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“Cool boutique hotel at risk of losing its edge.”
Review of Iron Horse Hotel

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Iron Horse Hotel
Ranked #2 of 56 Hotels in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Cool boutique hotel at risk of losing its edge.”
Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

I started staying at the hotel shortly after it opened and raved about the decor, service, cocktails, restaurant, etc. To by friends and business colleagues. I have stayed over 20 times in last three years and the decline in quality and service has been disappointing. As the price has increased. Seems like the high turnover of staff might be the problem but room service, water pressure, excessive noise from large gatherings also seem to be a problem. It was such a unique and pleasant experience I hope management takes notice and works to bring it back to the original standards.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kay G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Dear Kay G-

Thank you for your time and feedback. Over the years the Iron Horse has consistently listened to our guest to make many different changed to ensure our visitors have a great local experience. Some of our unique offerings include welcome weekend cocktails, seasonal fruit infused water, and a complimentary house car. Although some of the faces and programs have changed over the years we still strive to provide the same memorable experience to each guest. I would be happy to discuss this further with you are such a loyal guest of the Iron Horse Hotel and would love to hear any ideas you have. I can be reached at brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com.

Best Regards

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (325)
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English first
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

The good:

Very dog-friendly, cool biker-chic crowd, cool vibe, excellent, helpful staff, spectacular decor, nice rooms.

The bad:
Very dog-friendly, which means you might have a barking dog next to your room (as we did). Unconscionably expensive on some items ($12 margaritas, $30 overnight parking, $55 bottle of wine in the room -- really?). And don't get a room on the second floor -- you'll hear the noise from the lobby bar/restaurant, which is considerable. Ours also had a view of the awning extending from the front entrance -- not good.

Overall, we'd return. But we'd stay on a higher floor, and get margaritas elsewhere.

Room Tip: Above the second floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank goodwin22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Dear Sunrise512-

Thank you for your feedback about your recent visit to the Iron Horse. I am happy to see that you enjoyed the majority of your stay. A "cool vibe" with "excellent, helpful staff" is what sets us apart for many other hotels and I will share your comments with our team. We are a dog friendly hotel as you mentioned and we do our best to make sure that our four legged guests are welcomed to the Hotel without disturbing our other guests. During your return trip to the IHH please contact me directly and I will be happy to address any concerns you may have before your arrival. We will be looking forward to your next visit.

Best Regards,

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glenview, il
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

I haven't even left this hotel and I am excited to come back. Atmosphere and vibe get 10 stars. What I love most about this hotel is that every nook and corner looks like they knew you were coming. Strawberry and fennel infused water in the lobby. Dog treats and water bowls for your dog :). We sat outside in the "Yard" and lounged on comfy couches, enjoyed a couple if cocktails and appetizers. At night it is lit up with tons of festival lights, oil candles and fire pits. Awesome! We also ate dinner in their restaurant, Smyth. Wonderful service, cozy tables and a small but well thought out menu. Our room was perfect and overlooked the river and city. We took the train up from Chicago and walked to the hotel. I am super fussy about hotels and this one exceeded my expectations.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marciabellair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Dear Marciabellair-

Thank you for choosing the Iron Horse Hotel and for taking the time to share you experience with us. I am very proud to see that you had such a memorable experience and that you were able to "Relax" and enjoy your stay. We are excited as well that the "Yard" has opened and that the summer season is before us. The hotel staff is excited for the opportunities to welcome both local Milwaukee and out of town visitors to the Iron Horse. We hope that we see you again soon, and please let me know if there is anything at all I can do to assist in the future.

Cheers!

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We stayed at the hotel for one night with our young son. The main areas of the hotel are great - the lobby is stunning and the bar and restaurant are lovely.

Pros:
* Cool, hip place - fun to hang out there

* Room was very clean

* Hotel provided a very nice pack n' play for our son - he was very comfortable

* Staff was helpful & friendly

* Great plush towels!

* Our room overlooked the highway and the train tracks, but you couldn't hear any street noise at all!

Cons:
* Food in the bar was just average - not a lot of flavor. Burger served with about 5 french fries and the chopped salad was sad. Though, our server was very nice.

* Not the fault of the hotel, but the room next to us was packed with 3-4 women and they were loud. They loved slamming the door shut as well. Annoying at 3am.

* The room was nice, but the bathroom design - while cool - is not very private or functional. From the room/bed you can see anyone taking a shower or using the toilet. Does anyone really want to see any of that? Also, the light from the bathroom illuminates the bedroom, so it's not ideal if you need to use the restroom in the middle of the night and don't want to wake everyone up.

* Breakfast options were either the $33 dollar per person brunch in the lobby - or the brunch in the restaurant. We were looking for something light and simple and they didn't offer any other choices. I thought that was a little strange. We ended up walking a couple of blocks to a cafe.

Overall this is a very nice hotel. I'm a tough critic, but we did have a lovely stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diamond00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Diamond00-

I hope that you had a great weekend. Thank you for the detailed review of the Iron Horse Hotel. I am proud to see that you enjoyed the majority of your stay. We are constantly trying to improve our hotel guest feedback is the fastest way to do so. I will be addressing your review with our team. With our guest help we will be a "cool, hip place that is fun to hang out in" for a long time. Please let me know if there is anything I can assist with for a future reservation.

Regards,

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Never in a million years would I think that I would be writing a 5 star review for a boutique hotel in Milwaukee, but this place rocks! My hubby and I were in Milwaukee for my father's funeral :-( and we wanted to stay someplace nice to get our minds off things and have a little refuge from the family. I found this hotel on trip advisor and, since the reviews were so good, we decided to give it a try. From the second we walked in, we fell in love. It's a bit pricer than some other hotels in the area, but worth every penny. The downstairs bar and reception is very steampunk. If you don't know what that is, look it up :-) I felt like I was walking onto the set of a Sherlock Holmes movie and I wouldn't have been surprised to see Robert Downey Jr. hanging around the bar. We was one small situation without room, but the hotel staff handled beautifully. There was a rather loud bachelor party in the room next to ours. Because we needed some P&Q, we asked to be moved. Without any nudging on our part, the staff upgraded us to their best suite at the end of the hall and gave us two vouchers for free cocktails--gotta love that Midwestern hospitality! After we unloaded our bags in the room, we went back down to the bar for some cocktails and snacks. My husband and I lay together on a wide chaise lounge sipping cocktails in the dimly lit and very cool surroundings and chatted with some of the other patrons. The food was delicious, as was all the food, the 3 times we ate there--breakfast, dinner, and our snack night. But the best part of all is that they let you BRING YOUR DOGS! They even have a little chalkboard at the reception where they write the names of all the visiting pooches! Since we were visiting from LA, we couldn't bring ours, but we got to enjoy several other people's dogs who were lying around the place. Our room was fabulous! The hotel is in a converted factory. I loved the old cream brick walls and the decor felt modern and retro at the same time. I am usually not a fan of modern decor, but this somehow worked. It didn't feel cold at all. I only wish I had a resin to go back to Milwaukee so I could stay here again. I guess i should watch what I wish for….

Room Tip: The suite was wonderful if you want to splurge!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bobominkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Bobominkin-

Thank you very much for choosing the Iron Horse Hotel and I am very sorry to hear about your father. I am proud to see that the hotel provided the escape that you were looking for. Thank you very much for your kind words about the staff, the rooms, and the food. I will make sure to share your experiences with our team. I hope that is a reason to return Milwaukee, this time for a celebration of some kind. When that day comes please let me know if there is anything at all we can assist with.

Cheers!

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
64 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

I've stayed at the Iron Horse many times and every time I walk away wondering why I like this hotel so much. This is the place to stay in Milwaukee and everything from the feel of the hotel to the customer service is excellent.

It was a last minute trip booked a standard room, upon arrival was upgraded to a corner suite which worked perfect for our relaxing style weekend. Room service was great, and even had a few drinks at the bar during our stay.

If you have a dog, this hotel is pet friendly and they do a nice job accommodating your pet.

Of all the hotels I've stayed at in North America, this one if my favorite! Not because it is the most luxurious (although the rooms are VERY nice), but because it has a great style and feel.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Ryan W-

Welcome Back, and thank you for your guest loyalty. I am glad that we are "still your favorite!" We work very hard to maintain a style and feel that makes all of our guests, no matter why they are traveling, feel comfortable. I am proud to see that our team has created that type of experience for you at the Iron Horse. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can assist with in the future and thank you for taking the time to review to hotel.

Until Next Time,

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 May 2014

This hotel has a pretty good location and the rooms are quite large. Downsides are that they leave every light on in the hotel room when they clean it including the closet. It seems like a huge waste of electricity. I asked about it and they said they are activated by motion so they flip on when the door is opened but that is a lie considering the light bulbs are always very hot to the touch like they have been on for hours. Housekeeping is lazy and inconsistent. Lobby smells like cheap aftershave due to a device that they have pumping gross fragrance into lobby.
Lobby/Bar have good scenes and bartenders are great. Gym is bare bones

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jane d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben R, Manager at Iron Horse Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Jane D-

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us. Customer feedback is the fastest way to improve our guest experience and I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. Thank you for your special recognition of our bar space and employees. I will make sure to share your comments with them. I would love an opportunity to touch base with you to hear more of your ideas about how we can improve our hotel to a "great" level.

Best Regards,

Ben Risseeuw
Hotel Manager
brisseeuw@theironhorsehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Milwaukee > Walker's Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Luxury Hotel in Milwaukee
#1 Spa 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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