From Maple Grove to Venice in 5 Minutes

Embrace the latest trend in family travel.

A visit to the Holiday Inn and Suites in downtown Maple Grove will make you swear you’ve traveled half way around the globe to the bridges and canals of Venice, Italy. A bronze fairy with stained glass wings greets you inside the hotel door among emerald marble columns and murals of the famous city. Luckily, the concierge speaks perfect English, so you can get checked in without a hitch.

The transition from public areas to the private areas is like being transported from the 16th century to an ultra-contemporary apartment with all the amenities, squarely on American soil. Throughout the public areas of the hotel, you can stroll along full wall-sized images of waterways and gondolas and feel far from home. Once in your room, found along a colorful hallway lined with slumped glass wall sconces, you’ll wish you could take your room’s styling and amenities home with you.

Not unlike a small apartment, the suites have everything needed for a comfortable weekend stay. A sitting room with a lounger, table and chairs, and a large flat-screen TV leads to a kitchenette that sports a ¾ sized refrigerator, sink, counter, microwave and Keurig machine for flavored coffee or tea.

A modest, but well-appointed bathroom marks the halfway point of the generously proportioned suite. The remaining room holds two large queen-sized beds with padded headboards. A professional office chair pulls up to a working desk with ample lighting (and free, wireless, high-speed internet) and another flat-screen TV makes late night movie watching from bed practically a requirement.  

The private patio just outside the sliding glass door is a refreshing location for morning coffee, if you forgo the onsite restaurant for your first cup-a-Joe. You may start making up excuses to stay in your room, especially if you are by yourself, but the Holiday Inn is an especially great place to spend time with family and friends.

So often, in the busy grind of daily life, we fail to notice all the great resources in our own backyard. The Holiday Inn is a perfect example of the latest trend in taking time off: the staycation. It can remain a time away from the normal routine, but who says a vacation has to be spent at the end of a flight or long car ride?

The convenient location of this hotel puts you within walking distance of culinary offerings from different cultures, including Indian, Thai and Japanese. It’s also a skip and jump from Dave and Buster’s, where you can play arcade games ‘til you drop, fueled by snack and drinks or a full sit-down meal.

The variety of games found here makes it appealing for all ages, and multiple player games ensure that your group can stick together amongst the chaos of so many choices. From apps-brought-to-life to classic arcade games modernized to giant family trivia game shows, it’s hard to choose which ones to try first.
Back at the ranch, the water park may be the highlight of your stay. It has all the key qualities of a space for all ages. The shallow waters, for the youngest of tots, contain an adventure ship for exploration. The multi-person, dual-sectioned hot tub is next to the young children’s play area, so you can keep an eye on the elementary-aged friends in your group.

Two different water slides wind outside the building and back in at varying speeds, but you don’t notice where you are while speeding down the dark tunnel. The slides spit riders out into the main park area, where four basketball hoops and a daring rock-water bridge let you test your skills.

The entire park is lined by faux Venetian buildings, giving everything the energy of a European city. Humorous mannequin-gondoliers steer their boats beneath decorating bridges while you splash under a starry (indoor) night sky.

After a long, active day, the beds, with their endless supply of pillows, are a welcome respite. Mornings ushers in an ample breakfast buffet that satisfies and prepares you for the transition back to real life, only a couple of miles away. No plane to catch or Uber driver to pay. It’ll feel like a vacation without draining your budget. Try it!