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“Trully Unique Place to Stay!” 5 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
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
56 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Trully Unique Place to Stay!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2009

I just completed a stay at the Iron Horse in Milwaukee for a week in January. During this visit I had to put in many long days, mostly outside, and this hotel truly made what was usually a major grind into something where I was able to relax & enjoy part of the trip once I made it back to the hotel. The rooms are amazing and truly fit the boutique definition, with them being very tastefully & uniquely done. And unlike some of the other boutique hotels I’ve stayed in (The Mondrian comes to mind) the rooms were truly functional and comfortable, with a full size desk, very comfortable furniture, large bathroom & dual head shower, and a very roomy layout. Also it had the best stocked in room bar I have seen with full size items of most items including 5 different 750 ml bottles of wine & full size bottles of Patron & Crown Royal. You could really party on in our room if you wanted.

I had dinner three nights in Branded and the food was excellent! (Smyth the full service restaurant should open sometime in February, I expect the food will be equal as they are using the same kitchen) The only issue as mentioned in some of the prior postings is they are still fine tuning the staff. I noticed that the staff right now consists of either very green members or very experienced members trying to bring the green people up to speed. So the experienced staff tend to get stretched quite thin and most nights the bar is packed far beyond what they thought they would get this soon after opening. The good side is they are working their tails off & do let you know what is going on, which is more than I’ve experienced in most hotel & restaurant launches. The breakfast in the Library is excellent & the staff ratio there was very good, so no issues there. Plus the feel of the Library is very cozy & made for one of the best hotel breakfast experiences I’ve had in a while.

A tip, you can get full bar service in the Library at night, with the fireplace & the wide selection of books & work areas, it makes a nice alternative to spending time in the room when pounding out e-mail or if you want to get out of the room without the bar environment. (Female travelers take note) The exercise facilties were top notch, with a full range of upper model Precor equipment & full free weight sets. The spa area was not finished during my visit, but the hot tub/ bar sounds like it will be fun when it’s done. They do have a heated parking garage for guests, which sure helps in the AM when it’s 11 degrees out.

Two items to watch for at this hotel is if you are a light sleeper, do not get a room on the north side of the hotel. Since it is built in an old warehouse, the hotel is located within 20 ft of an active railroad switching line. You can hear the trains faintly from your room at times. I had a north facing room on the 4th floor and I could hear them if I was sitting quietly in the room, but never got woke up by a train. Sound insulation in the room is excellent. One of the people in my group was a very light sleeper; the hotel was very willing to switch him to a room on the south side & he had no issues with that room. The other one is there is no clock radio or simple way to get music in your room from an IPod. I like to listen to music instead of watching TV in the evening and go to sleep & wake to music. They have a way with a bunch of cables to patch it into the TV, but you still can’t use it to go to sleep or wake to. I know clock radios are viewed as tacky in the boutique hotel world, but an IPod docking clock radio is a very cool solution to this situation and would fit with the vibe of the hotel.

Otherwise I highly recommend this hotel if you have a stay in Milwaukee, especially if you have to go during the middle of the bleak winters they get there.

  • Liked — Just Stunning!!
  • Disliked — It is close to the train tracks (Iron Horse- get it?)
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank MFRoadWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,430 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 (316)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2009

We were amazed by the architecture of this new hotel which is a remodeled early 20th century Milwaukee warehouse. It really is fascinating. The staff at check in was extremely accommodating and the bartenders were friendly.

We will definitely stay again as the email rate specials are outstanding.

Only two complaints. Our room had an inordinate amount of construction dust all over everything. Understandable as I believe some areas in the hotel were still under construction during our stay.

The parking situation is lousy. The hotel has no adequate surface lot nearby which demands that you valet your car or walk from the on-street parking to the east. Milwaukee has an aggressive vicious night parking ordinance on weeknights so you get hit with a large ticket if your car is on the street.

We had to make several trips to and from the hotel during our stay and didn't want or feel the need to valet the car every time we came and went. We were there on a weekend and parked on the street but had to walk quite a distance through freezing cold, ice, and snow.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jdk5692016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2009

Yesterday my girlfriend and I stopped in at the Iron Horse Hotel. We were surprised at how friendly the staff was from the moment we got to the door. When you walk into the lobby, you don't even know it is a hotel. It is like a big lounge area and a bar off to the
right called Branded. There was a small counter to check in if you are a hotel guest. There is another restaurant to the left not finished yet it is going to be fine dinning.

We took a seat on some comfortable sofas and looked over the drink menu. The young man who I would call the host was very attentive and answered all our questions. He said he would make sure someone saw us and take our drink order. We had a energetic young man take the order. Then we waited and waited. In fact we waited over 25 min. The reason we know is because we were watching the clock so we made it to the front desk in time of the next tour of the hotel. Finally the drinks came, but he apologized for them being so slow, there was a mix up, and that he made sure we were not charged for them and we owed him nothing. And we had not even said anything about the wait, as we were just sitting waiting for the tour anyway.

They have a menu that you can order food from and enjoy in the unusual lobby/lounge area, or in the bar area, or outside in the summer. The lounge was very loud, as well as the bar area. A DJ started at 9 pm until 2 am. I was thinking >how do you sleep with all the noise and music, as the lounge is open for at least 3 floors up. The halls over look the lobby area. So all the doors to the guest rooms open up to the noise in the lounge area. But later when we took the tour, you really could not hear the outside world when the door was closed, very insulated.

We went to the bar and ordered another drink, because no one seemed to want to serve us. By the way we waited at the bar for quite a while, It did not seem like there was enough tenders on staff for the crowd.

We took the tour which was really nice I recommend doing it if you have not seen the rooms. They did a great job with this place. The rooms are so nice. One whole wall has a stencil on it in each room each one being different. The bathrooms all have double sinks, are just huge with a very large shower. The shower head is on the ceiling it is a rain shower head. About a foot round and falls from the ceiling . Really cool. We stepped from the tile hall area between the bathroom and the bed area, and it felt like we were walking on clouds. The carpet is so plush I don't think I have ever walked on carpet like this before. Everything in the rooms was top notch. The stocked bars, the flat screen tvs on the wall, the plush furniture etc. Some rooms had a fold out sofa also. He said they also have an area in the basement for your motorcycles if you are a guest at the hotel. A place to wash them and park them .
He showed us an area where they are building a 30 person hot tub that he said they will rent out. But if you are a guest he "thinks" you can use it if no one has it rented. So I ask him this? When you book a room you don't know if you will have access to this or not. He was unsure.
We toured 4 rooms then saw the banquet hall in the basement. There is a room in the back of the lobby area called the library. It has a nice fire place and is a little quieter then the lounge/lobby area. You can see a nice view of down town here, but only if you stand and you are tall.
Decided to have another drink and maybe an appetizer. So we sat at a table in the bar area. Again no service, so finally went up to the bar again. This time I was lucky and was seen right away.

We did not have time for appetizers, had to head back down town . Over all the hotel was really nice. The staff was very friendly and eager to help, but I think they are still working on some things, maybe because it is so new. There seemed to be a little confusion among the staff all around.
The hotel right now this date is $149 a night Sun thru Thurs and $189 a night Weekends. Any room. Some are bigger then others.

WE did not stay here yet, so cannot tell you about the service of hotel and did not eat, but the menu looked good. They did have a lot on it. I would say most of the people in the lounge/lobby area and the bar were not hotel guest. They were coming in for drinks and food. Nice place. WE will be going back.
Oh yes I forgot : free wireless internet throughout the building with your laptop.

  • Liked — Unique
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank teena99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2009

We live in the Milwaukee area and were looking for a place to overnight for New Year's eve. A friend had stayed at the Iron Horse and recommended that we try it.

I was in love from the moment I walked in the door. As a former travel agent and currently working in the interior design industry, I appreciate beautiful hotels the way other women appreciate a beautiful pair of shoes. They have created a rugged, upscale, ambience rich with raw materials (timber beams, patinaed metal tabletops) and beautiful upholstery (brocades, distressed leathers and hides).

Our room was chic and stylish with exposed brick walls, steel-grey porcelain tile, and a beautifull wall mural. The bed was very comfortable and the shower luxurious.

The location is not central downtown, but was perfect for us. We were able to walk to La Fuente for dinner and margaritas and our New Year's party in Bayview was a short cab ride away.

The staff at the Iron Horse seems to have been hand-picked based on their charismatic personalities. Everyone that we encountered was very friendly, polite, and seemed genuinely interested in making our stay pleasant.

When we checked in New Year's eve, we were told that because of the holiday, check-out time would be extended and there would be a special New Year's buffet breakfast offered in the Library. We took advantage of both, and enjoyed breakfast. The food was well seasoned and didn't taste like typical "breakfast buffet" offerings.

LOVE this hotel! I am currently looking for an excuse to stay there again in the near future.

  • Liked — Personalized service, stylish ambiance
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ddputz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Business Hotel in Milwaukee
#1 Luxury Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Romantic Hotel in Milwaukee
#2 Family 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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