My wife and I stayed at the new Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Milwaukee just two days after it opened. It is a beautifully remodeled facility and has great potential. It was clear to us that the staff was trying very hard to please its new customers. They were very polite and attempted to be very helpful. However, there definitely were start-up glitches. For example, the man who greeted us curbside and took our bags did not know where to recommend that I park. Valet parking was $24 a night, and I opted for self-park but had to drive around to find a nearby public parking ramp that apparently he did not know about. The front desk staff was very friendly. Our room was very nicely furnished with new, comfortable chairs, couch, a refrigerator, two modern TVs and a very comfortable bed. Also the location of the hotel is wonderful if you are going to the Riverside Theater or one of many restaurants or bars in the area.
But here is the huge overwhelming problem we had with the new Downtown Milwaukee Hilton Garden Inn … We were placed in a room adjacent to a dingy narrow alley filled with garbage bins and loading docks. The view from our window could not have been more dismal. But that wasn’t the worst of it. After a night on the town, and a good start to our night’s sleep, it all ended at 5:30 a.m. when the garbage trucks started emptying the bins in the alley. It was the worst racket you can imagine. The very loud clanging of the garbage bins and the beep-beep-beep of the trucks backing up could not be masked by putting pillows over our heads. (We were on the first floor so these trucks were literally right outside the window next to our bed.) And the noise lasted off and on for a good hour, with the trucks going up and down the alley and nearby areas.
I don’t know what the hotel can do about this, but honestly the main reason a person stays at a hotel is for a good night’s sleep and there is simply no way to get one if you are put in a room along this alley. The most friendly, helpful and professional hotel staff cannot overcome the unbearable clanging of trucks and garbage bins at 5:30 a.m.
I would not write this hotel off. Like I said, it is a beautiful facility and appears to be well-managed. It has a gorgeous atrium and is in a fully refurbished historic building. But if you are going to stay there be sure to ask for a room on the east side of the building as far from the alley on the west side as you can get.