by Kara Williams
A distinctive landmark in downtown Minneapolis, The Depot occupies a former railroad station constructed more than 100 years ago. Today, it is a beautifully restored hotel. What makes this hotel most attractive for families is its neighbors in the Milwaukee Road Depot. The Depot WaterPark is a 15,000-square-foot aquatic playground with the Depot Rink, a seasonal indoor ice skating area. Plus, with its close proximity to the Metrodome, the Mall of America and the University of Minnesota, there’s plenty of entertainment to be found off site as well. From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, it’s a 15-mile drive north to the hotel; taxi fare is about $35.
Our Editor Loves
- Water park and ice-skating rink
- Central location for city sightseeing
- Eleven restaurants within one-mile radius
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Most of the rooms at The Depot come with two queen beds or one king bed with a pull-out sofa. The hotel also offers 16 "Historic Suites" which feature king beds in a separate bedroom, 12-foot ceilings and oversized windows. With up to 950-square feet, they do provide a little extra wiggle room for the kids.
In addition, the hotel has a Club level open weekdays. This concierge floor caters to business travelers; but families are welcome to book this upgrade if they visit during the week. You'll get lounge access, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, and complimentary food such as continental breakfast, midday snacks and afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres, dessert and late-night snacks.
Stayed here for a wedding. Travelled with a friend and shared a room. I prefer Marriott hotels because it is owned by a respectable LDS family.
Room- horrible. No drawers for clothes. Shower was see-through which made it really uncomfortable since I was traveling with a colleague. Who designed these rooms??? I can’t believe Marriott allows this. Room was very clean. We should have requested a different room.
Check in was smooth. Joseph was absolutely charming and walked with us to the elevator. Adam at the desk was wonderful and gave us good directions to a nice restaurant and places to visit near the hotel.
No shuttle service which was shocking for a hotel that tries to be classy. Most Marriott hotels have shuttles.
Milwaukee Road restaurant at the hotel is pleasant. Randee was such a dear.
Would have rated hotel higher if not for the disappointing room and lack of shuttle. My advice: go somewhere else.
Stayed here as part of a wedding block and first time staying downtown. On the plus side, the staff were very helpful and friendly - from the parking valet to the front desk. The lobby was comfortable and the bar acceptable. On the negative side, they failed to take care of my pre-arrival request to remove the duvet (a request I make at every hotel). The bathroom was small and the room lacked sufficient lighting. Finally, it’s expensive and the charge for everything. I’ll stay elsewhere next time.
In the same complex as The Depot Minneapolis, The Depot WaterPark offers a variety of wet and wild attractions for all ages. With a three-story indoor/outdoor waterslide and splash fountain to four pools and an oversized whirlpool, it's a great place to unleash the kids for a few hours. Open Friday through Sunday, it also has a video game arcade and snack bar with kid favorites like pizza, hot dogs and ice cream.
If you book your hotel as part of a hotel and water park package, you will receive four complimentary water park passes. Additional passes for in-house guests are $10. If you have friends in the area, they can join in the fun, too. The fee is $20 for non-hotel guests, with day passes available for non-hotel guests on a limited basis. Children 2 years of age and younger can enter free with a paying adult.
For a different type of fun with water, check out The Depot Rink, a seasonal indoor ice-skating rink in an historic train shed. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls with views of the city skyline, the rink provides fun for both children and adults and it's open seasonally, generally November through March, Thursday through Sunday. Hotel guests receive a 25 percent discount off admission fees, which are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and children; skate rental, $7; skating trainer rental, $2.
Charley's Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that doesn't break the bank. The buffet breakfast has eggs, omelets, waffles, bacon, fruit and more for $15. In addition, children ages 12 and younger eat free with a paid adult breakfast buffet.
For lunch and dinner, Charley's Grill specializes in sandwiches, handmade pizzas, steaks, and old-fashioned comfort food like meatloaf and chicken pot pie. The little ones also can choose from a specialty menu featuring kid-friendly fare like grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken tenders and spaghetti. Kids' meals come with a drink and dessert.
If you want to venture out for a meal, there are 11 area restaurants within a one-mile radius of the hotel.