First, I have to tell you that the purpose of my trip to Milwaukee was to participate in SummerFest. So, as many of you know, this is the crescendo of tourism for Milwaukee, and our stay was at the end of this window. As such, I think it's important that you, the reader, keep this in mind and temper any flaws or criticisms I point out.
First, if you live in illinois and plan on taking I94, know that it's under construction, and will be for 2014 and 2015. Allow for extra time to get to your destination, because you are likely going to get caught in traffic. Our normal 60 minute trip took 90 minutes and we left at 3:00 PM on a Thursday, July 3rd.
The Ambassador's advertised check-in time is 4:00 PM, so we left our house, as mentioned previously, at 3:00 PM, and arrived at 4:30 PM. When I went to check-in, there were two small groups in front of me and several people sitting and standing around just hanging out. It took a long time to check these people in considering no one was actually getting a room assingment. When it was my turn, I was told to try back in 15-20 minutes. REALLY!? No one is getting rooms and you want everyone to keep coming back every 15 minutes!? Seriously!? I suggested that they call me on my cell phone when my room was ready. That seemed to surprise Chad at the front desk, but he agreed to do so. Chad was about 30-35 years of age, 160 pounds and he was dressed as if the AC was not working in the hotel, with his collar unbuttoned and tie loosened. His hair looked like he had lost his comb and/or brush, and not in a stylish way. Not the best first impression from the front desk. Funny thing was that the Manager was on duty and did not correct this.
So we went to the bar, had a couple drinks, and waited for our phone to ring. They have a nice outdoor patio facing Wisconsin Ave. When we were in the shade, we moved inside and listened to their groovy jazz band. So 5:00 turns into 5:30 and at 5:45 I go back to the front desk to check on the status of my room. It's not ready yet. I go back to the bar and wait for my phone to ring. Know that our 5:30 dinner reservations at Sanford, the #1 Trip Advisor rated restaurant in Milwaukee had to be cancelled, now I'm getting concerned if we're going to get to SummerFest by 7:00 to see the Zac Brown Band. At 6:15, I go back to the front desk and ask again. Fortunately, the room is ready. We go upstairs, the room is great, we shower, it's about 6:40 now. Just enough time to hit the Taco Bell that's about 100 yards east on Milwaukee Ave. We were fortunate enough to meet a woman who was begging for a $0.59 cup of water. The staff at the TB told us not to give her any money but we gave her a dollar. As soon as she saw me pull out cash, she immediately asked for $5.00.
Now, with tacos in hand, we walked back to the hotel where our taxi was just arriving to pick us up. The front desk was nice enough to call a taxi for us. The taxi cost $14 to take us to SummerFest.
After the show, we stopped in a bar and had something to eat and a few Spotted Cows. It was a beautiful night, traffic was terrible and we walked all the way back to the hotel. Got back at about 1:00 AM.
Day 2. Went to the Broken Yolk for breakfast, which was about 300 yards east on Wisconsin Ave. This place is a favorite of Marquette students and we'll worth the very short walk down the street. Since it was another beautiful day, we ate outside and was able to meet the same woman begging. That was nice. She said she was starving. When we offered to give her a great breakfast, she said what about my 10 kids - they don't eat that, and she said she was pregnant too. I've never met a starving pregnant woman with 10 kids who would pass up a free meal. She just wanted money so she could go buy who knows what with it.
We left with our car this time at about 11:00 AM and returned at about 11:00 PM. Upon our arrival, we couldn't get back into the parking garage. The problem was that we were given a one night parking pass even though our stay was for two nights. The woman at the front desk gave me a new ticket for the parking garage. BTW, they don't tell you when you are checking in that parking is an additional $20 per night. Seems like they should point that out.
The Ambassador Hotel does have a shuttle that was going to SummerFest once an hour, but there's only so much space. It's nice if you can catch it, but don't count on it.
All in all, the hotel was fine and room was great. With a few minor tweaks to the traing of the front desk staff and a few more house maids to clean rooms during peak tourist seasons, this place would be great.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A shining example of true Art Deco style, the Ambassador Hotel provides an urban oasis near the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Discover a remarkable blend of modern amenities and 1920's Art Deco design. From the original marble floors and bronze elevator doors to the ornate plasterwork, every detail of the Ambassador Hotel is a testament to the bold beauty of Art Deco. Our spacious guest rooms share the same level of sophisticated decor. Guests enjoy luxurious bedding, HD smart elevisions and complimentary Internet access. Savor sumptuous global American cuisine in an upscale yet casual atmosphere at Envoy Restaurant & Lounge. Chef Michael Long crafts globally inspired innovative dishes made using fresh, local ingredients. But first, work up an appetite with a visit to our well-equipped fitness center that features cardio equipment with individual TV screens. Ready to explore all that downtown Milwaukee has to offer? Our complimentary shuttle service provides front door, red carpet service. Host your next social gathering in our Art Deco designed Embassy Room or host a corporate meeting that takes advantage of state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment in our Attache' Room. The Ambassador Hotel offers a variety of intimate event venues that can comfortably accommodate 20 to 80 people. Perfectly located on the west side of downtown Milwaukee near the Marquette University campus, our stylish hotel offers the perfect base for exploring the best attractions in the city. Catch a ball at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game under Miller Park's retractable dome, attend a show in the Milwaukee Theatre District, tour the Miller Brewery or explore the Harley-Davidson Museum. If you have any questions about area attractions or need assistance arranging tours, please don't hesitate to ask our Guest Experience Manager. Reserve a room at the Ambassador Hotel during your next visit to Milwaukee and experience legendary customer service in extraordinary Art Deco style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ambassador Hotel Milwaukee