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 Holiday Gift Guide for Luxury Travelers

[Hotel Review] Hotel Ivy, A Luxury Boutique Hotel in Minneapolis

[Hotel Review] Hotel Ivy, A Luxury Boutique Hotel in Minneapolis

April 3, 2016
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The iconic Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel is a stylish luxury boutique hotel centrally located in downtown Minneapolis. With a postmodern architectural style, the hotel complex includes the historic Art Deco Ivy Tower and 70 residential units. The 136 rooms and 21 suites spread across 19 floors include 10-foot floating ceilings, artwork by local artists, and luxurious Molton Brown toiletries. The eco-friendly Ivy Spa Club, a fitness facility, and the attached Monello restaurant and Constantine cocktail bar round out Hotel Ivy’s onsite features. Through a recent renovation, that storied past has been lovingly preserved and artfully revitalized, with improvements ranging from decor updates to amenity upgrades.
I loved that the hotel was connected to the city’s Skyway system — a collection of enclosed pedestrian bridges that make Minneapolis (at least downtown) navigable during any season, even in the dead of winter.
hotel ivy minneapolis

Photo credit: starwoodhotels.com

PROs

-Email correspondence before my stay was great — asked if it was a special occasion, if I had any requests, etc.
-Checkin and checkout were both very easy and quick. The hotel sent me my hotel folio by email before I checked out, which I appreciated.
-I loved that classical music was faintly playing in the background when I walked into my room.
-I had requested that a pitcher of ice water with lemons be placed in my room upon arrival — fulfilled as requested.
-I appreciated a bottle of wine as the welcome amenity — thank you!
-Thank you for the 3p late checkout!
-There’s a 24-hour business center — perfect for business travelers!
-There’s plenty of complimentary water bottles — I can’t believe some hotels don’t get something as simple as this. I always appreciate small gestures like this as it signals to me that the hotel is focusing more on the experience instead of nickeling and diming the guest.
-The location is perfect — it’s nestled right in the heart of downtown. There’s lots of sights and restaurants around the area. There’s also a Skywalk that connects the buildings — perfect for the brutal winter months.
-There’s a house car available for guest use.
-The room and bathroom were very spacious and I liked the double-door entrance to the bathroom.
-The service was wonderful— attentive, hospitable, and warm. From the front desk to the housekeeping staff to the concierge, the service was quintessentially Midwestern.
-I appreciated the attention to details — when restocking the coffee and tea pods for my Keurig, the housekeeper was in tune with my preferences and left extras of each of the ones that had been used.
-Loved that the bathtub was separate from the standing shower.
-The on-site restaurant, Monello and craft cocktail bar, Constantine are voted some of the best in the city. Loved the plush decor and vibrant ambiance of both. I sampled the chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings at Monello and then headed downstairs for a nightcap at Constantine.
-The toiletries were Molton Brown — always a pleasure!
-There’s an on-site fitness facility, but it’s not 24 hours.
-There was a normal hair dryer that was actually functional.
-Social media activity and engagement was sparse before my stay, but the team made up for it during and after my stay. I also like that the General Manager actively fields and responds to reviews on TripAdvisor — bravo!
-The glamorous color palette of teals and golds set the tone for the vibe of the room.
-I appreciated that the hotel staff requested prior permission to use my photos on their social media accounts — this small courteous gesture beats a cease and desist letter any day.
-Loved that the deep-soaking tub had a view — there’s nothing better than unwinding with a relaxing bath, a glass of wine, and views of the city.
-There’s an on-site spa — the Ivy Spa Club — that’s known as the best in the city. There’s also a steam room/sauna and co-ed whirlpool.
-Room service was very quick and efficient.

CONS

-I was asked what newspaper I wanted upon check-in, to which I responded the New York Times, but I never received anything either morning.
-WiFi is not complimentary. This shouldn’t even be up for debate in today’s day and age. However, if you’re a SPG member and book through one of Starwood’s many portals, you do receive free standard Internet access.
-Turn-down service was disappointingly ordinary — in the age of personalized luxury, there should be much more than just chocolates and curtain closures.
-There are 2 outlets on each side of the bed, but there are all taken up by the phone, lights, and alarm.  There should be more outlets near the bed; it’s especially inconvenient for digital travelers.
-I would have appreciated if the note attached to the welcome amenity was personalized and not the cookie-cutter message that gets printed in bulk.
-Breakfast was not included.
-The linens may have been premium, but the comforter was subpar — for a hotel of this caliber, I would expect a plush, fluffy down comforter.
-Room service is not 24 hours. It ends around 11:30p.

Duration: 2 nights, March 19-21, 2016

BOTTOM LINE: While there were a few missing details that should ordinarily be part of a luxury hotel experience, I enjoyed my stay and overall experience at Hotel Ivy. There’s a general dearth of luxury hotels in Minneapolis, but from everyone I asked about the best luxury hotel in the city, all fingers pointed towards Hotel Ivy. While it’s easy to see how Hotel Ivy is one of the city’s best hotels, and though I appreciated its gracious Midwestern hospitality and broad range of on-site amenities, I would have loved a greater attention to details to truly elevate the guest experience. With that said, Hotel Ivy is likely to be my go-to luxury hotel in the Twin Cities. I would also recommend it to anyone looking for a home away home while in Minneapolis! 

*Disclosure: I was a guest of the hotel, but views are my own and accurately reflect my stay. My room was a deluxe room in 1708.

**My policy: there will always be full disclosure about whether my stay was hosted by the hotel or paid for with my own money. And even if the hotel decides to offer complimentary services, my review will never be swayed one way or the other. After all, if my experience was sub-par, and I continue to falsely rave about their services, no one will benefit–not me, not you, not the hotel (they’ll never improve!). So, trust that you’ll receive 100% truth in every review.

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