Finding the perfect place to stay is a real skill. I’ve been honing the craft, learning what I like, what to look for, who to trust. My stay at Alma in Minneapolis was my golden seal, my first perfectly cooked soufflé, a homecoming like none other. It was everything. To keep this part of the story short, I should tell you I grew in Minneapolis. I have spent the past ten years revisiting as often as possible – I love the city. My stay at Alma opened an entirely new portal to the place I call home; a more refined adult version, filled with perfectly cooked fish, fine wine, and feather pillows.
Alma was already a fine dining institution in this city, serving a creative set-course menu for the last seventeen years in a gorgeous historic building. Major swoon. But they got a revamp recently when the coffee shop next door went up for sale. They jumped on the opportunity to acquire the entire building, and after a little magic, exposed brick, incredible taste, and some imagination they reopened their doors a year ago.
Alma is now (in addition to their incredible restaurant) an 8 room boutique hotel, coffee bar, and walk-in cafe open for lunch and dinner with a full service bar (and to die for cocktails.) So basically, they have everything. The only thing you might have a hard time with is finding a reason to leave.
Alma is situated near the banks of the Mississippi and just a quick jaunt from the ultra-hip North Loop (the new go-to neighborhood), lined with bars and restaurants, endless shopping in renovated industrial buildings, and incredible coffee at Penny’s first location. Minneapolis is dressed to impressed these days.
They are also the only boutique hotel currently open in Minneapolis. They actually had to change the laws in order to open their doors. It’s rumored that the old standing ordinance, preventing any property from opening a hotel with fewer than twenty rooms, was created to prevent brothels from popping up way back in the day.
Every room at Alma is unique. Designed by Talin Spring, the space is light and airy, using natural materials as a homage to the ease and breathability of a place like Minnesota. From the front door to your bedsheets, there is not a single detail left out in the cold. They use heavenly smelling bath products for their location, hand-woven vintage rugs, custom designed and handmade furniture from local white oak by Marvin Freitas of Form Co. All of this is strung together to make a refreshing and immensely comfortable stay.
Jenavieve and I were over the moon about the space, the staff, and how comfortable our bed was. We felt truly taken care of, as if we’d somehow called ahead with a list of all our particular and peculiar needs. Our personal favorite touch: every morning there was a tray delivered to our room with hot coffee, fresh jam, orange juice, and warm croissants. Breakfast in bed? Yes please. I could have stayed, moved in, and taken up residency if they let me.
On our last evening, Jenavieve and I had the most memorable night of our entire trip. One champagne-filled, hilarious, and memorable dinner in their restaurant. We sat at the bar, (which is my preferred seating in any restaurant) because it’s the perfect view. And as a waitress for nearly a decade, it makes me feel closer to a place, being near the trenches.
The entire staff treated us like queens, their adorable bartender gave us champagne and the chef de cuisine, Lucas Rosenbrook, came out to greet us. I swear, this man makes the best scallops I’ve ever tasted in my life. We worked our way through their menu and a bottle of wine, each dish a fresh surprise. The night swam by, the space peaceful yet lively as their open kitchen offered an exciting element to the elegant space. The food was some of the best I’ve had in my life, and I do not say this lightly: a perfect execution of flavor and texture, small notes beautifully crafted. It was the kind of dinner that makes you close your eyes when you eat it.
In fact, I’d say our entire experience from morning coffee to the bottom my champagne glass was that sort of experience. A homecoming like none other.