LE MERIDIEN CHAMBERS
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT SLEEPING IN AN ART GALLERY WOULD BE SO TRENDY?
Ok, I must admit when I first think of Minneapolis the words “hip” and “trendy” are not the first things that come to my mind, but I was pleasantly blown away once I arrived at The Chambers. It was like sitting at the roulette table and my number (11-Black) hit.
This hotel is all about the arts in every way, shape, and form…literally. This hotel is so contemporary, chic, and creative it is like they transported the Guggenheim, dropped in the trendiest area in Minneapolis, and called it Le Meridien. With that being said, with any major museum you will get a hodgepodge of people. I did not see any families or snooty people, which is almost to be expected at an avant-garde hotel like The Chambers. Just beyond the entrance, I found the “seating experience” which featured a very funky and overly big military-esq man’s face which and right across from him is a neon sign that read “be faithful to your dreams”.
Everywhere I turned; my brain cells and senses were constantly being jolted by all of the different pieces artwork. There weren’t just paintings and sculptures. In the guest rooms and in the hallways there were flat screens displaying video art. There was even aural art in the elevator. Yes, in the elevator. Le Meridien has something they call the “sound experience”, which was put together by Henri Scars Struck a Grammy Award winning musician…damn. With all of this artistic energy being tossed about, wouldn’t it make sense that the hotel have an art gallery? Well it does, the Burnet Art Gallery is connected to the hotel, and at the time had a pretty moving exposition on local homeless individuals. So, what about the rooms right?
ROOMS & FOOD:
The contemporary art theme transpired into the room. When walking in, I felt like I walked into an artist’s swank New York apartment that doubled as a personal art gallery. The room was very bland (with white walls), but was extremely appropriate as my interpretation of the room was a canvas with pops of color (fuchsia, brown, grey, and blue). The room had stained (the chic stained) hardwood floors, which was a nice change from the typical (sometimes nasty) hotel carpets. Everything about this room was just sleek and sexy from the bedroom to the bathroom, and the space is great too if you want to invite a couple friends over for wine and a deep discussion about modern art. The Chambers also had an in-room channel that showcased video art that was displayed in the hallways.
The food was just as interesting as the art. I ordered room service from the hotel restaurant D’Amico. The calamari and the spaghetti neri were both great, and the service was extremely prompt. The next morning, I ate in the restaurant and tried the lemon ricotta pancakes. Let’s just say, cheese, lemons, and pancakes definitely makes for an interesting combination in your mouth.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Ladies and gentlemen, this hotel gave me an “art-gasim”. Now, I am not sure how often they change the art around the hotel or if they do it at all, but if they do what I saw maybe different from what you would see if you choose to stay at this hotel. In any case, I really like it when you get so much more than you expect at a hotel. Not only do you get a great hotel and great art, you also get a great area. This hotel is situated within walking distance from great bars and restaurants.
Just an FYI, this area is pretty dead during the day (9am till 3pm), so if you are truly bored you could take the light rail up to The Mall of America. I booked a room with, and got upgraded by being a Starwood Preferred Member. On the service end, it was not bad but it did not electrify me as the art did. However, all of the rooms at The Le Meridien Chambers are equally creative.
I really like how The Chambers comes out and owns the fact that they are “the country’s first luxury art hotel”. Yes people, there are trendsetters in Minneapolis.
Do you know of any other art hotels that would be cool to stay at? Or, have you visited this hotel? Let me know your thoughts!
NOTE TO THE HOTEL
I’m really onboard with this “art hotel” concept. I wanted to know, if the artwork is not refreshed, would you consider changing it (maybe quarterly)? It would be neat to feature in-room art by select students and local artists. This might drive more guest traffic. Got thoughts? Let’s Chat! Jason@myhotelguy.com