What We Love
- The central location, within walking distance of many of the city’s top sights
- Live music most weekends in the Clear lobby lounge
- 24-hour room service
What To Know
- Connected to the historic Pabst Theater
- Free WiFi
- The Zen Den serves edible cocktails
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Whether you’re in Milwaukee for business or pleasure, the InterContinental provides a handy home base thanks to its central location adjacent to the Milwaukee Riverwalk. The 221 guestrooms are cozy and comfortable, and they feature work desks, coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs. The Kil@wat restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an upscale, modern room with city views, while the Clear bar in the lobby runs the gamut from coffee in the morning to cocktails, live music and indoor bocce at night. The Zen Den offers nightowls another option for cocktails, nibbles and tunes provided by a DJ.
In the Area
The concierge recommends getting up early for a walk down to Lake Michigan to see the sunrise from the jogging and walking trails. Then head to the Milwaukee Public Market for pastries and coffee at C. Adams Bakery. Sample your way along Old World Third Street, where you can visit Usinger’s Famous Sausage Factory for fresh bratwurst and the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Cheese Bar for local cheeses. In summer head to the lakefront for festivals and concerts; in the cold months you can go ice-skating at Red Arrow Park, which is just across the street from the hotel. At night stroll along the download a guide to the 20 sculptures on display throughout the park.
How to Get There
You know when a hotel is trying so hard to be cool that they don't actually make a good hotel? Yeah, that's Saint Kate of the Arts. Oh, isn't it quaint that there is an untuned ukulele and really bad sound quality record player in the room? Too bad there is no full length mirror or a functional TV. (The TV interface has some apps, but didn't work, even after engineering came to look at it). I half expected to open a mini bar full of PBR for $10 a bottle.
My group hosted a conference here. Good for dinner was not really great (filet was dry and overcooked, and saw several tablemates with well done steaks served to them) and inedible dessert. Poor table service that lead to only 75% of tables getting coffee. Speaking of coffee, this was a conference of doctors (well know for caffeine demands) and ran out of coffee at 730am with about 20 minutes to get more during our only morning coffee time.
I had stayed here for this conference many times when it was intercontinental and had no issues. Now, the space is fine but the service and pretentious mindset make me suggest you stay at the Hyatt Regency a block away.
Saint Kate exceeded my expectations. The art is exquisite and it flows not only through the lobby, but the entire hotel as well. The vibe of the hotel is unlike any other and is invititing and inspiting. The rooms are unique and well furnished. The restaurants are great, and there was free champagne, need I say more!?
In the heart of downtown Milwaukee, where Kilbourn meets Water, lies a place pulsing with the kind of energy that springs from the intersection of art and hospitality. That place is Saint Kate — The Arts Hotel.
I had the pleasure of staying at Saint Kate this week. I only stayed for one night, but it was enough to guarantee that I’ll stay there again the next time I’m in Milwaukee.
Here’s a quickie recap of my experience:
I arrived via Uber and was genuinely greeted at the car door by the bellman and doorman on duty.
As soon as I walked into the lobby, I knew that I was at a different kind of hotel. To my left was a lobby bar and spacious lounge, both full of people enjoying libations and live music. Straight ahead was a group of friends with Playbills in hand, standing next to a sculpture of equine inspiration, enthusiastically talking about a play they just watched at The ARC Theatre, which is an in-house black box venue located next to the hotel’s art gallery. To my right was the reception area, where I was offered champagne to celebrate my arrival.
Check-in was fast, flawless, and fun. No scripted lines or questions. Just an authentic conversation with the agents at the desk. At one point I was encouraged to look through a nearby collection of vinyl records so that I could pick a few to bring with me to my room. A bit puzzled, I inquired about why I would bring records to my room. The response? “There’s a record player in your room. If you feel like music, you can spin some vinyl or play the ukulele. And yes, there’s a ukulele in your room, too.”
Yes. All kinds of yes.
When I stepped onto the elevator landing on my floor, I was pleased to see complimentary coffee and water on a table to my left. I grabbed a cup and filled it with H2O before heading to my room.
My room was AWESOME. Artwork everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Affixed to the wall. Placed on shelves. Built into the sink. And more.
Sure enough, there was a record a player as well as a ukulele. The desk had colored pencils and other materials, to include a roll of paper intended for people to draw on if they feel inspired to do so.
The room had plenty of power outlets and USB ports for charging purposes. And the WiFi was consistent and strong. My fave tech perk, though, was the wireless charging station on the nightstand.
Shortly after arriving, I went to Aria, a restaurant on the second floor. Nicole was my server, and she was great. Attentive, pleasant to talk to, and she the knew the menu inside and out. I had the short rib dish. It was cooked beautifully and was quite delicious.
I spent a little bit of time at the bar in the lobby, conversing with Maggie and Jarred (or Jarrett, I think), two of the bartenders who were behind the stick. Very knowledgeable and very friendly, they worked the bar with aplomb and skill.
Sadly, I didn’t get to explore the rest of the hotel. But I suppose there’s always next time. And there will be a next time.