With its excellent location and incredible team, InterContinental Milwaukee is one of the best options to lodge in when visiting this interesting Wisconsin city
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: October 20, 2014
“Of course!” said the widely smiling Lechay at the reception of InterContinental Milwaukee in Wisconsin. And as she struck a few keys on her computer to search another room for us with a better view as per our request, we gave a second, better look to the hotel’s contemporary, chic lobby, while munching on the wonderful Jelly Belly candies on the front desk.
Right in the middle was a tiny tree with pink ribbons and lots of heartfelt messages on it, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Behind it was a huge chandelier with strings of lights, spreading a dazzling glow to the entire area. To the left of the entrance is Clear, their lobby lounge which, by the way, changes colors through its lamp shades and ambient lighting. They were alternating between green and pink that day. And suede walls. One of our first encounters with that design element, all the public area walls in the hotel are made of suede - resulting in a velvety touch, classy look, and of course, a lot of fun for kids who move around their hands creating patterns on it.
Soon Lechay called our attention back and took us to show the two available rooms we could make our choice from. As she educated us about Milwaukee, we reached the rooms, made our choice and told her we’ll be back at the reception in a while to take our keys.
Our 9th floor King Executive room gave an expansive view of the majestic city that Milwaukee is, brimming with historical buildings and a young crowd. The room itself was divided in a small seating area right at the entrance, leading to the bathroom and then to the bedroom with a king sized bed and a large workspace station.
Simple and minimalistic, the room was furnished with neutral coloured plush fabrics, crisp cotton linen and cylindrical lights. Flat televisions, a well stocked mini bar and other small creature comforts finish the room. If you are looking for more color, pay a visit to their hugely popular Pink Rooms (only two of their kind in the hotel at the moment). Brighter with accents of this lovely shade spread across the room, the proceeds from them will benefit the organization ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis).
The hotel is centrally located, ensuring you are minutes away from anything happening in the city. Situated in the same building as the Pabst Theatre and other attractions. We were right in time for the Oktoberfest, which was in procession right opposite the hotel! The nearby streets are lined up with fine eateries and pubs, and the InterContinental Milwaukee concierge will gladly help you out with suggestion and routes as he did for us! But then, would you want to leave the hotel at all? As we landed their on a weekend, we were glad to hear that Roxi Copland, a local jazz and pop musician, was performing at the hotel that night, with a chocolate bar on offer!
Speaking of which, the hotel gives quite a boost to local creators. The walls are adorned with artworks by Wisconsin artists and beers crafted by local breweries are served at Zenden, their eclectic nightspot. Gallerie M, their multi-purpose space, showcased some beautiful images of breast cancer patients, curated and created by John Grant Photography and includes a sculpture by Niki Johnson.
Dining and lounging in this hotel is not a problem. Their three, diverse options are enough to satisfy your appetite and soul. Kil@wat, adorned in kitschy orange and green shades offers pure American cuisine, presented in a luxe setting. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is quite popular in the city for its burgers!
Clear, with an extensive selection of liquor, cocktail and spirits, and small plate appetizers, is a favorite for its atmosphere which is edgy and vibrant! The decor matches the name with a clear glass wall on one side giving street views, and minimalistic design with long glass vases, single stem flowers and symmetric furniture. If your preferred cocktail is not on the menu, the bartender can whip it up for you in no time we are told! Zenden is exactly what the name says it is. So swirl around that flute of Zinfandel or Champagne (all produced in America) or grab that mug of handcrafted beer, and you are all set to slip into that zen mood as you sink in to their red and black interiors.
Although the hotel has a state-of-the-art fitness centre, we did miss the presence of a swimming pool and spa. But, as we were assured, we could partake these facilities in their nearby sister property - The Pfister Hotel.
With the sheer amount of meeting space they have, it is safe to assume that the hotel caters strongly to corporate groups and individuals. With more than 11,000 sq ft of space hosting meetings, functions and weddings, the hotel is equipped to handle any event without mishaps. Whether it’s a small boardroom for 12 people (a recently renovated plush one with all the amenities needed) or a large reception area with a capacity for 600, InterContinental Milwaukee seems suitable for any kind of MICE need.
Incredibly, one interesting feature of this hotel is the room type they call The Parlour. A conference table on entry, a small kitchen, a bathroom, large seating area and a Murphy bed - this room caters to professionals who wish to hold meetings in their room itself! The Parlour has adjoining bedrooms in case needed.
Although it may not be too distinct, but the hotel ensures its corridors are always smelling of freshly cut grass. And just like its suede walls, we greatly appreciate that attention to fine detail! What we most loved about the hotel was its staff. Ever smiling, courteous and the most helpful we have ever seen, the InterContinental Milwaukee team is what will make your stay most memorable in this property!
Wonderful things aside, we wish the rooms were a bit more upgraded in terms of their fittings, furniture, design, luxury quotient and decor. With the hotel undergoing some changes and renovations, we are sure the property is set to become the swankiest in town!
Coordinates: 139, E Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin