When I travel for business, my top priority is not the "type" of room I stay in or how large and fancy the facility is. I care about the comfort of the bed, the options available for food, and the customer service I receive.
I have stayed at this property a number of times over the past several years, but one of my most recent stays was such that I thought it warranted a proper review.
I arrived on a Sunday afternoon and was greeted with great enthusiasm, as usual. However, having previously informed several members of the staff that at the end of this business week, my daughter would be joining me from Florida, I received an extra bit of enthusiasm, "I'm so excited to finally meet your daughter!". The staff upgraded my room to allow for extra comfort, which I appreciated, and when I entered my room, was greeted with a "welcome bag", including snacks and bottled water.
The business week progressed as usual. I ate dinner every evening at the 5120 Restaurant / Onyx Bar and was not disappointed. If you're hungry and appreciate great food, you will thank me after trying any number of items on the menu. There is a dish, not on the menu, that I highly recommend. Tripper, the Chef, makes amazing meals, but his seared Ahi tuna atop a generous bed of garlic and parmesan risotto is my meal of choice. Delectable does not begin to describe it. The bar and restaurant staff affectionately refer to it as the "TJ Special", named for me. :)
The bar staff; Sean, Ben and Jen (manager), are not only quick to serve, but they offer every drink with a smile, a mention of your name, and in most cases, a conversation. This is why I stay at the hotel. I travel alone, but never feel far from home with the staff of this establishment. They welcome every traveler with the same enthusiasm and a goal to create a comfortable environment and great experience. The clientele consists largely of repeat customers, regular business travelers. I sit at the bar and have conversations with individuals I met at this very spot years ago. The fact that we all continue to call the Country Inn & Suites Bloomington West our home away from home speaks volumes.
Fast forward to Thursday evening, when my daughter arrives from Florida for a weekend visit and mom/daughter time, before we return home Sunday. The shuttle picked her up from the airport and per my request, delivered her to my office. They kept her bags and assured her they would be in her room waiting when she returned, which of course they were.
That evening, when we returned to the hotel, the entire staff from the front desk, bar and restaurant, greeted her with hugs, smiles, handshakes, and excitement. She felt like a little celebrity! Everyone was so kind and welcoming to her, that she immediately understood the reason I have stayed there for so long. To my delighted surprise, Ben, fabulous bartender and friend, recommended that we all go out for a night on the town. Not only did we do so, but several employees came along, as well as two other regular business travelers. We had an absolute blast. The night auditor was kind enough to arrange a pick up for us later that evening, so that none of us had to drive or brave the blizzard that came later that evening. An effort very much appreciated.
This outstanding evening was followed by the highlight of the trip, for my daughter. She wanted to snowboard, but since I wasn't able to join her, I asked the Chef, my friend Tripper, if he would do so. Having closed the restaurant the evening prior and expected at work at 3:00 this day, I was surprised when he gave me a resounding "Yes!"
Tripper spent the morning and early afternoon with my inexperienced snowboarder, and not only kept her company while I watched and videotaped, but gave her instruction, lots of encouragement, and plenty of laughs. The day would not have been as memorable for my daughter, had Tripper not been kind enough to join. He even got her lift ticket comped and paid for her rental board!
To close out the weekend, on Saturday evening there was a wedding in the restaurant / atrium / bar, and it was closed to guests of the hotel. Knowing it was our last evening, Sean, amazing bartender and friend, spotted us entering the lobby after a day out, and motioned to us to sit at the outside of the bar and enjoy a drink. We were welcomed like family and my daughter will be forever grateful for the over-the-top hospitality and kindness shown by the staff.
When greeted by the staff at the front desk throughout the weekend, my daughter felt as though everyone knew her and she was part of the family. From Michelle saying, "I'm so glad to finally meet you", and Jason saying, upon our departure, "I'm am genuinely happy to have met you", to Rachel spending a couple hours in the room with us just shooting the breeze, the week was one of the best I've had.
Sooo......if you want to stay at a hotel with comfortable beds, great food and exceptional customer service, don't look elsewhere, stay here (and don't forget to order the TJ Special) ;)
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- Also Known As:
- Country Inn & Suites Bloomington West Hotel Bloomington
- Country Inn And Suites Bloomington West
- Country Inn Bloomington West
- Bloomington Country Inn
- Country Inn & Suites Bloomington West MN, North America