Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Access To The Mall Of America Is Easy From The "Quality Inn & Suites" Bloomington!

Quality Inn & Suites Airport

The Good: Good location, Decent sized room, Amenities
The Bad: No grounds, Parking lot is awkwardly split.
The Basics: One of the best Quality Inn & Suites, this one is great for shoppers visiting the Mall Of America!

Every year for the last three years, I have spent a significant amount of time driving across the United States from my home in Upstate New York State to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Star Trek convention there. Yes, I pride myself on being a Beta in mainstream society, but an Alpha Geek in that subculture! The first year, I took the direct route to Vegas and last year, I took a Southern route, visiting Carlsbad Caverns and overshooting the destination to squeeze in a visit to San Diego, California. This year, I am taking a northern route.

After what most people would consider a ridiculous amount of time in the car, I toured many a cheese shop in Wisconsin, then visited the Spam Museum in Austin, Minneapolis. From there, I broke north to Bloomington, Minneapolis, home of the Mall Of America (reviewed here!). After last year's debacle with not reserving a room, this year I planned out my trip pretty completely. After the eleven hundred mile trip, I was quite happy to have a place to crash. Because of my loyal to the Choice Hotels chain of hotels, I had a reservation at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bloomington.


The Quality Inn & Suites, MN082, is located at 814 American Blvd. East. This, rather conveniently, is about one and a half miles away from the Mall Of America, easily accessible from Interstate 494, exit 3. Given that the Mall Of America is exit 2C on that same route, this is ridiculously close, one of the closest hotels to the Mall.

The Quality Inn & Suites has two entrances, from two different parallel streets (American Blvd. and another one) and extensive parking; around the front of the main lobby and the back section where at least half of the rooms are located. The Quality Inn & Suites in Bloomington is not a huge hotel and it is not much to look at on the outside. There are no grounds to speak of - the hotel is surrounded by parking lots and is opposite an office building.

There is a twenty-four hour Denny's Restaurant adjacent to the hotel that can be accessed from one of the inner hallways. There are four floors to this Quality Inn & Suites and it certainly has the look and feel of a place that one crashes as opposed to a resort-type place where one wants to stay.

Room Size

Upon entering the hotel, any issues with the exterior immediately disappear. Inside the Quality Inn & Suites is a modern, brightly-lit setting that defies the outside. I swear, this is the TARDIS of Quality Inn & Suites! Inside is a spacious lobby with seating for at least ten. The hotel staff immediately greets guests and every member of the staff that I interacted with was friendly, kind and knowledgeable about the area.

As for the room itself, this was a fairly substantial sized room for a location intended just for sleeping in! Measuring thirty feet deep by fourteen and a quarter feet wide, the room included two queen beds, a full bathroom with shower, toilet and sink.


From the first moment I opened the door to the room at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bloomington, I had an excellent feeling about it. First, the nonsmoking room smelled . . . like nothing. There was no evidence or trace of scent that would have indicated it had ever had a cigarette smoked in it. Instead, the entire hotel smelled good - with the usual smell of chlorine from the indoor pool permeating that hallway.

Every time I enter a new hotel room, I flush the toilet (past experience has proven this is an excellent thing to check out right away!) and this Quality Inn & Suites easily passed the first flush test with no difficulties.

The wallpaper in the room was tasteful and none of the wallpaper or paint was peeling. This was an exceptionally clean hotel. And for Greens out there, this is one of many hotels that offers the option of having your bed made instead of having the linens changed. This is a nice, environmentally-friendly way of doing business, especially for those of us who do not sweat while we sleep or otherwise make the bedding unclean as opposed to just mussed up!

The common areas were all clean and well-maintained. Given that there were no grounds, some of the maintenance is easier than at other locations. The only part of the hotel that was at all suspect as far as cleanliness was the hallway that connected the Quality Inn & Suites to the Denny's Restaurant.


The Quality Inn & Suites Bloomington has a pretty decent package working for it for a hotel in the Choice Hotel system. In every room there were the standard coffee packets, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, along with an air conditioning unit. There were also two tea bags with the coffee as well, the first time I was given that! At this location, there was also available upon request: razors, toothbrushes and sewing kits. These were complimentary and this was the first Choice Hotels hotel I have ever found this at. It makes the guest feel like the hotel is full service.

This feeling is reinforced by the friendly staff and the 24 hour coffee and tea service. The tea service has at least eight different flavors of Bigelow Tea and there are packets of sugar, sugar substitute and powdered creamer. In addition to the coffee from the room, the guest need never go thirsty. They will not go thirsty, so long as their hot drink of choice is not hot cocoa.

The free continental breakfast at this Quality Inn & Suites seemed less inspired by comparison. There were two types of cold cereal, milk, apple and orange juice from a machine. There were pre-sliced plain and raisin bagels, cream cheese, and five different flavors of oatmeal. As well, there were English muffins, donuts, white bread and raisin bread for toast. There was, however, no waffle maker, which is one of the trademarks of the chain. Hard boiled eggs are hardly a decent substitute for fresh-made waffles! It ought to be noted, though, that the hotel did have fresh oranges and bananas, though.

What it lacks in cuisine - there always is Denny's for those who do not like free! - it makes up for with its large indoor pool. There is also a free high speed internet terminal in the lobby which guests are able to freely use at all hours of the day or night. As well, there is a free shuttle to and from the Mall Of America. Given the proximity of the Mall, this is almost unnecessary, but given that I parked there two hours before anything opened when I visited it, I can see the appeal of the shuttle. For those who want to have a day of shopping without fighting the parking lot crowd at the Mall Of America, the free shuttle is a real boon.

The television has approximately fifty cable television stations.


Easily one of the best in the chain, the Quality Inn & Suites in Bloomington, MN is a great place to crash for a few hours in between activities at the Mall Of America. Once one gets used to finding it and finding a parking spot in the weird split parking lot, this ends up being a surprisingly nice hotel. What it lacks in grounds, it makes up for with amenities and customer service. I am not sure what I expected for a hotel room in the $76.00 range in Bloomington, but this exceeded them by some margin!

As I work my way West, this is one of the hotels to beat!

For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Inn Worlds Of Fun - Kansas City, MO
Comfort Suites Otay Mesa - San Diego, CA
Quality Inn - Lubbock, TX


For other hotel and travel reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

Quality Inn & Suites Airport

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