The Best Historic Hotels to Book in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Delve into Milwaukee's storied past with a stay at one of these historic hotels
Delve into Milwaukee's storied past with a stay at one of these historic hotels | © Ian G Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Benjamin M. Smith
7 February 2022

Milwaukee is home to a multitude of historic establishments, including attractions such as the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Pabst brewery. Many antique Milwaukee buildings have now been renovated, renamed and made into luxury hotels. Here’s our pick of the 10 best historic hotels in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – bookable on Culture Trip.

Hilton Milwaukee City Center, for 1920s glamor

Room at Hilton Milwaukee City Center decorated in brown tones with a floral carpet
Courtesy of Hilton Milwaukee City Center / Expedia

Opulent art deco features welcome you (and your pet) to this 1927-built hotel. Marvel at the chandelier-hung ceilings in the hallway and the 1920s-style paneled lounge where you can sip signature cocktails in decadent surroundings. Try sizzling steaks at the on-site Chophouse, craft burgers at the sports bar and a morning buffet breakfast and coffee at the in-house Starbucks. One of the best hotels in Milwaukee for location, this downtown Hilton is connected to the Wisconsin Center by skywalk.

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites, for brewery vibes

Room at the the Brewhouse Inn and Suites with a double bed and kitchenette
Courtesy of the Brewhouse Inn and Suites / Expedia

Beer fans rejoice: this Milwaukee hotel is housed inside the original Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) brewery. Expect original features such as copper brewing kettles and a stained-glass window of King Gambrinus (seen by some as the patron saint of beer). The on-site gastropub serves 14 Wisconsin draft beers, 40 craft and imported packaged beers and pub grub such as the signature Blue Ribbon Burger. Prefer home cooking? Book a suite with a kitchen. Sort out any lingering sore heads in the morning with a complimentary continental buffet breakfast or a session in the fitness room.

Dubbel Dutch, for thoughtful design

Large, smart room at Dubbel Dutch with wooden flooring, patterned carpets and a double bed
Courtesy of Dubbel Dutch / Expedia

Just one block from the Lake Michigan waterfront lies this renovated 1898 double house with much of its original architecture intact. Choose from individual, characterful rooms with different historic features such as original hardwood floors, high ceilings or ornamental fireplaces alongside modern Kohler bathtubs, cool rugs and local artworks. This is one of the best hotels in Milwaukee for groups, as you can also rent the whole house. Make sure you schedule a trip to the in-house tavern for beers and cocktails.

The Pfister Hotel, for a Victorian art collection

Room at the Pfister Hotel with a four-poster bed and comfy chairs
Courtesy of the Pfister Hotel / Expedia
Originally called the Grand Hotel of the West by Charles Pfister, little has changed about this Milwaukee institution. With the largest Victorian art collection of any hotel in the world, the Pfister remains a beacon of elegance and affluence that regularly hosts visiting celebrities and dignitaries. Constructed in 1893 and renovated in the 1960s with a 23-story tower addition, this sophisticated hotel still oozes charm.

Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown, for a national landmark

Room at Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown with a double bed, red carpet, cupboard and flat-screen TV
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown / Expedia
The building that now holds the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown was once the home of the Northwestern Mutual insurance company, and dates back to 1886. This landmark building reflects a time of great industrial growth, and stands as a testament to business culture in the Cream City. The hotel offers an unforgettable stay in Milwaukee, from the five-story grand atrium to the high ceilings you’ll find in every room and suite.

Schuster Mansion Bed and Breakfast, for the Victorian Garden

Lounge at Schuster Mansion Bed and Breakfast with wicker table and chairs and pot plants
Courtesy of Schuster Mansion Bed and Breakfast /
The 1891-built Schuster Mansion Bed and Breakfast offers a stay with history, and will wow you with its attention to detail. From its restored bright-brown exterior to the Victorian-styled interior and Victorian Garden, there is a lot to see here, and the hosts are generous and hospitable, with a deep knowledge of the history and significance of the mansion.

The Iron Horse Hotel, for a luxurious atmosphere

Room at the Iron Horse Hotel with large bed, wooden flooring and exposed brick walls
Courtesy of the Iron Horse Hotel / Expedia
Once a factory and warehouse for the Berger Bedding Company, the Iron Horse is now a premier hotel with an industrial esthetic. Leisure and corporate guests alike can enjoy its fitness center, spa and Thursday Bike Nights, which include motorcycle exhibitions, displays and contests in homage to one of the most famous companies ever to come out of Milwaukee: Harley-Davidson.

The Knickerbocker on the Lake, for boutique chic

Room at the Knickerbocker on the Lake with double bed, red patterned rug and comfy chair
Courtesy of the Knickerbocker on the Lake / Expedia
The Knickerbocker on the Lake Hotel is found near the Lake Michigan lakefront and has been a feature of downtown since 1929. It’s a restored classical revival hotel featuring a grand foyer with original terrazzo floors, vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers. The eminent hotel has played host to many swanky guests, celebrities, musicians and dignitaries throughout its long history.

Hotel Metro, for art deco stylings

Neutral-toned room with a bed and a sofa at Hotel Metro
Courtesy of Hotel Metro / Expedia
A relative newcomer on the Milwaukee hotel market, the art deco-inspired Hotel Metro is found in the iconic John W Mariner Building in downtown. Enjoy the views from the rooftop patio, or grab a table at Oggie’s Kitchen and bar for cocktails or sharing plates. The hotel was the first in Milwaukee to be certified by Travel Green Wisconsin, a program recently implemented by the Department of Tourism to increase transparency in the hotel industry.

County Clare Irish Inn and Pub, for Irish hospitality

Room at County Clare Irish Inn and Pub featuring a bed with a patterned bedspread
Courtesy of County Clare Irish Inn and Pub / Expedia
A fine Irish pub in its own right, the County Clare Irish Hotel welcomes guests with its Irish hospitality. County Clare is near Brady Street, a popular strip for Milwaukee nightlife, and is also close to Henry Maier Festival Park, home to many ethnic festivals, including Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Kim Gregory contributed additional reporting to this article.

Looking for pampering options? Check out the best spa hotels in Milwaukee, bookable on Culture Trip.

These recommendations were updated on February 7, 2022 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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