Taking advantage of a recent Groupon, my wife and I decided to celebrate our anniversary with a night away at the Inn, including dinner at the restaurant and brunch the following morning. The hotel itself was quite nice. The staff was exceptionally friendly and courteous, and the room was clean and quiet. I noticed that another recent guest commented on signs of age and wear, such as cracks in the bathroom vanity. We noticed this as well, along with things such as the window trim in desperate need of repainting. But I found these things to be minor, particularly for a hotel of this age and historic significance. Frankly, if everything were perfect and sparkling and new - if they'd gutted the interior and just left the historic facade - I think it would lose a good deal of its charm. For example, we noticed that the floor in our room sloped to one side; so much so, that there was a wood spacer under the chest of drawers to keep it level. We found this quaint, and a little amusing - not at all annoying or irritating.
The hotel is just across the river from downtown, so the views are nice, and it is convenient to get just about anywhere you'd want to go. If the restaurant isn't your choice (or you're staying more than one night and want to check out others), there are several within walking distance. There's also a movie theatre, walking/biking trails, the historic Stone Arch Bridge, etc. - all within easy walking distance. We took advantage of this and enjoyed a nice morning walk before returning to the hotel restaurant for Sunday brunch.
In fact, the only real issue we had was with the bed. It was so soft, it reminded me of a water bed. And for two people with bad backs, that is not ideal. In the in-room notebook containing information about the hotel, there were instructions for adjusting the firmness of a "Sleep Number" adjustable bed, but the bed in our room was not such a bed. My wife wondered why they would include instructions for something the room did not have. My best guess was that the room was likely supposed to have an adjustable bed - and maybe even did at one time - but something had happened to it, so it had been (perhaps temporarily) replaced with a standard mattress.
In fairness to the hotel and its staff, we did not discuss the bed issue with them. My wife suggested asking if they had another room available which might have, if not an adjustable bed, perhaps a firmer one, but we ultimately decided not to worry about it, as it was just one night. That turned out to be a bad decision. My wife awoke the following morning with such back pain that I spent a good deal of time massaging it before she got up. A gentle massage from a loving spouse may seem quite romantic - particularly as it was our anniversary - but, believe me, when there's that level of pain involved, it tends to kill the romantic mood.
Again, though, I must stress that we did not discuss this with the staff. Given how friendly and professional they were, I feel confident that they would have done anything in their power to address the situation, had we brought it to their attention. We didn't, and that was our mistake. I mention it, because, for any other travelers with back problems, it might be wise to discuss bed options when making reservations. Overall, however, we quite enjoyed our time at the Nicollet Island Inn.
- Also Known As:
- Nicollet Island Hotel Minneapolis