In 1852, Gov. Alexander Ramsey, on a fishing expedition to the unknown Big Lake to the west of St. Paul, exclaimed in amazement, “You know boys, this discovery is a perfect inland sea.” That inland sea became known as Lake Minnetonka.
By the 1880s and ’90s, the lake was attracting throngs of travelers to its refreshing waters, forested shorelines, and glamorous hotels. Unfortunately, all of Lake Minnetonka’s hotels—including James J. Hill’s lavish Lafayette Hotel on Crystal Bay (where today’s Lafayette Club stands)—had burned to the ground by the turn of the century.
Rest assured that history won’t repeat itself with the opening of the first new luxury hotel in more than 50 years on Lake Minnetonka. Hotel Landing is the final phase of the Promenade of Wayzata project, which includes senior housing, condos, and retail space.
The swank boutique hotel has been a dream of its builder, Wayzata native Steve Bohl, owner of Bohland Development and Homes. Hotel Landing replicates the timeless look—but not the flammability—of the 19th century lakeside hotels, explains architect Dave Stahl of The Cuningham Group in Minneapolis. The fiber-cement-board siding duplicates the look of traditional clapboard, right down to the dimensions and grain, and is painted a soft gray.
Just steps from Lake Minnetonka in downtown Wayzata, the hotel features 92 well-appointed rooms, the two-story Ninetwentyfive restaurant, the Läka Spa, a grand ballroom, and meeting rooms. The hotel forecourt will overlook a park-like setting, an oval-shaped Great Lawn, designed by the city of Wayzata with terraces for seating. Located at 925 E. Lake St., the new hotel’s neighbors are the Wayzata Yacht Club and Community Sailing Center.
By Bette Hammel. Photo by Spacecrafting