For the Fancy
By Jahna Peloquin
When winter is weighing you down, you don’t have to travel to the coasts to indulge in high-end dining, luxurious accommodations, and other exclusive experiences. The Twin Cities are home to plenty of premium options for treating yo-self, from unique food and drink offerings to boutique hotels. Here are some unique ideas on how to splurge—without leaving town.
The Minneapolis–St. Paul area features several high-end hotels, but a couple rooms stand out from the pack for their sheer opulence. For $5,000 a night, you can book The Hotel Ivy’s 1,900-square-foot, two-story Penthouse, which includes panoramic windows, a lofted ceiling, a full-service wet bar, a private rooftop balcony that offers a spectacular view of downtown, and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. The Performer Suite on the 21st floor of Loews Minneapolis Hotel boasts an in-room fitness center, a wet bar, skyline views, a sound system and three plasma TVs, and a baby-grand piano in an acoustically correct Corinthian Leather circular alcove for $2,880–$5,000 a night. With such party-friendly accommodations, either option will definitely prove to your friends what a high roller you are.
Time for R&R
Integral to the “treat yo-self” concept is a trip to the spa. Not only is it luxuriating, it’s also good for the mind, body, and spirit—a practice that’s even more important during the harsh, dry Minnesotan winter. One of the top spa experiences in the Twin Cities area is the Nordic-themed Läka Spa, located within the new Hotel Landing boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata. Läka—Swedish for “heal”—boasts a minimalist, Scandinavian-modern design as well as a holistic approach to skincare, combining earth-friendly ingredients with cutting-edge technology. The spa’s top-of-the-line treatment is its $430 couples massage service, which includes 110 minutes of aromatherapy steam treatments, skin conditioning, and relaxing massage for two—or create your own custom package (prices vary). The classic barber shave is another skincare indulgence. Two of the area’s top-shelf options include Heimie’s Haberdashery in St. Paul and Marty’s Styled by Jon Charles, located within North Loop retailer MartinPatrick3. Both offer traditional hot-lather, straight-razor shaves ($35 at Heimie’s, $50–$60 at Marty’s).
For the craft cocktail lover, the most exclusive experience out there is the opportunity to learn how to make your own from the experts. Norseman Distillery hosts a cocktail lab every third Saturday at its Northeast Minneapolis distillery and cocktail room, while Gavin Kaysen’s Spoon and Stable offers a class every other Saturday. Both are 90 minutes and include cocktail tastings, demos, and tips. Norseman’s class is $50 a head; a $115 ticket at S&S also includes light bites. For a more, ahem, elevated experience, head up to the sixth-floor rooftop bar at the Hewing Hotel, which is hosting a hand-chiseled ice bar lounge through February, accompanied by ice high-tops, ice air hockey, and cocktails from Tattersall Distilling. Before you go, note the hyper-exclusive lounge is only open Tuesdays from 4pm to midnight; reservations are $25 and available by emailing VIP@hewinghotel.com. If cocktails aren’t your thing, book a private tour with Bitter Minnesota, a craft beer tasting and brewery tour experience that stops at up to four local top breweries. Customized tours range from $700 all the way up to $3,000.
For the most exclusive experience in fine dining, a chef’s table tasting menu is the only way to go. Among the best is Gavin Kaysen’s new French bistro, Bellecour in Wayzata. Guests in parties of four to six can reserve the chef’s table overlooking its elegant kitchen for the entire evening and sample a personalized, multi-course tasting menu for $115 a person, plus extra for cocktail and wine pairings. (With a food and beverage table minimum of $850, be sure to bring along five of your most well-heeled friends.) While you’re there, be sure not to pass up two of the eatery’s most favored dishes, the flavorful foie gras aux torchon and the delicate, buttery steak frites. For more next-level dining, be sure to check out Corner Table in Minneapolis, which boasts a chef’s table experience unlike any other. For $145 ($215 for wine pairings), parties of two to six can enjoy unlimited courses—meaning you can eat until your stomach pleads for mercy.
Want to get frugal? Check out Bill Lindeke’s picks for a staycation here.
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