We had the recent wonderful experience of hosting our daughter's wedding reception at the Hilton City Center, so I'll be able to review the rooms, the food and the overall experience.
Our friends and family also enjoyed the Miller Time Pub after the rehearsal. I heard a few of them closed the place down. I was asleep well before that. Having the Starbucks right there was also a big plus.
Planning a wedding is a daunting task. But from our first contact with the catering sales manager for Marcus, Kim; to the exemplary help from Maggie, my guardian angel, the event planner; to our check-in; to the reception with Ryan's assistance to our departure, it was top drawer. Other venues were considered but I'm so glad we chose the Hilton. Everything was handled so professionally yet in a warm, caring manner. They worked well with our florist, baker and DJ to deal with anything that came up. Every wedding has glitches and tensions and the last thing you need is problems with your reception site. We often said we were so glad we were working with the Hilton and Maggie. We knew there was nothing to worry about in anything regarding their end.
Several months before the wedding, we were invited to a group tasting to sample the foods. Well, it's a dirty job but SOMEBODY has to try all the appetizers, main dishes, salads etc. It was hard to choose as they were so good. (Well, we weren't so fond of the mini-Wellingtons). The final choices were the filet with mashed potatoes, wild mushroom carnoroli stuffed chicken with risotto and vegetarian ravioli. We also had salad, brandied Vidalia broth and asparagus with carrots.
We got raves from everyone, the beef was exceptionally tender and the portions were generous. I ate only half of my chicken. The service flowed wwell with no lags in timing of the food. Unfortunately, I was too busy to enjoy either the appetizers at the cocktail hour or the late night snacks, but I heard they were good.
The reception was held in the beautiful Crystal Ballroom on the 9th floor. One nice thing is that you're separate from other guests of the hotel. Also, the cocktail hour area with the bar (ballroom foyer) is outside the dining room, so it deterred heavy drinking. There are also beautiful staircases that made for striking photo opportunities. The room was beautiful. When the air-walls opened, it was everything we had hoped for. We had numerous comments from our guests about what a wonderful time they had, obviously part of that was the experience they had from the Hilton itself.
As far as our accommodations, we decided to splurge and get the Executive Suite. I highly recommend that if you're the parents of the bride or groom. It's essentially a four room suite they created by knocking out walls. There are bedrooms at either end, then the middle area has a large wet bar, another bathroom, table, TV, chairs and a Murphy bed. It gave us space for presents, paraphernalia from the wedding party and a common gathering area.
This also allows for one room for the parents, the other for the bride or groom for Friday night. We had another guest use it the second night. You could also opt to close off the extra rooms for the night of the wedding if they weren't needed. It is a bit pricey, but when you consider that you're basically getting four rooms, the cost isn't unreasonable. And it made things so much easier. You'd be surprised how much you accumulate from a wedding!
One room had two beds (can't remember if they were doubles or queens), ours had a king. The sleeping areas were large, attractive and the beds were very comfortable. The first night we were aware of some noise, it IS an older hotel so you'll hear water running from other rooms. This wasn't a major concern. I did read comments about the bathrooms being small. We didn't have that problem. Ours was handicap accessible. Usually I dislike those because the floor gets so wet when you take a shower. This one was built properly, so the water drained into the shower with only a small amount of dampness on the main floor. Both other bathrooms were the usual size.
I did, briefly, see the honeymoon suite (we brought a few muffins and juice over per the newly weds request). It was a nice size room with a sitting area, with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries supplied by the Hilton.
I have to be honest, we've stayed at the Pfister several times and I was expecting the Hilton to compare unfavorably. That was NOT the case! The service was tops, the building beautiful (but not as showy as the Pfister. Everyone was so friendly and they appeared to really enjoy their jobs and helping the guests.
We did have one glitch with an event the next day, but the Hilton solved the problem to our satisfaction with an apology and made adjustments. Also, the room keys kept demagnetizing, so we had to get re-keyed several times, which was a bit frustrating. But that was minor compared to the service and a real caring attitude we found. This is becoming rare, but you'll find it at the Hilton. Thanks to everyone for making this such a wonderful three days.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This elegant, historic hotel is a landmark in downtown Milwaukee. Recently renovated guest rooms and suites provide modern comforts. The hotel is connected by skywalk to the Wisconsin Center and is in the middle of thriving downtown shopping, eating and theater areas. All of Milwaukee's great attractions are minutes away including Miller Park, BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee Art Museum, Harley Davidson Museum and Discovery World. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Milwaukee City Hotel Milwaukee
- Hilton Hotel Milwaukee City Center
- Milwaukee Hilton