This classic, 13-story brick building was constructed in 1917 as the home of the Saint Paul Athletic Club. Now owned by the University Club of St. Paul, Hotel 340 is a reincarnation of the old digs, refurbished in spring 2009 and a nice boutique alternative to the far pricier St. Paul Hotel a few blocks away.
Entering the opulent lobby (complete with Roman columns, chandelier and a stone fireplace with an ornately carved mantel) is like stepping back in time. The charmingly slow old elevator furthers the ambience as you watch the arrow above the doors crawl across the dial, just like in a 1930s movie. Room decor is simple yet classy, with all of the expected amenities including flat-screen televisions and iPod docking stations. Suites, which can be rented for long-term stays, include his-and-her bathrooms, well-equipped kitchenettes and comfortable sofas.
One especially thoughtful detail we liked, the check-in clerk provides fresh, damp towels scented with lemon at arrival so you can refresh yourself after the journey. Other services are pretty scaled back: There's no room service, although you can order delivery from nearby restaurants. Rates from $99.