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Monday, November 24, 2014

Not the Hotel Metro After All

When we checked in to our "Pure" room at the Hotel Metro I was immediately overwhelmed with the strong aroma of tea tree oil that is used in the air purifier in the room, which did not happen when I took my "preview tour".  We went down to the desk immediately to see about changing rooms but their regular rooms smelled strongly enough of cleaning products that I wanted to check out the Intercontinental before committing to staying.  After all, even if there were some cleaning scents to deal with, it was $100 night less to stay there.

lobby of the Intercontinental already decorated for the holidays

The Intercontinental's only flaw was what I can only guess is a scented product they are using to clean their carpets as we smelled it more strongly every morning in the hallway after maid service came through.  As we walked around our room the smell would get stirred up as well, and the windows didn't open to air the room out.  Overall I tolerated it fairly well, though after two nights my system was feeling pretty stressed and I was ready to leave.

Milwaukee Center rotunda view

The Intercontinental is connected to the Milwaukee Center Office Tower and the Pabst Theater which gave us a couple of exit options whenever we left the hotel.

City Hall bell tower at night

The Intercontinental's location and reasonable price is what sold it for me, and their staff was really friendly too.  Oh, and you can't beat the view of City Hall right from your room!

If you don't want a view of City Hall you can get a view of the Milwaukee River, though I can't imagine why you wouldn't want a view of City Hall.  The clock tower bell rang on the hour and the half hour and it wasn't loud enough to be disturbing, the tones were very soothing and I loved hearing them!

Kilawat's table decoration

We also ate at their restaurant three times, once for breakfast and twice for dinner.  All I can say is it was convenient due to the extreme temperatures we would have had to face if leaving the hotel on foot, or the tips for the valet if leaving by car.   The food was good...but very overpriced and not a lot of menu choices.

Milwaukee River

Even though the wind chill hovered around 0 (yes, that is a zero) we did venture out on foot more times than you would think.  We were wearing long johns under our jeans and hats and scarves and gloves, but the downtown views were just too tempting, especially at dusk.  The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts provided a great light show with lit walls that subtly changed color when you weren't looking and we enjoyed it both on our walks and from the Kilawat restaurant's windows.

The Kilbourn Street bridge and bridge house were built in 1929

Milwaukee's Riverwalk features some great public art.  The sculptures pictured here were steps from our hotel entrance on the Kilbourn Street bridge. The above spherical sculpture was made from repurposed propane tank end caps, and the red one below is meant to be a comment on uniting to rise above situations and propel ourselves upward.  There is a link to the art along the Riverwalk here.

"You Rise Above the World" Richard Taylor, 1999

Pere Marquette park was all lit up for the holidays, but we were more interested in the patterns freezing into the ice in the river than the lights.

Still, we put our backs to the wind and walked over to have a peek.  I was delighted to see the interior of the Historical Society all lit up and we stepped inside for a minute to gawk at the glowing ceiling.  But since it was closing in 15 minutes we stepped back out into the cold and saved it for another day.

We did get a chance to tour some other buildings, and on another night we even accidentally figured out how to traverse some of the skywalks and avoid the bitter cold. Every time Wayne looked out our hotel room window he commented on how weird it was to be in the city.  Country kids like us just aren't used to seeing all that hustle and bustle at all hours.  It ended up being a great idea to do something different for our 25th anniversary this year.  More to come!


  1. Sound like you had a good time while you were there even though it was cold.

  2. I'm not much of a city girl at all and almost never go there but you sure have made this one look very attractive in your lovely pictures. I just don't get why everyone has to have some strong scent on themselves and everything else. I'm with you in how bad it makes me feel.