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 my card_name card. That card carries a annual_fees 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 annual_fees 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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Thanks for the review Chris! I had a stay here booked using annual CC free night in 2020 before heading out for a Mediterranean cruise, but COVID had different ideas. I want to check it out. I’m seriously considering a quick trip to MSP just to visit the new lounge and overnight at the hotel. I’m monitoring DL points redemptions to see if I can score a really cheap ticket using SkyPesos.
Nice to see this review… I stayed there about two weeks ago and had a room on 9th floor with just about that exact same view. It was very convenient…. I arrived into gate A2 and came up the jetway literally facing the hotel sign through the windows opposite. For me the room was an upgrade to what I booked (I got there after dark and was leaving at 6am) but I would only know that by noticing the change in the IHG app.
I liked the hotel and the convenience factor to me was worth $30-40 alone… arriving into MSP and leaving on a Groome Transport shuttle at 630am (which the hotel’s great van driver took me directly to their desk in the morning and even offered to come in and show me where to go). I ate at the bar and of course food was priced as you’d expect but was good and the bartender friendly and shared his whole life story in 2 minutes in that Minnesota sort of way.
I was very disappointed with the checkin/front desk. I stepped up and the agent didn’t greet, just looked up at me so I said I was checking in. Her response was “Credit card and ID.” No acknowledgement of Platinum status other than asking if I wanted a couple of drink coupons for the bar or bonus points. I told her I don’t drink alcohol, and would prefer some bottled water. She said “Okay, points will be added to your account.” She had a whole case of water on the side table behind the counter… I can have a couple free drinks of booze but I can’t have even one bottle of water? She was more than happy to charge me for two waters from the coffee stand across from the desk. No mention from her of the shuttle… I had researched online so I knew to ask to reserve a time.
I would stay again if reasonable rate and I’m flying in late/out early in the morning.
Lame! They gave me free sparkling water. Like, they volunteered it. Sounds like you got a dud of a front desk agent.
Welcome to Minnesota nice, which tends to permeate MSP and environs.
Minnesota is known by Chat GPT AI to be nonconfrontational.
Minnesota has excellent quality potable tap water. Minnesotans know this, and, apparently unlike most frequent fliers, think of bottled water as somewhat pretentious or snobbish.
Thanks to eye of the flyer for an informative and helpful airport hotel review.
MSP is one of my most frequent airports.
Haha, yes, I’m familiar with Minnesota nice… grew up in Omaha, and did a spell in Wisconsin for work. This trip also took me to Eau Claire, Thief River Falls, International Falls, and Brainerd. Also the Minnesota passive aggressive that can come with it, haha.
Nice to hear that the room gets COLD!!Love it..and the runway view…
Pro tip – if you are looking to have a few drinks that are cheaper than at the hotel, Vino Volo has bottles to go. So we landed, grabbed a bottle and went to hotel.
Agree on views. Got the drink coupons as Platinum.
Had no problem with the pillows.
Delta put me up here in a sweet a few years ago after some unfortunate delays.
The room I stayed at even had liquor bottles on the wall (vodka, rum, whiskey), that you could pour yourselves shots from.
Suite. Thanks Siri
I know a few people who speak all their text messages. It’s hilarious listening to the one who is grammatically conscious. She’ll say things like, “Hi comma honey exclamation mark How was your day question mark I’m thinking Italian for dinner period Hashtag hungry exclamation point.”
One who somehow graduated from kindergarten (and is a grown adult) dictates messages that are an absolute disaster — yet accidentally amusing.
haha. that’s great
We’ve done a few “staycations” using a Free Night cert and
have been upgraded to Junior & 1 BR suites. The 1 BR has
corner windows for a phenomenal view of the runways. We’ve
also dined at both the pub and French restaurant on site and were
very pleased with the food and service
Thanks for mentioning the food options. I had a long layover at MSP in mid-January and was planning to meet some business associates for lunch, but that was the same day as the FAA computer meltdown and full ground stop, so the lunch never happened. However, the long layover worked to my advantage because my connecting flight was almost on time.
Having to take a shuttle that runs every 20 minutes negates many of the advantages on an airport hotel. There should be a sidewalk (ideally covered) or skyway from the hotel to the rental car area so that hotel guests can take the underground tram the rest of the way.
See, that’s my big disappointment with that property. I understand it’s not as simple as saying, “Hey, just knock down some walls and put a sidewalk through the parking structures” or “make it accessible through the subway walkways.” But, IMHO, that’s a big drawback. Even the O’Hare Hilton and DFW Hyatt have fairly convenient access, I think, as opposed to waiting for a shuttle. Those are bigger airports and connected via trains — which is helpful. But this is, like, c’mon…
The Grand Hyatt at SFO also opened recently and a review on another site says “This hotel’s location’s fantastic if you’re coming off a flight, as all you need to do is take the SFO AirTrain to the hotel. It took about 10 minutes for us to get from the AirTrain station near our domestic United flight to the hotel lobby.”
Even if the TSA had not closed the checkpoint, it’s not a great solution for anyone with checked luggage.
Doesn’t the train at SEA have a segregated section for people that have not cleared customs? Perhaps half of one car of the tram could be partitioned off as an unsecured area and an escalator could bring people up and down from the luggage area. There would also need to be some modifications at the tram stop by the hotel. It would not be elegant, and perhaps traffic to the hotel would not justify allocating 25% of the tram capacity to the hotel, but I think it could work.
There is supposedly a way to walk to the terminal. I cannot find it on the hotel’s website now, but it was there a month ago under the parking/transportation page… I did find a copy I had downloaded and saved in case I needed it as many reviews mentioned the shuttle being problematic in the morning due to high demand.
It says to go out the front lobby doors, cross the driveway to the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Turn left and walk past the post office toward the Silver Ramp. At the Silver Ramp, turn left and walk to the front entrance of the Transportation Center. Enter the building through the second set of doors in front of the charter shuttle parking area. Go past the rental car desks, take the escalator down to the Terminal 1 tram and go from there.
My home base is MSP so we too had wanted to see what staying at the Intercontinental Hotel would be like the night before we took a flight out of MSP. The rooms were small; front desk staff were robotic – an observation I am seeing at many hotels throughout the country; getting into and out of the hotel was difficult and time consuming unless as Chris says you have carry-on luggage. The shuttle took longer to get to this literally next door/connected to MSP hotel than do shuttles to the nearby hotels in the Mall of America area. VERY unimpressed and even though I got the room for free, it was not worth it! Overall, it was a memorable experience in that I would remember never to stay there again!
Thanks for posting the directions. I was able to find the walking map and directions here:
There is also a PDF that can be downloaded.
That’s not so bad. It’s about a quarter mile walk to the Transportation Center to catch the tram back to the terminal. Also, the walk could be shortened by simply providing a door on the north side of the Transportation Center.
I not only stayed at the hotel, we held our annual meeting there in summer 2021. Our attendees loved everything about the hotel but I want to point out a story I was told while on property.
When COVID shut down everything and staff especially banquet staff was sent home for the duration the general manager called in some staff and had meals cooked and delivered to staff members from inventory that would otherwise have gone bad or lingered in freezers until they could host groups again. The GM was really committed to doing the best he could for his employees.