Microtel Inn and Suites Bloomington/Minneapolis
Bloomington, Minnesota
The district around Minneapolis St. Paul Airport is chocked full of businesses, attractions and even the famous Mall of America. So it's natural to see a string of different hotels with different price points catering to a wide variety of guests. Although there is much more fairly lush, dashing accommodations that are also closer to the Mall of America, I wanted to find a room that not only delivered good value, but was at least a good walk from all the services I needed while I was visiting Minneapolis and its vicinity.
The Microtel Inn and Suites Bloomington/Minneapolis was chosen as it gave a level of comfort I could live with without spending an arm and a leg on services I don't specifically require.
Driving in was a bit of challenge since the sprawling highway system in Minneapolis and St. Paul has its quirky anomalies. This property was located beside a highway which makes it incredibly easy approaching by car from the west, but we were driving in from the east which meant we had to go through the Mall of America to get there. Let's just say, double check your maps and directions if you come by car - and yes, highway exit 1 follows highway exit 69 here. Or you can always try public transit or a taxi from the airport that drops you off a couple hundred metres away.
Checking in was a breeze with a receptionist who immediately greeted me as I entered the front door of the hotel. The lobby is a little dark but the natural light gives it just enough brightness to sign the required papers without a candle. The hallways are decorated with a brown shading, slightly smoking in its musk. As I walked into the room, I realized that the brown shades were a bit of a theme. The furniture, drapes and carpet contains a shade of chocolate ice cream, while the wallpaper is white but with a rough texture. True to concept, the size of the place is small, but efficient; the bed has just enough space to get up and walk around.
Functionality looks to be its strong point as there are plenty of power outlets beside the dressers and the small desk. In place of a sofa there's a cute little daybed by the windowsill that gives you the most interesting view of an adjacent hypermarket and the highway that runs alongside the hotel. There's plenty of storage for one person, although if you're an airline passenger or a couple, something will have to be kept in its suitcase.
Two little gripes that can be dealt with swift initiative: The room contains no shampoo unless you ask the front desk specifically for it (of which they responded generously). 1. Why even limit something as basic and disposable as that to the most humbled guests? 2. Who showers with only soap in this modern age and era?
The second gripe is the exercise facilities. I can forgive the fact that the fitness centre is limited to hotel guests, but to specifically demand that paying and registered guests are required to ask for a separate room key to enter the room? It's cumbersome and inconvenient to say the least. Why didn't access come included with the room key like any other hotel?
Despite these issues and questions, this property served its purpose. It's safe, clean surroundings and provides free continental breakfast along with internet. Simply good enough.
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