Built to be a dream for railroad enthusiasts, this hotel averages out to being more prosaic for the average traveler. There are several nice features, big and small. The renovated decor of the old railway station is pretty beautiful, with nice sitting/lounging areas set up all over the first floor. The pool setup also impresses, far more open-feeling than you can normally ever get in an indoor hotel pool. The pool was very pleasant to swim a few short laps in and the hot tub provided a nice way to relax. In your rooms, electrical plugs for your devices, though not plentiful, are helpfully concentrated at the room’s desk, and the beds are pretty comfy. The regular breakfast options of eggs, meat, cereal and the like come with the bonus of fresh yogurt and fruit, so you can make nice little parfaits to start off the day with. The breakfast staff are also extremely friendly. The hotel is definitely conveniently centrally located between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as being very close to the beautiful Como Park.
Nonetheless, there are some definite downsides. Just finding the hotel can oddly be a challenge - there is a Best Western sign at the street, but it’s at the entrance to a large office park, so it can easily be unclear what building the hotel is. The only signage of any kind at the main entrance was the company logo on a small carpet. They might be going for being a hidden gem, but it’s a bit of an odd choice. There is a parking deck next to the hotel, but the entrance clearly used to be an exit, so you have to fight that feeling that you’re driving in the wrong way. It’s not you; it really is just a weird set of angles to drive (and park) in.
We found similar coordination issues in our room, with a prominent menu for Gabe’s restaurant displayed on the desk - but with no contact information to make an order and (more importantly) no information to make clear that this isn’t your room service option and isn’t even a restaurant attached to the hotel, but is actually a half-mile down the street. Odd continues.
The noise level in your room can be very noticeable - we heard occasional thumping from the ceiling all evening just from people walking around in the rooms above. Basically, it’s not as soundproofed as you’d usually expect between hotel floors. Thin floors you can kind of understand; thin floors…
The front desk staff also acted pretty grumpy and put-upon at our request to replace a forgotten toothbrush - and this for a $3.00 charge, not the complimentary one you can expect at many hotels. The wi-fi was a bit spotty, dropping occasionally, but was otherwise okay.
The laundry facilities for guests were helpful, but there is actually only one washer and one dryer. We were visiting at a lull in the season, but it’s something to be aware of if the hotel is crowded.
None of these issues were dealbreakers, but they do bring the hotel experience down from what could be very good to pretty much so-so. If you’re big into railroads, this is probably an amazing place to stay. If you’re visiting Minneapolis or St. Paul, it’s pretty reasonable. less