My husband and I are frequent travelers to Milwaukee and have stayed in many of the available locations, from chains to B & B's. We decided to give the Iron Horse a try due to the rave reviews. The hotel itself is a hip hotel that grandly deviates from traditional hotels in every way. As others have exclaimed, from the found object art in the lobby to the modern furnishings in the rooms, the hotel is fabulous and is a "must-stay" to experience. The location is off the beaten path, but restaurants are walkable if you are in the mood for some great Mexican fare or you could stay on-site and experience what they have to offer. A cab ride may also be easily obtained.
Some of the staff, however, is still working towards achieving the high acclaim the building has assessed. When we attempted to check-in we were barely acknowledged by the staff behind the front desk and then off-handedly told our room wasn't ready yet (we were 15 minutes early for check-in). We stood there staring back for a few minutes and then had to ask where we should wait, how long would it be or if they could hold our luggage so we could sit in the bar. After they took our luggage, and did not give us a luggage tag, we headed to the bar off of the lobby for a snack and drink.
The server in the bar was very spirited and said she enjoyed working at the hotel very much. Our drinks came with a short wait, but a 1/2 hour after we ordered our appetizer we had to get up and ask the server if the kitchen had forgotten our food. It was apparant that the server had forgotten because she dashed quickly back and the food appeared. Very tasty cheese platter, highly recommended.
Trying to check-in round two involved a different staff member who wasn't quite as abrupt as the first. I told him that an hour before our room was not ready yet and he replied, "that seemed to be the theme of the day". I had to ask for my luggage and was given the opportunity to choose from the bags held in an unlocked office behind the desk. We then proceeded to our room.
The room was beautiful with gorgeous art, leather furnishings and a reasonably priced mini bar boasting full size bottles of wine and spirits. Spoiler alert to those traveling with a new partner: The bathroom wall is frosted glass, so if you are not 100% comfortable with your new mate you may be in for a big surprise!
The hotel is very noisy late into the evening, so be prepared to stay up late if your room is off of the atrium lobby. They host a DJ until at least 1:00 AM on Friday and Saturday evenings and the lobby and bar was packed with guests. The door does a fine job of buffering the sound, but you can still hear music and the patrons quite clearly.
Overall a fine experience, we would stay again and hope that the service is up to Vegas standards at that point!
- 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