7 Historic Hotels for a Stylish Stay in Milwaukee

A city with an expansive and diverse heritage, Milwaukee has a rich history just waiting to be explored. Dedication and commitment to preservation and revitalization means many of the city's favorite buildings are still in use today, given a new life as shops, restaurants, and, yes, hotels! If you’re a history lover or architecture buff, don’t miss the opportunity to stay in one of Milwaukee’s historic hotels during your next visit.

Ambassador Hotel

Feel the stylish grandeur of the Roaring 20s at this classic Art Deco hotel – you won’t be in any danger of missing it, thanks to the iconic neon sign on the roof. The Ambassador recently remodeled its dining offerings, bringing back more 20s flair with pre-Prohibition era cocktails at Gin Rickey and a stylish dining experience at The Fitz, named for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Brewhouse Inn & Suites

Milwaukee’s brewing history comes to life at this hotel, built in one of the iconic buildings of the Pabst Brewery. The massive original copper beer kettles remain in the five-story atrium along with an original stained glass window depicting King Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer, lending a sense of history along with a stylish steampunk vibe. Each suite at this attractive boutique includes a kitchen, and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub serves as the on-site bar and restaurant.

Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown

This isn’t a Hilton Garden Inn like you’ve ever seen! Originally built as a headquarters for Northwestern Mutual in 1886, this hotel is set inside an iconic Romanesque downtown building previously known as the Loyalty Building, referencing former tenant The Loyalty Group. Inside, you’ll find columns supporting soaring arches, tile mosaics, and a regal staircase below a stunning glass atrium.

The Knickerbocker on the Lake

Enjoy turn-of-the-century charm at this Classical Revival hotel, located just off the shores of Lake Michigan. You’ll be struck by the historic beauty of the original terrazzo floors, vaulted ceilings, and crystal chandeliers in the grand foyer. Hotel rooms are interspersed with condos occupied by permanent residents, creating a welcoming community feel.

Iron Horse Hotel

A 100-year-old warehouse is now one of Milwaukee’s most popular boutique hotels. Built in 1907 for the Berger Bedding Company, the Iron Horse Hotel has maintained the cool, industrial vibe of the space. Among the traditional luxury amenities, the Iron Horse also offers some specialty services for motorcycle enthusiasts, like complimentary bike parking and hooks in the guestrooms strong enough to hold leathers.

The Pfister Hotel

Built in 1893 in the style of the grand hotels of Europe, this historic hotel is truly a Milwaukee icon that has welcomed travelers for over a century. Featuring Romanesque Revival design, the hotel is also home to the world’s largest hotel collection of Victorian art and continues to support the arts through an Artist-in-Residence program.

The Plaza Hotel

A charming Art Deco gem, this all-suite hotel has a European vibe that travelers love. Settle into your own little apartment in the city, complete with a 1920s-tiled bathroom. The on-site café was originally a tea room where lady residents could entertain guests; today, it’s one of the city’s best-kept breakfast secrets, featuring a lunch counter installed in 1950 and an ivy-covered “secret garden” patio.

Explore other spots for architecture lovers in Milwaukee and start planning your trip at VISITMilwaukee.org.

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