I had an internal struggle with how I was going to rate this hotel because the stay in it of itself was tremendous...but there was something that happened during the booking process beforehand that I didn't realize I had gotten completely scammed on until afterwards.
When I booked a room at this hotel, the woman told me about a Hilton Grand Vacation package that would earn me $200 towards a free room if I got it. I'm an avid traveler, so I figured I'd listen to the pitch. She transferred me over to someone else who offered me a 2 night, 3 day package in Las Vegas anytime in the next year for $150, and that I'd also get $200 worth of credit to stay at any Hilton hotel. I still didn't bite because they wanted me to book it within the next 45 days. So she also offered what she said was enough Hilton points that would cover a night at a similar hotel in pricing to the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee that I had just booked the room for. So with the perks it sounded pretty good, and I went ahead with it.
Fast forward 2 weeks later when I'm trying to book a room with these supposed points and $200 credit. The first time I try, I'm told there weren't any redemption rooms available, meaning I can't use any of these "perks". I said OK, whatever, I'll just use try again next time. Second time, same thing, but they also let me in on a dirty little secret...they didn't put NEARLY as many points as you need for a full night. I was at least 25,000 points short of a free night. And I don't even get those points until 6 weeks after I stay in Vegas, same with the $200 credit, despite the fact that I already paid for that trip in full. None of which was told to me when they sold me this. Although even if I have it, I'm guessing that I'll have a ton of poor luck EVER finding a "redemption room" that I can actually use that stuff on anyway.
Also, you can't go on this trip anytime you want. You have to take a tour of the Hilton Grand when you get to Vegas, which I also wasn't told about, or else they charge you retail price for the stay, which they value at $200 per night even though you can book a room on their own website for about half of that. The other problem with this is they don't have these tours all the time, so you have to plan your trip based on it. I wanted to take my girlfriend on this trip on the 31st for the New Year's Eve...but they don't have a tour until January 2nd. So they said if I wanted to take my trip that day, I'd have to pay for another room on the 1st so I could make the tour on the 2nd. I can not believe they were serious about that...but they 100% were.
Finally to the positives...this hotel, singularly, is actually outstanding. Great location, beautiful interior, very nice room for the value and unbeatable service, aside from the woman who referred me to this bogus scam. Go down to the hotel bar and they'll make you a fantastic Bloody Mary too. I was actually raving about this hotel because I've stayed just about everywhere in Milwaukee and I would've rated this #2 in the entire city, just behind the Iron Horse...honestly perhaps even #1 considering how much more expensive the Iron Horse is and the stay there was only marginally better.
I fully understand it's my own fault too to get involved in an "offer" like that. And even to me it seems perhaps a little unfair to rate this hotel that is comprised primarily of extremely nice staff members...but they should still be held accountable for referring their customers to such highway robbery.
All of this is why I very much struggled with how I was going to rate this hotel. But ultimately, I felt like I had to rate the entire experience from start to finish. And when I look back, no matter how great the actual stay was...I now have an extremely bitter taste in my mouth from dealing with the Hilton.
In the end, while I'm personally really not sure I could ever do business with the Hilton ever again...I'll try to be fair to any prospective consumers...you should absolutely stay at this hotel if you're in Milwaukee. But DO NOT fall for any of their scams the way I did. Only stay here, buy or get involved with NOTHING else from these people and you will have a very positive experience.
- Joe Briggs