Where to stay when you are at the Mayo Clinic
So let me get this out of the way: This is my opinion about MY stay. I’ve received no compensation or encouragement from anyone. Please pass this along to anyone that is headed to the Mayo Clinic if you think it will help make their trip smoother.
TL;DR: Use the shuttles and the Homewood Suites is pretty awesome
The Mayo Clinic Shuttles
The first and most important thing to know is that as far as I can tell ALL of the hotels have shuttles that run at least once an hour to the Mayo Clinic buildings. If you plan on bringing your car, leave it at the hotel, it will be a lot easier. If you don’t have a car don’t stress, the shuttles are super easy and reliable. I’m staying at the Homewood Suites and our shuttle driver comes into the lobby to see if anyone needs a ride each time he stops here. No waiting in the Minnesota cold for us. When catching the shuttle home from the clinic they announce the arrival of each shuttle (along with each of its stops) at the main entrance. I was worried that the shuttles were going to be a pain in the ass, they are not. So cross that off of your worry list.
My review of the Homewood Suites
Since I’m staying here for a week I needed a room that had a little space and a mini kitchen so I don’t eat takeout every night. After reading the reviews on Travelocity I decided on the Homewood Suites. Honestly I wasn’t impressed with the reservation process via the website. Making changes resulted in a lot of confusion because their system doesn’t handle things in real time, it can take up to 20 minutes to get a confirmation (by the way Hilton/Homewood that is embarrassing, fix that). BUT now that we are here I couldn’t be happier with the hotel.
Here’s a video of my room
Something like 75% of the tourism in Rochester MN is related to the Mayo Clinic and I feel like the hotel had me in mind with the setup and amenities.
Our room was about $150 a night before a small discount for Mayo Clinic patients. I feel like it was worth the price. The hotel itself is newer than I expected. Breakfast is included, so we usually grab a coffee and some fruit while waiting for the shuttle. They have what they call an Evening Social every night (most nights, not sure about the weekend) from 5pm to 7pm. So if you like what they are serving dinner is also included. I think they also have complimentary drinks on Monday’s Evening Social. It’s not my scene but seems like a nice way to save money and/or be social if you are here alone (and like the company of other humans).
Some other things that I think are worth mentioning:
Parking is $8 a day in an attached parking garage which has access to the hotel elevator. Very convenient.
There are free laundry machines on the sixth floor which I think is a really nice touch. Coffee and tea are free 24/7 in the lobby. The staff have been nice, attentive, and helpful.
The wifi is just ok. You can pay to have faster internet, but I didn’t bother since the mobile bandwidth is quite good.
If the Evening Social isn’t your cup of tea there are a bunch of food options available. We’ve tried (I’ll add to this if/as we try more):
- Saints on 2nd was good but over priced. I think it is more or less the restaurant/room service from the hotel next door. They deliver right to your room.
- Ichi Tokyo which we ordered through Waiter Express which delivers for a bunch of different restaurants. Take out sushi is always a dicey call but this was delicious. It was also expensive.
- We took advantage of the kitchen in our room and tried to save a little money by making what we could here. There is a Hyvee grocery store near the Apache mall which is big, clean, well stocked, and everyone who worked there said hello to us when we walked by. That was a little disconcerting, but everything else was great.
- We also went to a local Trader Joes which had the staples but felt kind of empty and didn’t have any prepared food. So we didn’t go back.
That’s all I can think of for now. I hope that it is helpful.