Hyatt Regency Milwaukee Review

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Booking & Stay Details

My original booking for the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee was through the app and then by calling Hyatt to apply my Suite Upgrade Award. Unfortunately, because of some work emergency, I had to push the reservation for a few days. As I finished my work emergency earlier than expected, I had to rebook the hotel again and actually move the check-in date up. As I already had a reservation with the hotel, I called the Globalist hotline to have it changed to check-in “today”, the day I called them. As I also asked them if they could check to re-apply the Suite Night Award again, they told me it’s not possible as the suite is not available. At the same time, I checked the app and I saw the Executive Suite available for booking. I let the agent know and she told me it is probably best to talk directly to the hotel. Once I got them on the phone after the transfer, it took a while to explain to them what I wanted. They told me the same that a suite is not available for booking as they are sold out. I rechecked the app and the suite was still available for booking for the same dates. I let the agent of the hotel know and she did take a closer look and was actually able to change my reservation to my desired dates and also apply the suite upgrade award. It always pays out to double-check yourself and let them know. Sometimes, they just want to get out of giving you the upgrade and sometimes they just make a mistake. It happens. That’s why I wrote the ultimate travel tip on how to increase your upgrade chances.

My stay was in the middle of November of 2021. I booked for seven nights initially as these are the maximum allowed nights for which I can use a Suite Upgrade Award. However, I had to extend it another seven nights for my work project and was able to secure the same suite by using another suite upgrade award.

Location

The Hyatt Regency Milwaukee is located in downtown Milwaukee next to the city’s convention center, the Wisconsin Center. Not far from the hotel is Pere Marquette Park which was beautifully decorated with Christmas ornaments during my visit. From here you have access to Milwaukee’s River Walk. This one runs along the river from the 690 Reservoir north of the city all the way to the delta of where the Milwaukee River runs into Lake Michigan. This is a stroll you should take and the waterfront there is also beautiful. 

The hotel is a good basecamp to explore the city on foot. You can leave your car in the parking garage and enjoy the amazing sights of the city.

Parking

The Hyatt Regency Milwaukee offers three parking options. There are two parking garages for self-parking and valet parking.

Isaac’s Parking Garage

This parking garage is located just to the west of the hotel and is the closest parking garage for self-parking. You will be charged $28/per night but can’t charge it to the room. You have to pay independently but you will get in-and-out privileges and you have to pre-pay every day. This is not ideal for longer stays.

310 Parking Garage

This one is about a block away from the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. It is cheaper and only costs $20/night. You can also charge this garage to your room. Once you enter the garage, bring it to the front desk and they will validate it for you to use the ticket to scan for in-and-out privileges. A skywalk connects from the Mezzanine level of the parking garage to the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee as well as to the Marriott Springhill Suites hotel nearby. The skywalk will drop you out on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee near the elevators. It’s a short walk to the hotel building. You need your room key to open the doors from the walkway to the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. Alternatively, there is a phone next to the door from which you can call the front desk.

Valet Parking

You get charged $31/night and of course, get in-and-out privileges as well. Just pull up in the driveway of the hotel and a valet will take your car and park it. Valet parking and the 310 parking garage can be both charged to the room.

 

There is one advantage of parking in one of the parking garages. You don’t have to worry if it snows overnight. You won’t have to shovel your car free from the snow or clean the snow off your windshield. I am almost certain that the windshield will never freeze over as long as you park in one of the garages.

Check-In

I drove into the hotel’s driveway and pulled up close to the main entrance. A valet greeted me, and I told him that I was checking in and would be self-parking. I walked inside to the front desk and started my check-in process. The agent just finished helping a guest over the phone as I walked up. She gave me the different self-parking options, more about it later, which I wasn’t aware that there is a “selection”. She also gave me the coupons for the breakfast buffet, which took a little bit as she had to handwrite all of them for the whole week. The Club access wasn’t on my card right away, however, while she was writing my breakfast coupons, I asked if the lounge was open. I was surprised when she told me that their Regency Club is actually open. She added access to my card, and I also received a voucher for a free drink at the bar. 

Front Desk

It’s perfectly ok to leave your car parked in front of the main entrance to unload your bags. You will need to hand over the keys to the valet or door attendant of the hotel while you are away from the car. This makes it easier as it is not an effortless way to get to the hotel from either parking garage with a bunch of suitcases. They also have a bellman who will help you with your luggage if you need it.

Main Entrance

King Executive Suite (Room 926 & 927)

This suite actually consists of two separate rooms, and you will use the connecting door to move in between the two rooms. The connecting doors are towards the outside wall of the room, close to the windows.

Both rooms are about the same size and have similar amenities. 

The windows of each of the rooms face north and you get a partial skyline view. You can see part of the Milwaukee River and Pere Marquette Park which had great Christmas decorations during my visit. It’s even better to visit the park at night when the Christmas decorations are all lit up.

Because of the pandemic, daily housekeeping services were suspended. However, if you are a World of Hyatt member you get daily service. You don’t even have to have status according to the paper they have sitting at the check-in counter. If you are not a member, you have to call at least 24 hours ahead and schedule service with the front desk.

King Bed Room (Room 927)

The bed sits against the inside wall and faces towards the windows. On either side is a nightstand and there are lamps mounted to the headboard as well. 

In the left corner, next to the window is a work desk with an office chair. The desk is mounted to a dresser which also holds a small refrigerator and in-room safe. Besides that, it offers some drawers for storage. The side of the dresser facing the desk has connections to connect your laptop to the TV. These connections are outdated, and the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee offers Chromecast as well to stream from your devices to the TV. 

I had issues with the TV in my bedroom. It always lost signal and sometimes the picture froze for a few seconds. I know it was not the connection, as the TV in the other room worked fine. After it got worse and worse, I called the front desk and they told me someone would come up and have a look at it. Seven days later, on the day of check-out, still nobody came to fix it.

The bathroom has a decent size to move around without feeling cramped. It comes with a shower/bathtub combination and has a vanity with one sink and wall mounted mirror.

Executive Suite (Room 926)

The “suite” part is basically just another room the same size as the King Bedroom. Instead of having a King Bed in the room, you have a Murphy Bed which comes in the size of a double bed. It’s not very hidden and looks obvious that it is a Murphy Bed.

In the area in which you would fold out the murphy bed is a sofa bed. This one has to be moved before you can fold out the bed. It’s not very light because it is a sofa bed. 

There is also a work desk with an office chair. The desk here also connects to a dresser but this one is a bit smaller. It still holds a small refrigerator but it’s missing the extra section which holds the in-room safe. You still get a few drawers for storage. The TV in this room worked fine, but the batteries of the remote were dead. So, I had to use the remote from my bedroom. Which wasn’t a big deal.

Office Desk

The bathroom is identical to the one in the King room, just mirrored. The room also has a second connecting door towards Room 925 which is probably a room with two double beds.

There is no microwave in any of the rooms. However, if you need one, there is one located near the elevators on every floor. This is definitely different from what I am used too.

Microwave near the Elevators

Public Areas & Amenities

Lobby

The lobby is humongous and features lots of seating options all over the place. The front desk is right next to the main entrance and the rest is pretty much covered with all kinds of seating options. A bar is opposite the check-in counter and there is Starbucks in the corner of the building, next to the front desk. I like how the building has such a huge interior courtyard. It reminds me of the embassy suites hotels that have a similar style or the Hyatt Regency Austin. Panoramic Elevators will take you to your desired floor. From these elevators, you have a beautiful view of the lobby as well.

Fitness Center

The Fitness Center is on the third floor. You need your room key to activate the elevators to get to this floor. Follow the sign on the wall to get to the fitness center. Use your room key to gain access to it. Inside you will find a well-equipped fitness center with lots of workout equipment as well as space. It is open 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately, there is no pool at this property.

Business Center

There is a “Business Center” next to the Market. It has a large table with chairs on either side. This reminds me how part of the American Express Centurion Lounges is set up. The hotel’s business center has one workstation you can use and one printer under a wall-mounted TV. There is another PC in the Regency Club.

Market (Sarah’s Pantry)

Next to the main entrance of the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee is Sarah’s Pantry, the hotel’s gift shop. They sell everything from snacks, beverages and souvenirs to clothing and electronics. They also have a small “pharmacy” section for over-the-counter medicine and hygiene articles. It is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.

Historical Marker

Go to the Exit to Old World Street, next to Starbucks and you will see a plaque on the wall about the assassination attempt on Theodore Roosevelt.

 

Dining

Breakfast

Breakfast for everyone is currently served at the Bistro 333. It’s a breakfast buffet only and it costs $18/person for the full breakfast and $15 for the Cold Breakfast Buffet, which includes cereal, fruits, yogurt, …

Breakfast hours are every day from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Get there early, especially on the weekends, as it gets very crowded. The buffet has a broad selection of items. You get everything from fruits, yogurt, cereal, toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast and more. In addition to that, they will bring you a glass of water to your table as well. They have bottled juices available as well at the buffet as well as coffee and tea.

Overall, it’s a surprisingly good buffet but I miss one key item which makes the Hyatt breakfast buffets stand out – Salmon. I just like Salmon a lot. Service is great, even when the restaurant is crowded. They clean your plates very swiftly. When it gets crowded, they will also use the tables and seats in the surrounding lobby area to seat people. Globalists get their breakfast here. Just resent the voucher you got during check-in. If you haven’t received it during check-in, check back with the front desk to help you out.

Bistro 333

The bistro is open for dinner from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. It seems people rarely ever use the hotel restaurant. I don’t blame them, as there are so many good restaurants just within walking distance. During the week there is no waiter at the restaurant, but you can order your food at the bar and either eat at the counter or get a table in the restaurant/lobby. Because of the pandemic, the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee is serving a limited menu.

The Lobby Bar is open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. but the kitchen closes at 9 p.m.

Lobby Bar

The event groups during the weekend had their food catered or had pizza delivered. I had to try dinner here to see what it’s like. I ordered a local beer and for the starter, I had the Bavarian Pretzel and as main entree the Salmon. It took quite a while to get my food, even though me being the only one they catered to that evening at the restaurant. Then they also brought both items at the same time instead of spreading them out. I mean that is why you call it a starter. 😉 Food was very good. The fish was cooked well, and the pretzel was delicious, almost like at home.

Room Service

The Bistro 333 would normally fulfil room service orders, but this service is suspended in the meantime because of the pandemic.

Regency Club

This is the first Club at a Hyatt I was able to use since the pandemic started. All the other Hyatts and other brands with a club lounge, had their club lounges still closed. Even up to today. Luckily, the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee’s Regency Club was open for business but with limited service. The Club is located on the 18th floor. When you get off the elevator you can use either way to get to it, it’s pretty much the same way as the lounge is located diagonally behind the elevators on the opposite side of the building. The first time I got there was just after 8 p.m. and the lights were already out. I checked if my room key would still open the door and it did.  The only lights which were on were the ones around the “snack bar”. I turned the rest of the lights on to get some good photos of the place.

The Regency Club features plenty of seating spaces and has a good view facing west towards the Milwaukee River. Breakfast for Globalists is not served here at the moment. Globalists will get a voucher for the Breakfast Buffet at the restaurant in the lobby. In the Regency Club, you will find some snacks and beverages you can pick up throughout the day. Unfortunately, there is no coffee machine. I am happy that I can pick up some snacks here and when I am thirsty, I have a broad selection of sodas, juices, or water.  

The views from the Regency Club are amazing as well. It is worth coming here just for the views.

Inside the Regency Club is also a small Business Center next to the Regency Club entrance. It comes with a workstation and a printer. 

Starbucks

There is a Starbucks to the right of the front desk. They have very weird opening hours. 

Tuesday – Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sundays: 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mondays: closed

Starbucks

Since I must drive quite a bit every morning, breakfast starts too late for me. I was hoping Starbucks would be open early, at least at 6 a.m. so I can grab something to go as I head out for work. I did a lot of exploring throughout the city during the weekend. It was cold outside, even though I dressed appropriately, it would have been nice to get a warm coffee or tea once I got back to the hotel to relax and warm up. As the Regency Club has no coffee machine either, your only option is the in-room coffee maker or finding another coffee shop.

Nearby Dining

When you walk out of the exit to Old World 3rd Street, you have three great restaurants right across the street from the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. You might want to check before and make reservations, as these places get busy, especially on weekends. If you follow the road a bit further down to the right, you will have a restaurant that is open 24/7. Just in case of any midnight cravings. 😉 Other than that, there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the city. On the other hand, you can always use your favorite food delivery app and have food delivered.

 

Conclusion

Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed by the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee itself. I loved the location of the hotel being in downtown Milwaukee and making it easy to explore. It’s a short walk to the river walk and there are a lot of good restaurants in the city. The convention center is also right next door, which can be a bonus if you are in town for a convention. Otherwise, the hotel is very dated. You can see it in the rooms by looking at the carpet and wallpaper. 

My worst experience was my issue with the parking gate. The validated parking tickets always worked to get out of the parking garage, but I never could get back in. Every day I had to pull a new ticket and re-validate it at the front desk which is super annoying. As I explained the situation, they told me next time, when I can’t get into the garage, to call the hotel. I did and they told me basically it’s not their problem and they can’t do anything I have to talk to the parking garage operator. There is nobody on-site to talk to. The gate has a button to get assistance, but nobody ever answered when I pressed the button. I tried both gates and still got stuck outside. If I pull a new ticket, I can’t get out with my validated ticket anymore as the system thinks I am already outside. This issue went on for 10 days. The last four days the gate finally worked, and I could use it.

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

I also noticed that there are barely any trash cans in the hotel. Usually, hotels have trash cans at every corner, but the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee doesn’t. They had multiple events going on during my stay and trash was piling up everywhere in the lobby area.

Also, check your hotel bill in the app during your stay or by the latest when you check out right away. I didn’t notice it right away, but they actually charged me for the suite itself and took one of my suite upgrades awards out of my account. I brought that to the manager’s attention, and she took care of it right away by refunding me the overcharges. If you have no status, you can request a late checkout for $25.

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

If you are looking for a romantic getaway where the hotel is part of your experience, I would certainly try a different hotel in town. I am a huge Hyatt fan and wanted to stay here just for the experience and I also get a lot of benefits thanks to my Globalist status with World of Hyatt like free breakfast and lounge access.

 

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