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Bloomington Hotel Among Best in World

By Todd R. Berger

Readers of Condé Nast Traveler chose the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America as the 28th best hotel in the world and the top hotel in the Midwest.

Since it opened in November 2015, the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America has set a new standard for luxury. Now, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler have chosen the hotel as the 28th best in the world and the top hotel in the Midwest in the 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards.

“I am incredibly proud of the team, especially all the associates who are so focused and determined to create excellence every single day,” says Lars Danneberg, general manager of the hotel. “Finding out that we are number one in the Midwest was fantastic and a great honor. … We were [also] picked as the 28th best hotel in the entire world, so that makes us even more proud. … I think it says a lot about not only the hotel but also says a lot about Minneapolis and Minnesota and us here really being a destination not only for meetings and events, but it is also a great place.”

The 342-room hotel in Bloomington is connected to Mall of America, which, with 520 stores, is the largest mall in the United States. The connection allows groups staying at the hotel to schedule events in the mall, including team-building activities and even full buyouts of the indoor Nickelodeon Universe theme park. But it’s the hotel that takes meetings and events to another level of luxurious customer service

As Danneberg notes, “What we do every single day in every single department, what we call the daily rehearsal, and that’s getting the team together to go through our service notes of the day and do some role playing, go through the brand standards and just really all the service touchpoints and then we talk about how we anticipate the guests’ needs. I think those daily rehearsals make us unique.”

The Marriott has an open layout at check-in—no traditional front desk. The employees approach you, hand you your key with both hands, and escort you to the elevator of the 15-floor hotel. Upstairs, you will find mindful guest rooms, all of which have deep-soaking tubs and separate showers. With some 20,000 square feet of event space, the hotel has room for up to 1,725 guests. The meeting spaces have an abundance of natural light, and the hotel offers the only restaurant with a connected patio at Mall of America, both of which are available for buyouts. 

The hotel’s restaurant, Cedar + Stone, Urban Table, obtains almost everything on the menu locally. “We highlight ingredients from within 200 miles, that 200-mile radius around the hotel,” says Frank Gort, the hotel’s executive chef and director of restaurant operations. “We do our best to source products from within that area, really highlighting Minnesota-raised products, Minnesota ingredients.”

The restaurant has its own pastry chefs who can whip up things like butternut squash cheesecake with ricotta cheese and honey. The food and the decor are all part of the hotel’s opulent ambiance.

Danneberg says, “I think when we opened the hotel there was always a vision to redefine luxury in the Minneapolis metro area, and we think we have truly achieved that because we have been ranked either number one or number two for guest satisfaction and event satisfaction for the JW Marriott brand in the United States. That’s every year since we opened.”