I was visiting Saint Paul/Minneapolis for a concert and stayed at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. A recently converted Crown Plaza owned by a local indigenous tribe, it offers phenomenal value, an excellent downtown location, and superior Ambassador treatment.
The hotel can be booked using 20,000 IHG points or runs for around $US 130 a night for their base room. The low points redemption is an excellent value, and I booked three nights for 60,000 IHG points. As an Ambassador, they upgraded me to an Executive Suite, a corner room with a gorgeous view of the Mississippi.
As you’ll see in this review, I’m quite fond of this hotel. The biggest negative I have was with regards to missing a night. My flight from Ottawa to Minneapolis via Detroit was delayed, and I had a forced overnight in Detroit, missing my first night stay. I called the hotel to advise them of my delay, and while they were happy to keep my reservation, my first night points were forfeit. While completely within their right to do so since the cancellation policy was already missed, it’s pretty inflexible considering the hotel vacancy rate was high. Had they refunded the first night, that would have displayed an exceptional level of service, and they fell short.
The Executive Suite was a corner room on the 11th floor. It had absolutely stunning views of the adjacent park and the Mississippi River.
The suite was a long room, with an entrance into a living room with a pull-out sofa. The room was clearly recently renovated, with a fresh and modern design.
The bathroom was nice, with a rain-shower. Oddly, there was no divider for half the shower, meaning the floor was flooded with water. Further, the water didn’t get all that hot, even on the highest setting.
The bedroom had a king bed with an incredibly comfortable mattress. While clean, the duvet lacked a cover, with only a dividing sheet… I always find this disgusting, considering hotels rarely wash their duvets. Yuck!
As an Ambassador, I was given an amazing welcome amenity: a bowl of the most delicious fruit I’ve ever had in the States, local white-cherry chocolate, and two bottles of fizzy water. I can’t stress enough how amazing the fruit plate was. I normally never touch them, but this had raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, dates, apricots, etc. I don’t know how they sourced such fresh fruit – I can’t get anything that nice at the food market in the summer!
Unfortunately, the room was already showing extensive wear, with significant blistering and punctures all over the walls.
Ambassador members are given access to their executive lounge on the first floor, right beside the entryway. While there, I was usually the only guest. It was very fresh, extremely clean, and always had two attendants.
There was a small but high-quality complimentary breakfast catered by the hotel restaurant, and from five to seven, complimentary wines. The bottles were quite nice, within the $US 15-20 range, with chardonnay, riesling, merlot, and I think a pinot.
Overall, I think the hotel offers phenomenal value at 20,000 IHG points a night. Further, with complimentary breakfast, wine, and an upgrade to a suite, the hotel treats IHG Ambassador members very well.