I have to admit, nothing beats free. I tagged along with my husband to a conference and Milwaukee, and everything happened at this hotel (the classes, the meals, etc). While the husband is out and about with other attendees, I had a chance to explore downtown Milwaukee on foot. The weather was gorgeous, and the city is very manageable on foot. MAM (Milwaukee Art Museum) and Pabst Manor are some of the highlights.
But I digress. For some reason I kept thinking the conference was at the Intercontinental a few blocks away, so did all my research and planning based on there. When I was gently reminded that the video I was watching and faithfully taking notes off of (Intercontinental had a very helpful video by their concierge on what to do around town) is not from the host hotel, I must admit I was disappointed.
I digress again. Since I was already disappoint before I even set foot in the hotel thru no fault of Hyatt, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. And as in most experiences in life, the truth is a mixed bag.
PROS: the service is very good. From check-in to almost 4 square meals a day (buffets galore, the host really wanted to feed us well), the staff are friendly and focused, and everything happened very smoothly. Rooms were always kept clean, and room service is decent.
The location of this place is a big plus. I understand it is linked by a sky bridge directly to the convention center. Although the immediately surrounding isn't stellar, the location is central and close to everything (River Walk, Historical Society, stadiums, and convention center,... did I mention the Intercontinental?)
The rooms are new and clean. Pleasantly appointed with ample storage space. The water pressure in the shower is strong and awesome. The bedding is super super comfortable and very relaxing. The sheets and the pillow cases are very very soft.
CONS: during one evening in the elevator when all the attendees are heading back up to their rooms, one of the attendees blurted out, "Man, if my ex-wife was here, she wouldn't last a day. She would have jumped!" As he exited the elevator, the remaining passengers all agreed that it was a macabre comment. I secretly admired the man for pointing out the 800-pound gorilla in the room (no pun intended, in our case, it's the whole building): The entire building is a bunch of rooms surrounding a HUGE void space. All the corridors are open on one side to this oppressive source of vertigo. I believe in the 1970s it was considered very cool, and it is called an Atrium (yes, I am being facetious). Many of the reviews I read here mention the noise being an issue, but no one seems to note why: it's the building!!! It's is one of those dilemmas that all property owners must face: should one hang on for another 30 years and see if my building is going to be retro and chic (like 1950s "mid-century modern"), or do I have an outdated facility on my hands? (I did read on one review that the Anime attendees tried to address the issue, by having screaming contests up the space... very creative and sophomoric. At least the teens are honest and tried to acknowledge there is something odd about the building!)
Another inherent issue lies in the unchangeable fact that every window is set at a deep exterior window ledge... and it is very hard to clean. In our few days there, I watched as hundreds of little flying bugs get caught at multiple spiders' webs right outside my window. The debris at the ledge can be easily avoided by pulling the curtains, I guess.
There is an very conscientious effort to modernize the building to Hyatt standards, and the effort should be applauded. Most of the attempts do work: the interior of the guest rooms as well as the restrooms, etc. There is a gray accent throughout every floor, punctuated by "random" planters (yes, the plants are plastic). This only added to the overly odd atrium space being very gloomy as well. There is even a new coat of paint on the exterior of the building... but gray! Double gloom! The carpet along the corridors are also utilitarian (busy pattern to hide dirt) rather than aesthetic.
Every brand wants to establish themselves as unique, and Hyatt has a special fragrance they use at all their properties... it's a tad too strong for me, and mixed with the smell of laundry soap and steam (one of the 2 exits of the hotel is right next to the air outlet vent), the overall effect is simple unpleasant.
In the room itself, the only thing I noticed in a bad way was the carpet felt dirty and "flat" always, even without stain marks or visible dirt. Bring your own slippers or wear socks...
The water pressure in the toilet is also an interesting phenomenon: the flush flows so slowly, I was sure the toilet was going to flood every time: but it never did. I just needed to have more faith.
All in all, a very curious experience at a proven hotel brand.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.