Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, history, food and drink, staycations and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)
Last year, as part of the first OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, we explored the city’s priciest hotel rooms, expansive suites on upper floors, swanky rooms with all the amenities.
But in the intervening period, a game changer arrived, blowing the swanky hotel room game wide open.
While rack rate at a number of the hotels featured last year climbed into the quadruple digits, the impressive 2,200-square-foot Presidential Suite at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino runs a cool $4,000 a night.
And for that you get the coolest view in town for a warm, soaking bath. You get a couple bathrooms, a couple kitchen areas, a couple sleek fireplaces, super comfortable bedding, a makeup table and dressing area, you get a large living area for relaxing or entertaining. All the windows are fitted with automatic privacy shades (come on, now, stop that; they're not toys).
Best of all, you get what is surely the best hotel room terrace in town ... all 800 square feet of it. This one runs the width of the building, and thanks to the hotel's unique location in the Menomonee Valley, it has incredible views from the Domes and Miller Park to Marquette to the Downtown skyline to the Allen-Bradley clocktower and the Hoan Bridge and beyond. It’s got a bar, two TVs, plenty of seating for a one-of-a-kind cocktail party, glowing lights, a complete sound system and other amenities.
But, as is the case with most – if not all – of these top-level hotel rooms in Milwaukee, folks don’t always pay the rack rate. In fact, in this case, the folks at Potawatomi don’t appear to be worried if they ever get that $4,000 a night.
"Just like any casino, an amenity like the Presidential Suite exists primarily for the enjoyment of our VIPs," says Ryan Amundson, Potawatomi Hotel and Casino’s external communications manager. "The lion’s share of its use is comped nights for those guests."
While there’s always improvement – the audio/video systems could be more intuitive, for example, and it seems odd that there is no corkscrew in the kitchen, nor reading lamps astride the bed – the feeling of stepping into this modern, luxurious space makes one almost giddy.
And opening the soundproof doors to the patio to the sound of the breeze and the distant hum of the freeway – as well as the chatter down on the sports fields below – is invigorating and offers the kind of rarely experienced view of the city. Stepping out, you immediately appreciate the beauty of this town.
Combine a stay with dinner in a curvaceous, dimly lit booth at Dream Dance Steak, a little time at the gaming tables and you'll feel like you're in Vegas.
Here are some photos to take you inside the Presidential Suite...
The kitchen and living area
The living area
The bedroom fireplace and 60-inch television
The skyline view from the terrace
The terrace at night
The terrace by day
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.