Posts Tagged by art deco hotel

A Night at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review and paid for everything myself. I have no connection to the Ambassador Hotel and all opinions are my own.

My husband turned 50 last fall and we celebrated by taking a birthday trip to Chicago, Green Bay, Minneapolis and Milwaukee.  It was our first time in that part of the country and we were trying to squeeze in as much as possible!  One of the birthday boy’s priorities was to see every sporting event possible during our one week getaway.  This equated to seeing our beloved LSU Tigers at the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field, a Cubs game at Wrigley, Twins in Minneapolis and a Brewers game in Milwaukee.

We arrived in Milwaukee on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, pulled into the Ambassador’s immaculate circular drive, and I immediately knew we would enjoy our one evening at the hotel. The Ambassador Hotel is a historic building that has been nicely updated while keeping much of the 1920’s charm. The hotel is very much still in Art Deco mode. In fact, the hotel’s 90th anniversary will be celebrated in 2018.

A little tidbit:

We learned that the site of the current hotel used to be the location of the Amos Appleton Lawrence Smith mansion.  Mr. Smith was the attorney to Captain Frederick Pabst (Pabst Brewing Company) and the son of the founder of Appleton, Wisconsin and Lawrence College.


Walking into the lobby was like a step back to a boisterous time when the guidelines of prohibition were widely rejected, jazz music was hot, motion pictures were glorious, and things were artistic, cultural and dynamic.  The Ambassador Hotel is gorgeous – lovingly renovated and maintained – a 1920’s gem.

The golden elevators and high shine floors felt very indulgent and sophisticated – think Great Gatsby.  The 1920’s theme carries throughout all the public spaces. My favorite part? Stepping into the elevator or the lobby and hearing the soothing, muffled sounds of old Victrola music.

The hotel restaurant is rebranding from the Envoy to The Fitz – a nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The bar will now be called Gin Rickey. It’s design is pretty nifty and offers a menu of Prohibition-era inspired 1920’s drinks with old and new prices. The Vodka Rickey, for example, was $.25 in the 1920’s now is $10. You can look forward to paying those 1920’s prices during Happy Hour! Try their other nostalgic cocktails like the Pink Lady, Gin Fizz, Sidecar, Stinger and Tom Collins. I recommend the drink named for the hotel – the Ambassador martini.  Vodka, peach schnapps, lime juice and pineapple juice.  So good.

We proceeded through the amazing lobby to check in. Staff were attentive, kind and professional. We were assisted immediately with arrangements for the baseball game. Hubby used the free shuttle service to and from the baseball game – very convenient as it was raining that evening.

Our room was a king mini-suite and was a very good size room with a pull out sofa and coffee table and chair in addition to a desk and chair. There were lots of windows with a decent view – some rooms have a lake view. The room was spotless and ornate, large and well-appointed.  The Ambassador Hotel marked my first encounter with Beekman 1802 bath products of which I am now obsessed, but I’ll save that for another post!

We had a nice big TV, comfy king bed, and great work space, too. Rooms include free WiFi with wired DSL available, too.

My daughter and I had a fun “girls’ night in” while my husband was at the ball game. We ordered room service – delicious burger, creamy mushroom pasta and a fabulous creme brulee with fresh berries. Everything arrived quickly, hot and correct. No complaints here at all!

After a good night’s sleep, plenty of on-site, secure parking allowed us to quickly check out first thing in the morning. I can’t say enough about this wonderful, historic hotel and I’d definitely recommend it. It’s less than a mile from Marquette University and under two miles from Miller Park. (If you’re down by the river walk during your visit, keep an eye out for the bronze Fonz.

You can find the Ambassador Hotel Milwaukee on Twitter Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to connect with them the next time you’re headed to the Milwaukee area!