I recently spent three nights at the hotel in a "parlor suite." I love historic hotels, but this former grande dame suffers mightily from lack of capital improvements and from poor management. Cheapness and cost-cutting win out over guest comfort. The room: a parlor suite is a strange animal, sort of like a studio apartment with a dining alcove. I still am not sure of the point of a little cafe-sized table with two chairs in a big dining area. Athough I was assured several times that the room had been renovated, I guess that depends on your definition of renovated. Some of the sparse furniture was battered and the television was from a byegone era. There were wide open spaces where furniture and wall decor should have been, the bathroom was vintage and the kitchen was dated. But the desk chair looked pretty new, the room seemed painted fairly recently and there were plenty of shelves in the closets. The aged window air conditioner was not up to the task of cooling the room, so it was too warm to sleep comfortably even though it periodically screeched throughout the night. There was not enough light, and the lamps and ceiling fixture were not well enough planned, to read very easily (you might want to bring your own). The service: the people at the front desk were very nice and seemed competent. Housekeeping was nearly non-existent. They devoted perhaps 60 seconds the morning after we checked in to smoothing the cover on the bed and replacing a couple of towels. After that, they ignored the room entirely for the rest of our stay.
The included continental breakfast was of the type you might see at a low-end chain motel. The breakfast room was far too small to fit the number of people trying to eat. There is a restaurant and a bar, but they are seldom (or maybe never) open; they are used, I think, for private parties. There is a vacant feel about the place. Signs outside advertise to renters.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of experience that drives people to stay in Hampton Inns rather than charming older properties.
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- Also Known As:
- Astor Hotel Milwaukee