Local hotels

Downtown luxury for $99?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Ten years ago I was telling my comfortable but frugal uncle about a hotel where I’d recently stayed for about $100 per night. He was awe-struck at the idea of spending more than $50 for a hotel room and wanted to hear all about its supposed lavish extravagance.

I know many people still believe that $100 a night is a lot for a hotel, but only a couple of years ago, luxury hotels downtown were charging $300 a night in … Minneapolis!  The economy has put a stop to that, especially on weekends. A quick online search of the high-end hotels in Minneapolis and St. Paul produced several hotels offering a $99 deal — perfect for a couple’s romantic weekend.

The St. Paul Hotel is offering $99 rooms from April 19-30, as well as all Fridays in May and select Saturdays and Sundays in May. The Grand Hotel in Minneapolis is also offering a $99 deal on weekends. The newer hotels, including the Graves 601 ($134), Chambers ($139) and the W in the Foshay ($129), haven’t quite descended to the $99 level, but not that long ago, the cheapest room at Chambers was $265.

All of the cheaper rates are for smaller rooms, but it never hurts to ask about a free upgrade at check-in.  

Sneak peak into new Hotel Mpls (expired)

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Hotel Minneapolis (215 4th St. S., Mpls., 612-340-2000, www.thehotelminneapolis.com) officially opens Aug. 8, but today through Aug. 5, save on rooms during the “soft opening.”

 Transformed from the 1906 Midland Building, the new hotel’s decor leans to the business traveler but staying at a downtown hotel for $99 bucks a night isn’t bad for a king standard room (reg. $129 on weekends). The larger corner suites (22 of them) are larger and more luxurious at about $159 to $179 per night (reg. $229 per night). Continental breakfast is included in the rate. The hotel restaurant won’t open until after the special is over, but try the lobby bar.

 The rooms have Sweet Dreams beds, flat screen TVs, MP3 docking stations, and wireless internet. And those free and fabulous Doubletree cookies.