I’ve long loved hotels, airplanes, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). IHG built a property — the InterContinental Minneapolis–St. Paul Airport hotel — on the MSP grounds several years ago. I knew I had to stay at that hotel sometime.
But my overnight stays in the Twin Cities are usually in downtown St. Paul for client-related business or somewhere in the suburbs while visiting family.
A golden opportunity to stay at the InterContinental recently presented itself — and I jumped on it.
Booking a “Free” Night
Room rates were about $239 for the night I wanted to stay at the InterContinental MSP.
Award-wise, it priced out at under 35,000 points. That meant I was eligible to use the Anniversary Night certificate that’s part of IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card. That card carries a $99 annual fee. We’ve discussed that “free” night certificates really aren’t free when a hotel credit card carries an annual fee. But I’ll gladly pay $99 instead of $239 — especially when the location is awesome.
Getting to the InterContinental MSP
The InterContinental MSP is kind of whacky when it comes to accessing the hotel from the airport itself. It’s connected airside (past security) to MSP’s C Concourse. That’s convenient if you travel with only carry-on/hand luggage.
But if you check luggage, then you need to take a shuttle. There is no direct access (walkway, train, tram, etc.) to the hotel.
From Inside the Airport
You can either walk it (as I did) or take the C Concourse tram to gate C25. (There’s a special stop for the InterContinental.)
Then take either an elevator or the escalator.
Take the skyway over the street and you’ll see this.
You leave the airport’s secure area once you enter the hotel’s doors. Follow the signs to the hotel elevators.
You’ll encounter a living wall similar to those you find in American Express Centurion Lounges and the new MSP Delta Sky Club in the airport’s G Concourse.
Take the elevator to the first floor.
Taking the Shuttle
You’ll find the hotel shuttle pickup area on the Gold parking structure’s ground floor. The shuttle runs from the hotel every 20 minutes, starting on the hour. You can also call 612-725-0500 to request a ride. (Select option “3.”)
The shuttle ride itself is maybe five minutes.
Inside the InterContinental MSP
The lobby is quite nice — as one should expect from an InterContinental property.
An excellent guest services rep checked me in and helped secure me a spot on the airport shuttle for my departure date.
But if you can enter the hotel from the C Concourse, can’t you just return the same way?
Well, the hotel was designed that way — and has a TSA checkpoint. Alas, it’s closed indefinitely.
So, you’re taking the shuttle back to MSP — no matter how you arrive to the hotel.
The rep assigned me an upper-level room. He bid me farewell and said, “Enjoy the view!”
Quick note: there is absolutely no tomfoolery allowed in the elevators! 🙂
InterContinental MSP King Room
My first impressions: the room was tasteful and fairly classy.
Both sides of the bed feature electrical and USB ports.
But it’s not that big of a room. It’s a decent size for two people — but I wouldn’t get cheap and try to pack more than three in there.
My room faced runways 30L-12R. I had a great view of the G Concourse’s far reaches and some of Delta’s parking stands.
The bathroom was nice.
At night, this blue light comes on above the sink.
It provides just enough light to help you navigate your way around the bathroom in case you need to use the facilities late at night. I like that — as opposed to blinding yourself by having to turn on the bathroom’s overhead lighting.
I love a cold (temperature-wise) hotel room. I cranked the air conditioning down to 65 before I went to bed. Son of a gun, I think it really got down that low. At some other properties (looking at you, MGM Resorts hotels), I’ll dial the thermostat down as low as it’ll go — and the room doesn’t get nearly that cool.
How was the bed?
Well, the bed itself was fine. The pillows were flat-out awful.
I prefer firm-ish pillows. These InterContinental’s were very soft. I didn’t sleep well and woke up about 90 minutes or so.
I’ve stayed at other InterContinentals — and always enjoyed a good night’s sleep. But the pillow situation here was so bad. If I ever end up at this property again, I’ll request different pillows. Barring that, I’ll stay somewhere else.
The poor sleep is, unfortunately, something I’ll remember about the InterContinental MSP. The hotel’s access to the airport itself isn’t quite as convenient as one would imagine, either — especially when it’s connected to one of the terminals.
I truly was excited to stay at the InterContinental MSP. My love of that airport, planes, and hotels made it a destination property for me. Will I go out of my way to stay there again? That’s not likely.
Have you stayed at the InterContinental MSP? Please share your reactions in the below Comments section!
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