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“Train noise IS optional........”
Review of Iron Horse Hotel

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Iron Horse Hotel
Ranked #2 of 56 Hotels in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Madison
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Train noise IS optional........”
Reviewed December 29, 2009

Honestly, I love trains. I imagine that bikers love that big diesel engine sound, even in the middle of the night. When you're laying in the most comfortable bed in the world, it's so easy to drift back off to sleep once the engine has passed......and for the first four hours that I was in bed, I slept so soundly that I heard nothing. The hotel IS called the Iron Horse, right?

For us, having that great river and city view was worth it. That and the beautiful new bridges on 6th Street made for many photo ops over the hours we spent in our wonderful room.

James or one of the other reservation people can easily put you on an upper floor or away from the trains, so just ask. If you are reading these reviews, you are aware of the potential issue, so call the hotel up and discuss it. Customer care is what they are all about. Don't let a few uninformed guests who did no research before they booked their rooms talk you out of trying the best hotel in town.

This hotel was born from the brilliant minds of a former carpenter/roofer who is now a developer, a fantastic artist and designer who is also very down-to-earth, and a chef who is a local and knows what a hungry guy wants at the end of a long, stressful day or bike ride. There are plenty of hotels for people who want just to eat ordinary food or sleep in run-of-the-mill surroundings. If you want an exceptional experience, you must try this place.

I'll not repeat what others have said; I just wanted to add that you should spend a little money and treat yourself to a unique experience for a special occasion or just an escape from the ordinary routine. You deserve it. We will be returning again and again. It's great to have finally found a hotel designed for adults.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kimbobb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (325)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2009

I've stayed in hundreds of hotels across North America and this is one of the most charming hotels - if not "the" most charming one. You immediately immerse in the world of motorcycles the moment you enter the lobby, and the experience is carried throughout the hotel with gorgeous and very large rooms equipped very generously with luxurious materials, accessories, and pieces of decor.
Although the hotel is gorgeous, its location is t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e: you're a driving distance from downtown Milwaukee but in the middle of a creepy neighbourhood, right on the train tracks. With the constant passing of trains, I barely slept 3 to 4 hours as I woke up every hour to the trembling sound of passing trains.
Furthermore, I was overly disappointed with the lack of customer care as I paid an extra charge to get a corner room on the last floor, and to my surprise, I was given this "upgraded" room on the 3rd floor as the one I booked was not available. My colleague who was traveling with me got a better room for 40% cheaper, although we booked the hotel at the same time and arrived together.
Eventually, this negative experience coupled with a $25 charge for useless Valet Service eclipsed the beauty of this hotel and left me with a very bad taste. Fortunately, I had the previous night a delicious Filet Mignon at the restaurant and enjoyed a very professional waitressing (thanks Lisa!).
Bottomline, if you're thinking of staying at the Iron Horse Hotel, make sure to book the cheapest room and negotiate in advance to be on the opposite side of the train tracks.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Chafman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2009

The hotel itself was beautiful. The amenities and decor were fantastic. Overall service was great, but........$25 for parking in Milwaukee is ridiculous and when you're extremely tired and all you want to do is sleep; go somewhere else. The hotel is right next to the train tracks, and every hour, on the hour, a massive freight train goes rolling by.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jaxsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ironhorsehotel, Owner Tim Dixon at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, December 25, 2009
Thank you for your feedback and for the compliments regarding our amenities and decor. We apologize that your sleep was interrupted by our train. Our building was constructed in 1907 as a mattress factory, and the train is part of The Iron Horse's history, culture, and experience. Our rooms were constructed to be soundproof, but at times, some of our guests can hear the train. The majority of our rooms are not adjacent to the train, so those guest who are sensitive can request rooms on the other three sides of the building. Being an urban boutique hotel, we offer overnight parking through a valet service that is on par and in some cases less than our downtown competitors. Thank you again for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
Reviewed December 7, 2009

My husband and I arrived this cold city with not too many high expectations of Milwaukee or a hotel in Milwaukee. Driving to the Hotel I was actually suprised at how much more beautiful the city is than what I had been picturing. A friend told me that I HAD to stay at the Iron Horse, so we did. We were here visitng some friends and kind of wanted to get away for a bit. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by every staff member that we passed by, everyone was smiling and engaging in conversation with us. The staff was very interested in where we were from and what brought us to Milwaukee, we checked in and right away returned to the lobby to continue a conversation with a cocktail waitress named Allison. We wanted to explore the city and all of the cool things that locals do, Allison had many suggestions of where to go and what to see. She introduced us to the "manager of your desires" James. He had plenty of suggestions for us as well and he made us laugh which is always wonderful.Gram and Allison gave us a history lesson about the hotel, I dont know if there is a test about the history but they knew EVERYTHING from the date the building was built to where certain objects came from, you could tell how proud they are of their hotel. our waitress suggested some drinks, we were very impressed with the Iron Horse Old Fashion. We enjoyed the signature "house chips" which were to die for and we were told by our waitress that if we didn't try the kobe sliders that we would be sorry! so we did....they were FANTASTIC mmmmm! we spent the early evening in the beautiful cozy lobby. The decor has so much character. From the rustic scent to the worn in leather couches, the lighting was very romantic. We went up to our room and just relaxed. I was very shocked that this hotel is in Milwaukee, it is worth it for anyone to come to Milwakee just to stay at this hotel, you have everything you need right inside the hotel, and whats better than being treated like a VIP when you are just an average joe. I took pictures of the room because we are redecorating and I LOVE the beautiful room we were in. Oh.... I forgot to say that the staff found out it was my birthday the day before I got there and they brought me a dessert and a birthday card that they all signed, I felt so special. I will forever remember those staff members that made our experience one that we will never forget. Thank you James, Allison, Gram, Jay and Ellie for your kind hearts.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank KittenMittens44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2009

We recently stayed at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee for a week at the recommendation of our friend. We normally stay at the Phister Hotel when we visit Milwaukee, and so we were amazed to discover that there could be a hotel in Milwaukee that we now like even more than the venerable Phister. The Iron Horse is a hotel with unsurpassed ambiance, décor, food and rooms.

We were greeted by a warm and friendly valet and a sign in the lobby welcoming our dog (yes, this is a dog-friendly hotel) as a VIP guest. In addition, we were immediately given a tour and history of this historic building and its unique spaces by the extremely knowledgeable and conscientious concierge James, who would make anyone feel like they were a very welcome guest in his home. Afterwards, we were shown to our room, which was new and ostentatiously large (even though we had a normal room) with tall, tall ceilings, rain spout shower in the high ceiling of the bath room, separate couch seating and dining area and an extremely comfortable bed. The bath was very luxurious with marble vanity, modern bowl-type sink and beautiful black tile throughout the bath including all the walls. Although we spent most of our time in the other venues of the hotel during the day and the evening, the LCD tv was wonderful and the internet was fast and free.

There are many other areas in the Iron Horse to visit, but our favorite during the cold afternoons was the library with its historic fireplace and awesome selection of books and papers. The leather couches and chairs make for a great place to relax and just get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. All of the staff serving in the library were very attentive but not intrusive and the hot cups of tea hit the spot on those cold days we were there. In the mornings, the library serves a wonderful breakfast that is worth the trip down in the elevator.

In the evenings, the Iron Horse is wonderful gathering place for the people of Milwaukee and there is a lot going-on in the lobby, bar and restaurants. Our room was located on the second floor overlooking the lobby and we were concerned that happy atmosphere of the lobby might disturb us in our room. However, once we closed the door, we were in another world. The rooms are absolutely sound proof, both from within the hotel and from without, which is an engineering feat for an historic building like the Iron Horse.

Anyone coming to Milwaukee should try the Iron Horse, they won’t be disappointed.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank flynavy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2009

Tried the Iron Horse instead of the Pfister this time and have found a new favorite. This hotel has incorporated design, comfort, service and value. From the really cool decor, to the rain shower head in the bathroom to the excellent food and drink at their Branded restaurant, it was a great place to relax. Everything was super clean and the staff accomodating and friendly. Iron Horse exemplifies what a luxury boutique hotel should be.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulesVerneJr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego, ca
Level Contributor
53 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2009

I stayed one night at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee at the end of November. I chose it based on the reviews on tripadvisor. I usually travel to Milwaukee several times a year for business and stay at the Pfister Hotel. I wanted something a little different and a little more hip. I stayed in room 506 on the 5th floor. First impressions are very good. The hotel is easy to find and not too far from downtown, just across the train tracks. I arrived at nightfall and was a little nervous driving around the industrial area, but its pretty quick to find off the freeway. The lobby area is very much like a trendy loft apartment only bigger. I liked the exposed pipes etc. It looked like the bar was happening when I checked in. I did not go down to the bar, but it looked like fun. My room was spacious. Nice sized king bed, comfortable, a little soft, nice linens. The pictures do it justice, the bathroom is a good size. I was by myself so one sink wasn't a problem, if I had been with my spouse, I would have prefered 2 sinks. Big rain shower. I don't particulary like an open shower, but it flowed with the general decor. Service was very good, i ordered room service and they came very quickly. The only issue I had was the proximity to the train tracks. It is literally right next to the tracks. They have double or triple paned glass, so its not hugely invasive, but you do feel the rumble of the train. I would say if you're a medium to light sleeper it will wake you up, but if you're a deep sleeper you might not notice it.

I think this hotel has a lot of potential. I would reserve a room on the other side of the hotel next time. The flip side of that is you most probably won't have a very pretty view of the city.

One more plus, free wi-fi!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelgirl056
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 Business Hotel in Milwaukee
#1 Spa 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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