Last holiday season hubs and I stayed over Christmas at the Residence Inn, and we had such a grand time that we decided to repeat the experience again for 2012. Man, are we glad that we did. We love Milwaukee and we love this hotel. There were terrific holiday pre-pay rates on their Marriott website - which also included the parking fee in their convenient, heated garage.
As other reviews have pointed out, you would be wise to pull up to the circular driveway by the entrance on Plankinton Street, and grab a cart from inside the lobby door. Put your luggage and sundries on the cart, and check in first. We had a charming and professional young lady at the front desk who checked us in very promptly. You will need the room key with the green dot, the parking permit and the map to find your way to the parking garage. Don't lose the room key. The garage and elevator to the garage are secure and you will need it for entry.
We were upgraded to the same wonderful room we had last year, on the fifth floor. We had a very huge two room suite with two flat screen televisions, comfortable furniture, and a dishwasher, microwave and a full size fridge. We slept so well on the so comfortable king bed with good pillows. Outside the huge windows we had a great shot of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the sculpture "The Calling" at the end of the street - it looks like a cool gigantic Christmas ornament. The street was decorated with colorful lights for the season. We also looked out on the river and on the bridge, so nice. We owe huge thanks to the manager, Mia Berman She is totally the best, and helped us in all ways to secure my favorite room. She also checked in for us regarding a discount for hotel guests at the brand new Gold's Gym across the river. Only $5 a day pp with your hotel room key - you can't beat that. Planet Fitness is in the same complex that the RI is in, but they charge $20 a day. On the 7th floor of the hotel is their own workout room, and it is more than satisfactory, and quite nice with some treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bikes and free weights.
The breakfast every morning was so good, and plentiful. Especially on Christmas morning, where we were happy to see french toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes - along with the the waffle maker, toaster for english muffins and bread, cereal, yoghurt, juices, etc. And kept hot and freshly replenished, with the friendly and great staff at breakfast - outstanding. (I apologize I don't always wear my reading glasses and thus missed the staff member's names.) Everyone in the hotel we interfaced with were courteous, friendly, and just nice people. And I have to mention how great the location is - we went to the Milwaukee Food Market for a GREAT perch fish fry dinner on Christmas eve - under half of a mile.
For a Christmas dinner, we enjoyed the excellent buffet and carvery - so popular we perched at the bar at Mader's German restaurant to eat; also a very nice walk. And so nice to have a mall attached with a very good food court - I do love some Culver's! All in all big thanks to Miss Berman and all of the hotel staff for having the perfect venue, food and accommodations for a wonderful holiday visit! (Sorry, one last thing, I do like nice shampoo and soap. They now have Paul Mitchell hair products and lotion. This was covered in the WSJ over the last weekend, Marriott upscaled on the grooming products and it was a great decision!)