During the early 1900s, the Milwaukee Road Depot in downtown Minneapolis bustled with passenger activity. Today, the renovated complex accommodates hotel guests with comfortable, spacious rooms decked out with modern furnishings. Rates start from $139; in-room amenities include coffeemakers, bottled water and Wi-Fi ($9.95 per day).
Artwork in the common areas commemorates the history of the train depot. For instance, near the main lobby, glass cases display artifacts, maps, uniforms and dishes; glossy white statues of rail passengers and workers add to the ambience. A game room off the main lobby provides two pool tables, darts and air hockey for the kids, and a busy seasonal ice rink is one of the hotel’s main draws. Here, floor-to-ceiling glass walls look out over the Minneapolis skyline. Adult rink admission is $8, kids get in for $6, and skates rent for $7. The 15,000-square-foot train-theme indoor water park provides year-round family fun with a three-story waterslide, four pools, a whirlpool and fountains. Water park admission is $10 for hotel guests (some packages include complimentary passes); $20 for nonguests.
Adults can retreat to the sophisticated Stone Arch Bar for martinis and small plates. Or for a casual, family-friendly meal, Charley's Grill serves lunch, dinner and a fairly impressive hot breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, eggs, waffles, pastries, fruits and cereals.