The free breakfast included something for everyone (just give me another one of those waffles and I'm a happy gal!) Breakfast was served until 10:30 a.m. even on weekdays, and there were plenty of highchairs available, even when the breakfast area was at its busiest.
The hotel staff was friendly and incredibly helpful. The pools and fitness area were nice (okay, no workouts on this trip, but it looked nice), the on-site TGI Friday's and IHOP restaurants came in handy, and the proximity to the Mall of America was amazing. The only concern that this location may present for some was a little bit of plane noise now and then because of its proximity to the airport. It didn't bother us, though, and being so close to the mall and a short ride from other activities in and around the Twin Cities was well worth it.
The fresh-baked cookies in the lobby were a wonderful treat enjoyed each day of our stay. In fact, it was pretty hard to pass by the jar any time we happened to be in the lobby...and I'll admit to making a few extra trips down there just to check on the cookie status. The chocolate chip cookies were good, but the sugar cookies were my favorite. Cookies in the lobby were a sweet surprise, and a nice indulgence while on vacation.
Another thing we loved about our stay here was the Read It & Return Lending Library that Country Inns & Suites features. As a school literacy specialist, I love innovative programs that put books in the hands of children and families. Each Country Inn & Suites has a library of adult and children's titles that guests are invited to borrow.
If you can't finish the book during your stay, you are encouraged to take it with you and return the next time you are at a Country Inn & Suites. How cool is that? We didn't have to pack bedtime stories, and enjoyed a board book for the girls, and my son and I started reading Stuart Little. Country Inns & Suites also makes a donation to Reading Rainbow for every book returned. We enjoyed a book right in the hotel's lobby.
We were also really impressed by this little find at the front desk. In addition to ice cream treats available for purchase, we found cold bottles of water always available on ice. The cost for the water was a minimum $1 donation to the World Childhood Foundation. How refreshing (pun intended) to see a hotel provide a way for its guests to contribute to a cause it supports, and have the opportunity to enjoy cold water without paying something outrageous like $3 for a bottle. (But...you could if you wanted to, here. It's for a good cause!)
We really appreciated some of the innovative things that Country Inns & Suites is doing to make sure that your stay there is comfortable and fun. We're looking forward to a few more fun adventures in Streams & Shores Country before our return home tomorrow.
We were given a free stay at Country Inn & Suites, for the purpose of reviewing their family-friendly road trip itinerary and hotel features. No other compensation was provided, and the experiences and opinions presented are my own.