As 50 something regional manager for an industrial door company, I travel extensively, especially in the Midwest. At the price point this is be best value. While some hotels at much higher prices might be more elegant, this one meets the needs of my family, business associates, and me, very well. It is not Ritz Carlton or Drake but I’d put it on par with any new, well-run Hampton Inn, anywhere.
This like-new Country Inn is right at the intersection Hwy 10 and 23, near the new MN 23 bridge over the Mississippi. No road noise can be heard in the rooms. The Mississippi runs through Downtown St Cloud and along the campus of St Cloud State University So the hotel is very close to both. There is even kind of a secret bridge about a mile south that scoots you on campus within minutes, or take the big bridge and it is still really close. The hotel is close to everything, highly visible, but tucked away and kind of land locked. After you get off Hwy 10 by the Copper Kettle, you kind of drive this littel maze to get back in there. But worth the trip.
When I call on customers, have meetings, or just visit the area for family fun, within a 100 radius, I usually stay at the Country Inn & Suites St Cloud East. In fact, even when my boss is in the area (Prez of our company based in Ohio) riding with me, we stay at least one night at this hotel, when Up North. He says its great, too.
Sometimes my family joins me on weekends. We might check in on Friday, play at the hotel that evening, then drive 2 hours north on Sat towing our boat. Even when we spend a day in the Brainerd Area Lakes Area, we go back to this St Cloud area hotel to again stay on Sat night (better & lower price than around Brainerd). Then, Sunday morning, we are less than 2.5 hours from home! (Very ez on the ol' family budget). We eat breakfast at the hotel, maybe hit Cabalas in Rogers, and we are back home in Apple Valley before the heavy traffic swamps I-94 late in the day! More pleasnt, easy, safe, and economical.
Other times we might hunt pheasants at a preserve 15 miles east of the hotel, ice fish at area lakes, take in the local granite quarry park, or ski south of town, or drive up to Sauk Center to the auto races. Sometimes the hotel even has coupons to nearby golf courses.
There is a Cub Foods store within blocks, a way cool Coborns grocery 2 miles north, and a Target store between the hotel and the river (one block west). St Cloud State even has Big 10 Hockey, if you can get tickets.
Most rooms have frig and microwave.
There is a hole-in-the-wall liquor store about one block north. My favorite affordable wine is Gallo Sonoma Reserve cav. They sell it for $10. Go figure! Taxes must be lower.
The parking lot is super safe. I would have not fear of leaving valuable stuff in my car or boat (and do). The hotel is bordered on the west by a collection of little, neat, quaint cracker box homes built about WW2. Low crime area. There is a newer Taco Bell is two doors down. There is a quiet, super clean Firestone store behind the hotel (they often change my oil while I sleep!). With a punch card you get 3 oil & filter changes for $45. What's that $15 each?
Excellent restaurants within minutes along Hwy 23, part of a big shopping area stretches for about 4 miles west of St Cloud (in the suburb of Waite Park). You name it, its out there.
The indoor pool and in floor whirlpool super clean and safe. Rest rooms and shower on deck, a few feet away. You need a hotel key card to get in there. No glass allowed. Small and shallow but fun. You often have it to yourself. You know that awful smell most hotel pools have. Not this one!
Breakfast is above average with eggs, sausage, cheese sticks, and you can coat your fresh waffle with strawberries! This offering is simply better than most of its type. Coffee is always on and fresh.
Rooms smell great and are super clean. No sign of wear or tear. We have a king Select Comfort bed at home that we love, and we actually like their conventional mattresses better! Very, very comfortable. Tons of pillows. Towels are white, plentiful, and like new.
Great choice of cable without having to worry about what the kids might watch. (Yes, you dare touch the very clean remote.) Has elevator and power-operated front sliding doors, plus awning so you can unload in the rain. I like to use one of their 4 wheeler luggage carts to transport the heavy stuff. And the hotel faces south (its back to the north wind) which can be a big deal in the winter.
Guests seem to be sharp, well educated, upscale, and upper middle class. Even the occasional construction guy guest will have silver temples. (He' a boss, I suspect, while the crew is down the street!). I've never seen a semi truck in their lot. The corporate headquarters of Coborns Inc. is two blocks east. This is their hotel of choice for corporate guests. That's how I found it. I bet I've stayed there 25 times over the last 3 years.
Hotel was built after the Minnesota Clean Air Act. Rarely do you see anyone smoking, and if so, there might be one or two folks out of the country porch far from everyone else.
There are never late, noisy parties. I've been there when wedding parties have almost the whole place! Stay on a winter weekend and you might have two girls basketball teams and maybe a boys hockey team, plus parents, and, believe it or not, they are quiet and well-behaved. Simply amazing. A testament to the management's ability to keep order? (And/or maybe very thick walls? Boring quests?)
Staff defines Minnesota nice. Friendly, they know their stuff, work fast, will go the extra mile, and the cookie jar at the front desk is always at least half full. And if you make a mess at breakfast, there tends to be someone with a smile and the right attitude right behind you to clean it up! Everybody acts like the customers are kings (or queens, or princes, or princesses, as the case may be.) At check out they hand you the bill, give you a smile, and a big thanks. None of this slide-it-under-the-door nonsense. Check out on average: 8 seconds. Check in, if you have made a reservation...maybe 30 seconds, plus or minus a cookie and some talk about the weather, or maybe da wonderful Vikes and da evil Packers.
There is seldom any competition for the top-notch PC and printer in the lobby. In-room high speed is flawless, wireless, and like a rocket. I use it often. The place is warm and cozy, too, even though new and big. I think any couple would find this a nice place to stay while in town to celebrate an anniversary, for example. Warm lighting, nice furniture, big firepalce in lobby, and lots of class.
So this is a great value. You will not be disappointed.
Do I sound like the owner or manager of this hotel writing a favorable ghost review on the sly? Absolutely not. In fact, I have no direct association with the hotel and I don't know the GM or the owner. Don't even know their names. If I've interacted with them (probably have) I never knew. Every employee acts like an owner, so you really can't tell who is who.
Don't believe me? If you would want to speak with me personally to get my endorsement first hand, I suspect that could be arranged. You could call the 800 number at our corporate office (the hotel's front desk could help you get it). If you call me, my office would forward your call directly to my cell phone.
Mostly, I'm gushing all over this hotel because these guys have treated me very well over the years, this is just a great place to stay, and I think I would be doing anyone a favor by recommending it.
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