7770 Johnson Avenue South
Minneapolis Minnesota 55435United States
A fresh remodel and French-inspired touches make this suburban hotel a pleasant stay for a great value.
Le Bourget Aero Suites opened in 2009 and is part of the Choice Hotels chain (of the Comfort Inn and Suites variety). It's located 3 miles west of the Mall of America in Bloomington, in an older red-brick tower right off Interstate 494, tucked near a day care center and some office buildings. We do not pretend to understand what spurred the French influence, but it's there. Fleur-de-lys patterns edge the entrance, the elevator signs and the room number signs. French music plays in the lobby. And the artwork depicts French World War I-era aeronautical magazines. If our rusty college French can be trusted, it seems that Le Bourget is the name of an airport in France. And this is close to the airport in Minneapolis. Hey, they're practically twins! This property, which offers free wi-fi, has 159 rooms but was quiet on the Saturday night of our springtime visit. Our fifth-floor room overlooked the interstate, but the in-room heating and cooling system drowned out any traffic noise we might have otherwise heard. The black-and-white-decked suites are large, with generous sitting areas. The tiny bathrooms, which come with granite counters and new shower/tub combos, likely reflect the building's original footprint. The linens were new and soft, with four fluffy pillows on each bed. Our suite came with two doubles rather than two queens, but the hotel does offer suites with queen beds, king beds and two queens. (Rates from $69.95.) The biggest surprise of our stay was the in-lobby restaurant. The granite-topped tables are paired with armless, high-based easy chairs that made for comfortable seating at the end of a day filled with Mall of America adventures. Our waiter adopted an "I'm here to take care of you" approach that was most welcome. He made us strawberry smoothies even though they usually only serve them at breakfast time. All of the items we sampled--Minnesota Wild Rice Soup, bruschetta and a basic chargrilled burger, were cooked well, flavorful, piping hot when they arrived and reasonably priced, which is not necessarily what you'd expect in a hotel lobby restaurant. The dinner tab came to $30 for three people. Muffins, bagels, juice and coffee are available in the lobby for breakfast, but breakfast is not included with your room rate.