Commons Hotel Goes Geek Chic

When the Commons Hotel opens this fall in Minneapolis, Minn., travelers seeking a unique geek-chic experience will finally have a place to stay in the Twin Cities area. Operating under the Noble House Hotels & Resorts umbrella, the hotel promises a lodging experience that evokes the spirit of academic learning and school-days fun for both business and leisure travelers.

The Commons Hotel is located near the main campus of the University of Minnesota, the educational hub of the city that caters to more than 50,000 students. According to Sean Mullen, chief sales and marketing officer for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, the vision for the hotel will play off its collegiate location.

“Most people, when they remember their university or college days, it’s nothing but good, fond memories,” says Mullen. “To be around an educational environment and to use that type of scholastic energy is something that we felt would pay homage to the University and provide something that today’s consumers could really be excited about.”


The philosophy behind the design and amenities at the 304-room property revolve around experiences relating to literature, art, science, technology, and sports. Guestrooms will feature distinct artwork in gallery-like settings, the lobby will be filled with throwback board games, and mixology lessons will be offered in the hotel bar. Business meetings at the hotel will have a sense of fun and discovery with Jenga and spelling-bee breaks or the property’s inventive “Mad Scientist Break,” which will engage groups with experimental treats cooked by the hotel’s culinary team.

“Today’s American traveler really loves to have an experience when they travel,” Mullen says. “They’re looking for something different. They want to take away a memory.”

For those visitors who wish to experience a good book while on vacation, the Commons Hotel will cater to every reading need. The lobby will feature a library stocked with both classics and best sellers for guests to borrow and read while on property. And if a trip to the library isn’t in the cards, guests will be able to peruse an in-room menu of titles and call the hotel’s Book Butler, who will personally deliver the requested reading material to the guestroom door.

Rooms at the hotel are designed for comfort, with leather chairs and ample work stations. Mullen explains that the rooms are meant to reflect a more residential, lived-in aesthetic.

“We really feel today’s trends are going away from a formal, stuffy environment to a feeling like you’re at your house or your best friend’s house,” he says. “You have all the services and amenities, but you don’t feel like you’re constantly on display or in a showcase.”

For Mullen and the Noble House team, being involved in the local community is part of what will make the property stand out. The concierge staff will connect guests to local cultural attractions such as the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Loft Literary Center, and the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes Exhibit at the University of Minnesota. The property also plans to offer a shuttles to local museum gift shops so guests can do a little bit of scholarly shopping during their stays.

“When we first started looking at the city of Minneapolis, we were so surprised at what a great fun city it is,” Mullen says. “The sense of education isn’t just about reading a book, it’s about walking around and experiencing something new.”

The Commons Hotel is set to open to the public in October and will host a big block party on Oct. 11 to celebrate the event. For more information and to get a sneak peek of the hotel’s progress visit