BEST HOTEL - 2000
The most crucial test of a hotel comes the moment you walk through the front entrance. In the space of that instant, a discerning guest will be able to tell whether this is a place that is going to take care of him. The Hyatt Whitney passes this test with ease. Attentive bell captains hold open the doors, ushering visitors into the spacious, elegant (but unpretentious) lobby, whose wood-paneled registration area and concierge desk are offset by Victorian-style overstuffed furniture, polished floors, and a grand staircase. Nestled at the south end of the Stone Arch Bridge, the wonderfully restored and remodeled brick edifice--the former Standard Flour Mill--offers lovely views of both the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis. Its delicate decorations (framed Victorian artifacts such as evening gloves, spectacles, and lace fans hang on the walls) and intimate scale (97 rooms, 40 of which are bilevel suites complete with parlors and spiral staircases) virtually ooze a sense of quiet comfort. Rates vary depending on occupancy and they range from the upmarket ($150 for a single room, $200 for a bilevel suite) to the downright ritzy: The entire eighth-floor penthouse suite (three bedrooms with whirlpools, two parlors with fireplaces, a grand piano and terrace) goes for $2,000 a night.