Our recent visit to Minneapolis, Minnesota was meant to be a combination visit to the Mall of America and other sites in the Minneapolis area. Unfortunately, we chose to visit during a budget crisis in which all state facilities were closed down. Therefore, the majority of our vacation was spent at the hotel and in the Mall of America. The hotel, Homestead Suites, is part of the Hilton chain and it was located immediately across the street from the Mall of America.
Arrival and Check-In
We arrived in Minneapolis and contacted the hotel regarding the free shuttle from the airport. Billy, the driver, was absolutely delightful, and got us to the hotel in about 10 minutes. He pointed out the Mall of America as we turned in and told us where the safest place to cross to get to the mall was, but did remind us that the shuttle picked up and dropped off at the top of every hour. Check-in was quick and our room was immediately ready, even though we arrived prior to 3 PM.
The room was a one bedroom suite with a king bed in the bedroom area and a pull-out sofa bed in the living area. It had a full kitchen with stove top, microwave oven, full-sized refrigerator, toaster and coffee pot. However, while others were napping, I opened a soda that we had purchased at the airport and some of it spilled on the counter and floor. There were no cleaning supplies in the suite, so I did the best I could to clean it up using the little bottles of shampoo in the bathroom.
The hotel housekeeping staff could use a little work. The soda that had spilled the first day we were there left a sticky residue on the floor. The floor and counter remained sticky for three of the six days we were there. In addition, there were 4 of us in the room. The maid consistently left 3 towels, even though I visited the front desk each morning to ask for extra towels. The coffee was only replenished one day, and the sugar was never replenished. The complimentary popcorn was only replaced once, even though we ate both bags.
Breakfast and Evening Cocktails
The hotel offered a fresh, hot breakfast every morning and a cooked dinner weeknights. We enjoyed the breakfast, but the design of the breakfast area was not guest friendly. There were often long lines, and we never had the fresh made waffles because the line was always incredibly long. The food we did have was excellent, however. We only ate at the evening meal once, and it was very good. However, it is advertised on the website as a “cocktail” hour, yet this hotel does not have a bar or restaurant on site, so the “cocktails” were non-alcoholic, which is not a problem, but should be addressed on the website to avoid confusion.
The information booklet in the hotel room stated that room service was available, but it was actually a take-out menu from the Chevy’s Restaurant adjacent to the hotel. There were delivery menus for Pizza Hut and a local Chinese restaurant that offered delivery.
There is an indoor pool with a small courtyard outside with wrought iron tables. It was summer, and it would have been nice to have some lounge chairs outside in order to enjoy the summer weather. It was fairly warm the week we were there and it was too hot to sit inside the pool building.
The location of the hotel is directly across from the Mall of America, and it was actually shorter to walk to the mall than wait for the shuttle most days. In addition, the public transportation system had a station directly across from the mall, so you can travel into downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul using the light rail, making car rental unnecessary. However, there are absolutely no grocery stores or liquor stores anywhere near the hotel, so it might be beneficial to take a taxi or rent a car for one day just to purchase items to have in the kitchen. There are two small convenience stores in the Mall of America that offered frozen meals, deli sandwiches and snacks, and there is a wine store in the mall that sells wines and liquors as well, but the choices are limited. There is a very limited store in the lobby of the hotel, but it didn’t offer much in the way of selection.
Overall, our stay at the Homestead Suites, Mall of America location was enjoyable and the staff was friendly and pleasant. A larger selection in the hotel store and better maid service were the only complaints we had during our stay. We would stay there again if we ever needed to visit the Minneapolis area.