Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown Review

 

Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown 

Wife, baby and I enjoyed a weekend getaway in Mid May for a good friends birthday celebration.  After a quick 45 minute flight from Milwaukee and a 20 minute train ride from MSP airport we were just a quick walk away from the hotel.

We entered the hotel lobby through the elevators that connect Minneapolis downtown walkways to the hotel.  The lobby is bright and full of energy. It has a modern and edgy feel to it.  The front desk was fairly small. Just enough for two front desk agents.


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown Lobby

Our lovely front desk agent was courteous and nice.  She advised we were “upgraded”, asked how many room keys were needed and gave our son a very cute, white, Radisson Blu branded teddy bear which we appreciated. We were assigned to a Superior Guest Room on the the 11th floor-room 1111 to be exact.


Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis Lobby

The set of elevators is just off to the side of the reception desk.  Guests need to have their room keys in order to get up to their assigned floor. While I appreciated the security that this provides it did make it a bit inconvenient to visit friends staying on another floor of the property as I couldn’t reach their floor nor could they reach ours with our room keys.  A helpful front desk agent did assist when I did need to visit another floor by swiping his “master key”.


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown Elevator lobby on 11th floor

Our room was nice.  Not very large but average size that met the basic requirements for a comfortable stay generally.  I always prefer a room with a separate bathtub in case our baby needs a bath  (we don’t bath him in tub/shower combos) so while our room didn’t meet that preference the bathroom was otherwise perfectly fine. The shower had an adjustable hand-held showered with decent water pressure and responsive water temperature. The room was very clean and in very good shape.


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown shower


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown tub


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown sink


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown toilet 

We ordered two dental kits and they were brought up to our room promptly.  The rest of the bath amenities were fine.


Radisson Blu Downtown Bathroom Amenities


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown Bathroom


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown Floor plan


Radisson Blu Minneapolis bathroom


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown Bathroom

The room had a comfy king size bed along with a desk area and green chair and small end table next to it. We also had a crib delivered up to our room shortly after arriving in the room.


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown

The TV was wall mounted directly across from the bed. There were plenty of channels and the hotel provided free wi-fi.  We did not use the wifi during our visit so I cannot speak of the speeds.


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown TV/Desk area


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown bed


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown teddy bear


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown room entry

We did have a babysitter come stay in the room with our child on Saturday night so it might have been nice to have an executive suite with a bit more room or a separate living area but alas our Club Carlson Gold status didnt have that much pull.  The hotel was fairly crowded during our stay and we did see a wedding party on Saturday.


Radisson Blue Minneapolis Downtown

The view was just across the street looking directly at the Minneapolis Marriott hotel. Sadly we had a very rainy weekend in Minneapolis so we didn’t open the curtains much.


Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown roomkey 

ROOM WALKTHROUGH BELOW:

 

Food and Beverage

Due to the weather we decided to stay in a order room service on our first night at the hotel.  The in house restaurant at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis is FireLake Grill House.  My wife ordered the veggie skillet, our baby had the oatmeal brûlée, and I had the pannekoeken.


Veggie Skillet


Oatmeal Brulee


Pannekoeken


Pannekoeken

The food was good and was delivered fast.  Also the prices were not extraordinary high as they are in many hotels.


Room service bill

I took some photos of the menu, see the selection below:


Fire Lake menu


Fire Lake menu


Fire Lake menu


Fire Lake menu


Fire Lake menu


Fire Lake menu

On Sunday morning after a nice steak dinner and several drinks at Burch Restaurant and a night out on the town we decided to get a late breakfast downstairs in FireLake’s dinning room. We ordered a bowl of oatmeal with fruit for our son, I had the breakfast pizza and my wife a had an egg white frittata (not pictured).


Oatmeal at Fire Lake


Breakfast Pizza

I thought the decor of the restaurant was nice and the bar was really eye catching. I am not sure when this property opened but I was really impressed with the how new or fresh everything seemed.  They are doing a good job of keeping the hotel in immaculate shape or perhaps the property is only a few years old?


Fire Lake interior


Fire Lake bar


Fire Lake bar

Overall we had a good stay.  Our prior go to hotel in Minneapolis was the W Foshay but I prefer this hotel and would have no problems returning on our next visit.  The location is good right in the heart of downtown just a short walk to Target Center or Target Field.


PointsPinnacle Breakdown

One of the primary reasons for booking this hotel is that we had some Club Carlson points to burn.  In fact my wife and I combined our points into my account in order to have just enough for our two night stay.  This property required 70,000 points a night which is really absurd in my view but we really don’t use Club Carlson points frequently and when a chance to burn them at a decent property presented itself we jumped on it.

We also continue to hold on to our Club Carlson Visa credit cards which annually awards us 40,000 points a yr in exchange for the annual fee ($60/yr for the business card and $75/yr for the personal card). We feel its a fair deal even though Club Carlson has devalued their award chart substantially in the past few years.


Nightly rate of $198/night for our nights per Radisson.com

The cheapest cash rate for our two night stay was $198/night or $400+taxes for the weekend!


Our room confirmation email

So using our points in this scenario saved us a decent amount of money and we were happy to burn the points!

Any comments or questions are welcome! Thanks for reading.

 


 

 

The May Fair Hotel London Review

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Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Pauls Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Wimbledon
London Eye
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)
_________________________________________________________________

The May Fair Hotel London

Wife, baby and I had the pleasure to spend four nights at The May Fair hotel. As the name suggests the hotel is located in the May Fair area of London which is one of London’s most upscale neighborhoods.  My wife and I were dropped off by cab and greeted by the doormen at The May Fair.  We were offered assistance with our baggage and we kindly accepted since we had baby with us.

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The May Fair exterior

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The May Fair exterior signage

Upon entrance you could tell this property was a few notches up from the Radisson Blue Edwardian Hampshire that we had checked out of just earlier.  The May Fair has a much more luxurious feel.  The staff is sort of formal and dressed to match that vibe. The lobby was large and light with low ceilings. There were actually a lot of staff in the lobby and most were plenty busy. There were 3-people at the door, then another 2-3 people in the lobby greeting people. The front desk had four people assisting guests and the concierge had another 2-3 employees behind the counter.

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The May Fair lobby seating area

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The May Fair front desk

When we arrived there was actually a slight 5 minute wait or so to checkin.  Once a front desk member became available I was welcomed up to the desk by a nice gentleman.  I provided my passport and credit card.  He initially confirmed that I had Continue reading

Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square Review

_________________________________________________________________

Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Pauls Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Wimbledon
London Eye
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)
_________________________________________________________________

Radisson Blue Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square 

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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire exterior entrance branding

We were dropped off by our driver at the hotel. Actually it was just down the street a bit since it was almost impossible for the driver or us to tell where the front door to the property was.  In fact the street in front of the property appears to be closed to cars/vehicles.  There is no traffic in front of the hotel and directly across the street they are in the beginning stages of building a large building.

Once we found the property and walked in we were treated warmly by the doormen.  We were escorted over to the front desk where a very professional checkin agent helped check us in.  Since it was only around 10:30 a.m. or so we were advised that our room wasn’t quite ready yet.  We decided to waste some time and had a light breakfast at the hotels restaurant.  After our breakfast I decided to ask if our room was ready. He checked and said not yet.  They offered to call us when it was ready but we didn’t have cell service overseas and thus decided just to keep our backpacks on us and walk around the city for a while.

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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire exterior entrance

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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire exterior at night

After a few hours of walking around we came back closer to 1 p.m. and then our room was Continue reading

Trip Report: Paris (part 12) Radisson Blu le Metropolitan

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Introduction
LOT Business Class Chicago to Warsaw
Hotel du Louvre
The Louvre
Park Hyatt Paris
Notre Dame and adding our “lock of love” to a Parisian bridge
Versailles
French Open (day 1)
French Open (day 2)
Radisson Blu Champs Elysees
Arc de Triomphe and Siene river cruise
Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan
Le Eiffel Tower and Sacre Couer
Lunch at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower and other Dining options around Paris
LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class WAW-ORD
____________________________________________________________________________

Radisson Blu le Metropolitan

Let me just start off by saying this was a great little hotel. I loved it.  However it is not perfect!  If I could buy our hotel room as a cheap Paris condo I would! I loved the location and the fact that it had a balcony!!  The balcony was my favorite feature by far.  Next to our earlier stay at the Park Hyatt this was my favorite property of the four we stayed at in Paris.

We were dropped off right at the front door by our cab and assisted in by the doorman who helped bring our bags in. At checkin we were told we were upgraded to a superior room or something of the sort.  SCORE!   The front desk agent was really nice and walked us around the property and escorted us to the elevator.  It was sort of funny as she was still talking the elevator kept slamming in her face and she kept keeping it open (this must’ve happened 4-5 times).  The property is small. The halls leading to the room are small and tight!! The elevator was only big enough for us and our bags (barely).  When we walked in, the room was small. My wife mentioned, “this is an upgrade?”  Which I had to laugh at and agree.  I looked at the floor plan on the door and realized this room is one of just a few that have a balcony thus the “upgrade” terminology.  However after spending two nights at the property the balcony is really an upgrade!!!! To have usable outdoor space in the heart of Paris was great!!!  I would take a chair out there and sit-down to enjoy the sites and sounds for a while.

The bathroom was a good size which was welcome since the rest of the room wasn’t . The rainfall shower head was nice too!!  The wifi was good just as it was at the previous Radisson Blu Champs Elysees.  There was a welcome amenity in the room which consisted of some small chocolate snacks and a glass bottle of water.  We did not eat at the property although the restaurant looked aesthetically pleasing.  We did not get free breakfast as Gold members at either Paris property which is not required however the Radisson Blu’s in Dublin and Galway were nice enough to comp us free breakfast buffet’s. The window in our room was very large of course because it allowed access to the balcony so the room got a lot of light. Overnight and earlier in the day they automatically bring down the window awnings and in the afternoon and late evening they are brought up to make the balcony much more usable and spacious.

Another positive for this hotel is its location!!! Actually all the hotels we stayed at were really well located near attractions/landmarks.  This property was only about a 10 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower and you could see the Eiffel Tower from the front of the property.  It was pretty much a straight shot to the tower so not much walking. There are also many shops and cafes in the direct area as well as a drug store/pharmacy.

Lets talk about the negative aspect that put a sour taste in our mouths.  On Sunday we had a noon lunch reservation at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower.  Around 10:30am I called the front desk for an iron so that we could look halfway presentable for lunch considering most of my clothes were packed in our suitcase for several days by this point.  They told me they will have someone send one up “right away”.  Perfect, I thought and we continued getting ready.  About 15 minutes went by and I decided to call again.  This time she said the same thing that someone will bring it right up.  Ten minutes later we still don’t have our iron.  I called again, this time I was angry.  She (front desk lady) apologized and then admitted that all the irons were being used by other guests!!!! She said that the last available iron was called for about 10 minutes before I called for mine.  She said as soon as one becomes available they will bring it to our room.  I said I have a noon lunch reservation and it was already 11:20am!!!!  I then walked down to the front desk to ask them for other options.  I asked if they can purchase another iron? Could they have another iron delivered from another Radisson property?  Nope!  Just sit tight till the irons are available.  I got pissed and said “EVERY ROOM SHOULD HAVE AN IRON!! HOW MANY IRONS DO YOU HAVE??!!”  She replied, six.      SIX!! The property only has six irons for 48 rooms, seriously.  How much does an iron cost?  Maybe $20??  They need to go out and buy at least 42 more irons so that guests don’t have to go through this inconvenience.  After yelling at them for a bit another gentlemen sitting in the lobby overheard and was nice enough to offer me his portable steamer and mentioned he just went through the same scenario.  I raced upstairs and we used the steamer to get us to semi-presentable status but not our bests for a Michelen star restaurant lunch. We rushed out of the hotel about 10 minutes before our reservation with plans of walking there.  The hotel could have offered to buy us a cab ride to ensure we were not late but nope they dropped the ball again. No recovery at all.

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Radisson Blu le Metropolitan exterior

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Myself outside the Radisson Blu le Metropolitan

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Trip Report: Paris (part 10) Radisson Blu Champs Elysees

 

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Introduction
LOT Business Class Chicago to Warsaw
Hotel du Louvre
The Louvre
Park Hyatt Paris
Notre Dame and adding our “lock of love” to a Parisian bridge
Versailles
French Open (day 1)
French Open (day 2)
Radisson Blu Champs Elysees
Arc de Triomphe and Siene river cruise
Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan
Le Eiffel Tower and Sacre Couer
Lunch at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower and other Dining options around Paris
LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class WAW-ORD
____________________________________________________________________________

Radisson Blu Champs Elysees

We stayed two lovely nights at the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees in the middle of our trip.  This hotel had a super location as it is just a two minute walk away from the Arc de Triomphe and Avenue Champs Elysees!!  If you like to shop this is the hotel for you!! Another major benefit of this hotel is that there is a large drug store just around the corner. The drug store sells most anything you need at a reasonable price. We made numerous stops there for food and water and it was a life saver.

When we arrived by cab the front desk staff actually doubled as a doorman. He came out to grab our bags and check us in.  He was very friendly and offered a lot of advise on things to do in the area and restaurants we could walk to that were well recommended. I tipped him 2 Euro’s and he even told me not to tip in France “that is an American custom and we don’t expect tips here” but of course he was thankful.  They also offered us two free drink coupons which we promptly redeemed for a glass of champagne.

The room was a decent size by paris standards.  The bathroom had a separate tub and shower which is always a nice touch if your a bath-taker. The bed was comfy and the wifi was good.  They also had a welcome amenity of three macaroons waiting for us on the desk in the room.  The shower had good water pressure and the amenities were fine as well.

The main thing that makes this a nice property is the location….. it is hard to beat! We would both have no problem staying here again and enjoyed this room more than the Hotel du Louvre that we stayed at our first night.

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Radisson Blu exterior signage

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Me in front of the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees Continue reading

Trip Report: Ireland (part 8) Radisson Blu Galway

 

Part 8

Radisson Blu Galway

The last two nights of our Ireland adventure was spent at the Radisson Blu Galway.  Now this was a great overall stay and perhaps my favorite Radisson Blu thus far.  The front desk was extremely professional and courteous. At checkin we were told that we can be their guests for complimentary breakfast and that we were upgraded to an executive level room with lounge access (simply from being a gold member which can be gotten from the Club Carlson credit card).

The room was the biggest room we stayed in during our trip and it was well appointed!  In many other properties this would be categorized as some sort of suite or Jr suite. The room also had a very large balcony for some extra outdoor space. The bathroom was also large. It had double sinks and a generous shower and separate tub. This was our most comfortable room and the bed and bathroom were really relaxing.

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Trip Report: Ireland (part 7) Radisson Blu Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Cave and Galway

 

Part 7

Radisson Blu Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Cave and Galway

Radisson Blu Limerick

We packed up and checked out of what was our worst hotel stay in Ireland. A quick overnight in Limerick at the Radisson Blu which was about half way between Killarney and the Cliffs of Moher. I actually totally forgot to book a room for this night prior to departure! I only realized it on our first or second night in Dublin. We were driving to this property after a somewhat late night in Killarney at the Danny Mann’s! We had a blast but it was a long drive after a big night and it was around midnight.

When we arrived the exterior of the property is good. Looks like your standard hotel and it was in good shape. There was a wedding reception going  on this night so there were quite a bit of people going in and out the property and having a smoke outside. We were checked in OK however the rooms are just terrible. Frankly I wished we stopped in Sligo or managed just to drive all the way to Galway and got a room at the Radisson’s there instead.  I didn’t bother getting any pictures of this place (as it was late and I was tired and my camera battery was low) however in hindsight I wish I would have. I was afraid to even step on the nasty carpet barefoot. There were no North American adapters on the property to charge our electronics.  So of course my battery is on next to nothing as we are going to the Cliffs of Moher the next day. I called the front desk and the phone didn’t work-I tried several times.  I had to actually get dressed again and go back down to the lobby to ask for an adapter and they looked at me like I am crazy. However the Radisson Blu Dublin and Cork both were able to provide adapters. Basically the rooms are in MAJOR need of a refresh!! When we checked out we asked since we are gold can we stop in for a quick complimentary breakfast and that idea was rejected like a weak shot attempt against Dikembe Mutumbo!!  We then thought lets check out the buffet, maybe its worth paying!? Negative, the food looked horrible and we just left ASAP. I will never stay there again.

Cliffs of Moher

Well what a crappy day to see the Cliffs of Moher!!! The only bad day in 8-9 days in Ireland and it had to be here where we were outside the whole time basically. It was very rainy and very windy! The entire car ride up there it was grey skies and about 15 minutes before we got to the cliffs it started to downpour. We tried to wait it out in the car and sit in the parking lot for about 20 minutes but we finally decided to just make a run for it!

Now another negative to this visit is it was very crowded.  Partly because the rain pushed more people to be in the visitor center so when you walked in to the visitor center it was swamped-the gift shop and the cafe facilitates were tough. It was hard to get anything to eat and we were starving since we didn’t have any breakfast.

Eventually we made it outside in the still nasty conditions.

DSC03403Cliffs Of Moher entrance. Can you tell I’m freezing?!

DSC03404Probably the last place you want to wear a hat haha. Our hats almost flew off a few times! Continue reading

Trip Report: Ireland (part 5) Rental Car, Powerscourt, Glendalough, and Blarney Castle

Part 5

Moving around Ireland

When planning our trip we decided that we needed to rent a car and go wherever we want, when we want.  However we were both fairly nervous to drive on the right side of the car and on the wrong side of the road!!! I rented the vehicle through Nova car hire. One of the hardest thing to do is rent a car and get the best deals. The reason I chose Nova is because their basic coverage on the vehicle is substantial when compared to other agencies. I was really nervous we could get into some sort of accident and didn’t want a nightmare situation to arise while on vacation.

We had a very capable Hyundai “something or other” (not a model sold in the states). I actually liked the cars handling and it was great for navigating the VERY winding roads. WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE ADD THE GPS TO YOUR VEHICLE IF YOUR VISITING IRELAND AND PLAN ON DRIVING AROUND!  I cannot stress this enough. If we didn’t pay for the GPS option the trip would have been a disaster and there would have been a lot of stress in fighting.

DSC02964All smiles in the drivers seat due to the GPS.

DSC03292The wife getting a chance to drive.

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Trip Report: Ireland (part 4) Radisson Blu Dublin

Part 4

Radisson Blu Dublin

So for nights two and three in Dublin we stayed at the Radisson Blu Dublin.  This was all part of the master plan for Ireland! Stringing together 2 night stays at Radisson’s around Ireland and taking full advantage of the Club Carlson Credit card!  One of the main features of the card is getting the last night free on award redemptions. So redeem points for one night and get the next night free.

This property is very sleek and modern.  The location is not quite as good as the Westbury but it is not a bad location at all. Very close to St. Patricks Cathedral and 5-10 minute walk to Grafton Street. This is obviously a newer construction property as there is pretty much no wear and tear to be seen. Being Club Carlson gold members (due to having the credit card) we were upgraded to a business class room (#518).

IMG_0706Room entrance

IMG_0707Shower

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