InterContinental Milwaukee

139 E Kilbourn Ave | Milwaukee, WI 53202  [SEE MAP]Milwaukee, WI  [SEE ADDRESS]
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Guest Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5

Instagrammable and fun to explore

Jul 13th, 2019

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Saint Kate last night for a “staycation.” We were so impressed by the staff, service and general feel of the hotel. With our room we had access to “the study” where there were beverages and snacks available. Proof Pizza was delicious. We had a ukulele and a record player in our room which was fun to have. We couldn’t get our record player to work so we contacted the front desk and they came up to fix it and left chocolates :) I would definitely stay here again. Loved all of the little details. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 1

Beauty is only one piece of the equation....

Jul 10th, 2019

This is a tough review to write. The place is beautiful. They obviously spent lots of $$ on the renovation and have done a GREAT job with the style and design of everything from the room all the way down to the toiletry packaging. Everyone we encountered was friendly and personable...they obviously hired some great people. I thought I had found my new favorite hotel, but the love affair ended fast. It was like meeting the most beautiful person ever, but then quickly realizing they're 100% insane. 1) We got to our room and saw a full-sized box of Oreos with the minibar food. It stood out amongst all of the smaller artisanal snacks and initially I thought "well that's fun". Then I realized it was open and was mostly eaten. This was definitely someone's personal stash of Oreos that got grouped with the minibar. Whoops. We mentioned it to the front desk (and brought them the Oreos) on the way out to dinner. They agreed it was weird and apologized. 2) We have access to (read: paid extra for) access to "The Study" which at check-in our personable front desk clerk told us featured "breakfast pastries" in the morning and "heavy hors d’oeuvres" in the evening. Upon booking we had minimal expectations about the snacks and were excited to hear this. We get up there around 10am and there is trail mix, M&Ms, and one croissant. Ok, that's fine. When we returned around 6pm expecting "heavy hors d’oeuvres" we were met by the same setup, including the one lonely croissant. We ran into what seemed to be a manager in the hall and asked when the food would be refreshed. He seemed confused and didn't seem to know what was offered in there. He then asked us if we were staying on that floor (insinuating that maybe we were trying to sneak in??) He continued to seem confused about what was offered in The Study. Hmmm. We asked again at the front desk telling them we were told "heavy hors d’oeuvres" and again they seemed confused and asked if we had been in there yet, as if they also didn't know what was offered. It was a weird interaction. Long story short....we wouldn't have been disappointed if such expectations weren't heightened during check-in. I think the staff needs to understand WHAT is actually offered in "The Study" and not set false expectations. 3) Overheard another guest ask a staff member (wearing a Saint Kate shirt) if the hotel had a pool. His response was a shaky "Umm...I don't think there's a pool." Again, seems like people weren't trained on basic information about the hotel. 4) Hotel boasts that every floor has complimentary Nespresso and filtered water. Not true on the 9th and 10th "Study" floors. There was a Keurig and bottles of Aquafina in the Study, which was fine, but would have been nice to still have the Nespresso and filtered water by the elevators like everyone else. 5) Speaking of water, to us, the Aquafina was the biggest benefit of "The Study". Unfortunately when we came back late one night all the water was gone. And no filtered water on our floor. When we really needed it. Next morning at 10am water still hadn't been replenished. Doesn't seem to be any process in place to keep The Study stocked. 6) Room keys were incredibly glitchy. The room locks were one piece they didn't upgrade from the former hotel. They kept the old "slide in slot" style and for some reason would sometimes take 10 swipes to get the door to open. Asked the front desk about it our 2nd day and they informed us that they've been having a lot of people complain about it. They apologized and replaced our keys. Sadly new keys had the same issue. 7) We get back to the hotel after Summerfest around 1am and the main lobby doors are locked for security. We swipe our key multiple times on the card reader before someone gets up from a couch in the lobby and opens the door. They tell us the exterior door lock is broken so they're stationed on the couch all night to open the door for people. 8) The next morning around 11am we try and enter the secondary lobby door by the bar which is supposed to be unlocked during the day - we had used it no problem the day before. Now it's locked. A manager by the bar notices us, opens the door, and says they're trying to figure out how to unlock the doors. 9) Day 3 we get back to the hotel and the keys don't work at all. We're locked out of the room and go to the front desk. They confirm our keys have been deactivated. Yet another "sorry" and a 3rd set of room keys. 10) "Breakfast Pastries" continue to be croissants. Only croissants. For 4 days straight. 11) One night there is a really cute handwritten "sweet dreams" note left by the Housekeeper with a turndown chocolate. Such a nice touch, but there was only 1 chocolate. Which me and my partner fought over. Again, I had no expectation of turndown chocolates...but the execution was weird. And it only happened once. 11) The day before checkout it seemed like we got a "substitute housekeeper". Someone had been in the room...made the bed and folded some towels, but that was it. There was a weird pile of washcloths haphazardly folded on the vanity that had never been left there before. Our dirty glassware was not removed, cleaned, or replaced. Trash wasn't taken out so was overflowing onto the floor by the next morning. Again, no processes, consistency, or training. All so weird! 12) Checking out was surprised we weren't asked "how was your stay?". Instead I was asked "what's your room number again?", provided it, and then all I got back was "ok!". No "thanks for staying with us" or "have a safe trip home". Then we struggled with our luggage through the doors as the valet (who was arms length from the door) watched. It was like an unspoken "f you" on the way out. Last impressions are lasting impressions, so this will be my last stay at the Saint Kate. Individually all of these items weren't a big deal, but they kept compounding into an overall frustrating experience. We didn't proactively ask to speak to a manager - a great hotel would have recognized the 3 trips to the front desk for keys, the 2 trips to explain our confusion over "The Study" or the half-eaten food left in our room that we DID bring to their attention and would have checked in to see how things are going. Unfortunately there seems to be no process or training to help the staff understand how to do this. They'll either look at you confused or give a half-hearted "sorry" with zero follow-up. As an Arts Hotel you'd better get your ACT together or the CURTAIN will be coming down sooner rather than later. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 2

Beautiful Hotel - not ready for prime time

Jun 30th, 2019

This is a long one.. so maybe make your lunch, pour a cup of coffee or if you’re inclined a beer. My first experience with the St Kate is it's a visually impressive boutique hotel. From a visual standpoint an improvement from the Intercontinental. I stayed here many times as the Intercontinental. It had great public spaces but the rooms needed an update probably four or five years ago, which you have done extremely well. The public spaces are amazing, well thought out, with a lot of attention to details. The rooms are very nice too, it’s very well done. Without a doubt a lot of thought was put into the look and feel of this hotel. But that’s sort of where it stops. I don’t think there was any training for anyone other than possibly the front desk. The incidents I experienced are almost laughable to the point I thought I was on a reality TV show with hidden cameras waiting to see my response when I ran into another misadventure with this hotel. Though I travel a lot both domestically and internationally. I think this one topped all of them with the most incidents on one visit. (Reservations) It started with my reservation. I got a very good rate which was almost too good to be true so I wanted to confirm it. I called the hotel several times and failed to get anyone Via reservations. On my third attempt I did get someone from the front desk who said they could not help me due to their "process" but if I left a message someone would get back to me. Three days later and four messages later I still had not heard from anyone. So I called someone at the hotel and before they told me “this is not their process”, I told them what I did and they were able to confirm my reservation for me. I’m normally not this careful, but with a new hotel they usually have a few bugs to figure out. (Checking in) I came to check in, my first impressions were “wow” this hotel is amazing. The front desk personnel are pleasant, accommodating and shared a lot about the hotel. I went to my room and there is a “do not disturb” sign on the door. As they seem to have some issues setting up my room with my key I went back just to be sure. I talked to the front desk they both verified that the room had been cleaned & inspected, and I can go ahead and in fact they even called room and there was no answer. I then went back up for the second time put the key in and opened the door. The first two things I noticed was an unmade bed and a suitcase. Someone was in this room. I slowly shut the door and returned to the front desk. I told them what I found and with that they were both confused as the room appeared to be ready to be used. I was concerned since this was Summerfest weekend I would have an issue, but they were able to find another room which was much nicer on a higher floor. I thought this was handled well by the front desk. (Coffee) I have experienced this before with some boutique hotel. Sometimes there’s not coffee in the room as they have some special coffee you can get elsewhere. That this is the case at this hotel, as each floor has a small coffee bar right off the elevator. Though I prefer to get coffee in my room as I don’t want to have to get dressed to walk down the hall to get a coffee but I thought "oh well". So I went to get coffee and lo and behold the machine is not working as someone has smashed several pods in the device. I didn’t feel like going to another floor and I forgot to tell the front desk, but this was an issue the entire day when I tried to get coffee later. Maybe someone should check this every few hours just a thought. (Housekeeping) (First Attempt) In the morning I put money out for housekeeping and left for the day. There was no sign to say please clean my room. I returned to my room around 530 pm for a quick shower before going out for the evening. The first thing I noticed was the tip money was gone, so expecting the room to be cleaned I noticed it was not. Bed unmade, towels on the floor.. you get the idea. Since I wanted to solve this directly, I went down to the front desk as I was a little concerned that someone came into the room took the money and was wondering what else could be taken. I also felt bad for housekeeping if someone was taking tips prior to the maids cleaning – that’s not great. (Second Attempt) As I thought they did room inspections, and replenish refreshments. I wanted the front desk to know and shared with them my experience... she apologized and said she will follow up with both housekeeping and security. I told her I understood – the hotel is new, this is Summerfest weekend I’m sure this hotel is sold out.. I guess it’s just taking more time. She did thank me for my understanding. Due to the time.. I left for then evening shower less. I returned back to the hotel about 1130. Went up to the room and my key didn’t work. I thought oh I hope housekeeping is not messing with me since spoke to the front desk. I went to the front desk and I was sort of laughing sharing with them about maybe someone was messing with me since I had complained about my room. Went back upstairs went to the room and surprise surprise it had not been touched. Bed unmade, towels on the floor, you get the idea. (Third and Final Attempt) It’s now 11:39 AM and I am sharing the story all over again. They apologized which they’re really good at doing (at this point) displaying some empathy but still it’s not fixing everything. I tell them all the issues including the missing money and they try to find somebody to clean the room. They find this poor kid who is verbally upset about this, telling us he has too many other things to do. I’m now wondering how this is going to go. They gave me a voucher for a drink and wanted to know if I wanted breakfast voucher.. Which I returned because I wanted to limit my interactions at this point with this hotel because I knew it would not go well. At 12:20 they came to me and said my room is ready, again apologizing. The front desk is getting really good at this and I went up to my room. I went in the only two things I noticed were the waste Baskets were empty and the towels were gone. That was it, there were no towels. you could tell it was not cleaned for obvious reasons which I don’t need to get into the details and that was it. I really was wondering why that took 40 minutes. I then went back down to get towels. I finally said just give them to me, I wanted to make this easy for them as I don’t think they could deliver towels at this point. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later they finally came down with towels and didn’t have them all which was fine at this point. It was close to 1AM when I finally got into my room. But seriously I gave them three chances and they could not figure out how to clean a room. This is an issue. (Checking Out) Since there’s no way to check out via my TV, I went to the front desk. I normally don’t need a physical copy but with all the mishaps I thought I’d ask for one. When I did check out no one asked me how my stay was, so either they knew it was not exceptional or it’s not part of their "process", but I was very surprised to see my bill had been reduced (which I did not request) based on my experiences which I thought was very nice. To say this is a service issue is difficult because I did not even experience any sort of service. It’s as if someone spent all their money on wonderful art and creative ideas when building a boutique hotel and completely forgot about any sort of management or training. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. As I said it’s almost laughable and I thought I was on some reality TV show. In my opinion a good indicator of a hotel – whether a Hampton Inn or The Peninsula, is you visit the front desk one time. To check in and you never have to go back because you just have an uneventful and hopefully memorable stay.. I can’t even tell you how many times I had to go to the front desk. Maybe I just got the luck of the draw and this only happened to me and no one else, if that’s the case I’ll buy a lotto ticket today. There definitely is construction going on which I expected but I didn’t expect the staff not to be trained on anything. Whether it’s not knowing a room is occupied or not knowing a room is clean it’s absolutely hard to fathom. Maybe in six months this place is going to be fantastic both in anesthetic's’ and service. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4

Awesome New Hotel with Great Staff

Jun 30th, 2019

Just passed through Milwaukee for Summerfest and stayed at the Saint Kate. My go to, the Kimpton Journeyman, was sold out and I decided to try something new. The Saint Kate was formerly the Intercontinental, which I had stayed at before – and it was fine. The Saint Kate has really elevated the building into a beautiful space. This review would get five stars from me unfortunately this hotel is not perfect. Their staff however, is incredible. Bennett and Ashleigh at the front desk were especially helpful when I wasn't happy with the first two rooms I was given. The main reason for this is that most rooms in the hotel do not have a desk space. Most rooms have subbed them for a cute but small drawing table – a novel idea and one I would be appreciative of on a vacation, but most of us need a desk in the room to get work done at and sprawl out paperwork and this table just could not accommodate. Another issue with the hotel is that it is trying almost too hard to be boutique-y. They've got Crosley record players, but in my first room the speakers on the Crosley were SO toasted that playing a record was unbearable. There is a Ukulele in every room, but mine was covered in a thick layer of dust. They try to upsell you on access to "The Study" -- an area on specific floors advertised to have "locally sourced snacks", drinks, communal hangout/work space, books to read, etcetera. When I first called down in disappointment about not having a desk in my room, they told me to visit The Study and that I could work in there. My floor's Study only had two couches, a television, and a shelf of $1 books and records. No desks to be found. There was a small kitchenette space where the snacks were -- but they were far from locally sourced. A large glass jar of M&Ms, a bowl of Nature Valley granola bars, and some neglected fruit were all that were available. Another gripe is that they advertise "Nespresso machines and Cold Filtered Water on every floor" but on my floor, they didn't have this. Again, I was directed to The Study which had a Keurig machine. Really, not the same thing... My first room was The Feature, which was massive and sun-drenched, but unfortunately right off the elevator. Now, it wasn't the elevator noises or traffic that bothered me, but instead there was music being pumped into the elevator area and it was extremely loud! Imagine sitting in your room, minding your business, and hearing Creed - With Arms Right Open blasting and wondering "Who in the **** in this hotel is listening to Creed?" and eventually realizing it's not coming from an adjoining wall but from right outside your door! Saint Kate -- you need to work on your music playlists. You cannot call yourself "The Arts Hotel" and be playing Creed in public spaces. I'm sorry, but those are the rules. The second room I was shown was much smaller and it had a stacked layout that was depressing and bleak. You walk directly into a dark living space with TV and Couch, but no windows, and the same drawing table. In the middle was an extremely small bathroom with the sink/vanity outside of it -- Motel 6 style. At the end of the room was the bed with the only window... and a giant view of nothing. So, after this room, Ashleigh at the Front Desk took me around and showed me two other rooms until I happily picked the one with the desk -- all I had wanted from the beginning. It was a large room, still had a couch, but had a nice big desk and a perfectly comfortable chair to sit at. I believe this room type is "The Hangout" but don't quote me on it. The room categories, again, are too boutique-y for their own good. Onto some more good stuff -- the beds are AMAZING. Great gym on the 4th floor with locker rooms, plenty of towels, water refill station, and TWO (!) Peloton bikes! I was able to log in and do some classes and that made me really happy. The room I stuck with DID have a Nespresso machine near the elevator (though Saint Kate REALLY needs to update their website as their advertising is misleading -- not all floors have the Nespresso!). All of the room decor is superb -- art, furniture, wallpaper, carpet, bathroom tile and fixtures. The rooms are chic and modern. Also all of the rooms I checked out had Anker wireless charging stations for your phone, as well as outlets with both USB A and USB C ports. I didn't have a chance to try any food at the bar or restaurant, but I did have lunch at Proof Pizza which is connected to the hotel at the lobby level and it was quite good! Drinks and coffee at the bar were great and service was excellent. All in all, my major criticisms with the hotel stem from the website and their phone reservations staff whom I booked through. Both are falsely advertising things about the hotel that they shouldn't. The front desk doesn't touch phones (which makes for better, more approachable service) but unfortunately it is leaving a big disconnect as it it seems that those in the back of house really don't know enough about the hotel. Again, Bennett and Ashleigh were excellent -- as was everyone else I interacted with at the front desk or around the hotel. Will definitely come back in the future but hope to see them iron out some of these kinks before I return. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5

A stunning hotel combining elegance and fun

Jun 23rd, 2019

At the finish of our Great Lakes road trip, we spent our final night in the St Kate Arts Hotel. We had a wonderful time from the moment we arrived to check in, until we departed. It is stunning - decorated with imaginative art and quirky features (try out the “poet phone”). The room was gorgeous and very comfortable, complete with a vinyl record player and a range of records - we enjoyed going back in time to listen to the Eurythmics. We dined in the Aris restaurant which has a great atmosphere in its speaks-easy evening setting (a recent change). It wasn’t cheap but it was great value for the experience provided. Our only (minor) issue was with some noise from our neighbours but who can blame them for enjoying such a fun environment. We fully recommend it to you. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER