Step into a world where geek and chic unite at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis, a four-star luxury hotel situated right in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.
The Commons is a beautiful luxury boutique hotel with 304 guestrooms, and I had the opportunity to stay there at for two nights during my time in the Twin Cities.
Although I love hostels and am pretty adaptable when it comes to accommodations (I’ve slept in a 10-foot trailer, on a bed placed in a triangular space that was probably 3 feet at its tallest point [so I basically had to crawl to get out of there]; on air mattresses, couches, and floors [usually with some sort of buffer between my body and the ground], and have done so with no problem), when I was presented with the opportunity to stay at The Commons Hotel, I decided to try it out. I was offered a media rate under the condition I write about my experience there, so I accepted. The rate was more than twice the cost of the hostel I had stayed at, but I viewed this as an opportunity to change things up a bit and break away from my normal travel routine.
I was assigned to a deluxe guest room with a king-sized bed on the eighth floor with this view, which was quite nice:
A couple of things I really liked about the hotel:
Geek chic theme
Upon walking into The Commons, it’s immediately clear that there’s a consistent geek chic theme, which is fitting since it’s on a college campus. One of the most prominent features of the lobby is a fireplace surrounded by large yellow chairs, behind which is a wooden bookshelf. It’s an inviting environment to indulge in and read a book or even do computer work. (There are outlets on the ground right behind the chairs.)
It’s impossible not to appreciate the consistency of the theme at The Commons, which offers a luxurious and intriguing experience. Warm lighting, smooth wooden floors, and beautiful blue and brown tones are found throughout the lobby and guest rooms.
In my room, I was greeted with a note on my bed with a quote from Helen Keller, reading: “Knowledge is love and light and vision,” further carrying out the hotel’s literary feel. On the bed stand, there was a small chalkboard (also consistent with the theme because chalkboards are used in school) with a welcome message and my name on it.
It’s located near a train station and on a university campus!
Location is always an important factor to consider in accommodations, and The Commons is conveniently situated a one-minute walk away from a Metro Green Line station. As a supporter and user of public transportation, this is a huge plus. From the station there, you can get to Downtown Minneapolis, Downtown Saint Paul, and easily transfer to the Metro Blue Line. (This can take you to a wealth of Minneapolis attractions like Minnehaha Falls, as well as to the airport and Mall of America.) Other location perks include a nearby Starbucks, Applebee’s Japanese bistro, and Fed Ex, among others. If you’re driving, it’s also just a 20-minute drive from the airport!
The Commons is also interestingly found right in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. It isn’t part of the university, but it’s a neat aspect about the location and it’s cool to be able to walk right outside and meander around campus grounds.
The Beacon Public House
When entering The Commons, there is a restaurant to the right called The Beacon, so you don’t need to go far to eat! 😉 The restaurant uses ingredients from local farmers – another plus and something I support. Menu items are between about $10 to $20 for breakfast and lunch, and servings (at least for breakfast) are on the smaller side. The dinner menu can be found here, and the weekend brunch menu is here.
Unique & pleasant experience
My stay at The Commons was great! I didn’t have any complaints, although from my room I was able to faintly hear the train bell whenever one was coming into the station and noticed a soft buzzing sound. These didn’t really detract from my experience – I was never interrupted from the sounds while sleeping or simply hanging out in the room – but it’s just a note for those who may be light sleepers or concerned about that kind of thing.
Hotel employees were also always helpful, friendly and accommodating. One rainy day, I requested for a shuttle to go to the post office because I overheard that the service was available for guests as long as the destination was within a five-mile distance. What I didn’t understand is that it was for picking up and dropping off guests. Despite my misunderstanding, an employee drove me to the post office anyway, waited till I was finished mailing my stuff, and brought me back to the hotel! I’m not saying this to encourage future guests to take advantage of the shuttle, but to illustrate how pleasant it is to interact with the employees. And I truly don’t believe I received this treatment was because they knew I was there to write a review about the place.
Room rates at The Commons start at $139+tax/night, which is really a great deal considering that it’s a luxury four-star hotel. It is pricier than what I normally pay for accommodations at this time, but if I had someone to split the cost with, I would absolutely opt to stay here if I’m ever in the Twin Cities again. It’s always nice to change things up every now and then and experience different environments. I thoroughly enjoyed geeking out while relaxing in a chic environment, and having the opportunity to stay there reminded me that it’s definitely nice to have your own space sometimes 🙂