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“A tale of two hotels - under the same roof” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Pfister Hotel

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The Pfister Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 52 hotels in Milwaukee
Wixom, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A tale of two hotels - under the same roof”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

I had the opportunity to visit Milwaukee for a business conference, and the designated hotel for conference attendees was The Pfister. This beautiful and historic downtown hotel has just about everything to make your personal or business trip very special.

The Pfister has a main, historic section which is incredibly beautiful. It is ornate and well decorated, particularly during the holidays. They also have a 23-story tower of guest rooms, conference facilities, ballrooms, and a cocktail lounge. The guest rooms are well-decorated, have luxurious furnishings, and plenty of nice amenities. These rooms are somewhat unusual in that sixteen of them form each floor in a round tower - so they are shaped somewhat like a piece of pie. Unusual - but it works.

If you have a chance to visit the cocktail lounge on the 23rd floor, it's worth buying one of their preciously-priced drinks in order to enjoy the view. The service is great, and the view is memorable. They even have a diagram to identify all the surrounding buildings.

The front desk staff is extremely helpful and welcoming. The housekeeping staff in the guest rooms do a great job. The Pfister has a very well-equipped fitness club, and some nice high-end shops within the facility. The hotel has a lobby bar that is a classic, and a lobby cafe / coffee shop that meets all of your needs for fast coffee and breakfast. They also have one of the best steakhouse restaurants in town. The concierge staff (especially Helga) go above and beyond to please; they help make your visit to Milwaukee a fun and successful experience.

So, with everything that's been said so far (a) why is the rating only a "4" rather than a "5"? It's because the Pfister's performance in the area of banquets / conferences is unacceptable. Our small meeting (30 people) consisted of people from many countries, and those international visitors left with an unfavorable view of U.S. hospitality. For example - every water glass that we were given was dirty. Now, I'm not talking about water spots --- I'm talking about lipstick and chunks of food. When this was pointed out to the staff, the response was surly and unexpectedly uncaring. I finally confronted the banquet manager with the problem, who demonstrated the correct reaction. The banquet food was of acceptable quality, but at an extremely high price. The conference and banquet facilities are beautiful and comfortable --- but the lack of maintenance and the inhospitable staff made for an uncomfortable day.

Room Tip: The Pfister clings to the notion that it is acceptable to charge guests for WiFi internet connectivi...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (296)
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English first
Muncie, Indiana
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Stayed here one night on the way to a Packers game. Got a really great rate on priceline. We were put in what I am assuming is a "historic" room, as it was a little dated. However it was very clean. Hotel lobby was beautiful. We did not use the rooftop (indoor) pool but went and looked at it and it was clean (no one was using it). I really enjoyed the location. It was just a quick walk to the public market to browse and eat. Stayed at the Iron Horse last year and aside from the location and price there was no comparison. Such a cool vibe at the Iron Horse and room amenities are above and beyond. But for the $150s I saved I definately can not complain. Save another $15-20 dollars and park in the parking garage 2 blocks away.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2012
Thank you so much for choosing the Pfister during your recent visit to Milwaukee. Hopfully should your travels bring you back to Milwaukee you will continue to choose our hotel as your home away from home. We do truly pride ourselves as the Best hotel in the city. However I am excited to say that the hotel will be conducting a rooms renovation on our tower side this winter and should be completed this spring to ealry summer. They are absolutely beautiful and highly reccomend that you give them a try should you retunr once they are complete. Again thank you for sharing your experience and Happy Holidays.

Thank You
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

The service, rooms and room service are all excellent at the Pfister which makes it my first choice when sleeping in the downtown area. This past weekend was no exception however the perfect stay was damaged by my 10 am luke warm shower. The hot water seemed to be running low at that time of day since the night before it was more than hot. The front desk promptly sent up an engineer to check on the problem but by that time my shower was over and I was out of the door.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2012
First thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. We are overly thrilled that you not only chose the Pfister but continue to do so. I also wanted to extend our up most apologies for the less than ksplendid experience you encountered on the morning of your departure. While there always the unforseen i assure we do take all possible steps to be proactive and perform preeventative maintinance or all aspects of the property. Again i would like to extend our apologies and a thank you. We truly do look forward to your return. And should your travels bring you back to Milwaukee please feel free to come by and say hello. I would love the opportunity to greet you personally and welcome you back. Safe travels and Happy Holidays.

Thank You
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Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

When visiting Milwaukee, I choose the pfister. It has always been consistent in price, service, and quality.

My only suggestion is that the rooms need updating- the historic section is showing signs of age.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2012
Thank you so much for always choosing the Pfister and for sharing your kind words. We do also greatly appreciate your honest feedback. We do truly value all of our guests in sight and feedback.
I am very excited to say that we are currently scheduled to begin a renovation on our Tower Section and should be completed by Spring to Early Summer. The rooms are beautiful and would highly reccomend that you try them should your travles bring you back anytime after they are complete.
Again thank you for sharing your kind words and for continuing to choose the Pfister.

Thank You
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Chicago suburbs
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

This hotel is a beauty! The lobby is gorgeous - especially now, all decorated for Christmas. We had a room in the old section and thought that it was charming with extra tall ceilings, and fine furnishings. The hotel was very clean throughout. We had a chance to dine in the restaurant for dinner and the cafe for breakfast. Both were very nice. All of the staff that we dealt with were courteous and professional. I would highly recommend staying at the Pfister.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2012
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us all!! We truly are so lucky to work in such a special and beautiful place and beyond thrilled that you were able to enjoy your stay with us as well. Again we thank you and wish you a happy holiday season!!

Thank You
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Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

This was our first time staying at the Pfister. Heather at the front desk was extremely helpful. We were able to upgrade to a king size bed and suite. Beautiful! We would stay there again in a heart beat with a couple of changes. Our room was really warm. A man working the front desk said that b/c it's an older hotel, some times they have that problem. He said he would send up a fan. We asked for that a 11:30am and when we returned 12 hours later...no fan. Room still very warm. The exercise room was nice but the middle eliptical machine...part where you plug in earphones/ear buds....kept losing the sound. We went to the Blu Bar (on top floor of Pfister). Good music! Got a little attitude from the bartenders when we said we had reservations (we were in town for a wedding and the bride spoke to the bar manager and he did not share that with his staff) and they firmly stated WE DO NOT take reservations. A few minutes later the bar manager cleared things up and we were well taken care of. The music was much better Saturday night than it was Friday (our opinion only). Overall....wonderful experience from the gentlemen working the front door, valet to front desk....can't wait to come back!

Room Tip: We stayed on the 4th floor. Nice view. Just be prepared for warm rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are thrilled to hear that the staff made such a good impression and we are thankful to hear about the opportunities we have also. We take our guests comments very seriously and will review each area. Again we are so glad that overall you had such a great experience and we are truly looking forward to your return visit. Thank you again and Happy Holidays.

Thank You
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West Allis
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

To keep this in a proper context I am a 65 yr. old Disabled Vet. I clean up good but imagine 'Jeff Foxwothey' saying (in a Southern accent 'you're from the Midwest ain't ya'?. Some of my family are 'suits' and some don't own one. That all being said the reason we hosted this event was that it was 'our turn' . Holidays always fell to the one with the biggest house, This year we decided that it was time to take on the burden for Thanksgiving. In short it was out of this world. Ambiance, food (right down to the free Champagne and Bloody Marys), service (very impressive), and perks like free parking in the parking garage. 8 adults, 3 children and on 3 yr. old (free). With tax & gratuity added (automatically) the bill was under $600.00. Pricey? Not when you realize the Pfister is a landmark for over a 100 years and a Milwaukee tradition. So, decidedly casual elegance, and by the smiles of both parents and children alike it was a big success.

Room Tip: Our first experience with the Pfister was the beginning of our Honeymoon as we had a suite and I had...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth W, Front Office Manager at The Pfister Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
We are so thrilled that we could host you and your family for this special occasions and holiday. We put on several holiday brunches throughout the year and beyond rewarding to be a part of so many peoples special day together. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about your experience and share it with us all. We truly hope to see you all again. Best Wishes and Happy Holidays.

Thank You
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Additional Information about The Pfister Hotel

Address: 424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Milwaukee > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Romantic Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Spa Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Luxury Hotel in Milwaukee
#4 Business Hotel in Milwaukee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Pfister Hotel 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pfister Hotel, built in 1893 has been the premier downtown Milwaukee hotel for over a century, and continues to celebrate a tradition of gracious service and impeccable style. From the moment you arrive, you'll notice the extraordinary architecture, and a welcoming ambiance marked by a priceless Victorian art collection which rivals that of any hotel in the world. The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee has received accolades as being the best of downtown Milwaukee hotels since it opened. We are proud of our AAA Four-Diamond Award and membership in two of our industry's leading organizations: Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pfister Hotel Milwaukee

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