Cool and unique hotels in Minneapolis

Top 15 cool and unusual hotels in Minneapolis

The more creative part of the ‘Twin Cities” bisected by the Mississippi River in Minnesota, the Midwest metropolis is known for its friendly locals, its outdoor culture (even in the winter), affordable prices, and its safe and welcoming atmosphere. It’s also a progressive city with a good handful of organic eateries, lively nightlife (rock clubs are quite a thing here), cool art museums, edgy theaters, and a hip Warehouse District which is filled with trendy converted industrial-chic warehouses and a youthful, creative vibe. There’s also quite a collection of unique places to stay, from intimate boutiques to swish upscale hotels here are our Top 15 cool and unusual hotels in Minneapolis (in no particular order)...

1. Graduate Minneapolis – a trendy retro-chic design hotel housed in a hip redbrick building

Trendy hotel in Minneapolis

Themed hotel in Minneapolis

Hip hotel in Minneapolis

Located in the heart of Stadium Village on the very green and pleasant University of Minnesota campus is the appropriately named Graduate Minneapolis hotel; a stone’s throw from the iconic Huntington Bank Stadium and just across the river from everything the city center has to offer. Looking very much a major campus dorm from the outside, the inside is somewhere between log cabin meets masters’ study with dollops of kitsch-chic thrown in – it sounds terrible, but it’s amazing!

This hotel is calm, grand, and amusing all at the same time. It’s like nostalgia went on a date with geeky and they couldn’t stop giggling. There’s the usual restaurant, bar, and fitness center, but the real joy is in the guest rooms and public spaces all designed to create a warm, friendly ambiance.

2. W Minneapolis – The Foshay – a cool and very Instagrammable hotel perfect for Millenials and Gen Zs

Cool hotel in Minneapolis

Retro chic hotel in Minneapolis

The Downtown West district of Minneapolis is crammed full of hotels battling for attention. The W Minneapolis easily rises above the competition with the enormous 30 story art deco Foshay Tower in its midst – once the tallest building in Minneapolis. This stunning building has been worshipped internally with a design that pays massive homage to the art deco structure without wallowing in fusty antiques; it’s decadent, exciting, elegant, and incredibly stylish with masterful colors, furnishings, and lighting all used to dramatic effect.

An art deco lift whisks guests to a 360-degree observation deck at the top of the tower with the most beautiful views, especially at sunset, and a small museum about the Twin Cities in the 1930s.

3. Hewing Hotel, North Loop – a hip and unqiue upscale boutique hotel housed in a historic in the trendy Warehouse District

Hipster hotel in MinneapolisModern hotel in Minneapolis

Industrial Chic hotel in Minneapolis

A few blocks from the Mississippi River, in a converted warehouse dating from 1897, is the upscale Hewing Hotel in the buzzing Warehouse District of North Loop Minneapolis – a new hub for the local art scene. Reimagined using natural materials and Native American art influences this powerful red-brick building now plays host to a thoughtful, peaceful ambiance created from the fabulous design.

There are two great restaurants, one on the rooftop with beautiful city skyline views, a good fitness center, and a wonderful sauna, spa, and heated rooftop pool. Hewing Hotel’s 124 rooms and 14 suites provide just the right mix of historic architectural detail with luxurious modern amenities, providing a truly unique Minneapolis experience.

4. Moxy Minneapolis Uptown – for a fun, upbeat atmosphere, parties, and cool modern decor

Party hotel in Minneapolis

Fun hotel in Minneapolis

Cool and hip hotel in Minneapolis

There are two Moxy Hotels in Minneapolis; one Downtown close to the Mississippi River and the other Uptown near the famous lakes. Moxy Minneapolis Uptown is a slate cubist block decked out inside in a colorful, comfortable, unpretentious style that is rapidly becoming a Moxy trademark around the world.

The guest rooms are European style, with everything you need for a good sleep sorted. The shared areas are superb, informal relaxing spaces where strangers chat and friends gossip. Moxy crams a lot into their small spaces with precision and joy. It’s almost impossible not to enjoy a stay here: Meet me in the lovely ground-floor bar and I’ll tell you all about it!

5. Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis – a unique and contemporary upscale hotel with a spa

Cool hotel in Minneapolis

Best boutique hotels in Minneapolis

Hotel Ivy, on the edge of Downtown adjacent to the Minneapolis Convention Center, is the official hotel of every NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL team that plays in the Twin Cities. It’s a luxurious landmark hotel in a mildly desolate zone but fully connected to the city Skyway system making it incredibly easy to visit all the delights of central Minneapolis.

Part of the hotel dates back to 1930 with a 25-floor ziggurat tower, known as the Ivy Tower. At the very top, there’s a magnificent penthouse guest room spread over two floors with a panoramic private rooftop balcony. A further 135 rooms are below, all styled in crisp luxurious tones. On the ground, there’s a top-class Italian restaurant, a fine cocktail bar in the cellar, and possibly the best spa in Minneapolis! 

6. Moxy Minneapolis Downtown – a fun hip hotel located in upscale Downtown East

Instagrammable hotel in Minneapolis

Funky hotel in Minneapolis

There are two Moxy Hotels in Minneapolis; one Uptown close to the lakes and the other Downtown near the Mississippi. Moxy Minneapolis Downtown is just two blocks from the wonderfully scenic Gold Medal Park and Riverfront with its historic Stone Arch Bridge and St Anthony Falls. Moxy Minneapolis Downtown is big and airy, bright, fun, and quirky.

The guest rooms are compact, colorful and cleverly designed to make the best use of every available space – some even have balconies. The shared spaces are perfect for gathering with friends or chatting with strangers before heading out to explore the Twin Cities. The Moxy-style is evident everywhere with creative art and unusual furnishings giving plenty of those Instagram moments.

7. Rand Tower Hotel, Minneapolis, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel – a luxury boutique hotel with the wow-factor set in a 1920s Art Deco building in Downtown

Unique luxury hotel in Minneapolis

Glamorous hotel in Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis loves its old skyscrapers. The Rand Tower is probably the most beautiful and most Gothamesque of them all. A genuine icon in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis, Rand Tower Hotel celebrates the historic grandeur and art deco elegance of the 1920s.

This boutique retreat pays tribute to Rufus Rand, the industrialist, and aviator who commissioned the building. Savor craft cocktails and creative light fare in the lobby bar, gaze at skyline views from the glamorous rooftop garden and lounge, or simply relax at the end of the day in a beautifully crafted room or suite delicately styled with hints towards this building’s exquisite legacy.

8. 300 Clifton, Loring Park – a unique upscale boutique B&B set in a beautiful historic 1887 Queen Anne–revival house

Quirky hotel in Minneapolis

Historic hotel in Minneapolis

300 Clifton, the Eugene J. Carpenter Mansion in Loring Park is a historic, elegant, bed and breakfast located conveniently between the lakes and Downtown Minneapolis. This beautiful Georgian mansion has a choice of six rooms superbly decorated with invocations of its great history, and a separate two-story Carriage House for bigger parties.

There are roaring log fires in the winter and a beautiful small Dutch garden for the summertime. 300 Clifton with its Persian rugs, leather Chesterfields, four-posters, and oak paneling is exactly how you’d imagine an early mansion to be. If all this elegance and history isn’t enough – there’s a hot tub and in-room massages.

9. Sonder at MAX, Prospect Park – a modern and stylish aparthotel with a rooftop terrace

Industrial chic hotel in Minneapolis

Warehouse style hotel in Minneapolis

Hotel for hipsters in Minneapolis

Sonder at MAX is a modern aparthotel with bright, clean, beautifully designed two-bed, one-bed, and studio apartments close to the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota campus. It’s designed in a refreshingly cool warehouse-style with contemporary casual furnishings some exposed brickwork and plenty of pale wood.

Rooms are fully equipped with everything you could need for a short or a long stay, and Sonder at MAX has the added bonus of a small on-site fitness center and a very pleasant rooftop terrace with broad views. Unusually, there’s plenty of free car parking here – it’s not centrally located, so you will need that car.

10. Canopy by Hilton Minneapolis, Mill District – a stylish hotel housed in a 1900s red-brick building in the Downtown East district

Contemporary hotel in Portland

Design hotel Portland

In Minneapolis Downtown East district, less than 100 yards from the US Bank Stadium – home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team – is Canopy by Hilton. Housed in a very beautiful former industrial building the high ceilings, brick walls, and ironwork have been preserved and incorporated into this fabulously styled hotel.

Canopy by Hilton consistently delights the senses with unique designs complementing their surroundings – this hotel strikes with bold art and repeated lattice imagery running a cohesive theme through public areas and rooms. There’s the usual fitness center, meeting rooms and an excellent restaurant and bar and the location is perfect for both the event spaces and central Minneapolis.

11. Elliot Park Hotel, Autograph Collection – a unique and stylish luxury place to stay in Minneapolis

Elliot Park Hotel, Autograph Collection

Modern hotel in Minneapolis

Thoughtfully themed à la bouclé-meets-office block the Elliot Park Hotel in the Elliot Park district of Minneapolis oozes clean, sharp almost Scandi-style accommodation. This is a textbook hotel with everything where it should be; there is a choice of different sized guest rooms and suites, a good Italian restaurant, various meeting rooms, a well-equipped fitness center, a comfortable lounge lobby, and a nice bar.

All kitted out to create a reassuringly smart ambiance which doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a very good hotel. Elliot Park Hotel is a pristine example of an excellent place to stay that supports guests, rather than swamping them.

12. The Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – an upscale unmarked hotel set within the IDS Center skyscraper in Downtown

The Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Modern hotel in Minneapolis

In the absolute naval of Downtown Minneapolis is this leviathan of a hotel. With over 20 floors of event and accommodation space. The Marquette Hotel – named after explorer and missionary Jacques Marquette who came here in the 1680s – is bedecked in contemporary grey and beige themes throughout with the sleek, modern shapes and styles you would expect in a large Hilton.

The guest rooms are big, bright, and thoughtful. Try, if you can, to get a room on the higher floors where you might grab some grand corner-window views of the city center, particularly beautiful in the evening as the sun sets and lights sparkle into view.

13. Mint House CBD Minneapolis – trendy self-catering accommodation with  bright, eclectic decor perfect for longer stays

Mint House CBD Minneapolis

Trendy hotel in Minneapolis

Mint House in the Central Business District (CBD – to avoid any misunderstanding) is an aparthotel with balconies – unusual for Minneapolis. The public areas are eclectic, cheerful, bright and youthful; the apartments modern, simple, spacious, comfortable and tastefully furnished with all the kit you need. This is a perfectly located, practical venue to stay whilst exploring the Twin Cities.

After a hard day downtown, you can work out in the well-equipped state-of-the-art fitness center, or unwind in the Sky Lounge with impressive views of the Mississippi River.

14. Aloft Minneapolis, Mill District – a funky hotel with colorful creative decor

Funky hotel in Minneapolis

Creative hotel in Minneapolis

Aloft W Hotel Minneapolis is a bold hotel featuring recently renovated loft-inspired rooms for an easy breezy Twin Cities stay. Located between Gold Medal Park and US Bank Stadium it’s a short stroll to explore trendy East Downtown, rich in history and culture and abuzz with lively urban energy. There’s a friendly bar to meet and mingle with friends; a snack station for sweet and savory bites and a good lounge for chilling.

The rooms are simple and comfortable in a European style with splashes of color and little fuss. Aloft knows it’s a welcoming crash-pad for guests who are busy out and about and doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

15. Sonder at SECOND + SECOND, North Loop – a stylish and modern space located in the trendy and vibrant neighborhood of North Loop

Fun place to stay in Minneapolis

Cool self catering accommodation in Minneapolis

In the up-and-coming North Loop district of Minneapolis, Sonder at SECOND + SECOND aparthotel is a new, modern, grey block on the outside disguising delightful brightly furnished apartments on the inside. Located within a short walk of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge across the Mississippi River to Nicollet Island and only 3-4 blocks from Downtown, it is surprisingly well situated for real exploration of this vibrant city.

The apartments are well proportioned, many have balconies above the street, and all are furnished in a refreshing Scandi-style to accentuate the bright and airy rooms. An exceedingly good base for travelers who want to spend a few days in Minneapolis and St Pauls.

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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome and Twitter @garynansome

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