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Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Midwest city of Milwaukee is known for its breweries, outstanding summer festivals, lovely Riverwalk and up-and-coming art scene. This under-the-radar gem is also home to a number of historical icons and unique hotels fashioned from nostalgic buildings. When it’s time to rest up, here are the nine best hotels in Milwaukee.
Best Overall: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown
Whether you are visiting Milwaukee for business or pleasure, the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown is a solid choice for an easy location, comfortable accommodations and added amenities. Set just two blocks from the Riverwalk and the City Market in the historic Loyalty Building, the hotel has a dazzling lobby with a soaring atrium. Spacious, modern rooms have microwaves, mini refrigerators, Serta beds with premium bedding, high ceilings and oversized windows. A hot breakfast buffet is included in the rates and the restaurant also serves American fare for lunch and dinner. The hotel also has a 24-hour business center and fitness room. Valet parking is additional, but a free shuttle is available to transport guests anywhere within a three-mile radius.
Best Budget: Holiday Inn Milwaukee Riverfront
If you’re traveling on a budget, the Holiday Inn Milwaukee Riverfront is a wallet-friendly option that is clean, comfortable and conveniently located on the riverfront. Kids ages 4 to 11 stay and eat for free. The 160 modern rooms come with Keurig coffee makers, premium bedding, pillow menus and sofabeds. Guests can take a dip in the indoor pool, squeeze in a workout in the fitness center or dine in the restaurant and bar serving fresh seafood and local brews. TripAdvisor members raved about the hotel restaurant, which offers fabulous patio views of the Milwaukee River and live music in the evenings.
Best Boutique: Brewhouse Inn
Fashioned from the old Pabst Blue Ribbon beer factory, the 90-room, Brewhouse Inn is ideal for craft beer aficionados seeking the nightlife in Milwaukee. Set in an up-and-coming neighborhood with six theaters and events buildings within walking distance, the hotel has a unique location just outside of the main tourist attractions.
Studio suites have 340 square feet of space, high ceilings, “Steampunk” Victorian-inspired furnishings and soft beds with headboards repurposed from the brewery Others amenities include kitchen appliances and flatware, Keurig coffeemakers and a dining table. Guests can dine and enjoy a local pint at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub or relax in the outdoor beer garden. A continental breakfast is included.
Best Nightlife: Aloft Downtown Milwaukee
If you’re in town to experience the nightlife, Aloft Milwaukee is perched in the downtown area with bars and music venues right at your fingertips. Located near the Riverwalk and the Bradley Center (an indoor arena) and the Pabst Theater, the 160-room hotel makes exploring downtown after hours a breeze.
Guests can unwind with a cocktail or craft beer at the on-site bar and lounge with pool tables and a full dining menu. Stylish rooms average 300 square feet with platform beds and plush bedding, luxurious bath amenities, keyless entry and massive windows overlooking downtown and the river. The fitness center is open 24 hours and the indoor pool is perfect for a refreshing dip.
Best Luxury: Pfister Hotel
For a refined hotel experience, the 307-room the Pfister Hotel has been a downtown Milwaukee icon since 1896. The artistic hotel features a resident artist collection (that changes each year) in the lobby and beautiful Romanesque revival architecture. Rooms have feather bed toppers, iPod alarm clocks and elegant baths with rainfall showerheads. Guests can enjoy a soothing spa treatment like re-mineralizing hydrotherapy baths or a Hammam steam shower. Relax with classic afternoon tea on the 23rd floor with panoramic views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan. Several dining venues are available at the hotel, including Sunday brunch in the historic dining room, a café and coffee shop, a classic American steakhouse grill or the sophisticated Blu lounge for cocktails and live music.
Best for Romance: Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
If you are looking for romance on your vacation, the 158-room Kimpton Journeyman Hotel helps set the tone, with elegant décor and inviting room accommodations. Guests can unwind with a hosted evening social hour, dine at the chic Mediterranean restaurant or outside at the casual rooftop bar and lounge. For a more intimate evening, private dining is also available. Rooms have a minimum of 350 square feet with Midwestern décor, local artwork, plush bedding and lavish bath products. Suites have inviting oversized soaking tubs. Other Kimpton touches include complimentary use of yoga mats, leather backpacks and bike rentals. The hotel is located in the historic Third Ward district and valet parking is an additional charge.
Best Business: Hyatt Place Milwaukee Airport
If you’re visiting Milwaukee on business, the Hyatt Place Milwaukee Airport is a convenient choice. The 99-room hotel has two meeting rooms, a computer center, free Wi-Fi and remote printing services. After a day at the “office,” guests can squeeze a workout in the 24-hour fitness center or go for a dip in the indoor pool. A hot breakfast is included, ready-to-eat items or made-to-order meals are available at any time and a café and bar serve cocktails and coffee. Rest easy with the Hyatt’s signature sleep beds, and spacious rooms also have ergonomic work desks, microwaves, mini refrigerators and tasteful modern décor. A free shuttle transports guests to the airport.
Best Bed and Breakfast: Schuster Mansion
-For a traditional bed and breakfast experience, the beautiful Schuster Mansion is a registered historic mansion just west of Marquette University. Standard Rooms include first-choice of seating in the dining area, a tour of the mansion, a gourmet breakfast, bottle of wine and concierge service with discounted tickets to attractions and events.
The inn has seven individually decorated rooms and suites with features such as high ceilings, chandeliers, Victorian furniture, sitting areas, balconies, claw-footed tubs and canopy beds. Guests can mingle at the classic afternoon tea event with fine china, premium teas and pastries (additional charge applies). If you are on a tight budget, there’s an economy option if you’re willing to skip breakfast.
Best Family: Residence Inn Milwaukee Downtown
Families traveling with little ones in tow can appreciate the 131-room, Residence Inn Milwaukee Downtown, an excellent choice for its central location and reasonable prices. Housed in a renovated department store, the hotel has a fantastic location in the heart of downtown within walking distance to restaurants and attractions. Spacious suites are ideal for families needing extra space and have a minimum of 560 square feet. They feature high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the river, plus soundproof windows, as well as a full kitchen with a refrigerator and dishwasher. A full American breakfast buffet is included, however, there is no restaurant on the property for lunch or dinner.