"Grand Hotel of the West"....
The Pfister Hotel is, indeed, the "jewel" of downtown Milwaukee. I have stayed there three times and always loved it. The most fun time that I stayed there was with my daughter Jill on her 18th birthday. We stayed two nights, ate the famous Sunday Brunch, had massages on the top floor, looking out over the city, and took advantage of the wonderful original portion of the hotel.
The Pfister was built in 1893, and for the last 111 years, it has been known as the "Grand Hotel of the West." It has a breathtaking lobby with old-world elegance and 19th Century architecture. Another interesting note is that the hotel houses the largest display of Victorian art found in a hotel of any in the United States! It is rated as Four-Diamond Hotel.
I especially liked the chandeliers, the sculptured ceilings, and the extraordinary antiques.
I would suggest staying in the traditional rooms rather than in the newer Towers.
The service here is remarkable and done with impeccable style.
The accommodations are superior with wireless, high-speed Internet access, round-the-clock personal service, and marvelous decor. There are several shops in the Pfister:
The Emporium Gift Shop
Roger Stevens (Men's Apparel)
Janice Salon, Beauty and Personal Care
Private Gardener Floral Shop
The Pfister Hotel offers a wide variety of dining experiences:
Celia for fine dining.
Cafe at the Pfister is more casual.
Blu is a cocktail area on the 23rd floor with views over the city.
The Lobby Lounge has afternoon tea or cocktails with a pianist
Of course, there is 24-hour room service with a complete menu.
Milwaukee's Grande Dame Hotel
I feel fortunate to have stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, three times. I, of course, am not as well-known as other guests such as Elvis, Jack London, William McKinley, or Luciano Pavarotti; however, I imagine I enjoyed it as much as any of those famous celebrities.
This 1893 hotel is now back to its former grandeur after a multimillion-dollar restoration. It has hand-painted murals on the ceiling, ornate marble columns, terra-cotta angels guarding a turn-of-the-century fireplace, & brass and gilt chandeliers just in the lobby alone!
The hotel has 307 rooms, all with a marble bathroom. There is brass and mahogany everywhere. I always stay in the older part of the hotel, but some people prefer the newer tower.
The rooms have at least two telephones, hair dryers, two televisions (a mini one in the bathrooms!). In the Pfister Tower (1966), you do have great views of Lake Michigan.
In the hotels English Room, I experienced a grand hotel dining experience...once at the lavish Sunday Brunch and once for a romantic dinner.
This is a culinary delight with such offerings as breast of pheasant prepared with a peppered game sauce and celery chips or suteed twin tenderlins of beef with roasted garlic potato puree and grand mustard sauce. The waiters are all dressed in Tuxedoes.
Once my daughter Jill and I had massages on the 23rd floor in front of ceiling to floor windows overlooking the city. It was a "trip"!
When in Milwaukee, be sure to stay at the family-owned Pfister Hotel. The lobby and second-floor mezzanine have the largest hotel collection of Victorian art in the world, and it's a treat to see it all displayed in such an elegant spot.
The hotel has a glass-encased, 23rd floor swimming pool for laps with sweeping panoramas of the city.
We also loved the lobby's historic fireplace that was rediscovered during restoration. It's such a delight.
A little below Average
I stayed at The Pfister in January 2007 for business. I enjoyed the attentive room service and check in process, however upon entering my tower room I noticed hair in the sink, old grout in the shower, and stained carpeting. Fine for a lower class hotel, but I was not expecting this at The Pfister. During check out, I was charged a full extra night's stay because my travel company apparently reserved a room for two nights instead of one. When I explained the fact that I only stayed for one night, the very young man at the front desk pretty much told me I was out of luck. He said it was a booking problem on behalf of MY company and there was NOTHING I could do about it. Upon showing him my original reservation from my company that posted the CORRECT dates, the "gentleman" backed away from the desk (feeling embarrased) and then the other person at the front desk told me she would be able to credit my account for the error. I understand mistakes are made but the gentleman did not apologize for making a customer feel uncomfortable.
well managed business hotel
The Pfister is the place to stay in Milwaukee, centrally located and a grand lobby. The staff are helpful and the room service is excellent compared to other business hotels. Lower floor rooms have very high ceilings and above average furniture. Rooms are clean and well appointed. recommend it.
Nice hotel, needs some TLC
The Pfister is the Grand Old Hotel of downtown Milwaukee. The hotel has a beautiful lobby, two great bars, and two very good restaurants.
The staff is helpful and courteous.
The tower building is a bit tired, needing new carpet and updated furniture. The beds are okay, and the linens are top notch. The towels are on the thin side and smelled like an overheated dryer.
There is construction in the attached multi-story garage so expect some noise from jackhammers and sandblasters. NOT the place to go for a quiet getaway.
The hotel is in a perfect location with lake and city views and close
to all the downtown restaurants and attractions.
In need of updating
I've stayed at this property for 4 years on a yearly week-long stay in Milwaukee. Arguably one of the nicest hotels in Milwaukee but I feel it's slipping. When the rate is close to $300 a night, you expect decent quality. I prefer the tower rooms to the main building rooms because they are newer and can have a view of the lake. Request a higher floor for great views. The Tower rooms are in need of some TLC. The rug in our room this year was stained in several places and quite matted. Once fluffy fresh towels were thinner and now smelled like they'd been roasting. It was a disgusting smell that filled the air. We used Oust to cover it. During our entire 6 night stay we did not receive fresh glasses or mugs. Our housekeeper did not speak or understand English so it was difficult to communicate our needs. The mini-bars have been removed so there is a large space empty in the armoire now. I would recommend a microwave/fridge combo. The beds are still comfy with their feather beds, down comforters and multitude of feather pillows. The blankets were a little ratty. The piano lounge in the lobby and Blu, the martini bar are both excellent (though both SEVERELY understaffed at peak times so expect a long wait). We always look forward to seeing the waitress in the lobby bar. The chocolate martini's are the best I've found (though $11-12 is a bit steep). Self Parking is expensive $24. There is a lot right across the street for $10. One of the things I most enjoyed is the pool on the 23rd floor. There is also a nice size workout room. I would recommend the property and I will return but I think that the management needs to do some work.
Celia's at the Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee
Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee
Pfister Hotel at the holidays