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“Impressive building & decorations; did not sleep well” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Iron Horse Hotel

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Iron Horse Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   500 West Florida Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204 (Walker's Point)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 53 Hotels in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Impressive building & decorations; did not sleep well”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

I was in town for a job interview and the hiring company put me up here.

Hotel staff were all friendly and professional. Check-in & check-out were both smooth.

Rooms were spacious, bedding & linens were, bathrooms were well laid-out. The glass wall between the shower and sleeping area in one room was a bit strange, as I'm not a voyeur by nature. Noise from the trains jolted me awake at 2AM -- ear plugs are provided for a reason.

The building itself was impressive. Hotel bar was pleasant, and food was excellent.

A few words of caution:
- The hotel provides free wifi, but it is unsecured -- no password at all. The firewall monitor on my laptop caught someone trying to get access to my computer through the wifi connection. I don't think they got in, but it was both annoying and disconcerting. I changed all my important passwords after I left the hotel.
- The hotel is located in a part of town that doesn't feel very safe at night. I doubt that many women will want to go walking along this stretch of the river alone, at night.
- Both rooms I was given had gigantic, 15' high murals that were a bit racy: photos of beautiful women in suggestive poses. This, coupled with the glass wall described above, made me wonder what sort of clientele these rooms were meant to attract. I talked to a single woman who was also a guest here, and she said the in-room decor made her uncomfortable.

Room Tip: Avoid 6th floor unless you like HVAC & "white noise." HVAC units are on the roof, whic...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 31, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post your experience about our hotel. Your compliments on the staff are truly appreciated. I am sorry though that your stay with us was not exceptional. The area that we are in is the Historic Warehouse District of Milwaukee. I can understand why you would be a little hesitant walking at night due to the large warehouses surrounding you. Some of the other ones are also being repurposed to fit the new 5th Ward culture. Thank you again for your comments.
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1,162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (262)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011

We stayed over Thanksgiving. I loved the room. It was not cookie cutter. There were a lot of nice little touches that showed the thoughtfulness in the design. The room was spacious with large windows. Our room had a view of the Harley Museum and downtown Milwaukee. The curtains were thick, so no light came in when morning came which was fabulous for a light sleeper. One caveat about the room was that separation between the sleeping area and the bathroom was frosted glass. Even though you can't see completely through the glass when your companion is showering, it can get uncomfortable if you don't know your companion well. :) The shower was one of the nicest I have ever had in a hotel. The toiletries were made by H2O and were quite nice.
We had breakfast at the restaurant and dinner and drinks at the bar and both were great. The only complaint I had was the valet parking which was a bit expensive for the area ($25 for a day and the lot of 2 feet from the front door.)
We are already planning our stay there for thanksgiving next year. Can't wait!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 31, 2011
Thank you so much for the review. It is great to hear that you had a nice time with us during your Thanksgiving holiday. The showers that we have in the room are pretty fantastic and we do offer a few King Rooms that do not have the silouhette showers for those who prefer them. Thank you again and we hope to see you again!
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Big Rapids, Michigan
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

Our group of 6 couples on motorcycles stayed here in August, 2011. What a fun place to stay! Beautiful rooms with the coolest bathrooms, great outdoor bar area, walking distance to Harley Davidson Museum. Nice covered area to park motorcycles if you arrive early enough. Recommend going on Thursday nights in the summer for bike night. Would love to stay there again!

Room Tip: all the rooms are great, suggest sharing one with two beds since it is alittle pricey!
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  • Stayed August 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2011
Thank you so much for the great review. The Yard may be closed for the season but we are already counting down to it reopening next year. We hope to see you all again next Summer if not sooner!
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Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

We stayed for two nights and were pleased that they offered the option to bring our dog. The hotel's website emphasized how welcome pets are, and our experience in this regard did not disappoint. Upon our arrival, her name was on the blackboard near the elevator as a visiting pet, and the staff of the front desk fawned all over her. They provided dishes for her food and water, and had little dog treats. From our experience, this place seems to only employ pet/dog lovers.

Also appreciated upon check-in was the welcome cocktail, which was very good, a Manhattan-like drink with fall flavors.

Check in was quick, and we were taken to a room on the second floor, overlooking the very attractive/funky motorcycle chic lobby. The room was comfortable, but I was surprised that they gave us this room, since we prepaid for a loft on the top floor. With things seemingly going so well up until this point, we felt uncomfortable with calling the front desk to question the room that they had assigned to us, but call we did. They were very nice and apologized, stating that pets are not allowed on certain floors, including the top floor. Since some people have allergies, this is understandable, but the way this was handled was deceitful. We called a week in advance to let them know we were bringing a pet, and this could have been explained at that time. Or upon our arrival, they could have explained the limitation, make a token gesture to compensate for the lower grade room, and that would have been fine. Instead, they put us in a room at least two categories below what we had prepaid for, and it was left to us to do something about it. This was unacceptable.

After we made the call, they comped our breakfast and the pet fee, which was appreciated, but it felt a little empty. If they had offered this upon our arrival, it would have been a totally different guest experience.

The room was stylish; someone really cared about putting it together in a creative way. The bed and linens were comfortable, and the towels were good. The shower pressure was mediocre, and the water temperature adjustment was tricky and not intuitive. We had to wipe up the bathroom floor once due to a little dog mess and we were surprised how dirty the floor was. Also, the bathroom counter looked like it had not been completely wiped down in a long time.

The bathroom also had a makeup mirror that was so barely attached to the wall that maintenance just removed it. Also, the soap tray in the shower was in a similar state, just barely dangling on the wall, so it was just best to remove it as opposed to having it drop on your foot or something. The fact the housekeeping "cleaned" the room, but failed to let maintenance know about the precarious attachment of this hardware makes one question the management of the place.

Eating here was also a mixed experience. Sunday brunch was great. The sausage and gravy with biscuits were particularly delicious. We had room service twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast. The dinner went well; order was accurate. Food was good, and portions were VERY generous. However, the desserts (which were not listed on the room service menu) were both truly awful. Conversely, the room service breakfast was all very tasty, but they got the order wrong repeatedly, requiring coming back to the room 3 additional times to get it right, and in the meantime the food got cold.

Valet service is a little pricey, but there is the option of parking on the street very nearby.

Noise could be an issue for some guests, since the lobby, where multiple guest rooms overlook, is quite the social scene on the weekend. Also, the hotel is immediately adjacent to a busy railroad freight line.

Location is in a bit of a desolate warehouse district, which we thought was fine as long as you know what you are getting into. You truly need a car to take advantage the many things that are available in Milwaukee.

With a lack of trust established, we will likely not be returning to this property.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room, ask for one away from the lobby and the railroad track that runs along the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to let us know your concerns. I want to start out by apologizing for the make-up mirror that was detaching itself from your bathroom. This a detail that should not have been missed and thank you for bringing it to our attention.

I did want to talk about the issue regarding your room type. It is true that we allow pets only on certain floors so in the event that we have a guest who has a pet allergy, we are able to ensure that they are in a room that has never had a pet in it. That being said, I can understand why after speaking with someone about our pet policy you would be upset that you were not told this. With some 3rd party travel agencies a room is guaranteed but not a specific type of room. This is unfortunately what happened with your reservation.

It is against everything we value to deceive any of our guests. It has always been and will always be to try and provide the best possible experience for all of our guests, that is why when we received the call about your dissapointment in your room we removed the pet fee and offered complimentary breakfast.

We are very sorry that you feel this way and hope that this explanation may shed some light on to why things happend the way that they did. We enjoyed you both as guests and truly loved having Bunny stay with us too. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me directly at 414-831-4608
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

The second I walked in, I fell in love! The lobby is so inviting. I want my house to look like this. The staff are extremely nice and helpful. Make you feel like you are coming home and they are happy to see you. The VIP dog welcome board was so cute. The attention to the details show they have put alot of thought into this hotel Then my room! What more can I say? I didn't want to leave!! From the mural on my wall, the yummy bed, to the very cool shower! Amazing!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2011
We have had a few love connections happen here in the hotel and yes some of those involve people falling in love with the hotel itself. You are absolutely right when you mention detail. So much of the hotel and the items in it have a story that can date back 300-400 years. The owners of the hotel did an amazing job when designing everything and we all love to hear when the decor is appreciated. Thank you again!
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Sturgeon Bay
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

Everything about this hotel is fantastic, from the gorgeous furnishings, to the super staff and wonderful restaurant! This is a splurge hotel, but it is well worth it. I recommend it for special getaways.

Room Tip: If you get a city view room, you'll be right on the railroad tracks. I mean RIGHT ON the tracks...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2011
Thank you for the great review. The hotel is really a beautiful place and I am so happy to hear that the staff helped to make your stay memorable. Please let us know how we can make your next visit even better.
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

After our wedding celebrations, my wife and I spent our wedding night at the Iron Horse Hotel. My wife loves cream colored brick on buildings, so the premium loft was a perfect room for us. The brick interior matched with the modern decor was a perfect combination and made the rooms warm and inviting. The king size bed was comfortable, and the shower had a great waterfall-style showerhead (as well as a regular showerhead). In addition to the great ambiance, the staff at the Iron Horse graciously set up extra amenities in my room, including a rose petal downturn, chilled champagne, and fruit with chocolate (and the front desk provided me with a toothbrush and toothpaste, which I forgot to pack :) ). Our stay at the Iron Horse capped off a perfect wedding day!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Front Office Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2011
It is wonderful to hear that you had an amazing stay with us for such a momentous occasion in your life. Cream City brick is a trademark of Milwaukee and it was important to our owner to make sure that it was a major part of the decor. Thank you so much for staying with us and we all wish you a wonderful and happy life together!
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Additional Information about Iron Horse Hotel

Address: 500 West Florida Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Milwaukee > Walker's Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Milwaukee
#1 Luxury Hotel in Milwaukee
#1 Business Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Romantic Hotel in Milwaukee
#4 Family Hotel in Milwaukee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Iron Horse Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Iron Horse Hotel is Milwaukee's most chic and sophisticated property - the transformation of a 100-year-old downtown warehouse into a modern luxury boutique hotel. As the industry's first upscale hotel geared for business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, The Iron Horse Hotel meets the distinct needs of both corporate and leisure guests with its special services, unparalleled amenities and 100 loft-style guest rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Iron Horse
Iron Horse Milwaukee

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