The granddaddy of Milwaukee hotels—called the “Grand Hotel” in fact—is the Pfister (424 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414/273-8222 or 800/558-8222, www.thepfisterhotel.com , $244 s, $264 d), built in 1893. This posh city-state–size behemoth oozes Victorian grandeur. The somewhat overwhelming lobby is done with such ornate intricacy that the hotel organizes regular tours of its displays of 19th-century art. Its state-of-the-art recreation facility outshines most health clubs. The laundry list of attractive features and service accolades could fill a phone book.
Generating lots of well-earned buzz is Hotel Metro (411 E. Mason St., 414/272-1937, www.hotelmetro.com , $159 s, $259 d), a posh but cute boutique hotel in an erstwhile art deco office building. Glass sinks from Wisconsin’s Kohler Company are among the noticeable design highlights of the 65 oversize suites replete with steeping tubs or whirlpool baths; downstairs is a chic, seen-on-the-scene bar. The art deco stylings include environmentally friendly practices such as bamboo-wood floorings and wood from sustainable forests. It’s also got one of the best cafés in Milwaukee . Among the service highlights—bicycles for guests!