The Hotel Ivy’s beautiful bedroom. Image courtesy of Starwood.
Thanks to Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (See our disclosure statement here.), on August 20 I was sent on a fast-paced, one-hotel-per-night Minneapolis vacation. What was the result of such a whirlwind getaway? Four amazing, luxurious trips – and nothing less.
Minnesota’s best-kept secret is the ability to appeal to a variety of niche travelers at once. Whether you’re coming into town for Mall of America shopping, a lakeside luxury travel retreat, off-the-beaten-path hiking, or some great urban biking, you can find the trip that’s right for you.
This article and its sister post explore a few of the awesome getaways for travelers of every kind.
A happy traveler overlooking St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. Image by Ann Santori.
Treat Yourself in Minneapolis at Hotel Ivy
If you’re the kind of traveler who is used to jet-setting around the globe by day and snuggling into down comforters by night, you will be perfectly comfortable in Minneapolis.
And if you’re someone who usually keeps her wallet close, Minneapolis is the perfect city to splurge a little! Whether you’re celebrating something special, like a birthday or anniversary, or you just need to forget about the stress of the daily grind, there are occasions when it’s worth it to inject something fancy into your life.
A great place to start is the luxurious Hotel Ivy. I was met at The Hotel Ivy the second I stepped off the Sheraton Midtown’s shuttle. My luggage was whisked up to the Penthouse by a porter, and my full itinerary was planned and presented to me. I knew I was in for a well-deserved indulgence.
Luxury travel means soaking in this tub to your heart’s content! Photo by Ann Santori.
The beautiful Hotel Ivy. Photo by Ann Santori.
Photo by Ann Santori.
Rest and Relaxation
For being located inside such a beautifully posh hotel, the Ivy Spa Club‘s prices are reasonable compared to my local suburban beauty parlors (not to mention Chicago’s prices). And for my very first massage, the Ivy Spa Club was an excellent choice.
One could spend the entire day at the Ivy Spa Club, either indulging in a half-day or day combo package of treatments with the girlfriends or reserving a lower-key (but equally rejuvenating) treatment, like a manicure or waxing, and then taking full advantage of the facilities.
Now, since I didn’t know I was being treated to such a pampering, I hadn’t brought along a swimsuit to enjoy the spa’s whirlpool or sauna. Both of these, in addition to a steam room, fitness equipment, and relaxation lounge (complete with tea, lemon water, and tabloid magazines), come included with any treatment.
But never fear! The spa can provide you with quite nearly everything you need. This includes swimsuits, robes, nail files, hair ties, combs and brushes, hair dryers, and a varied and an extensive collection of styling tools (straighteners, curlers, mousse, and pomade); all perfect for getting gussied up for a night on the town!
Exploring “Mill City”
Though your limbs will be wobbly with relaxation after your spa day, since you’re staying in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, you’d be remiss to pass up a closer exploration of its historical architecture and sparkling lakes.
Get off your feet and get adventuring with a pedicab tour!
With the canopy open so that I could take in the full impact of the scenery, my driver took me to all of the hotspots, from Nicollet Mall, the Mississippi riverfront, and the Warehouse District, all the way up to the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Park.
My driver, Terry, from Twin Town Pedicabs. Image courtesy of Ann Santori.
For this vintage-industrial-obsessed lady, seeing sights like the Mill City Ruins Park and hearing more about the history of retro neon signs, like the one pictured below, put the tour right over the top.
For instance, did you know that when a Catholic school moved into the vicinity of this Grain Belt Beer sign (which still lights up at night — how cool is that?!), the school administration lobbied to have the sign removed, citing that its association with alcohol would have an immoral influence on the students? Thankfully, the school’s petition fell on deaf ears, and this gem is still here today!
A cool retro neon sign. Image courtesy of Ann Santori.
Spoil Your Palate
In typical luxury travel style, I was treated to a second mini-tour when my town car driver Joel drove me past the scores of classic mansions bordering Lake Harriet on our way to my dinner destination, the Harriet Brassiere. My meal is pictured below for you to salivate over!
Luxury travel means luxury eats! Image courtesy of Ann Santori.
Well, Go Girls, that wraps up my trip to Minneapolis! I’m exceptionally grateful to Starwood and all of the hotels and local businesses that welcomed me during my time in the city. Though it’s back to normal for this erstwhile luxury traveler, I’ll never forget my foray into Minneapolis’s lap of luxury!