I've stayed at The Normandy several times when making my way through the Twin Cities. Every time I check in, I ask myself if I've made a good decision in choosing the Normandy. I mean, it looks like it should reek of cigarette smoke and bourbon, but it doesn't. It seems like I should see polyester pantsuits at every turn, but I don't. For whatever reason, as funky as it is, the Normandy does it right.
I typically travel with my family, so I stay in the 1-bedroom suites. The beds are large and comfortable, and have a very homey, grandma's house feel to them. They somehow don't feel like a hotel bed, if that makes any sense. The sitting area is large enough to comfortably house my two kids, and the TV in both rooms is a huge plus.
For whatever reason, Minneapolis hasn't latched on to the boutique hotel craze (for better or for worse). Chambers is OK, but a little antiseptic. Graves seems like it's trying too hard, and really, it's too large to be considered "boutique" in the first place. So we are left with the Normandy. And that's not a bad thing.