How many times have you been out exploring on your vacation and realized you’ve forgotten something in the hotel that could enhance the day a little?
Sunscreen, hats, cameras, money, tickets even.
The list is endless and the struggle can be real coming up with a solution or alternative!
During some free time on our visit to Mall of America® in Bloomington, Minnesota, we of course went shopping. With over 500 retail stores and lots of great sales, there was probably no better time.
“Oh no!” I head slapped, I’ve left the Mall of America coupons book in our room.”
The Coupon Book offers over $2,000 worth of savings for many of the stores in the United States’ biggest shopping mall, including restaurants, and can be purchased for $9.95 at any of the Mall of America Guest Services desks located at all main entrances.
P.S. we have a great deal for all y Travel Blog readers. You can get a complimentary coupon book using this voucher!
“Hang on Craig. You take the girls to the Lego store and I’ll run back up and get it.”
Our hotel room at the Radisson Blu, Mall of America was one level up the escalator and a short walk along the skyway connecting the Radisson Blu to Mall of America.
When you spend time in Minnesota you’ll soon learn that many of the buildings are connected by skyways – bridges in the sky – to help pedestrians get around during the freeze of winter.
In three minutes, I was in the hotel room grabbing the coupon book and running back down.
That’s when it hit me how awesome it was to be staying at a Mall of America hotel.
I made use of our convenient hotel location over our three-night stay to switch between outfits for shopping, high ropes obstacle courses, and then dinner during our days exploring the mall.
I think I may have even snuck back to wine hour in the business lounge at Radisson Blu after a few child meltdowns.
Oh wait, maybe I just dreamed about doing that. Or maybe it was me really having the meltdown.
An Effortless Vacation at the Radisson Blu, Mall of America (MOA)
The minute we drove up to the Radisson Blu MOA, Savannah spied the elegant and clean lined black exterior, and the valet service, she exclaimed,
“I love this hotel. This is so fancy.”
She loved it even more when we walked in the room. And this was after staying at the Great Wolf Lodge Minnesota, which both girls adore.
The suite style rooms were comfortable and stylish and offered us a table, which gave us the space to work while the girls rested or played.
Our trip was busy so we didn’t have a lot of time to do that, but it helped our productivity when we did.
I loved popping down to the skyway of a morning to grab my latte from Caribou Coffee, a local chain that makes excellent coffee. And they had a big blackboard the kids had fun writing on.
We didn’t step outside the mall for three days. We didn’t need to and it was fantastic.
And in case you don’t know, the temperature inside Mall of America is 72 degrees all year long!
The business lounge was a welcome respite for an afternoon of Mall of America fun. We’d sit down to relax with a glass of wine, some cheese, and a little too many M&Ms.
I loved the view from the lounge, you could watch the planes coming in and out of the nearby Minneapolis/St.Paul International Airport (only a short light rail ride away) and look over the mall to get a sense of the size of it.
The business lounge also offered a buffet breakfast, which made it easy for us to fill up and prepare for the day ahead.
If you’re looking for a more ala carte breakfast experience, the FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar offers hearty breakfast yummies like Farmhouse Breakfast, Walleye Hash, gluten free lemon ricotta waffles and healthy smoothies.
Mall of America has a fantastic concierge service as well.
If you call them, they will collect your shopping from where you are in the mall and take it back to your room for you at Radisson Blu. Isn’t that so cool?
It saved us lugging around our American Girl Doll shopping for the afternoon. Seriously, how much can you spend on doll’s clothes?!
Marty The Moose Scavenge Hunt Passport Program
If you have kids, they will love the Marty the Moose program and scavenger hunt. Radisson Blu has designed a scavenger hunt for three different age levels.
Upon check-in, children receive their very own Blu Passport to destinations around the hotel and at Mall of America. They collect passport stamps once completed.
When you collect four stamps you receive a prize!
Don’t forget the most important thing to find – the Marty the Moose mascot hiding in the lobby. The girls had to show me where it was.
It’s a great way to engage the kids, help them to get to know their surroundings and feel more like they are staying with family.
Radisson Blu Mall of America also has a signature offering: you can have a tent put in your room for the kids to sleep in. Makes it a fun adventure for the kids to camp in the middle of a hotel room.
Our Favorite Features of the Radisson Blu:
The Radisson Blu at Mall of America, Bloomington has a few special features I urge you to engage with.
The pods down by the fire in the lobby.
They are so pretty and comfortable and many people commented on our photo of them, some requesting they be shipped all the way to living rooms in Australia.
You won’t want to get out of them. The girls, unfairly spent way more time in them than me.
The featured wall length fire crackling beside them adds to the cozy ambiance. Relax with a good book and a glass of wine and watch the world go by.
The Butt Chair on the second floor lobby.
Or as we say in Australia, the Bum Chair.
We loved these chairs and you can imagine the jokes that were told. Get your selfie in the Butt Chair.
There are lots of other cool red chairs to choose to sit in as well. Choose your favorite and share your pics of it. I liked the plush sofa type chairs.
See more of the butt chair and Radisson Blu in our video:
The Fitness Center
I’m mad on fitness centers in hotels now as I strive to keep up my boot camp routines.
This one is massive and has individual muscle weight machines, as well as weights, yoga balls, running machines and more. There is also a pool next door.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar
The FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar is a signature dining experience at Mall of America, Minnesota and is situated in the Radisson Blu hotel.
It’s a family-friendly upmarket casual restaurant. If you’re looking for a stand out dining experience at Mall of America, this is it.
I know you may be thinking that a hotel restaurant can’t look and taste so good, but the restaurant keeps with the chic and sleek lobby and innovative butt chair foyer.
It’s wooden beams, muted colors and modern furnishings are soothing and comfortable.
The wide wall of windows offer beautiful natural lighting, but also a glimpse into the world outside. You feel miles away from the hustle of the mall.
Now you’re ready to savor a true Minnesota food experience.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar Mall of America is a farm to table experience, incorporating fresh and local produce where possible into regional dishes.
The word FireLake represents the wood fire cooking of the food that comes from the 10,000 Minnesota lakes – yes they do have that many!
This restaurant has also been honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards, among other winners all over the globe!
I was delighted to taste walleye, the local wild caught fish from Red Lake.
Walleye is a fish the local Indian Tribes can catch and sell along with wild rice, which accompanied my walleye. It was healthy, light, delicious and socially responsible.
Craig enjoyed his woodland mushrooms with salmon.
We also shared a poutine type dish Minnesotan Dirty Fries style: hand cut fries, with a red wine reduction, cheese curds and oven roasted mushrooms.
Fries will never taste as good for me ever again!
On the rooftop of the Radisson Blu, Mall of America are bee hives. The hotel takes the excess honey and uses it in their restaurant.
The menu will let you know what dishes have the local honey in it with a small bee next to it. We tried it in the honey lavender cheesecake for dessert which had such subtle flavors.
I’m not usually a cheesecake lover but I did not find this dessert too overbearing and rich. It was light and tasty.
Hotels Near Mall of America
There are 43 hotels in Bloomington, MN, just short shuttle rides away form the mall, but there are only two Mall of America hotels: the Radisson Blu and J.W. Marriott.
To speak to the quality of both of these hotels at Mall of America, during the Super Bowl hosted in Minneapolis, the Philadelphia Eagles stayed at the Radisson Blu, and the New England Patriots stayed at the J.W. Marriott.
We definitely chose the winning hotel to stay at!
Can you imagine the atmosphere after the Eagles won?