I spent one night at the Clarion and would say if you want a good hotel it is a great place to stay but if you are looking to use their shuttle service, beware. I chose the Clarion because it is right across from the airport and I figured the shuttle service would be quick. I could have found a cheaper alternative but the shuttle service was important to me. I arrived for a one night stay and was pleasantly surprised. It had been several years since I had stayed at this property and it seems things have gotten better. I was presented a bag upon check-in that had some coupons, two bottles of water, a tube of Carmex (my favorite). I got to my room and was pleased with the size of the bathroom (although the way the door opened presented some challenges, you cannot stand at the sink and leave the door opened, no big deal but a little inconvenient). Overall I was happy with the room. I went to the restaurant and ordered a sandwich to take back to my room, I indicated my order was "to go", expecting it would be delivered in a Styrofoam container. The waitress brought my food on a tray and I asked whether I could take that to my room. She was very pleasant and said that would be fine and I could just leave the tray outside my door when I was done. The sandwich was decent (the salted rye roll was a little too salty but overall the food was pretty good) and the service was great (from the waitress and bartender). The free breakfast left a little to be desired (really who eats donuts anymore?) but that was not the reason I chose The Clarion.
I had parked my car in the "secure" lot when I arrived at the hotel (not really sure what was secure about it. I thought it was in a gated area but it is just behind the hotel and anyone can access it) . In the morning I had a couple of things I needed to leave in my car and the shuttle van driver took me to my car. When I got back in the shuttle van it took us about 2 minutes and we were at the airport getting let off. All in all a pleasant experience, however, that changed on my way home.
I arrived back at the Milwaukee airport and got my luggage. I then followed the directions given to me by the hotel in regard to having the shuttle van pick me up. I proceeded out exit #4 to the shuttle van area. I looked at my watch and it was 2:25 PM. It was cold outside - about 20 degrees with 20 - 25 mile per hour wind out of the northeast. Like many travelers coming from warmer climates I did not take my winter coat along. I had on a sweater and a light jacket. I figured since the hotel was so close I could handle what I thought would be a 5 minute wait outside. After 10 minutes, my hands were numb and I was shaking due to how cold it was. I called the hotel and asked where the van was, I was told it was on it's way. Now remember, it only took us 2 minutes to get to the airport so I figured since the van was on it's way it would be there quickly, 7 minutes later I was still standing outside!! I called the hotel again, and was pretty upset. The desk clerk told me I could go back in the terminal and wait, although that was contrary to the directions provided earlier by the hotel. I had already been waiting almost 20 minutes and was not about to go into the terminal to wait and watch the shuttle van drive by when they did not see someone waiting to get picked up. The van finally arrived and the driver offered some lame excuse that he had to drop off a handicap van and exchange it for the van he was driving. Give me a break!! What, did he have to wash and vacuum the handicapped van? I cannot fathom how dropping off one vehicle and getting another takes about 20 minutes. I was ready to get a cab because I was so cold but the problem is cabs don't line up at the Milwaukee airport like they do at other airports. I would have had to call one and then wait for it to arrive (plus I did not think a cab driver would be too pleased about having a fare that was less than 1/2 long).
Needless to say if I am going to the airport I will not be staying at The Clarion. When I travel I want a quick, easy exit from the airport/Milwaukee area because I still have a 2 hour drive ahead of me.
Kind of interesting that I saw the Crowne Plaza shuttle van come through the airport twice while I was waiting and they are at least a mile away. Guess I need to check them out.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center is a full-service hotel facility located conveniently across from Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport, just minutes south of the Downtown/Lakefront districts, and from Interstates 94/43. Featuring 180 tastefully-appointed guestrooms and suites, nearly 18,000 square feet of flexible meeting/banquet space, and spacious, complimentary open-air parking, The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center is a premier choice for both the business and social traveler coming to Milwaukee! Guest amenities include complimentary, 24-hour airport shuttle service, complimentary WI-FI, dining in our acclaimed Cork 'N Cleaver Restaurant and Lounge, long-term parking options, a 24-hour business center, a deluxe indoor pool complex, and complimentary 24-hour health club access to the on-site Sweeney's Gym. The swimming pool is currently under renovation, alternative swimming options are available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clarion Milwaukee
- Milwaukee Clarion
- Clarion Hotel Milwaukee Airport