By Paul Wade
Hewing Hotel is in Minneapolis’ trendy North Loop, with its boutiques, bars, restaurants and craft breweries. A 20-minute walk gets you to the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, Nicollet (downtown’s main shopping street), and the park along the Mississippi River. Catch the modern, efficient metro at Target Field Station (Green and Blue lines), which is just a five-minute amble away.
Style & character: 9/10
Wood, wood and more wood. This former warehouse, dating from 1897, once housed farm equipment. Now it is a hotel with a high-ceilinged, open-plan ground floor stretching from the lounge area, with big leather sofas and chairs, through the bar and pool table area to the Tullibee restaurant. In the middle is the library with a fireplace and an eclectic collection of objects that reference Minnesota: vintage Thermos flasks, suitcases and a foot-long canoe. Hanging in the central atrium are giant shiny ‘raindrops’; although mainly silver, there are a few purple ones in tribute to Prince, the late Minneapolis musician.
Service & facilities: 9/10
Staff are cheerful and genuinely helpful. Borrow bikes from the front desk; there are routes in parks or along the Mississippi. On the top floor, the rooftop is like a social club, with a spa pool and 24-person sauna. For serious workouts, the fitness centre has modern cross trainers, bikes and treadmills, plus space for yoga (with mats at the ready). Valet parking costs $42 (£32) a night.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
Four floors are devoted to 124 rooms, including 14 suites. Massive pinewood pillars support the rough planked ceilings while some walls are exposed brick and others creamy white. The artwork is simple and hanging space is open. Linens, dressing gowns and towels are luxurious, and cushions and throws are from Faribault, a nearby woollen mill. Slate-floored bathrooms are first-rate, with large showers. The forestry theme continues through notepads that come with flat carpenter’s pencils, and a framed hatchet has pride of place in the bathrooms.
Food & drink: 9/10
Tullibee restaurant, named after a fish from Minnesota’s lakes, celebrates the state’s Scandinavian heritage, from foraged mushrooms to distilling and fermentation. Meat is butchered here; sausages and smoked meats are made in-house. Sit at the counter and watch chefs prepare and cook dishes in the wood-fired ovens. Starters might include wild rice croquettes with confit duck or charred lamb ribs with rhubarb mustard. For main courses, the trout comes with artichokes and nettles; pork is served with cherries and cornmeal.
For breakfast, the Nordic accent continues. Norwegian waffles and cured salmon toast (with cream cheese and capers) are on offer, as well as eggs and porridge. The bar serves local craft beers, house-made sodas and soft drinks, as well as cocktails and wine. And it is overlooked by a stylized deer head – made from wood, of course.
Value for money: 9/10
Double rooms from $80 (£65) in low season; and from $260 (£205) in high. Breakfast from $30 (£24). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are 10 ADA-compliant rooms featuring low buttons for entry, roll-in showers, seats and rails.
Families are welcome but the hotel mostly attracts grown-up guests.