Condé Nast recently named the Radisson Blu Mall of America one of the best hotels in the Midwest. After spending a weekend in this stylish, family-friendly hotel, I can see why. The main attraction is convenience – the hotel is attached to the mall. But what wins you over is the cool decor, the comfy rooms, and the friendly service.
Convenience & Style at Radisson Blu Mall of America
Mall of America is a huge shopping mall, amusement park and entertainment complex in Bloomington, MN. So, like Disney World, it’s convenient – and ideal – to stay “on property.” The Radisson Blu is connected to the mall. So there is no need to go outside. Ever. It’s a feature that’s worth every penny if you’re visiting during the winter months. You just park your car when you arrive (self-park is free, valet is $25/day), and leave it there until you’re ready to go home. No driving required.
The blue-lit lobby has an upscale, swanky feel, with modern décor, artwork, and fun chairs in the lobby areas that my kids found irresistible. TravelingMom Tip: Make sure to check out the hanging “pods” by the fireplace on the ground floor entrance.
Despite its sleek style, the hotel is very comfortable and friendly. Our car battery died in the hotel parking garage at 11 a.m. on a Saturday – a busy time at the hotel. But the bellhop quickly made a call, and a smiling, helpful woman appeared with a portable battery charger within five minutes – five minutes! She jumped the battery for me. Then she insisted on helping me load stuff into my car. That’s good service.
We visited the Radisson Blu Mall of America with two moms and four kids, ages 7-13. Everyone enjoyed everything about this hotel – from the comfy beds to the restaurant food.
What’s great for families at the Radisson Blu Mall of America
- Indoor skyway access to the mall.
- Updated, modern, clean, comfortable, large rooms
- Very friendly and kid-welcoming customer service, both in the hotel and the restaurant.
- A saltwater pool (none of that smelly, skin-irritating chlorine) with large flatscreen TVs hanging by it.
- Free WiFi and self-parking. Big cost savings.
- Reasonably priced room service, including breakfast.
- An efficient, fast valet parking service that uses text messages.
What’s no so great for families at the Radisson Blu Mall of America
- The restaurant, while excellent, is a little pricry for a casual family meal.
- In some rooms, it’s a long walk from the elevator to the room. When you’ve been walking all day, it can feel like a million miles. Ask for a room closer to the elevators.
At night, the lobby feels like a swanky nightclub (minus the loud music). But it wasn’t filled with beautiful 20-somethings. It was just regular people and families. As proof of its family friendliness, Miss Teen USA contestants were staying there during the same time we were for some pageant-related events.
The hotel is easy to find on the mall’s perimeter, and has its own covered parking garage. There’s a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, so you could literally spend a weekend here and never need to rent or drive a car. I loved the valet service, which included an easy-to-use text system when you wanted to get your car. It made getting your car super fast.
The nice-sized pool was clean and had plenty of towels available. We didn’t get around to using the spa or the fitness center, but they both look like high quality amenities.
I loved the stylish décor in these rooms. Over our bed were some framed art that include Bob Dylan images. The floor had something sparkly built into it, so it looked like a party at night. Because we were with two families, we got attached rooms. One was a king bed with a pullout, and the other had two queen beds. It was perfect for our party of six.
Not only did the rooms look good, they were comfortable, quiet, and had a feature any mom would appreciate: lots of normal height outlets so you can charge everyone’s electronics.
We ate many of our meals, especially breakfast and lunch, in the mall’s food court. It was very close to the hotel’s walkway. We did order room service, which was reasonably priced and good quality food. My favorite meal was at the hotel’s restaurant, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, considered one of the mall’s best restaurants.
The restaurant’s interior looks like something you’d see on HGTV, with a modern rustic style and a farm-to-table menu. The craft cocktails and Minnesota-y menu, made it even more charming. While the kids had custom-made smoothies ($7.25) and grilled cheese sandwiches ($9.95, which includes drink, apple slices and a cookie), the adults had a hearty wild rice soup ($5 for a cup) and fresh salads. For the table to share, we ordered the Simple Cheese Fire Bread ($12), which is essentially a really good thin crust cheese pizza made with fresh ingredients. Everything we ordered was delicious, and the service was perfect (and our waitress was friendly to the kids – always a bonus).
Several TravelingMoms have stayed at this hotel, and they agree with me that this is a great hotel. Read the review by Autism TravelingMom Margalit Sturm Francus and one by Vegetarian TravelingMom Judy Antell.