So we’ve done this before. We spent 3 days inside the world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall, in 2013. Also a few months back we spent a full day in West Edmonton Mall, the largest in North America. And we loved it.
And as we were making our way across the US from Idaho to New York on our #motherofallroadtrips, we realised how close we would be to the largest mall in the USA. Then after the glorious weather we experienced in South Dakota, it turned sour and we were in for 3 days of cold, wet and rain.
Well that wasn’t going to bring down our mood. In fact that just created the perfect opportunity to head to the Mall of America. A divine sign perhaps. And since we had spent the majority of the previous fortnight outdoors skiing, seeing Mount Rushmore and helicoptering around the place, a change in scenery was exactly what we the doctor ordered.
We were invited to try 2 hotels near Mall of America, each with it’s own unique features and styles. But both impressed our family for different reasons. Keep reading to find out why.
Sleeping At A Waterpark
Three years ago on a relaxing cruise around the Caribbean we become fast friends with two lovely couples who lived in Minnesota. When I sent them a message and mentioned we were going to be in the neighbourhood, they were thrilled. So I asked where should we meet?
With the weather not looking too promising and 8 kids between us we decided on a night at Radisson Hotel Bloomington By Mall of America.
When I first walked in into our room I thought it was spacious: King bed plus a sofa bed, which I assumed the kids would be sleeping on. But then I turned and tucked behind a curtain, in a small enclave, was a bunk bed. Our kids were thrilled and so was I. All that space!
The hotel provides packages which include access to America’s largest indoor waterpark. It’s literally part of the same building, and while a brisk walk through the air-conditioned lobby in your swimsuit might not be your favourite part of the trip, it’s far better than the sub-freezing temperatures outside.
The hotel was busy since we were there on Saturday so keep that in mind when booking your stay. We enjoyed breakfast in the restaurant, which was your typical buffet options – scrambled eggs, cereals, fruit and pastries.
We also tried at the hotel’s room service and you can read about that in our Mall of America food article.
Sleeping At A Mall
If staying by a waterpark doesn’t float your boat then perhaps the mall will.
We spent our last 2 nights at the decadent and perfectly situated Radisson Blu Mall of America.
From my first step into the lobby the lavish trappings took me aback - high ceilings, chic fireplace, and of course, the titanic-sized teddy bear perched precariously above the revolving entry door.
Our newly renovated room was located on the 13th floor. The glamour wasn’t restricted to the lobby, with a glittering black tiled entrance, 2 plump queen beds and a very spacious shower. No bath, but since my kids are bigger now, I love when a shower is not a bath too. Little touches that go beyond the expected greeted us at every turn. A complimentary honey-themed in-house prepared tasting plate was my favourite.
A few doors down was the Business Lounge. Our room package included a simple continental breakfast here, as well as access in the evening for canapés.
On the 2nd floor we could walk straight into the mall via an enclosed pedestrian overpass, without ever stepping a foot outside.
On this floor was also the highly rated FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, which we visited for breakfast one morning. You can find more details in our food article but I have to confess it was one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve ever eaten (and that would be from a comparison of hundreds!).
The Tough Question
So which is it? The mall or the waterpark for you?