Nicollet Island Inn
Visitors return to the 24-room Nicollet Island Inn year after year for its romantic setting on a miniature island in the middle of the Mississippi. Dark wood doors, Colonial revival furniture, and real keys lend an old-world feel rarely captured in newer hotels. The recently remodeled rooms make up for occasionally small bathrooms with Sleep Number beds, 400-thread-count sheets, and tasteful décor: four-poster beds, velvet-covered rolled-arm upholstered chairs, and silk drapes. The inn’s five-course champagne brunch draws locals, who come for the banana pancakes with honey rum syrup, butternut squash flan, short ribs, and triple chocolate brownies with cognac foam.
Tip: It’s worth a call to room service for a delivery of the $12 Petit Four Tray: six mini confections, such as the lemon mascarpone cheesecake and Bailey’s chocolate truffle lollipop, all whipped up by the on-site pastry chef.
Room to Book: No. 309, an extra-large deluxe corner room with a grand view of the river.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.