I have been a huge Holiday Inn fan for a long time. I have to admit to feeling a little out of place checking into the Residence Inn in Downtown Milwaukee. My unease was soon quelled because I discovered so many great features at the Residence in Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee. This is one of the most family friendly hotels in downtown Milwaukee!
The is one of the most centrally located hotels in downtown Milwaukee, right in the heart of downtown. It is only about 10 minutes by foot to the waterfront. It was within walking distance of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum as well as the Discovery Museum, which were at the top of our short list of attractions.
Family Friendly Travel Amenities:
- Rooms all have kitchenettes
- Walking distance to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and Discovery Center
- Options for suites with separated rooms
- Cookies at the front desk in the evenings
- Reasonably priced room service options
- Free hot buffet breakfast with all the fixings
- The staff were very kid oriented. They offered a “treasure box” of toys to choose from at check in and were very helpful with advice about kids friendly activities.
- Pantry in lobby was available to purchase basic snacks, drinks and often forgotten items (wine too and ice cream, too!)
I love how much attention has been paid to preservation of historical buildings in downtown Milwaukee. It really gives the city’s downtown area a unique feeling. The Residence Inn in Downtown Milwaukee was built in a part of the historic Gimbels Department Store building.
This was the fist of many Gimbels stores. It opened on the Milwaukee Riverfront in 1887, gracing downtown with its neoclassical columns and grand façade. It was used until 1987 when the Gimbels company went out of business.
The hotel has maintained a lot of the structural elements of the grand department store. The tall ceilings (original to the department store) in the lobby and rooms make the hotel feel more like a 5 star luxury hotel than a mid range family retreat. A large marble staircase holds center stage in the lobby which I assume was original to the store.
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***Tip: If you want to know more about Gimbels Department store, they have a gallery of old photos of the store on the 8th floor.
We had a lovely two room suite with a queen sized bed in the bedroom and a pull out sofa in the living room. The room had a kitchenette with a fridge, sink, stovetop and microwave. It was amply equipped with all of the kitchen tools that we could need to cook simple meals.
The ceilings in the room were unlike anything that I had ever seen in the many hotels that we have stayed in. They were extremely tall, with expansive windows overlooking the river and street below.
The room had a kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, sink and 2 burner stove top. It was amply equipped with all of the necessities needed to make simple meals. We were able to save some money during our stay by cooking some of our own food.
Hotel Dining Options
The hotel had an awesome breakfast. Hands down one of the best hotel breakfasts that we have ever had. Eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, waffles, oatmeal, virtually anything that you could wish for. What made it stand out was all of the little extras that they thought of. Spinach, salsa, cheese and tortillas for making burritos.
I love oatmeal, and I was very impressed by the wide variety of oatmeal toppings. Well above and beyond the standard offerings of brown sugar and raisins, the choices included walnuts, honey, cranberries, slivered almonds and shredded coconut.
We finally got to the hotel after a flight and navigating the public bus system from the airport. Suffice it to say that everyone was SUPER hungry. The hotel did not have a restaurant onsite, but they have arranged room service from the Rock Bottom Brewery nearby.
In sharp contrast to many hotel room service options, the choices from Rock Bottom were very reasonably priced (regular restaurant prices plus $3 delivery fee and gratuity). We ordered room service for our starving clan when we arrived on the first night. The food was great and we were fed and heading to bed with a minimum of fuss.
***Tip: The menu did not offer kids meals, but the side items were only a couple dollars each and these included kid friendly choices like mac and cheese, black beans and veggies that were the perfect size for our kids.
The Residence Inn in Downtown Milwaukee was among the best hotels in downtown Milwaukee for our short escape with the little ones!
If you want to explore further, I am happy to tell you about what we did with our kids in Milwaukee during our weekend trip!