Stylish luxury in downtown Minneapolis
Located in historic downtown Minneapolis, Hotel Ivy, A Luxury Collection Hotel originated from a 1930s high-rise that was once planned by a church as the first of four towers. Eventually turned into office space and then vacated, the building was transformed by Starwood Hotel and Resorts, which expanded the classic landmark into a luxury hotel. Today it has a warm and inviting contemporary design and looks like a boutique hotel, even though it functions with all the bells and whistles of the luxury Starwood chain. Hotel Ivy is connected to the city’s popular (and oh so necessary) skywalk system, and you can get to Orchestra Hall and other local attractions without stepping outside during one of those infamous Midwestern blizzards. There’s plenty of reasons to hole up here, though, from the plush rooms and intimate spa to Monello, a rustic Italian restaurant.
As part of a recent renovation, the luxury hotel added lavish details, including mahogany wood furnishings, metal hardware and leather headboards and sofas. Midnight-blue velvet armchairs enhance each guest room while rich gray window treatments balance the geometric patterns in the custom-designed carpets. A major wow factor is the 10-foot floating ceilings found throughout. Hardwood floors add character to many of the suites while spacious limestone bathrooms offer both an enclosed glass shower and deep soaking tub. Accommodations come in a wide variety of sizes: Superior, Executive and Grand Deluxe rooms, and Junior, Superior, Deluxe, Executive and Grand suites and, of course, the expansive two-floor Penthouse with a wrap-around foyer, butler pantry and dining room.
Monello debuted as the Minnesota hotel’s new restaurant serving a rustic, coastal Italian menu in a warm, contemporary dining space that’s far from stuffy. Order smaller items like oysters and imported cheeses, and dishes like lobster with risotto, arugula and lemon, and cappelletti with morel mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and truffles. The bar’s offerings aren’t to be overlooked, either, especially the housemade limoncello, aged 60 days and made from Meyer lemon, Eureka lemon, neutral grain spirit and cane sugar. An updated outdoor patio bar makes for the perfect summer retreat — the strung lights overhead add a lovely ambience to the urban setting.
To reach Constantine, the hotel’s dark and cozy bar, head below Monello down the steep stairs that sit beneath gothic pendulum lighting to the basement. Expect to be greeted by layers of lit candles and a hostess perched on an authentic church pulpit. Yes, Constantine’s décor is a nod to the old building’s holy history. The dimly lit lounge is adorned with understated religious tones, including organ pipes on a back wall and a stained-glass Star of David.
A narrow, out-of-sight 12-person Whiskey Room offers a diverse assortment of whiskey behind glass doors. There’s another option for tippling, too. Back by the Hotel Ivy’s guest services is the newly renovated sleek lobby lounge Venetia. Note the tiered lines inspired by the original, historic edifice.
The Wellness Options
You can hit the 24-hour Ivy Fitness Club, a full 5,000-square-foot health club with personal trainers; cardio, spin and yoga classes; plus the expected cardio machines and weights. Adjacent to the gym is the 17,000-square-foot Ivy Spa Club, Minneapolis’s largest destination spa. It has a long menu of head-to-toe body treatments, massages, facials and hydra-therapy services as well as a private hair and nail salon. Minnesota may be known as the State of 10,000 Lakes but rivers make an appearance as well, lending local stones for the Minnesota River Rock Massage — a must-try treatment for any weary traveler.