Originally published on May 22
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's the first one ever in Minnesota.
Yes, there is a list of impressive companies here, but for some reason, there's never been a five-star hotel -- until now. Four Seasons Minneapolis opens June 1.
A five-star hotel sounds kind of intimidating, but the leaders say they are going to make this into a community center for all.
Until now, no one has seen inside. WCCO is bringing you the very first public look.
You may have seen it from the outside, but this is the first look inside. And it's quite a sight to see.
"This is special. This is going to be one of the very best Four Seasons hotels we have in the nation. And to be able to say that, that this is right here in Minneapolis, in the Twin Cities, is amazing," general manager Florian Riedel said.
Riedel is the first general manager of the state's first five-star hotel. He is a leader with perspective.
"I started as a busboy at Four Seasons in London, that was my first job with Four Seasons," he said. "This is my seventh hotel now and time flies when you are having fun, I guess."
Speaking of fun, he and his family found some fast in the nine months they've lived here.
"We fully dove in. My son is already playing hockey, I am cross country skiing. We really embraced it," he said.
They came from Silicon Valley. He says it was the right move personally and professionally.
"I have to tell you, I am so impressed about the talent we are finding right now here," he said.
Including Adam Witherspoon, who grew up in Bloomington and became a cocktail creator and innovator at Alma, Colita and now the Four Seasons.
"I find myself baffled at the situation I find myself in, getting to be a part of this," Withersppon said.
He is a big part of this -- central to opening up the hotel to travelers and, especially, to locals.
"You don't have to come with a million dollars to enjoy the room and the suite on the top floor, you can come get a drink, you can get that five-star hospitality," he said.
It's a point Riedel echoes.
"I recognize this, that our brand sometimes is a little intimidating. But the more you get to know us, you will see that we're actually fun people. We don't take ourselves too seriously," Riedel said. "We live by the golden rule, we want to treat others the way we want to be treated. And that really goes through everything we do, from how we hire people, how we train people, how we welcome our customer."
International designers focused on two words that incapsulate Minnesota: industry and innovation. You can see it in the details of the design.
A mid-century bar lies right outside of chef Gavin Kaysen's newest restaurant. And upstairs, near the sparkling pool, another bar with a skyline view.
The Four Seasons is trying to make the rooftop a little less seasonal. In fact, the bar heats up to keep your legs warm.
It's always warm by the indoor pool. Visitors can step into the spa, then dip into the pool.
Art that decorates the ceiling above the pool is an ode to the movement of the wheat in the fields of Minnesota.
The spaces will be staffed with 300 employees, who get free meals at an internal cafe. Uniforms are made personally for staff and tailored.
The hotel has 244 rooms, some of them with floor-to-ceiling windows with a clear view of Minnesota.
Before they open, each room has to be tested by an employee for a night and meet a 130-point checklist to make sure every feature works and every item is in place.
One room has a view of three big league venues: Target Field, Target Center and U.S. Bank Stadium. But it's the bathroom that's worth the price of admission.
And just like that, Minnesotans have something new to be proud of.
The rooms go for anywhere between $500 and $900 a night, depending on the dates.
The lobby and rooftop bars are open to the public, as well as Kaysen's new restaurant.
Four Seasons plans to partner with north Minneapolis businesses and have community fairs. The hotel plans to take a special interest in two things: social justice and fighting childhood cancer.
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