Famous for its beer, breweries, bowling alleys, and baseball, Milwaukee sometimes loses out to more famously cool cities but it’s still a place with a trendy edge and plenty of hipster-friendly places too if you know where to look.
The Wisconsin city located on Lake Michigan’s western shore has a fun youthful vibe, award-winning restaurants, a thriving music and arts scene, incredible nightlife, and some historic gems too.
Want to find somewhere to stay, just as groovy as the city? Here is our list of the best cool and unique hotels in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (in no particular order)…
Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel is a gem in Milwaukee’s Juneau Town. The artistic vibe permeates the neighbourhood, which feels like an artistic haven. The rooms are a delight, showcasing local art while maintaining a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Even the smallest rooms are thoughtfully designed, featuring local artworks, sketching materials, and a ukulele for spontaneous melodies.
During my stay, I indulged in the well-equipped fitness center and savoured delicious Midwest cuisine at the exceptional restaurant. The hotel offers diverse experiences with a fantastic pizza joint and two distinct bars catering to different tastes—one for craft beer enthusiasts and another for champagne lovers. The hotel hosts top-quality curated exhibitions annually that showcase the vibrant local art scene. It’s truly a haven for art enthusiasts like me.
My favorite aspect was the exceptional Midwest restaurant, where every bite felt like a local art exhibit.
Artistic and trendy vibe
Offers panoramic city views
Well-equipped fitness facility
Limited space for big families
Valet parking is extra
I adore the Kinn Guesthouse – Bay View aparthotel in the south of Milwaukee. Its eight rooms, with exposed brick walls and vibrant artwork, create an industrial-chic vibe in a historic setting. Nestled in a lively residential area, it’s surrounded by fantastic local eateries and bars.
The attention to detail here is outstanding. Each room is tech-savvy, yet they’ve maintained the building’s charm. The communal kitchen, well-stocked and cozy, even boasts a delightful open fire.
Exciting news—I heard about a second Kinn Guesthouse with 31 rooms opening in Juneau Town by March 2022. I can’t wait for easier booking access to this fabulous spot!
One of my favorite places was the communal kitchen with an inviting open fire, perfect for cozy evenings.
Exposed-brick industrial chic rooms
Free private parking
Located near the lake
Wi-Fi signals might fluctuate
Sometimes parking lots fill quickly
The Iron Horse Hotel
I stayed at this unique hotel in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point. Housed in a century-old warehouse, it’s just a short walk from the Harley-Davidson Museum.
The spacious rooms boast a strong Midwest theme, filled with wood and leather, giving off a punchy yet inviting vibe. The occasional rugged aluminum or concrete artwork adds to the charm.
During my stay, I dined at the fantastic American restaurant specializing in hearth-cooked food. The classic beer and cocktail bar was a favourite spot. And during the summer, the outdoor yard space was perfect for enjoying food and drinks. This hotel is bursting with character and is conveniently close to all the attractions in Downtown.
The outdoor yard for food was my favorite spot; it captured the essence of the Midwest with its inviting ambiance.
Luxurious boutique style hotel
Housed in a century-old warehouse
Outdoor yard for food
Valet parking is not free
Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
I stayed at the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward area. The neighbourhood, nestled between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, exudes a unique charm. The hotel’s modern architecture offers spacious, vibrant rooms and inviting public spaces. The interior design balances comfort and character, creating a cozy yet distinctive ambiance.
During my stay, I dined at the fantastic indoor/outdoor restaurant on the 9th floor, treating myself to stunning views of the Milwaukee skyline.
Exploring outside, I discovered the Historic Third Ward’s vibrant scene. The area hosts various festivals and boasts an array of galleries, art studios, boutiques, breweries, and dining spots. Taking leisurely walks along the riverside or lakeside, where the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers converge, added to the neighbourhood’s charm.
While visiting, the rooftop bar stole my heart, offering stunning views of the Milwaukee skyline.
No coffee makers in some rooms
Overpriced restaurant food
I adore The Trade – it’s become one of my favourite places in the vibrant Deer District of Milwaukee. It’s not just a hotel; it’s a nod to the city’s past, present, and future. Nestled in the heart of sports, entertainment, shopping, and dining venues, it beautifully encapsulates the area’s industrial heritage and the essence of innovation.
The rooms and suites blend industrial-modern style and farmhouse chic, featuring stunning barnlike wood accents and striking cow-patterned black and white rugs.
During my stay, I appreciated the thoughtful amenities, from the refrigerator and mini-fridge to the enormous 65” TV that let me cheer for the local team, the Milwaukee Bucks, playing just across the street at the Fiserv Forum.
What stood out were the three restaurants offering delectable American and North Italian cuisine. And let’s not forget the rooftop terrace – it was a favourite spot of mine, offering craft drinks and breathtaking city views that left me spellbound.
My personal favorite? The rooftop terrace with craft drinks and breathtaking city views left me spellbound.
Industrial modern decor
American and North Italian dining
No indoor swimming pool
No complimentary breakfast
Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown
At the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown, I found myself in the city’s heart, surrounded by the allure of the lakefront and vibrant shops, art galleries, and dining spots.
Stepping into the Loyalty building was like entering a piece of history—its robber-baron gothic style spoke volumes of its 1886 origins as a bank. The renovations maintained its essence; the atrium soared five stories high beneath a glass ceiling, exuding a timeless charm that blended seamlessly with the warm interior decor.
My room was a haven of comfort, boasting Serta Sleep System beds, an HDTV with premium channels, and a workstation featuring an ergonomic chair. The elegant touches included leather headboards, cozy seating paired with stylish reading lamps, and convenient amenities like a Keurig coffeemaker, microwave, and refrigerator, ensuring a relaxing and productive stay.
The Social American Tavern embodied the neighbourhood’s fresh spirit, serving up farm-fresh American favourites and innovative cocktails. Additionally, the 24/7 shop stocked grab-and-go meals and essentials. Yet, what truly stood out was the exceptional staff, whose efficiency and friendliness earned the hotel a well-deserved 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award.
I highly recommend the Loyalty building’s historical charm; the glass-ceilinged atrium was a piece of history.
Chic rooms with great city views
Serta Sleep System beds
Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown
I was at the Cambria Hotel, nestled by the Milwaukee River in Kilbourn Town. Its sleek exterior caught my eye, conveniently close to the highway and just a stone’s throw from Downtown. Exploring the area, I discovered fantastic shopping, dining, and entertainment spots, notably the bustling Milwaukee Public Market and the serene Milwaukee River.
The decor struck me upon stepping inside – a quirky blend of Scandi simplicity and vibrant paint splashes. It was oddly charming, though the paint patterns lingered in my mind.
The hotel boasted a great bar and restaurant, a surprising gem being a compact indoor heated swimming pool – a rarity in this city – alongside a fitness center. The indoor heated swimming pool was a rare surprise in this city.
Located close to the highway
Indoor heated swimming pool
Breakfast is not included
Parking is not free
Brewhouse Inn and Suites
While visiting Milwaukee, one of my favourite places was the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, nestled within the historic Pabst Brewery. It truly celebrated the city’s renowned beer culture.
The hotel mesmerized me with its original brewery elements, like the iconic copper kettles and a stained-glass window depicting King Gambrinus, revered as the beer patron.
From studios to one and two-bedroom suites, each space boasted high ceilings, steel beams, Cream City brick walls, and expansive windows. The suites featured kitchens with tables and headboards crafted from reclaimed wood, exuding a charming industrial aesthetic.
Throughout my stay, I appreciated the thoughtful furnishings and amenities—an outdoor terrace, a well-equipped exercise room, a business center, and a delightful gift shop.
What stood out was the incredible bar and restaurant serving authentic Wisconsin pub fare and an extensive selection of beverages. I couldn’t resist indulging in local craft beers—a must-try here.
One of my favorite aspects was the incredible bar and restaurant serving authentic Wisconsin pub fare.
Fully equipped kitchen
Artful décor with modern amenities
Offers an outdoor beer garden
No in-room microwave
Parking is limited
Staying at Hotel Metro, Autograph Collection in downtown Milwaukee was a delight. The décor, a blend of grey and gold with hints of Art Deco, felt glamorous. My room exuded this style effortlessly, spacious and bold. While the public spaces leaned towards intimacy.
Locally, I easily walked to attractions like the Public Market, Fiserv Forum, Lake Michigan, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. The hotel offered a decent restaurant, bar, fitness center, and rooftop city views—quite a treat.
Yet, the real charm was exploring the vibrant city life right at the doorstep. My favorite aspect was exploring the vibrant city life right at the doorstep of the hotel.
Good city views from the rooftop
Historic Art Deco inspired hotel
No in-room microwave
Pricey restaurant food
Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast
The enchanting Schuster Mansion, a Victorian red, gothic villa crafted in 1891 by a tobacco merchant, is nestled in Milwaukee’s Concordia neighbourhood. This place has stolen my heart with its seven rooms or suites, each adorned in a delightful blend of quirk and elegance. Everywhere I turned, there was a touch of Victoriana – from paisley prints to lace doilies, Chinese rugs, and antique treasures.
The Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast is more than a place to stay; it’s a journey back in time. The ornate bedrooms are charming, and the experience extends beyond the accommodations. Indulging in delightful high tea amidst the manicured rose garden felt like living a cherished piece of history. The exceptional breakfast in a historic setting stole the show for me.
Cozy dining area
No indoor swimming pool
Many flights of stairs
The Pfister Hotel
In Juneau Town, close to the Historic Third Ward, lies The Pfister Hotel – a true Milwaukee gem. Constructed in 1893, it remains an icon, extending its charm in the 1960s with a 13-story tower that beautifully complements the original Victorian architecture.
While staying at this historical haven, I marvelled at the extensive collection of Victorian art adorning the walls, a captivating journey guided by the resident artist. The guest rooms exude an air of spacious elegance, while the public areas astound with opulent marble and lavish gold leaf accents.
The highlight of my visit? Undoubtedly, the awe-inspiring swimming pool nestled high in the tower offers panoramic vistas of Milwaukee – an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
The highlight of my visit was the awe-inspiring swimming pool high in the tower, offering panoramic vistas of Milwaukee.
Victorian art collection
Spa and fitness centre
No in-room coffee makers
Parking is not free
Aloft Milwaukee Downtown
I adore the location of the Aloft Hotel in Kilbourn Town by the Milwaukee River. It’s a gem, a mere 5-minute stroll from the BMO Harris Bradley Center and conveniently close to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. What makes it unique? It’s one of those rare hotels nestled right along the Riverwalk.
The vibe at Aloft Milwaukee Downtown is so me – funky and relaxed. Their interiors? Fun yet simple, and the rooms? Cleverly cozy. There’s a fantastic lounge and bar where I’ve spent evenings mingling, an expansive outdoor area perfect for those lovely weather days, plus a small but impressive gym and pool.
Sure, they only offer snacks and drinks for dining on-site, but honestly, that didn’t matter much to me. The real deal is just outside – the neighbourhood is brimming with bars and restaurants, offering many choices from Milwaukee’s famous diverse cuisine.
The neighborhood filled with bars and restaurants offering Milwaukee’s diverse cuisine was a foodie’s paradise.
Close to the Marcus Center
Spacious outdoor yard
Milwaukee’s famous diverse cuisine
No in-room microwave
Valet parking is not free
Kasa Milwaukee Westown
At Kasa Milwaukee in Westown, I found this gem. The comfort of self-contained one- or two-bedroom apartments with cozy kitchens and sitting areas won me. Plus, there’s a communal space with a games room, a rooftop lounge boasting grill stations, and a small fitness center – all just a few steps away.
Being in one of Milwaukee’s hottest neighbourhoods is a perk in itself. The lively vibe puts you close to the historic Pabst Brewery building, the captivating Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Bucks’ sparkling new arena.
I loved the freedom from the typical formalities of a staffed hotel. It was refreshing to take charge and cater to myself, especially in such an incredible location bursting with renowned cuisines and festivals.
Dim kitchen lighting
The Muse Gallery Guesthouse, Bay View
In the heart of the charming Bay View neighbourhood, just a stone’s throw from the city center, lies The Muse Gallery Guesthouse—a Victorian gem that captured my heart.
This quaint lodging embraces its historic roots while offering a cozy haven. The walls breathe life with a revolving exhibit of local art, a feast for the eyes that stirred my soul and sparked my creativity.
Every piece on display beckons ownership. With only 3 guest rooms and a suite, each space exudes elegance, blending classic touches with modern comforts.
Common areas are meticulously cared for, boasting a communal kitchen with amenities, an ironing station, complimentary treats, and a delightful wine and cheese soirée to kick off the stay. The gift shop, adorned with local artwork, beckons exploration, while bicycles equipped with locks and helmets await to guide you through Bay View’s serene streets and parks. The rotating exhibitions of local art throughout the Victorian gem stole my heart.
Not pet friendly
No indoor swimming pool
No gym facility
All Hotels in Milwaukee Ranked
We have compared the Top 14 Cool and Unique Hotels in Milwaukee for your convenience at the upcoming table.
|Hotel||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|Saint Kate||139 East Kilbourn Avenue||$238-$639||Yes||1||3|
|Kinn Guesthouse||2535 South Kinnickinnic Avenue||$180-$394||Yes||3.8||3|
|The Iron Horse Hotel||500 West Florida Street||$179-$584||Yes||1.5||3|
|Kimpton Journeyman Hotel||310 E Chicago Street||$219-$414||Yes||0.9||3|
|The Trade||420 West Juneau Avenue||$206-$579||Yes||1.6||3|
|Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown||611 North Broadway||$135-$256||Yes||0.9||3|
|Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown||503 N Plankinton Ave||$126-$356||Yes||0.9||3|
|Brewhouse Inn and Suites||1215 North 10th Street||$195-$678||Yes||1.4||3|
|Hotel Metro||411 East Mason Street||$218-$428||Yes||0.8|
|Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast||3209 West Wells Street||$108-$175||No||2.7||3|
|The Pfister Hotel||424 East Wisconsin Avenue||$209-$494||Yes||0.7||3|
|Aloft Milwaukee Downtown||1230 Old World Third Street||$139-$439||Yes||1.4||3|
|Kasa Milwaukee Westown||Milwaukee||$85-$165||Yes||1.2||3|
|The Muse Gallery Guesthouse||602 East Lincoln Avenue||$159-$197||No||3.3||3|
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Michael Cowley – writer and photographer
Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always had an affinity for adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued seeking out new places and cultures. In his spare time he explores everywhere from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, trying all kinds of street food, playing carrom with random strangers, and fine wine – he knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Goa, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations. Find Michael on Instagram or Twitter.