The Commons Hotel has a theme throughout its lobby, restaurant, rooms and suites. And I like hotels with themes. Maybe it’s all those nights at Walt Disney World resorts, but whatever the reason, I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the lobby and discovered an upscale retro, geek chic, schoolhouse atmosphere. Designers took their cue from the hotel’s location on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis and ran with it.
Walking into the lobby, straight ahead is a semicircle of bookshelves and chairs. In the center is a fire pit; a touch that is also featured in front of the hotel. The reception desk is backed by a large collection of world globes, and small seating areas are ideal for students to take advantage of the hotel’s Wi-Fi.
This academic theme is carried through to rooms and suites with plaid wallpaper, and historic U of M photography on the walls. The fun part for me was discovering little details. Where the room numbers are located, for example, are drawings of patent designs that originated on this campus.
The Beacon Public House, the hotel’s restaurant, has screens above the bar. During the day they show books; in the evening, a roaring fire. On game day, dining and bar guests can cheer for their team. Just outside the restaurant is a set of lights with globes that are actually lab beakers. Another sitting area looks like lab tables and stools.
Restaurant breakfast offerings include the usual fare (Eggs Benedict, steak and eggs), but they also offer an East Bank Huevos, which is wonderful with “two eggs, pulled pork, stewed black beans, ranchero sauce, pico di gallo, queso fresco and crisp tortilla.”
Lunch and dinner features items you may not find on many menus including Grass-Fed Bison Bangers and Mash, and Maple Grilled Salmon.
In addition to the wonderful and fun surroundings, the Green METRO Line runs in front of the hotel. You can take it to downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, making the hotel the perfect location.
I highly recommend this hotel, not only for its fun atmosphere, excellent dining option and location, but for the friendly and professional staff. It’s the perfect choice if you are visiting the Twin Cities for business or pleasure.
For more information, check the hotel's website.