• New Wellness Rooms Worth the 'Weight'

    FROM THE Summer 2022 ISSUE
    Photo credit: Radisson Blu Mall of America

Sleek and modern amenities relax hotel guests at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington. Attached to the mall via skybridge, the hotel is home to 500 guest rooms, a pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and extensive event space. Shuttles are available to and from the airport. 

And now it is adding another amenity: The Wellness Rooms, in partnership with lululemon athletica. When equipped with an in-room smart MIRROR with 10,000-plus classes on demand, these guest rooms will provide visitors with a sophisticated, technologically advanced fitness experience from the comfort of their rooms. 

“Adding The Wellness Rooms to our roster just adds another option for these guests to find the right fit for them to continue working toward their goals,” says Alex Francis, general manager of the hotel. These rooms will become an option for guests and will include fitness equipment from lululemon, such as yoga mats and blocks, meditation cushions, foam rollers, and more. Guests staying in The Wellness Rooms will also have take-home gifts from lululemon, as well as additional special offers to use at lululemon’s store in Mall of America. 

“I found that I personally benefit mentally and physically from having this consistent health and fitness routine, so I want to help support others in doing the same thing,” Francis adds. Because this addition is the first of its kind in the Midwest, the hotel hopes to expand The Wellness Rooms to other locations across the country. 

While these Wellness Rooms will attract a health- and fitness-conscious clientele, that doesn’t exclude the prominent number of guests looking to also plan meetings and events at the hotel. 

Included in the hotel’s 26,300 total square feet of event space are six meeting rooms with 22 different configurations and two ballrooms. The Lakes Ballroom features 8,500 square feet of event space and can accommodate up to 1,062 people in a theater setting, while the Minnetonka Ballroom provides 4,158 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 512.

“How [the ballrooms are] constructed is incredible,” says Francis. “One ballroom is on one side [of the hotel], and the second ballroom is on the other side. So, you could have two different weddings going on at the same time, and neither of them would even know the other existed. You have the ability to seclude yourself in your own world while you experience amazing food and incredible service.” 

Myriad food options can be credited to FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar and Chef Dinesh Jayawardena, who prioritizes farm-to-table dining and locally sourced ingredients and menus—excluding the delicious Alaska salmon that you often can’t find in Minnesota. With a health-focused menu, FireLake offers tasty meals—from the FireLake Rotisserie Chicken to Spring Pea Tendril Risotto.

The restaurant also offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, including the FireLake Blueberry Muesli (gluten-free), the Vegetable Burger (vegetarian), and Farro and Roasted Vegetables (vegan). 

With these Wellness Rooms and a plethora of event and meeting space, the Radisson Blu Mall of America has no shortage of opportunities for guests to stay active and host exquisite events.

There is nothing like the energy of a college campus as students return for the fall semester. By the time Labor Day hits, many students are itching to get back to their friends and return to routine, even at the cost of exams, papers, and presentations. 


Lauren Bennett McGinty took over as executive director of Explore Minnesota Tourism in November 2021. The longtime Minnesota resident who moved here from Milwaukee when she was four has thoughtful reasons about why she remains in the North Star State.

“I moved to Minneapolis after I graduated from [Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter], and I put my roots down here,” she says. “I think a lot of it is I continue to find something new everywhere I go, and the people here are just wonderful. We have such a diverse and rich culture. I love everything about it.”


Cafe and Bar Lurcat in downtown Minneapolis is an elegant, multifaceted haven for food lovers looking to host an event. This chic, yet urban venue offers delectable cuisine and three private event spaces—and for their special events, Cafe and Bar Lurcat partners with D’Amico Catering, a Twin Cities hospitality company that has served the area for over 30 years.