With the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis last month, the dynamic midwestern metropolis renowned for industry, innovation, and of course, Prince, at long last got the luxury property it deserved. Though you’ll discover elegant, yet approachable amenities throughout, as with every Four Seasons location, Minnesota’s first five-star hotel enlisted a slightly different approach in developing them. And the oversized tumbling building block sculpture by area artist Bill Mack titled Imagine greeting you in the lobby whimsically illustrates the point – that every story or concept begins with the imagination, and that sometimes, stepping out of the norm is what’s needed.
While many domestic hotels nowadays take a safe, generalist route (like brasseries and steakhouses) for their restaurants, Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis didn’t. Instead, it tapped local James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen of hot spots Spoon and Stable and Demi to create an all-day restaurant that would encourage locals and hotel guests not to just connect with each other – but with other cultures at the same time. (Along with New Orleans and Philadelphia, Minneapolis is part of a commendable growing Four Seasons trend to partner with local talent.)
Derived from the Greek term meaning “eternally beautiful,” Mara whisks away guests to the Mediterranean – Kaysen cherished vacationing in the South of France while living in Switzerland – by paying homage to the diverse culinary contributions of 22 countries including Morocco, Turkey, and Italy. The design envisioned by AvroKO eschews the minimalist look favored by other hotel restaurants and instead goes bold with rich colors and unexpected textures to dazzling effect. And in true Mediterranean style, Mara’s menus include plenty of vegetables, seafood, and whole grains (think salt-baked branzino, baba ghanoush, and breakfast labneh parfait). But there are necessary indulgences, too, such as the showstopping and meltingly-tender braised lamb shank with dried apricots and mint gremolata.
Fittingly, the spa also chose a fellow native midwesterner, LeAnne Latham, as the Director of Spa. Based on her extensive background in the wellness industry, she curated a menu of clean and results-driven services that thoughtfully change with the seasons. Especially unique ones include the Percussion Therapy Massage (performed with a THERAGUN) and Botanical Bliss, a 120-minute treatment combining a body polish, wrap, shower, and massage that leaves even the most fatigued guests feeling, as the name suggests, blissful from head to toe. And because Latham is committed to sustainability, she and her spa team launched the Floral Forever Project. In collaboration with the in-house florist, the program extends the life of florals and botanicals from previous arrangements by drying and pressing them to be later used in the spa.
While the 222 rooms and suites cloaked in a soothing, neutral palette and timeless furnishings may not be locally-inspired, per se, they do have expansive views of the sky and Minneapolis’ cityscape as they’re situated on the 23rd to 30th floors of the gleaming 37-story RBC Gateway Tower. Also, you’d be hard pressed to find another hotel in the country that has more unforgettable bathrooms than these with their soothing, spa-like vibes and floor-to-ceiling windows – making it more than easy to soak in everything Minneapolis has to offer.