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The Carlson Towers Rotunda & Amphitheatre

Minnetonka , MN
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

701 Carlson Parkway
Minnetonka, MN US 55305 (map)

PHONE

763-212-1448

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

The Rotunda and The Conservatory are recognized for exquisite beauty, outstanding service and exceptional menus by Bon Appétit. Both sites offer a circular room, floor-to-ceiling windows... Read more
The Rotunda and The Conservatory are recognized for exquisite beauty, outstanding service and exceptional menus by Bon Appétit. Both sites offer a circular room, floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular lake views for 100 to 330 guests. From the most elaborate to the simply elegant, Carlson Center offers remarkably unique settings designed to set your event apart from the ordinary. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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REVIEWS

4.5
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4.6/5.0
4.6/5.0
4.7/5.0
4.3/5.0
4.1/5.0
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Jamie
Wedding:
10/4/2013
5.0/5.0
Our ceremony and reception were at The Carlson Towers. Everything was absolutely amazing! The staff was so incredible and the venue looked absolutely gorgeous!!! The food was also delicious! My wedding was as close to perfect as it could have possibly been thanks in large part to the wonderful staff at The Carlson Towers. Thank you so much!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Abby
Wedding:
8/10/2013
5.0/5.0
Highly recommend them. They were wonderful from the start. Beautiful rotunda with high ceilings and windows. Staff we're extremely flexible and on top of everything down to every detail. They made the day run so smoothly!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Tam
Wedding:
7/27/2013
4.8/5.0
Amazing place! Staff were courteous and detail oriented. Customer service was definitely something they value highly. The place is just so beautiful in my opinion and I looked at several places prior to booking in MN. The food is quite good if you order the right entree. I ordered lamb and lobster and that was quite well done!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jennifer
Wedding:
6/14/2013
5.0/5.0
The team at Carlson were wonderful! They clearly had everything organized and have 'seen it all'. They helped to ensure my husband and I saw little to no 'wedding drama'. The food and atmosphere were the talk of our guests.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
2.1/5.0
The good news is that we still ended up married at the end of the day... For starters, the guys all changed in the cafe (as instructed to do so by the "coordinator", Bev). Afterward, the bridal party was changing in the same room, and some man kept going in and out of his office that was right where we were. Bev said there was nothing she could do about it.
We paid over $400 for a champagne toast at the end of our ceremony, which had to occur twice b/c there was still an entire row that hadn't received their glasses. Bev was asking guests where we were in the ceremony, rather than following along in the program. The servers were standing in our way as we were doing the rose ceremony for our mothers, b/c they were passing the champagne too late.
Our dinner was cold and not half as good as the tasting. It also took about 20 min between courses. So instead of taking 50 minutes total for dinner as planned, it took over 90, resulting in a lot of people leaving early in the dance. At one table, a server took away the basket of rolls before dinner was over. When a guest said she would like another one, he told her that each guest was only allowed one, and proceeded to take the basket away.
The bar never got bigger inside as we were told it would. My husband had to ask Bev to, at least, bring in the second bartender so there wasn't a line at the bar anymore. When you have 200 guests, one bartender just will not cut it, which is why we paid for two.
We paid almost $21,000 to this vendor and expected everything to be effortless and flawless for our big day but they just did not meet our expectations, though, it is a beautiful venue.
Some time after the wedding, someone from Bon Apetit who was in charge of our big day, was talking disrespectfully about my husband and I, and our wedding day, while at a fitness club. I could not have been more appalled to hear this. It has been over three months since our wedding and we have yet to get any type of compensation from them.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ashley
Wedding:
5/12/2012
5.0/5.0
I couldn't have been happier that we chose the carlson center for our wedding. We didn't have a wedding planner, so working with the wedding planners at the site made things alot less stressful than they could have been. Even though I was planning this wedding from out of state, Dawn and Kelly were both accommodating and quick to respond to my emails. Having the on site catering also helped make things alot less stressful, not to mention the fact that the food and service was incredible :) We also had our ceremony at the site, and it was very reassuring to know that, while the ceremony would normally be outside, if it were to rain we had a definite (and still beautiful) plan B to have the ceremony in the rotunda.
The Carlson Center was beautiful! We had our ceremony and reception there, and had so many comments from people on how amazing the venue was. The gardens around the grounds made for a great place to take pictures, to where we didn't have to leave the grounds all day! We also had the "wall of lights" running down the walls, and that coupled with the fountain made for a beautiful scene in the evening.
I would definitely recommend the Carlson Center.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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bearich
Wedding:
7/10/2011
4.8/5.0
The Rotunda in Minnetonka was beautiful. The event coordinators, Dawn and Carol, are completely on top of their game and easy to work with. They're super organized and have everything down to a science there. The food tasted great and I loved working with Bev the night of the wedding. She made sure things went off without a hitch and that everything was just the way we wanted. The biggest downfall about Rotunda is the price. It is more expensive than other places, but it helps to have your wedding on a Sunday or Friday to save some money.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Christie
Wedding:
10/2/2010
5.0/5.0
As a bride who is also a member of the Twin Cities wedding industry, my biggest concern in planning my own wedding was finding a place that would live up to both my and my guest's expectations as well as allow me the creativity and flexibility need to customize the event.

Throughout the entire planning process, the whole team at Carlson (Dawn, Carol & John) were absolutely incredible! From offerings ideas and advice on what works best in their space to making themselves available within moments of an email/call, their services were imperative in bringing our big day together.

My biggest fear for the wedding day was that my vision wouldn't be exactly as I had pictured it in my head. Walking into the Rotunda that day, I realized that my biggest fear had come true--in the best way possible. The Rotunda was not what I had pictured but BETTER than anything I could have imagined. The work that the Carlson staff had put into the day was so apparent and I still hear on a regular basis how stunning the space was.

Beyond a lovely setting, the food and service by Bon Appetit were perfection. Dozens of comments were received the evening of that guests had NEVER had such fantastic food, not only in an event setting but in general. These great dishes were served by a professional staff that anticipated each of our guests needs and went above and beyond to ensure that each person was having a relaxing, enjoyable meal.

The team at Carlson gave us a perfect and relaxed planning process followed by a wedding that exceeded both my personal & professional expectations--there is no doubt in my mind that they will do the exact same for you. :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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dhowe52
Wedding:
7/18/2010
4.8/5.0
The Rotunda and the Amphitheater made for an amazing place to have our wedding at. The staff was wonderful to work with and made sure that our day was a VERY special day!! We had to move our reception to an offsite location due to weekend restrictions but other than that..simply amazing!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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BLawson10
Wedding:
7/17/2010
5.0/5.0
The food was amazing!!!!! Very professional staff and couldn't have been happier with the service:)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Alison&Bryan
Wedding:
9/19/2009
4.0/5.0
I would say work with Carol over Dawn!
Services Used: Catering
The Carlson Towers Rotunda & Amphitheatre responded with the following comments:

Although I agree Carol is an incredibly knowledgable planner, we work as a team here at Carlson Center. I did not have the priviledge of working with this couple; I just assisted Carol with some details. I wish I could have spent time with them so they would have realized we both were able to take exceptionally good care of their wedding day.
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Ashley
Wedding:
6/27/2009
5.0/5.0
Great place for a wedding and reception. Took great pride into making my wedding perfect. Family loved the classic look and comfortable feel. I liked that it was high class but yet affordable.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Megsticks31
Wedding:
6/13/2009
3.1/5.0
I think that Dawn and her team are very professional and knowledgeable about how to run weddings at the Carlson Rotunda. They are very responsive and always had an answer to my questions.

That being said, this is NOT the venue for you if you're looking for anything outside of the norm. They're pretty "set in their ways" and don't have a lot of flexibility.

Also, I don't really think you're getting a value for the money. The setting is beautiful, of course, but they definitely don't go above and beyond and don't offer anything that other venues don't.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Molly
Wedding:
5/3/2009
3.8/5.0
We held our reception at The Conservatory at Carlson Center. From the start, Dawn and her team were very easy to work with and incredibly professional throughout the planning process. We thought the venue was a great size for our 100-person event and matched well with the tone of our spring soiree. They were also willing to work our special ideas into the day. We were a little disappointed that the food prices went up before our wedding, as we thought we'd locked into certain prices by booking in advance. Also, they have a pretty strict timeline they follow the day-of, but it did help the day to flow smoothly with little interruptions. Overall, we were pleased that we selected this venue and received many compliments on how beautiful everything looked. Thanks, Carlson!
Services Used: Catering
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happybride
Wedding:
10/3/2008
4.4/5.0
Absolutely GORGEOUS venue for a wedding reception ... has to be one of the best in all the Twin Cities. I had one guest tell me that it was the most romantic wedding they had ever attended. The event coordinators are extremely well organized and take a lot of pride in their venue! I did not have an outdoor ceremony, but the amphitheater would be amazing if blessed with a beautiful, sunny day! It is worth serious consideration!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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treehugger
Wedding:
9/20/2008
4.8/5.0
I loved this vendor. The staff was great. The coordinators were very helpful leading up to the event and the catering staff the day of were great. I had lots of compliments from my guests on the beautiful site and the great the food. The site was perfect for outdoor photographs as well. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
There are guidlines and they are all listed out in the brochure. I didn't encounter and last minute surprises or hidden cost.
Services Used: Catering
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lth
Wedding:
8/3/2008
5.0/5.0
My husband and I were not looking for a spun sugar and cotton candy adventure. As professionals with more to do than plan a wedding, we wanted someone who could work quickly and efficiently with us. We initially chose Bon Appetit and the Conversatory because of their proximity to our home and the Country Inn Suites. We could not have made a better decision.

It look 3 short meetings with Dawn and Bon Appetit to plan a lovely event. Our food was exceptional, the service was topflight without being overbearing or intrusive and our hostess for the evening, Bev, did an amazing job. She was light, easy going, completely on top of everything and helped make our evening a blast!

Initially I was concerned that the Conservatory would look like a cafeteria regardless of decoration. I had nothing to fear. We did not spend the extra $900 to have the ceiling draped and the room looked lovely. It was a gorgeous day and the room was bright and airy. It was not the least bit hollow sounding or cold. We had flowers on the tables but no other decorations in the dining room

We also felt Bon Appetit was a great value. The prices for food and liquor were VERY reasonable and the quality was like that of a very good restaurant. We chose an open bar plus poured wine all evening and when we compared the price of our event to other locations, it was a very simple decison.

Lastly,the location is really great. It's away from the expense of downtown but not so far away that out of town guests can get lost. The Conservatory is sufficiently sophisticated without being stuffy and overbearing.

I can't recommend it highly enough...
Services Used: Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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Ellen Schuetz
Wedding:
5/23/2008
3.5/5.0
The wedding planners were helpful in planning things, and seemed very nice. It was sometimes frustrating to work with them because they have done it so many times that they think they have all the great ideas, but was not a major issue. The actual night of the reception their servers seemed to come around too often. And they cleared the tables too early so they looked barren by the end of the night. I still don't know where my silver cake server is, though they claimed they put it by my stuff. I have mixed feelings about this place, but it was a nice night overall. (They did allow me to change my date without cost.)
Services Used: Catering
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Happy Couple
Wedding:
5/10/2008
4.5/5.0
We held both our ceremony and reception at the Rotunda at the Carlson Towers in Minnetonka. It was an absolutely storybook beautiful venue and Dawn and the staff of Bon Appetit Event Catering & Management were great to work with! My husband and I would highly recommend them!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Tootsie
Wedding:
8/24/2007
5.0/5.0
Excellent staff! Beautiful location!!!
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Nissa
Wedding:
7/28/2007
4.4/5.0
The Conservatory at Carlson catering staff (Bon Appetit) provided great food for our wedding! We were able to try two dishes of our choice at a tasting session and discuss various options for dinner. The food was delicious and the staff was amazing at making sure the dinner service was organized and professional. They did a great job of coordinating everything and helping us along in the process.

The only downside I found with the venue was the flexibility. We live in Nebraska but had our wedding in MN where we're originally from. They insisted on meeting with us for the tasting sessions, etc and we finally had to say "No! We're too far away!". We did make it for the tasting but not the final meeting (I sent my parents in my place for that one). I thought they should have been a little more flexible with us considering we lived several states away.

Also be aware that the venue has "certain ways" of doing things. For example we didn't really want to have a cocktail hour for our reception but we ended up having one because they basically refused to let us go strait to dinner!! The cocktail hour turned out to be a lot of fun even though we originally didn't want to have one.. the guests had appetizers and drinks while we got to have a few more private pictures around the conservatory grounds. When we did arrive at the cocktail hour it was a nice time to mingle a little before dinner.

Overall the reception and food was delicious but just keep in mind that most of these venues have "their way" of going about these sort of events. It doesn't give you a lot of flexibility, however in many ways I think that they have to keep it simple to be organized.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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amyxo
Wedding:
8/12/2006
3.6/5.0
We used Bon Appetit at Macalester College for our catering. They were very flexible in letting use design our meal and pricing us based on what we wanted. We didn't just have to go with one of their pre planned meals. We went with parmesan chicken with vegetables and ceaser salad. It was awesome at the taste testing. One the wedding day the check ended up being grilled without breading which was totally different than what we had tried. It also wasn't as good. They ended up refunding us $1 per plate to make up for it.
Services Used: Catering
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Brenna
Wedding:
6/7/2003
5.0/5.0
The staff at the Conservatory was amazing from beginning to end. They were very professional when booking the site and previewing it. The tasting was handled well with plenty of food for several people to taste. In addition to being very professional, they were exceptional at handling a difficult outside vendor and making everything work despite this other vendor's issue. The pre-reception room was beautiful, as was the reception area. The outdoor area made for a wonderful change of pace during the reception. There was plenty of room for everyone and after the room was set up, the fact that it was a cafeteria was not noticeable at all.
Services Used: Rentals & Photobooths

DEALS

Sunday through Friday discounts
Print Deal
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Save up to $3,800 by booking a Friday or Sunday event! Both the room charge as well as the food & beverage minimums are considerably reduced.
Deal #WW62f844ea0870c9c0
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701 Carlson Parkway, Minnetonka, MN 55305 See On Map
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