Picking up the rental car from the airport on an extremely brisk (-8c) morning at Minneapolis St Paul, I look out in to the sunshine. Beyond the ceiling-to-floor perplex windows of the baggage claim lies that kind of grey, yellow, blue colour palette that decorates the streets when sun and fierce cold meet. Beautiful, yet frigid city life breezes past me, as I drive the car through the streets of Minneapolis, a little detour on my route to Lake Minnetonka, and the Hotel Landing. The lake glistens with sparkling icy looking water, the temperature of which I dread to even imagine! Small boats bob to the rhythm of the lakes, lined with smatterings of snow clad, leafless tress looking like the kind of mid-western dream of Home Alone or a Bob Ross landscape. Ok, I used a Bob Ross landscape as my art reference, but incase you’ve too much arty prowess, lets go for Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s ‘The Hunters in the Snow’, or Van Gogh’s ‘Landscape in the Snow’ so as to better set the scene – and to name drop a few paintings in order to convince you I’m not a total artistic moron. I pull the car up to the 5ish story white and grey wooden clad exterior of the hotel. Its exterior design is modern, scandi-chic inspired with touches of all American grandeur. The large glass entrance doors slide away to reveal the lobby, a plush collection of dark woods, dark floors and grey exposed brick work frame the large stone fireplace as its warming glow welcomes you. Front desk to your left, and restaurant ninetwentyfive to your right. You are welcomed with a warm smile as the chilly air melts beneath heat of the fireplace.
The ‘Presidential Suite’ lives up to its name in grandeur and size, this 1,098-square-foot suite features a King bed, individual climate control, data ports, complimentary wireless high-speed Internet, LCD/HD televisions, deluxe pillow-top bed and 400 thread-count triple sheet linens. Fit for a leader of the free world, and also maybe a family of 5! The decor matches that of the rest of the hotel, the fashionable, minimalist white and grey is complimented with shades of copper, blue, marble and cream giving you a welcoming ambience beyond that of pure fashion. The suite feels very large yet, its sectioned off style makes it feel less lofty and more homely. You can’t help but be charmed by this room, bursting with light from the large windows framing this picture perfect Minnesotan celebration of colour, light and perspective framed perfectly by the snowy exterior that plays like artwork beyond the windows of Hotel Landing’s ‘Presidential Suite’.
The Loka Spa offers an attentive, dedicated service to meet your needs. From massage to cosmetic treatments, the bespoke, personalised treatments really elevate this seemingly small spa’s service beyond that of the average hotel ‘spa’ which all to often seems simply to serve as a semi-profitable after thought. This is far from the case here, masseuse ‘Chip’ is thorough with his pre treatment interview, determined to meet the needs of the client the attention to detail goes so far as to preferred oils, creams, levels of intensity, desired outcome of treatment. No stone is left unturned in the spa’s desire to treat you to a memorable, wonderful experience, and thats exactly what my massage was! I only wish I had more time to enjoy the spa’s relaxation rooms complete with complimentary coffee, snacks etc but alas, as ever, real life calls. A quick post massage trip to rehearsals in downtown Minneapolis for a new cast member breaks up the day, but only serves as a reminder why great accommodation is such a desired luxury, safe in the knowledge that beyond the few hours of cardio lies the king sized bed and deep, cleansing, sigh inducing ambience of Hotel Landing.
The restaurant ninetwentyfive menu offers a warming, approachable yet sophisticated take on lunch. I start with the Sugar Pumpkin Soup, oh sweet, soup, how do I compare thee to a winters day. Apologies, the tastiness of this soup has me all poetic. Toasted hazelnuts,Demerara sugar, nutmeg, creme fraiche, sugar pumpkin, green onion, brandy, vegetable stock, sweet, warming, thin, wintery soup, perfect for the brisk -5 temperatures. So much so that I ordered it again that evening and it was equally as amazing. I followed this with the club sandwich, a hearty, meaty take on the lunch staple. Chef Daniel, tells me with pride and intricate detail as to the origin of every ingredient on my plant. Bacon from this farm down the road, chicken from local producer so and so, spicy ketchup made in house. This, of course is translated in to the taste. Full, fresh, authentic flavours sensate the palate accentuated by the Sonoma coast Chardonnay dancing between each mouthful.
For Desert, I opt for the Chocolate chilli torte, one of the highlights of the meal, truly an exploration of contemporary texture, flavour and of course chocolate. The cinnamon, chewy torte, ice cream, crunchy cocoa nib, chewy chocolate textures dance across the light crackle of chilli flavours with a verve and vigour you would expect from a restaurant of Michelin renown. The dense chocolate flavours are miraculously light, the subtle balancing act that takes place to accomplish this is a real demonstration of the culinary quality and attention to detail in every aspect of the food here. What’s more, dessert is paired with the bar’s ‘Sweater Weather’ cocktail, a boozy, log fire in your belly, kind of drink. Elements of sweet vanilla, bitter orange and cherry bark reveal a smokey, sweet pleasure for those masochists who like a drink that fights back with roaring delight. Overall this spot makes for a wonderful place to enjoy some hearty, well crafted food, that walks the line between posh-nosh and simple, damned good food, with the fine-footed delicacy of a tightrope walker of the highest acclaim.
This hotel has so much to offer, admittedly, a little way out from the nearest metropolis, travellers who make the short journey will be greatly rewarded for their efforts.
925 Lake St E
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505 Nicollet, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55402