We made it back home after 8 days and 7 nights at the GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel in Apple Valley, MN and what a grand stay it was! Upon arrival at the hotel, the staff was friendly and helpful in getting us checked in. We loaded up our luggage, took the elevator up to the 3rd floor and found 313 - our home for the next week. When we opened the door we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of space a 2 bedroom queen suite afforded us. And this was after knowing the floor plan of the room ahead of time!
The one bedroom was quite large and had plenty of space for a play pen. Actually, it would have space for at least 2 playpens in addition to the queen bed that was already there, the flat panel TV and the chest of drawers. Admittedly, the TV was a bit small but we are no TV snobs and it was just fine for us. This became the girl's room. It was bright and sunny thanks to the 2 windows but was nice and dark at night given the room darkening curtains.
The other bedroom with queen bed was much smaller, had the same flat panel TV and chest of drawers, and was perfect for the two of us. After all, how much room do we really need? It also had a window and the same room darkening curtains.
The "great room", as they call it, had a sleeper sofa, a wingback chair, a larger TV and DVD player in an armoire, a closet, the full fridge with freezer (which has an ice maker), a dishwasher, a two-burner stove, a small table/desk with two chairs, dinnerware for 4 including large and small plates, mugs, tumblers and silverware, a can opener, a bottle opener, a glass measuring cup, a long handled plastic lifter and spoon, a medium-sized plastic bowl, a medium-sized pot and pan, hot pads, tea towel and dish cloth, soap for both washing dishes by hand and in the dishwasher, paper towels, a two-slice toaster and a coffee maker plus plenty of cupboard space to hold all the dishes plus any food you need to store.
The sleeper sofa was the boy's bed for the week. This room also had a window with room darkening curtains so the whole suite was bright and sunny. The bathroom was a little larger than other hotels I have visited and came with the typical tub/shower, toilet, and sink on a large vanity plus the promised Bath & Body Works products!
Usually I find hotel rooms hot and dry thanks to inadequate heating/cooling needs. This one was not like that at all. The suite came with its own furnace/AC system so controlling the temperature was easy, effective and very quiet. It sounded just like the system at home and we were able to sleep in cool comfort. The complimentary breakfast served from 6am-10am daily was large and afforded a nice selection. There were various cereals in self-serve bowls, bagels and bread, pastries and donuts, muffins, batter to make waffles on the two waffle makers, hardboiled eggs ready to eat (no peeling shells), yogourt, fresh fruit, and biscuits with egg and sausage. Apple juice, orange juice, milk, coffee and tea were the beverages available. A couple of highchairs and booster seats were available for use and though we couldn't always sit together at a table for breakfast (the largest tables seat 4 people), we were always able to sit somewhere in the large breakfast area that including a couch, some side chairs, a coffee table, and a large flat panel TV on the wall. I read from others that the pool was small and they were correct. It is quite small with a maximum capacity of 17 people and the hot tub is listed as holding 3 (we obviously ignored that!). But, for us, smaller is better. It is so much easier to keep an eye on the kids if they are close by. We could always see them no matter where they went in the pool area and with 5 kids, aged 1-7, that is very important to us! Overall, the hotel was excellent, a five star rating in my opinion. It was clean, quiet, the staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel is fairly new and completely non-smoking! It is located just minutes away from lots of shopping possibilities like Super Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kohl's, Menards and Home Depot, about 10 miles from the Mall of America and Ikea and about 10 miles from the Minnesota Zoo. There are plenty of restaurants close by to choose from including one right in the hotel. For being so close to so many things, it is very quiet with no street traffic noise. Would we recommend this hotel to others? Absolutely! Would we stay at this hotel again? Most definately! So if you are contemplating visiting the Minneapolis area, check out the GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel in Apple Valley - you will not be disappointed!
(And, no, I was not paid to write this - I just thought you would like to know!!)