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PHL Apr 28, 08 10:39 am

The Ivy Minneapolis, Luxury Collection [Master Thread]
I am going to be staying at The Ivy in MSP in a few weeks. I have been debating between it and the Westin. Threads about the Westin seem to be favorable, but I haven't found a lot on the Ivy. This post will serve as my placeholder for a trip report, but I would like to see other comments here from anyone else who has stayed there lately. It's a smaller hotel with not a lot of rooms. How was the SPG treatment?

fly co to see the yanks Apr 28, 08 10:45 am

the weekend the ivy opened, i stayed at the westin but asked for a tour of the ivy. while the gym/health club in the ivy is great, the westin is a much nicer property in terms of guest rooms, etc.

i found the rooms/bathrooms at the ivy to be very small and oddly laid out. the westin is really great. i am going to reserve further comments on the westin since there is an existing thread on the property.

the properties are within walking distance to each other.

gottigotti Apr 28, 08 3:47 pm

I think that beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to these two properties. I have stayed at both recently and have prefer the Ivy to the Westin. The Ivy's gym is far superior to the Westin's (think of an actual health club vs. a nice hotel workout room). The two times I have been at the Ivy I was upgraded to a one bedroom suite with a very nice bathroom. The comparable upgrade at the Westin is nice; however, the Westin upgrades always seemed to be in very dark rooms (the bedrooms on two occasions lacked windows, while the living room had windows).

I would give the Westin the advantage on the restaraunt / bar scene, while the Ivy had a more helpful staff. If valet parking is important, I would recommend the Ivy as their garage is on site while the westin's garage is off-site and can take a while to get your car.

Both properties do a good job with platinum upgrades.

Like I said, it is all about personal preference.

fly co to see the yanks Apr 28, 08 7:34 pm

the entrance to the westin is really spectacular.

PHL May 12, 08 12:48 pm

I checked into the property around midnight this week after a delayed flight. It was very easy to find - right off I-35W on the 11th st exit. I pulled up to the door and a doorman/valet came right out to greet me. I could have looked for, and probably found street parking, but just didn't have the time or energy.

The property is on the Southern end of the downtown area and isn't a long walk to the attractions further North. But as a result of its location, it is a bit quieter around there.

The front desk and lobby are very modern and similar styled like a Westin. The friendly desk agent had an envelope with my keys all ready to go and the check in was very fast.

The hotel has 19 floors with around 7 to 9 rooms per floor. I was given a room on the 19th floor, and it was the room I reserved ("Superior"). I didn't ask for, nor expect, an upgrade due to my longer stay length and Gold status. But the top floor was a nice bone to throw me. The room is an interesting design - I walked in and to my left was a beautiful marble bathroom with a huge sunken tub and a separate glass enclosed shower stall. To my right was a long console that divided the room. It consisted of a closet and the back of the desk. On the other side of this long console was the sleeping area (King bed), and on the back of the closet part of the console was a large 42 (maybe 46) inch plasma TV. Many of the channels are true HD, including local networks and some cable channels like HBO.

The room has both WiFi and hardwired internet (for a fee).

The King bed has very comfortable sheets and ultra soft pillows. The matress is a little bit firmer than I'm used to, but I slept very well.

I hung up my breakfast order on the door handle with a preferred time of 715-730am. They knocked on my door at 650am! I politely commented to the person that I was expecting them a little later, considering I was STILL SLEEPING when the loud knock came (alarm was set for 7am, so I'm not going to grouse about 10 minutes). I'll probably order again and check the same time frame, but this time I'll put a nice note on the form "no earlier, please".

Overall, I like the property and find it to be a peaceful enviroment. I'm going to be at the Westin next week so I'll be able to compare the two. The Spa looks to be very nice from the description of services and amenities so I will try to check that out, as well, and report back.

TwoDecks May 15, 08 1:24 pm

I just returned from a one nighter at the IVY and had a FANTASTIC stay. I arrived at 11:30pm at night, there was someone out there ready to grab my car for the valet ($25 per night). Checked in very quickly. When they didn't ask me what I wanted for my ammenity, I just said, please give me points for the ammenity. The front desk person (who was very friendly) told me that there is an ammenity in my room, but if I don't like it, they'll just add the points.

I then asked him if there were any upgrades available, and he informed me that I had been upgraded already. Walked up to the room (506). It was a true suite that I had been upgraded too. Walk into a vestibule with hardwood floors, two chairs, and a cheese and fruit plate (very fresh fruit, very nicely done - this was my amenity - much better than 500 points). Bathroom off of vestibule with the standard Luxury Collection look and feel (large tub, shower, etc.)

Next room was a fairly large "sitting room" with flatscreen TV and LARGE leather couch, a small desk, and a separate chair. Then two doors to a bedroom with a king bed (nice firm bed, soft pillows). Room was very cold (which is very nice). Flat screen TV had TONS of HD channels (not just CBS, ABC, NBC, but ESPN, ESPN2, etc.). Also, Bose wave radio there too. Bedroom also had two overlooked things that hotels never seem to get right. It had an outlet right next to the bed, which is good for those of us who like to sleep next to their blackberrys (yes I am pathetic). It also had a "suit valet" (you know, a place to hang your jacket, your pants, also holds cufflinks, wallet, etc.) Those things are perfect for someone like myself who usually is a "one night traveler".

I crashed hard, went to sleep, got up and went to the gym. Very nice gym (as has been previously mentioned). 10 new treadmills, 10 new elliptical trainers, a bunch of other aerobic equipment (a couple of upright bikes, rowing machine, etc.) and then a fairly large area with ~20 or so pieces of weight equipment. Very clean, bright, open. Had nice towels. Top 10% of hotel gyms that I have been in. Only nit was only one water dispenser way in the back of the place.

I ordered breakfast for delivery at 7:15-7:30. It arrived at 7:16am. I am a cereal guy in the morning, and typical room service has one of those small boxes (which is just too small for me). Instead of a small box, it was a properly sized cereal already in the bowl. Also had berries, which were very fresh

Also, two complimentary bottles of water (san pellegrino's still water). It was also glass, not plastic (such a nice touch).

Finally, I ran out of toothpaste. Called the front desk, and they brought up a new tube for me in 4 minutes. Instead of the single use stuff one typically gets, it was a 2.7oz tube of colgate. For someone who is constantly on the road, actually not having to go to CVS to pick up a new tube was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, tremendous room (and actual suite, not a junior one), very comfortable, clean, great decor (think dark wood, leather, etc.), quick service, etc. Also, it was cheaper than the WEstin for the night I was staying. I did not use the INternet, so I can't comment on that.

My few complaints (hard to have any):

1 - When I called the front desk at 6:00am to get toothpaste, no one answered. Called again, no answer.

2 - they had no plastic laundry bags in the room. It's nice to be able to use one of those to store workout gear for the trip home (I ended up using the newspaper bag)

3 - Wasn't aware of any "club" room with comp. breakfast, etc.

4 - One finaly compliant. Website had directions to the hotel. Unfortunately, the exit ramps from one interstate to the other interstate where closed. Not sure if I can blame it on the hotel, but so little to complain about, have to add it
Long story short, I would be hardpressed to stay any where else on my next trip to Minny

fly co to see the yanks May 15, 08 3:04 pm

great review. i prefer the westin though i haven't actually stayed at the Ivy (just received a tour). having said that, i am a westin wh*re, for the most part. ;)

i liked the ivy and the gym is amazing, i just thought the basic rooms had odd layouts. now if i knew i was going to get a big suite, that might be another story.

PHL May 19, 08 11:58 am

I'm actually at the Westin this week to do my own compare/contrast of the properties.

I like the Westin location in town, and the lobby bar is a lot more lively at night. They really did a great job converting the bank. I also like the business/concierge area as you walk back to the elevators.

My room (standard) is a little on the narrow side, but otherwise fine. The bathroom is smaller than the Ivy, not as luxurious. The TV is 32" instead of 46" at the Ivy. Similar HD channels, though.

If it's peace and quiet with luxury you want, go to the Ivy. If you want to be a little more in the middle of things and a bit more of a "vibe", do the Westin. But both are very nice and are among Minneapolis' better hotels.

fly co to see the yanks May 19, 08 1:51 pm

the elevator situation was a bit of a mess when i visited the Ivy. there were only two elevators allocated to the hotel (the other two elevators were for residents' floors). and, one of the two elevator hotels was out of order meaning that there was only one working elevator for the entire hotel.

has the situation improved?

UFgatorgal Jun 17, 08 11:05 pm

Having stayed previously at the Westin and loved my room and hotel location...was not sure what to expect at the Ivy. Stayed May 8th for one night. Agree with other posters - the gym was amazing! Bed was reallly comfortable too - better than heavenly bed. Overall room was interesting (as previously described with console in the middle) - was on the small side and did not compare to my corner room at Westin.

I would stay again if service was better. Between valet, check in, drinks in lobby, drinks in restaurant bar, dinner in restaurant, breakfast in restaurant, check out, even just getting my bag back from the bellstand - everytime I dealt with the staff it felt like "amateur hour" ! It was as if the entire staff had never worked in the hospitality arena before much less a hotel...especially one that is part of the Luxury Collection! The Sheraton Minneapolis in the "rough area of town" had better service.

Overall I was really surprised and very disappointed.

sdix Jun 23, 08 10:59 am

What a great hotel. Kinda like a W "for the rest of us" Stayed there Saturday night and will return next Saturday. Th eroom was reasonably priced but everything inside was thru the roof. $25 to valet park, room service seemed expensive. The food was decent but I think the Chef was tryin gto be a little edgy with his/her menu items so my guess is they are a turn off. I ordered a plain hamburger for my son and it was prepared with a slice of sirloin in it...... Room I had was on the 19th and quite spacious. Bathroom amenities were plentiful and generous in their size. I paid around $100 a nigh but I checked some other dates which looked like they were in the $300-500 range.

P.S> Health club/fitness center was great.

Gregory Nelson May 17, 09 11:14 pm

I placed a lengthy posting about my recent Hotel Ivy stay in the American Express forum. Below is a link to that posting.

I don't have any status with Starwood, so I can't comment as to that. Short summary - hotel very nice, handling of Amex FHR program not so good.

MikeBOS Jun 4, 09 6:54 am

Originally Posted by Gregory Nelson (Post 11764935)
I placed a lengthy posting about my recent Hotel Ivy stay in the American Express forum. Below is a link to that posting.

I don't have any status with Starwood, so I can't comment as to that. Short summary - hotel very nice, handling of Amex FHR program not so good.

I had 2 separate stays here this past week as SPG Platinum, and no upgrade on either of them (hotel was wide open on the web site both nights), similar to your FHR issues in the post referenced above. I agree, nice hotel, but they don't seem to care much about any commitments to provide upgrades based on availability.

KENNECTED Jun 4, 09 9:08 am

Originally Posted by MikeBOS (Post 11854035)
I had 2 separate stays here this past week as SPG Platinum, and no upgrade on either of them (hotel was wide open on the web site both nights), similar to your FHR issues in the post referenced above. I agree, nice hotel, but they don't seem to care much about any commitments to provide upgrades based on availability.

Did you contact customer service to investigate? This isn't personal, but I'm usually skeptical when a person says, "the hotel was empty", "I didn't get an upgrade", "there were suites/better rooms available online". As discussed many times, we dont know if the rooms were actually being turned, unassigned when you viewed, out of service but showing available or even if the hotels system synched with what was showing on the web.

The only way to find out if policies aren't being followed is to contact customer service so that this doesn't happen again.

savedsol Nov 16, 09 1:23 pm

My second stay at the Ivy was two nights last week. A simply beautiful hotel and room and a very catering staff. The Ivy Spa toiletries are reason enough to choose this over the Westin - and I'm usually not one to care about such things. The gym is truly huge and unlike any hotel gym I've seen. Location is great being 2 blocks off of Nicolette and near my favorite Thai place King and I.

My only gripes are - paid internet (I don't get it, how can Four Points not charge while the "premiums" do?) and pricey valet parking (despite in & out privileges) that require lots of tips every time you leave.

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