SPG launched the SPG Restaurants and Bars program in Q1-2012 offering dining and drink discounts at participating Starwood Hotels. There are now over 1,500 participating restaurants and bars.
Currently there is the SPG Twice as Nice promotion from February 1 to April 30, 2014 for 2x points when dining or drinking at participating restaurants and bars when not staying at the hotel as a guest. These are double base points, so 4 points per $1.
Yesterday, I figured I better concentrate my sightseeing on hotels during my last full day in Minneapolis. After touring two Starwood Hotels with The Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel and W Minneapolis Foshay, I found myself at The Westin Minneapolis BANK restaruant and bar.
I highly recommend visiting Prohibition, the 27th floor bar at the W Foshay. This is a unique space in a historic building that is worth the price of a drink for the setting alone. However, Prohibition is not currently a participant in SPG Restaurants and Bars.
Standing on the opposite corner from the Westin Minneapolis hotel, I stared perplexed at the building sign with a bank name and Westin flags.
The smaller building on the corner is the 1941 Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank of Minneapolis. Westin Minneapolis remodeled the bank into a restaurant and bar. I arrived shortly after 5pm to learn it was Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3-6pm with $4 beer and $5 appetizers.
BANK is a cavernous restaurant and bar space with a 34-foot vaulted bank lobby. There are small rooms for semi-private dining lining the south wall of the space at the left side of the photo below.
BANK restaurant and bar at Westin Minneapolis.
The bar seating in the center of the lobby was about 40% occupied and I settled in to get a light snack of calamari and a Stella tap beer.
Their Happy Hour menu is called Bankers Hours and offers 7 appetizer selections, each at $5.
- Featured Cheese
- Prime Beef Sliders
- Hummus Platter
- Grilled Flatbread
- Chicken Wings
- Rock Shrimp
“You are the First to Ask”
When it came time to pay the bill, I asked the bartender about getting the SPG Restaurants and Bars 10% discount. He had no clue.
B.A.N.K. at Westin Minneapolis and MARIN at Le Meridien Chambers are the only two Starwood locations in Minneapolis participating in SPG restaurants and bars at this time.
The bartender quickly took 10% off my tab.
I thanked him, then told him we needed to delve further into this matter to figure out how to connect my SPG number to the tab since I was not staying at the hotel and I wanted points credit.
He returned with a SPG Food and Beverage Credit Voucher which I filled out and there was a space for my SPG number.
Anyway, I found it interesting that the bartender said nobody had ever asked for the SPG Restaurants and Bars discount before.
A trip to the BANK bathrooms passes by the wine vault.
Westin BANK wine vault and six AAA 4-diamond award plaques on the wall.
BANK Bar at Westin Minneapolis.
There were several bank vault features in the public spaces of the Westin.
The stairway to the second floor leads to the Minneapolis Skyway system. Yesterday was the first day I used the Skyway extensively to navigate across the city. The second story level Skyway routes across 69 city blocks with 11 miles of interior walkways.
The Skyway was a great feature to stay off the streets of Minneapolis on a day when several inches of snow had fallen and the roads were slushy to cross on foot. The main difficulty as a tourist in the Skyway is poor signage in many of the building interior spaces. I found it hard to navigate through buildings and not get lost walking off into business hallways, hotels and restaurants.
And for me, climate-controlled environment in the Skyway, meant HOT.
Walking outside in the 20°F evening air wearing my parka rather than walking inside carrying my parka was better climate control for me.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.