Published in The building—a former Comfort Suites, and Embassy Suites before that, as noted upthread—occupies a half-block site along Fifth Ave South from S 7th to S 8th. Atypically (except in snow-heavy areas such as Minneapolis), the hotel occupies six floors atop an eight-level above-ground parking garage.
As MSPeconomist has remarked above, the property is at the eastern edge of the traditional downtown area. The latter is within easy walking distance, but the hotel’s immediate environs feel very transitional.
Rates: My experience, which may be peculiar to spring 2021, is that rates for a given set of dates can vary wildly, both in terms of overall price and in the pricing if you break a multi-day period into more than one stay. At one point, I booked two consecutive two-day stays because it was marginally cheaper than a single four-day stay. Overall, I think I rebooked roughly three times, starting with a rate of ~$110++/night and ending with ~$78++/night. TLDR: it’s worth periodically checking to see if rates have dropped below whatever reservation you’re holding.
At times the rates were only a bit lower than for the nearby Centric (which occupies much nicer digs in the old Athletic Club Building), but for me ended being substantially lower.
Finally, this property’s rate rules and actual practice seem to diverge substantially. I booked one rate (2 x 2 nights) that required an immediate one-night deposit per res; instead, the hotel issued a charge for the full cost, more than $440. (When I canceled & rebooked, they did credit back the full amount.) My final booking also required a one-night deposit, which was never charged until check-in. (More on the irritating check-in experience below.)
Arrival: The hotel is an easy three-block walk from the Government Plaza stop on the Blue & Green light-rail lines; depending on time of day, that’s a 20-25 minute ride from the airport costing $2 or $2.50.
The main entrance is on 7th St, although there’s also a driveway to a courtyard interior to the block. When accessing the building in the late evening, you’ll have to walk into the courtyard, as the street-facing doors are locked at a certain point. (Nobody ever mentioned this to us at check-in; had to figure it out on our own.)
There are four elevators serving the street level. As you face them, the one at far right is the express elevator (with separate call button/control system) that skips most of the parking levels. For best results, call both elevators and take any of them to level H.
Check-in: I arrived around 12:45pm, comfortably after the early check-in at noon (vs 3pm) I was offered by email and affirmatively accepted. It was therefore more than a little annoying when the FDC stated that I’d have to pay $25 to check in early. When I pushed back, he relented.
Worse, when the time came to present my CC for preauthorization, the amount presented for approval was $200 more than the rate (including tax etc.) I’d booked. When I protested, the FDC advised that there was a $50 per night deposit for some reason that wasn’t noted anywhere in the rate T&C or, AFAICT, on the hotel’s website. To be fair, the bill at check-out was correct, but I could have done without the surprise.
I should add that all subsequent interactions with the FDCs were great. Staff were attentive, prompt, and polite.
Layout/communal spaces: There are two separate atrium seating areas. The one near the front desk is used for breakfast seating. (More on breakfast below.) The one at the rear part of the hotel, which normally holds armchairs, tables, etc. is empty these days except for the built-in benches around the periphery.
The pool area (open 6am-10pm) features two hot-tub spas and a small teardrop-shaped pool 6’ deep at one end. It’s serviceable and features a nice view looking west(ish) of the historic Foshay Tower.
View of Foshay Tower from pool
The exercise room has several bikes, treadmills, and a full rack of dumbbells, plus one multi-function weight machine.
Somewhat oddly, floor H (as accessed from street level) becomes floor 1 when you use the elevators interior to the hotel. Even more oddly, some elevators are labeled with multiple floor numbers, apparently a relic of some earlier hotel configuration. (Or maybe that “4” is just the elevator number. Either way, it’s confusing at first.)
Internal hotel elevator
Room: I ended up in a generously sized two-room suite featuring a sofa bed, desk, TV & credenza w/fridge (LR) and a king bed, cabinet closet, and dresser. The furniture was IKEA quality & visibly banged-up, but all in good working order. Bathroom w/shower was similarly clean and functional.
Blackout shades get an A- for blocking almost all light. Bed was comfortable with a suitably firm mattress.
Food/drinks: The bar and restaurant are closed. Complimentary breakfast is served takeaway-style from the counter next to the bar. I got three (or, depending on who was manning the counter, two) prepackaged items—muffin, cereal+milk, cinnamon roll, vanilla Greek yogurt, granola bar—plus a packaged drink (OJ, water), along with all-day coffee service. As occupancy ramps back up, the line for this will get unbearably long, so I expect buffet service in the atrium to resume as soon as possible.
Housekeeping: Only on demand at the moment.
Overall: The check-in experience and bizarre deposit practices left me pretty ticked off at first, but in the end this was a rather enjoyable stay. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option; want a pool; don’t mind being in a slightly sketchy part of downtown; and/or need that extra room & sofa-bed for kids, this is a more than reasonable choice. OTOH, if you’re looking for swanky/luxe interiors and/or a more central location, this probably isn’t the property for you. on 2021-06-17 in the Hyatt | World of Hyatt forum
This discussion is in English.