets, does recall a simpler time, an age when even a guy named, say, Bugsy might enjoy a bonfire and a night of listening to loons. Lodge proprietors Craig Mason and Jim Kerkow trot out plenty of amenities, but they also keep the mood relaxed and low-key, reminding visitors that the best vacations make you forget about the outside world. Leave the BlackBerry at home: there’s no Wi-Fi or cell-phone service here. Sometimes, a little prohibition is just what the doctor ordered. –J.H.

Who you’re sleeping with: thirty- and forty-something couples, the occasional European off the beaten track
What’s cooking: if you’re lucky, the day starts with broiled grapefruit, fried ham, and crème brûlée French toast.
Don’t miss: a nap in the Adirondack chairs on the beach
The scene: rooms are themed: cowboys, Indian princesses, Canadian Mounties—there’s something for everyone, really.
Nearby attractions: the Tally-ho Supper Club. It’s newly remodeled, but the classic ice-cream drinks remain.
Distractions: canoeing, cards, catch and release
$: $139–$179

Spider Lake Lodge
10472 W. Murphy Blvd.
Hayward, Wisconsin

Henderson House Bed & Breakfast

Henderson: You can emulate egg-o-centric Martha Stewart without violating urban/suburban zoning ordinances by reserving a room at the idyllic Henderson House Bed & Breakfast. Less than an hour from the Twin Cities, this sanctuary of serenity offers the experience of gathering freshly laid eggs (they’re warm!) before breakfast. (Better yet, let the amiable innkeeper do the dirty work while you soak in your standalone tub or repose in the airy sitting room. He’ll already have baked your morning bread.) The stately brick hilltop home owned by Jan and Ralph Herda of Edina (and run by Jan’s brother, Jeff Hayden) overlooks the Minnesota River Valley. Built in 1875, Henderson House was recognized for its recent renovation with a Preservation Alliance award. Period artifacts accentuate the architecture without overwhelming it—or you. A newly rebuilt log cabin out back serves as an antique shop. –C.R.L.

Who you’re sleeping with: an international clientele, primarily couples
What’s cooking: a full breakfast, including such house specialties as wild-rice egg bake, blue cheese omelet, and baked Victorian French toast
Bathing best: towel warmers
Don’t miss: stormy night in the two-room bridal suite on the top floor (formerly an attic)—if the thunder and lightning don’t draw you together, nothing will.
If you must leave your room: hiking, golf, antiquing, and even guided wild-mushroom hunting are offered
Take-away treat: every guest goes home with a dozen fresh ones from Raymond the rooster’s many hens.
$: $85–$125

Henderson House
104 N. Eighth St.
Henderson, Minnesota

Hawks View Cottages & Lodge

Fountain City, Wisconsin: The Hawks View cottages are set on stilts into a hillside so steep it seems you’ll need rappelling equipment to climb it. Owners Brad and Laurie Nilles of St. Paul built the cottages just a few years ago to complement the two small lodges they also manage down the road. The two-story structures feel like luxury tree houses overlooking the bayou-like Mississippi River backwaters, and most guests are looking to do little more than perch on their porches. Each cottage features architectural elements salvaged from historic properties dating to the 1850s, such as antique wainscoting in every bathroom and old farmhouse flooring—a nod to Brad’s career in building renovation. –T.G.

Who you’re sleeping with: outdoorsy types, exhausted professionals, and anyone who appreciates the privacy of a place where the owners essentially leave you alone: lodge and cottage guests check in at the Monarch Public House, a friendly tavern in Fountain City.
What’s cooking:
the kitchens are stocked with breakfast foods and a bottle of wine. Otherwise, you’re on your own for eats. Popular nearby dinner spots include Kate & Gracie’s, a cool but cozy restaurant located in Alma and co-owned by Ed Nagle, the raconteur who created the hip Minneapolis bar Eli’s. The Nelson Cheese Factory, in nearby Nelson, has a fine frommage, chocolate, and wine selection.
Diverse decor:
the cottages mix spa-style sophistication with the raw timbers and exposed loft planking reminiscent of old cabins and farmhouses. The Blackhawk Lodge is modern, with carpeting, TVs, and rec rooms.
California dreaming:
outside of Napa Valley, where else can you stay in the midst of a vineyard? The Nilles family recently planted grape vines all around the lodges, and they expect to begin bottling the bounty in the next few years.

$: $130–$255

Monarch Public House
19 N. Main St.
Fountain City, Wisconsin

Hungry Point Inn

Welch: The main fireplace, big enough to lie down in, is always lit at the Hungry Point Inn—one of the place’s countless anachronistic touches. The house itself was built in 1967 in true colonial style (right down to the broad floorboards) by a couple who sought to create a “New England of the West” on 480 acres tucked amongst horse farms in Red Wing’s bluff country. Merriam Last has run the house (along with a 130-year-old cabin on the property) as a B&B since 1988, taking the previous owners’ colonial concept nearly to full immersion. If you subscribe to Country Living—or if you order petticoats, wooden shoes, and the like from the Smoke & Fire Company catalog—this is your place.–T.G.

Who you’re sleeping with: book clubs, canoeists, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers availing themselves of the nearby trails and rivers.
What’s cooking: breakfast is served on a large shared table, amid candles, drying herbs hanging from enormous beams, and a massive loom, well, looming in the corner of the room. Cabin guests can choose to dine with others in the main house or have breakfast brought to them.
Don’t miss: visit the chicken coop where Last raises breeds popular in early America, including one that lays blue eggs.
Animal factor: besides the chickens, there are two sheep and a friendly dog named Sarah.
Doily count: high; Last wears an old-fashioned, white ruffled cap.
Get soaked: despite the Colonial aesthetic (even the roads in the area, such as Old Mystic and Windsor, smack of New England), the inn has luxurious modern amenities, including a heart-shaped whirlpool for two and a rain shower, which features a dinner-plate–sized shower head.
$: $129–$210

Hungry Point Inn
1 Olde Deerfield Rd.
Welch, Minnesota


Published in September 2006.

Le Bourget Aero Suites

Bloomington: It’s fitting that the freeway exit for Le Bourget (Le Bur-’zhay) Aero Suites is Edina’s France Avenue. The French-inspired boutique hotel opened last winter, bringing Euro-style panache to a commercial corridor that has largely developed with American business travelers in mind, offering reliable lodging, chain restaurants, and easy access to the airport. Travelers wanting something less corporate can count on Le Bourget, with its swank interiors designed by Trellage-Ferrill, the arty architecture firm that styled the posh restaurants Zelo and Bacio. The hotel takes its name from the Paris landing pad where Charles Lindbergh completed the world’s first transatlantic flight in 1927 (the first business trip?), and has guest suites so luxurious that air travelers just might want to miss their flights. –C.L.

Who you’re sleeping with: sharp suits and trendy couples looking for a quiet respite inches from the action
What’s cooking? French crêpes three ways (strawberry, apples and walnuts, or ham and cheese) for breakfast, a classic sourdough Monte Cristo for lunch, or beef en brochette with teriyaki dipping sauce and Dijon-crusted Atlantic salmon for dinner. Enjoy your meals in the airy lobby bar or breakfast bedside.
Don’t miss: complimentary Evian and Perrier waters; L’Occitane bath products; eye-opening espressos
Nearby attractions: the Mall of America and the Water Park of America are just a freeway exit away.
$: $129–$149

Le Bourget Aero Suites
7770 Johnson Ave. S.
Bloomington, Minnesota

Water Street Inn

Stillwater: Who you’re sleeping with: everyone from venerable hotel-hopping couples to families looking for a charming recollection of Stillwater’s lumber days.
What’s cooking: the spittoon may be dry in the inn’s original eatery, Charlie’s Irish Pub, but the grill staysa four-poster bed in a room at the Water Street Inn warm for burgers and barbecued beef. Renovations expanded the Water Street Inn’s kitchen space and dining rooms, which now include an extensive menu of pastas, sandwiches, and such entrées the as pepper-seared ahi tuna with roasted jalapeño-cucumber-avocado salsa.
Don’t miss: romantic packages include wine baskets, chocolate-covered strawberries, and in-room massages. Not surprisingly, the inn is a popular spot for weddings.
Antique alert: high. Enjoy high tea in the dining room before perusing the St. Croix River Valley’s many galleries and studios.


Water Street Inn
101 Water Street S.
Stillwater, Minnesota

A.G. Thomson House

Duluth:Duluth’s 1909 A. G. Thomson House, a stately Dutch Colonial perched seven blocks uphill from Lake Superior, may seem as serene as its quiet, residential surroundings. In fact, it has survived a deluge of drama: two fires and a corruption scandal involving former owner Duluth mayor John Fedo. There are four guest rooms in the main building and three in the carriage house, which served as the chauffeur’s living quarters until the 1940s. Rooms in the home are decorated with details of the previous century, such as four-poster beds and floral wallpaper. The most luxe Who you’re sleeping with: summer travelers and business guests, along with lots of couples celebrating special occasions. When the current owner started renting rooms in May 2000, the first couple to spend the night got engaged on their visit.

Accommodations are found in the recently remodeled buggy barn’s Lake Superior suite. Its walls are painted a soothing lake blue and paired with cherry wainscoting; given the suite’s living room, full kitchen, and mini-bar, guests could move in permanently. –R.H.

What’s cooking: multi-course breakfast—quiche, crêpes, and French toast are mainstays—served at shared dining tables, or in-room continental breakfast. Cookies and wine in the afternoon.
Don’t miss: make calls with the replica 1920s desk phone in the sunroom (there aren’t phones in the guest rooms). Check your voicemail—if you must.
Designer digs: the home’s architect, Edwin H. Hewitt, was an apprentice of Cass Gilbert, and also designed the Minneapolis Club and the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church.
Clawfoot credentials: find an original tub in the bathroom of the Litman Suite
Sox appeal: in the vestibule, baskets of black-and-white socks for loan remind guests to remove their shoes.
$: $119–$299

A. G. Thomson House
2617 E. Third St.
Duluth, Minnesota

Larsmont Cottages

Two Harbors: Though Larsmont Cottages’ architecture may have been influenced by Scandinavian fishing villages, their amenities certainly were not. The contemporary townhouses, which opened last year, feature leather chairs, gas fireplaces, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and home theater systems controlled by no fewer than three remotes. (Even the North Shore isn’t immune to suburban-style development.) Guests can rent individual rooms or an entire cottage with private living and dining rooms, kitchen, and patio. The the main lodge contains a restaurant, bar, library, and indoor pool. Like the old North Shore resorts of yore, most of Larsmont’s cottages are clustered along the lake, where cool breezes blow off the water, squelching the summer heat and sending waves crashing against the rocky shore. –R.H.

Who you’re sleeping with: families arriving by minivan, honeymooning couples, and groups of friends
Don’t miss:
a box of Table Topics cards on the dining room table spurs deep discussions with such questions as “Do you believe in coincidence or synchronicity?” and “What would you most like to ask God?”
Playthings: canoes, kayaks, bicycles, horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball, and even GPS units for geocaching. Once you’ve worn yourself out, relax with a Finnish sauna or a massage.
Journal jottings: guests wax about hiking Gooseberry Falls, watching ships on the Duluth Boardwalk, looking for agates, making s’mores, watching SpongeBob, and playing UNO.
$: $80–$450

Larsmont Cottages
596 Larsmont Way
Two Harbors, Minnesota

Sod House on the Prairie: No Snakes on This Plain

We have driven more than three hours in the rain, listening to a CD of On the Banks of Plum Creek, when my 9-year-old daughter asks whether we couldn’t stay at Nellie Oleson’s house instead of the considerably more rustic soddy that recalls the 1874 dwelling of Laura Ingalls’s family. Given the weather, we’ve taken to calling it The Soggy. Wasn’t the sun always shining down on Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and Carrie? While the television series Little House on the Prairie was filmed in California, the Sod House Bed & Breakfast is in Sanborn, just 18 miles outside of the real Walnut Grove.

In Laura’s day, a good rainfall could cause a soddy to leak for several days, and snakes would slither through the roof. Fortunately, Stan McCone installed a wooden roof and floor when he built the Sod House to homesteader’s specifications in 1988. (He later added a rudimentary pioneer soddy to the property along with a fur trapper’s cabin and a sod-cutting shed; all of the buildings are available for self-guided tours from April through October.)

Our party includes a Boy Scout who tends the woodstove and oil lamps, so this immersion in history is surprisingly comfortable. The Sod House is chock-full of period furnishings, including wooden toys and rag dolls. Bath amenities? It’s an outhouse, folks. Overnight guests are provided with prairie-style clothing, including bonnets to wear when snuggled beneath the handmade quilts on two full beds and a fainting couch.

In the morning, we awaken to what I at first believe is the sound of a cellular phone. It is a bird call. A short time later, the McCones’ son Charlie appears with a hearty breakfast tied up in brown paper. We restrain ourselves from asking whether his wife is named Caroline, though he cheerfully tolerates our calling the family dog Jack. (The dog’s name is Bailey.)

Later we drive into town to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. It is still raining. We decline the opportunity to crowd into the museum’s primitive dugout along with the other visitors. We are beset with soddy superiority. Nellie would approve. –C.R.L.

$: $125–$180 (tours are $3 per person, under age 7 free)

Sod House on the Prairie
12598 Magnolia Ave.
Sanborn, Minnesota