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“How clean can it be?” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iron Horse Hotel

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Iron Horse Hotel
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
98 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“How clean can it be?”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

Stayed one night at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee. There are plenty of things I could say about the place—some pro and some con—but the two I will mention strike me as very important. Two things seem paramount: at a hotel one should be able to sleep when tired, and the hotel should be clean.

The walls in the hotel, at least in certain places, must be fairly slim. At 1:30 in the morning I began to hear talking an adjacent room. I waited a while for it to stop, but when it didn’t I put on the earplugs that we found in the room when we arrived. The flyer behind them indicated that they were in case we were bothered by at train that runs nearby. We actually heard the train earlier in the evening, and it wasn’t a problem. The real problem, and I now suspect (but don't really know) that the earplugs were provided for this reason, was that one could hear ordinary conversation, to the point where it was clear what was being said, in the next room. We were on the sixth floor, in an otherwise quite section of the hotel. Walls shouldn’t that thin. The conversation went on until 3:30, and sleep was interrupted by it intermittently. They occupants seemed to be talking at a normal volume.

The second problem is rather unpleasant to write about, but here goes. The Iron Horse is a “pet friendly hotel.” When we left our room to check out, we rounded a counter. As I walked I felt my foot slip. Looking back, I saw that a dog had defecated in the hallway, and we discerned that my wife and I both walked in, and latter discovered that the wheels of our luggage had rolled though, the mess. (She was several feet beyond me when I made the initial discovery. We continued down the hall, to the elevator, and from the elevator to the front desk—not fully comprehending the extent of the mess.) We then examined ourselves and our luggage, and reported exactly what happened and asked that our shoes and luggage be cleaned off. There was excrement on the 6th floor hallway, the elevator, the walk from the elevator to the desk and the mat in front of the desk—as well as our shoes and luggage wheels. Housekeeping was called in. The man from housekeeping then did a terrible job of cleaning our shoes and luggage. (We ended up cleaning our shoes.) In addition, when he “cleaned” the luggage he laid it on the soiled mat, where it acquired a little more filth. I asked him to be sure the luggage was clean. He said he did. (I learned when we went outside waiting for our car that he’d done a very pour job.) We pointed out the mess on the mat, and the woman behind the desk, got some spray to clean it up. We apologized for the mess. She sort of laughed, shook her head, rolled her eyes, and said. “It’s certainly not the first time.” She told the housekeeping rep about the mess on the 6th floor. How clean it got after that we do not know. (Did I mention there was some on my pants. It was not the most solid effort a dog can make.)

A final note, we are not squeamish. We’ve had dogs, finished them in canine obedience, and shown them. Still, this is one of life’s little experiences we would happily have missed.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank profofphil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
I am so sorry to hear about what happened. I know our Assistant Front Office Manager Constance has contacted you and I hope that we have made everything right.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,448 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (318)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bluffton, South Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

I have been traveling for 25+ years and have to tell you that with all the point programs and sterile hotels I stay in it is refreshing to find a really special place to stay. The lounge is special for its atmosphere, the restaurant is truly outstanding and worth the trip even if you aren't staying there. The breakfast is neat because instead of separate small tables you get to eat and meet other patrons of the hotel - truly a fun experience.

We recently were excited about getting back to Milwaukee for business knowing we were going to stay at the Iron Horse only to be bummed out that they were sold out, so lesson learned - BOOK EARLY!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Thank you so much for this fantastic review and I am sorry that we did not have a room for you during your last visit to Milwaukee. I hope that next time you are able to stay with us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
136 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2012

Unique atmosphere combined with top notch amenities. The corner suites, while a little pricey, are really nice. Ask for one high up facing north. Nice view. Loved the Special Harley parking area, and outdoor patio.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank john P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Thank you for the great review! Our Corner Alcove rooms are pretty amazing and I am glad that you enjoyed them.
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

The Iron Horse was booked the night we got to Milwaukee, but we decided to check it out for brunch the next day. Delicious Sunday brunch and a top-notch blues band playing in the enormous and comfortable outdoor lounge. Lobby is cool-looking and inviting. We promptly checked in with Bonnie, who graciously upgraded us to a large corner room. We literally felt like we were at home. Wonderful service and a huge, gorgeous room. Will definitely go back!

Room Tip: We heard the train, but weren't bothered by it. Maybe because we were on the 5th floor. Corner...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Thank you so much for the review. It is always a little sad this time of year especially when the Yard is starting to wind down. I am happy to hear that you were able to stay with us and that Bonnie left a great impression on you. She is truly a wonderful person and I have already showed her this review. Thank you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

My husband and I chose to stay three nights at the Iron Horse on trip to Milwaukee for a friends' wedding. Neither of us had ever been to Milwaukee, nor will we likely have a reason to return so we figured we'd choose a place that had some history and character to it. The Iron Horse certainly has both and is a beautiful and very classy hotel. The rooms are quite nice, although I was disappointed to find the quality/comfort of the mattress only average compared to other hotels - in other words, too hard. The hotel was booked for the entire weekend while we were there - a wedding and a class reunion both going on. We were given a 2nd floor room and quickly learned that it is NEVER quiet on this floor. We could hear loud music from either of the bars until at least 2am and it started again by around 8am from the lobby. The lobby is open to the 2nd floor, so all of the noise goes right upstairs. We did not ask for a change of rooms since we knew the hotel was booked and fortunately since we were on vacation we just stayed up until we were tired enough to sleep through the noise. If you are here for business or are a light sleeper, be sure to ask for a room on the higher floors.

Another tip: this is not a hotel for kids. There is explicit sexuality in the theme of the hotel. Be sure to ask before booking - I'm sure it was coincidental, but there happened to be an art show going on in the lobby the weekend we stayed of erotica photography. The first thing you saw when walking in the door was a very large photo of a topless woman and the lobby was full of more of it. On the other hand, as other reviewers have mentioned it is a great place for couples!

While the hotel is beautifully restored and quite classy, our room earned no more than three stars. I can't speak for the rest of it.

Room Tip: If you want quiet, ask for an upper floor! 2nd floor rooms are loud 24/7.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brandy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
I appreciate the time that you took to post a review. I am so sorry that you did not have a 5 star stay with us due to noise and preference for a softer mattress. We did have several groups with us during "Gallery Night", featuring the "Erotica" series by Pamela Ferderbar and Simone Van Kempen. We want all of our guests to have a great time with us and ask that if they are uncomfortable in any way to let us know so that we can make it right. We all hope you give us another opportunity to show you how we do things here at The Iron Horse.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

My husband and I stayed one night for a milestone anniversary. We arrived on our Harley, had excellent parking. The hotel decor was really unique and fun to walk around and take pictures. The room was very spacious, and comfortable, very nice bed. The staff was friendly. We had a 6th floor room with an excellent view.
I was disappointed by the fact that I signed up on line, for our special interests or .... not sure how to word this. I was asked if this is a special occasion I said yes our 30th anniversary and also asked what snacks (sodas and chips list to choose from) would we like in our room. I was expecting a little something special, maybe a free desert or something, and only seen the snacks in the basket that we had to pay extra for, I assumed they would be complementary.
We were disappointed with, the food at the Branded, found it to be way tooo expensive and could have been better quality for the cost. I think $100 for 2 people to eat, nothing elaborate (chicken & steak) was way out of the ball park.
I was also disappointed with no gift shop on the property, just a few items for sale in a display case. I was looking for a polo shirt and shot glass.
Like I said earlier, the room was excellent and we did have a nice time. We would stay there again and we would recommend the rooms.

Room Tip: top floor has excellent view and don't hear the train next to the building.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Denise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
Happy anniversary and thank you for choosing to spend your special time with us. I am happy to hear that you had a great stay with the exception of the Desires program. We recently have been some changes at the hotel and we no longer offer the Desires program. We are currently working on another program and hope to have it completed soon. In the meantime we would still like to help you have the best stay possible and please contact me directly so that we can make that happen. jvalona@theironhorsehotel.com Thank you again for the review and we hope to have you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Butler, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

Went to the Harley museum and stayed at the Iron Horse just on a whim. This place is outstanding. The modifications to this old warehouse were truly inspiring. Bar and patio was great. Motorcycle friendly was an understatement. These folks are experts at customer service. Room was large, great beds, spotless housekeeping, and every employee was attentive to any issue. What a team and what a place to stay.

Definitely a destination in Milwaukee you don't want to miss.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dam6296
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesValona, Director of Guest Experience at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2012
It is such a compliment to hear that we are "experts at customer service" Thank you so much for that and I hope to have you back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iron Horse Hotel

Property: Iron Horse Hotel
Address: 500 W Florida St, Milwaukee, WI 53204-1534
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 Family Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Romantic 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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