The Radisson Blu Mall in Minneapolis


modern design radisson blu

Modern and futuristic was my first impression of the Radisson Blu Mall of America. It is one of newest Blu properties  – they just opened up all the rooms in May of 2013.  From the moment I walked in I was excited by the playful design and futuristic feel. The designer, Jim Hamilton, had a goal to create a modern look with a local flavor. From the rug in the lobby that was made from an aerial photograph of the area to the bar and restaurant made from reclaimed Minnesota barn wood, to the windows cutout to represent twinkling Minnesota fireflys, Jim had done an exceptional job of creating a modern design with a ‘Minnesota Nice’ feel. One unusual thing about the hotel is that it had two lobbies – one at the ground level and one on the 2nd floor that led directly into the Mall of America – creating two fun open spaces to gather.

The 2nd floor lobby area was a chair playground. It was filled with contemporary chairs in various designs – some strange, some playful, and some perplexing. They were made of wood, metal, fabric, and even a plaster mold. Not to mention the unique tear drop chairs in the lower lobby (pictured above). The walls were filled with colorful modern art from a variety of local artists that perfectly complemented the chairs. I think the part that I loved the most about the design and the space was that it was meant to be used, touched, and interacted with. Most of the time modern art is something we have to see from a distance, furrow our brow, challenge our minds, and try to make sense of. Yet this art was begging you to interact with it.

Wooden chair

A chair made of wood scraps in the 2nd floor lobby.

In addition to the great lobby spaces in the hotel, the rooms were also sleek and modern. They had clean lines, bright yet soothing color palette in white, aqua, and orange, modern cutting edge lighting (I was obsessed with every lighting fixture throughout the hotel), and the latest technology (ipod docking and super fast internet). But let’s face it – the best room feature was my Nespresso coffee machine – heavenly. Thanks to my Club Carlson Gold Membership, I was upgraded to a business class room that provided me some additional perks. Business class meant I had a little sitting area in my room, and access to the business lounge with complementary happy hour drinks and snack as well as a scrumptious breakfast spread.

Radisson blu moa

Business class room with seating area.

Even though I could have been very happy spending 48 hours in the hotel, I did get out.


Sherry Ott
Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice.

Additionally, she runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat adventures at
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