“ Address: 1100 County Road East Vadnais Heights / Minnesota 55110 / United States „
Holiday inn Express & Suites
1100 East County Rd E
Once we had left the Great River road and made our way across the Mississippi into Minnesota we headed up through Minneapolis St Paul and towards Onamia where we were going to be based for a week.
Having spent the day exploring little towns and spots of interest on the road we were beginning to flag a little so looked for somewhere to stop for the night. In the USA it is so easy to find a place to stay as they are signed off the Interstate Highways. We opted for this Holiday Inn express as I have a loyalty card for this chain and you can usually rely on getting a decent quality room.
The other requirement was that there had to be a bar and restaurant within walking distance as we didn't want to have to get into the car again to find something to eat. In the USA you can always call out for a take away but we always like to go out to eat as then the room doesn't smell of food and also it makes it a bit more interesting and sometimes we meet people to chat to as well.
I ran in to ask if they had a room for one night and I was offered the choice of one king or two queen beds. The price was $139 plus taxes which I think came to about $150 in total which included breakfast. The receptionist was very helpful and friendly and checking in took less than five minutes. As part of the check in I was asked to throw two dice and if I had thrown certain numbers I would have won a prize such as a meal at the restaurant next door. Sadly I failed and got try again next time you stay!
The lobby was large and open with the breakfast room to the right as you walked into the hotel.
Out I went to gather our bits and then up in the lift to our room. Everywhere was nicely carpeted with muted colours and the lift was pretty big too so plenty of room for a family with lots of luggage. They did have some of those luggage wheeling trolley things in the lobby but we only had a couple of bags so didn't need one.
Our room was large with two queen beds. As you entered the bathroom was to the left and outside the bath room was an open wardrobe with hangers, an iron and an ironing board. Further in on the right was a luggage stand then a big unit with flat screen TV, three large drawers and in the cupboard was a fridge and microwave oven. There was nothing in the fridge at all and in fact I had to switch it on.
The beds were nicely made up with white cotton sheets and four pillows on each bed and then an olive green valance and throw at the end to finish it off. In between the two beds was a bedside table in the middle with two lights, an alarm clock and telephone. The beds were so comfortable I could have stayed in all day and night!
In the corner by the window was a desk with telephone and electric points nearby as well as a standard lamp and a mirror behind on the wall. The window had net curtains and blackout curtains in a brownish greenish sort of check which strangely would not actually pull across the window so we were wakened at first light with the sun streaming through the window. The carpet was a dull sort of green with a brown pattern which was quite subtle in a room that large but not one I would choose for my home though.
The air conditioning unit was under the window and was effective but rather loud as it came on in the night. The other strange thing for a fairly modern building was that we could hear the people above us walking across their room and when my husband who is fairly heavy footed walked across our room it did shake the room.
The bathroom was white tiled with a shower bath plastic enclosure and not such a huge bath but it did the job for a nice long soak with my Lush stuff I had brought with me! It had the usual toilet and basin with long shelf surrounding the basin. In the corner was the inevitable coffee maker but no kettle. I really cannot understand how you can make tea in a coffee maker but they provide tea bags! We always bring our own little travel kettle to the USA for this very reason.
We had shampoo, conditioner and two face and body soaps which smelled of honey and were silky soft. There was also the usual little hair dryer on the wall that makes a huge amount of noise and does dry your hair but gets very hot while doing it. The towels were white and soft we had plenty of them.
The hotel had a really nice indoor pool and a small gym. The lobby was large and welcoming and had a few comfortable chairs for seating.The breakfast restaurant was to the right as you came into the hotel.
Breakfast was pretty good with a choice of hot drinks and two fruit juices. The usual instant porridge packs, several cereals in individual bowls with a choice of small milk packs either 50% or fat free. There were bagels and muffins as well as bread and English muffins to toast. A pancake machine provided those if you fancied them or you could have hot stuff in the form of bacon patties and omelettes as well as a choice of hard boiled eggs cold from the fridge and my favourite yogurts. Fresh fruit in the shape of apples and bananas was also available and my husband was impressed as this was the best breakfast yet on our tour.
The hotel was connected to a restaurant called 'Jimmy's' by a connecting corridor though not in any other way. We had a meal in Jimmy's that evening and it was packed. Happy Hour meant two for one drinks and so we had two beers and two gin and tonics for $8. We also tasted the local dish of Walleye, a local lake fish of the region which was really tasty and the two meals came to about $30 and we had so much food once again I couldn't finish mine. My Walleye was coated in a pistachio crust while my husband chose a battered one, he chose fries while I had a baked potato but that stayed wrapped and untouched!
Jimmy's was packed but the service was friendly and the waitress patient with our questions. We chose this hotel partly because it had a restaurant next to it as we had had enough travelling that day. Jimmy's didn't disappoint and was obviously popular with locals too judging by how busy it was on a Thursday night.
I would recommend this hotel but not as a base to explore Minneapolis as it is too far out.
Thanks for reading. Thus review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.