I don't know what you are thinking for beds if you need two rooms, but Holiday Inn 7th Street starts at $124/night and is right by the Excel. There is also a Double Tree pretty close to the Excel at $127/night.
There is a Best Western Banana Square that has $95/night, never stayed there but lived in the apartments down the street. There were some car break ins at the apartments (truth be told, one was our car because my husband left electronics in the car) but I it isn't a bad area. There is 1 (and only one) bar within walking distance of the hotel which on the right night offers a little something for everyone. It is pretty centrally located for being way out on it's own.
Otherwise, I could recommend heading towards Roseville (I live in the northern burbs so I it is the area I know better). It isn't that long of a drive from the Excel and is close to a large shopping mall and plenty of restaurants. Right around the mall there are lots of hotels, higher prices are the Radisson ($120/night) lower prices are the Motel 6 and Super 8 (less than $60/night). If you wanted to be in a mid-quality hotel and to be right by Rosedale Mall and also the highways the Days Inn Roseville St Paul is showing $76/night.
Edited: 2:56 pm, August 13, 2013