WHERE IS IT? In Eagan, just minutes from MSP airport, this hotel is an anchor tenant of the Viking Lakes campus located along I-494, making it convenient to both Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’s also adjacent to the Minnesota Vikings football team headquarters and practice facilities; the team will stay here before each home game.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Beyond being obvious for Vikings fans, the surrounding natural beauty plus Nordic-inspired design are big draws. Residential and corporate activity within the Viking Lakes development is expected to grow, and this hotel will attract meetings and corporate business to fuel the business. The lobby is bright with soaring ceilings, light wood accents, and a spacious lobby lounge with leather and Hyde furnishings. As the first guest to spend the night here during opening week, it was a thrill to see the final touches underway as they prepared for grand opening. COVID-19 precautions were in place, among them a welcome kit in the room with mask and sanitizing wipes.
ROOM FACILITIES Hallway carpeting and light sconces leading to rooms are meant to evoke the Minnesota and Nordic landscape. Glorious floor-to-ceiling windows were amazing, and I could only imagine what it must be like with a light snowfall. Large beds feature Omni’s latest linen design plus thick duvets and pillows. Bedside power and USB outlets were great, and I really liked how the hotel swapped a traditional desk for round table ideal for dining and working. By the window, a chaise lounge afforded excellent area views. Bathrooms feature spacious vanities stocked with scented toiletries, bright mirrors and quartz shower stalls with glass doors and smartly-placed control handles to avoid being blasted by freezing or scalding water temperatures. Refrigerators were a nice benefit as were coffeemakers with sealed packages containing cups, coffee lids and Caribou Coffee-branded Keurig K-Cups. The suites are magnificent with living rooms, wet bars, half baths and outdoor balconies in some, and separate bedrooms. Omni’s design team has done a magnificent job blending modern sophistication with Nordic heritage.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Minneapolis-based, James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim at Kyndred Hearth was tapped for the hotel’s dining package. Wood-fired pizzas and her signature Korean-inspired meals will draw both hotel guests and locals. The braised Korean short rib and saffron arancini are apparent favorites (save room for the homemade soft-serve ice cream though). In addition to the lobby bar, there’s also Ember & Ice, the second-floor lounge and terrace with lodge-inspired design and craft cocktails (plus a tasty menu including Wagyu beef Swedish meatballs and Poutine with Minnesota cheese curds).
LEISURE FACILITIES The spa follows a Nordic theme with treatment rooms bearing Scandinavian heritage names and a traditional bathing ritual including sauna, steam room and ice fountain. There’s also an outdoor whirlpool with terrace featuring fire pits and heated floor. The spa’s menu includes a couple’s massage, purification wrap and nail treatments. My Diamond & Ice Facial was wonderful and I was appreciative of the spa’s efforts to follow coronavirus prevention measures including face shields and masks to keep them safe. An indoor pool and 24-hour gym round out the amenities that Vikings players require during their stays here. If you want to work out like an NFL player (and with them), this hotel is for you.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES With 35,000 square feet of meeting space (much of it with natural light), the hotel is well-positioned for groups. Its top-floor hospitality suites with fireplaces, wet bars and meeting tables are a new addition for Omni.
VERDICT This hotel strikes the right balance between sports fans and business travelers alike.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 320 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Nordic-inspired design and celebrity chef dining
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $134
CONTACT 2611 Nordic Way, Eagan, Minnesota 55121, Phone 651-689-9800. omnihotels.com