Pfister Hotel: An Evening in Historic Elegance

Years ago we strolled through the lobby of Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel. I remember being awed by its opulence. That was before extensive renovations were completed. We recently had an opportunity to spend a night at the Pfister and once again were awestruck by the lavish décor of the century-old hotel.

Our Pfister Hotel room

From our spacious Grand Tower King room, which included all of the comforts of a luxury hotel, the night view of downtown Milwaukee was gorgeous. The sunrise view was pretty, as well.

Grand Tower King room, Pfister HotelPfister Hotel guest roomView from Pfister Hotel roomSunrise view from Pfister Hotel

Exploring the Pfister Hotel

The 23-floor guestroom tower was added to the hotel in the 1960s and was renovated within the past couple of years. When we saw there was a nightclub, spa and pool on the 23rd floor, we went up to check it out. Unfortunately, we didn’t think about bringing our swimsuits along on the trip. We would have had the pool to ourselves that night with another beautiful view of the city’s twinkling lights.

Pfister Hotel poolMilwaukee View from Pfister Hotel poolWe  stepped briefly into Blu, a lively nightclub with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. We didn’t stay since we wanted to check out the rest of the hotel.

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The original portion of the Pfister Hotel, especially the lobby, is where you find lavish opulence. Massive chandeliers hang from the domed ceiling painted with puffy cumulus clouds and cherubs. Ornate gold-trim enhances crown molding throughout the lobby.

Pfister Hotel lobbyLobby in Pfister HotelThe elegance extends to the mezzanine level, up a wide staircase from the lobby. A glass display case holds an 1899 Thanksgiving menu, as well as china, serving pieces and silverware from the era.

Pfister Hotel MezzaninePfister Hotel 1899 menuBack in the lobby we noticed a time capsule commemorating the 1993 centennial celebration of the Pfister Hotel. The time capsule is to be opened again in 2093, on the hotel’s 200th anniversary.

Pfister Hotel time capsuleWe took a seat in the lobby lounge for a nightcap and found it so relaxing, sitting and listening to soft piano music, watching mesmerizing flames in the fireplace, that we ended up staying there a couple of hours. If it weren’t for modern dress, I might have thought that we had been transported back a century, to the early days of the Pfister Hotel when it was the most lavish hotel of its time and known as the “Grand Hotel of the West.” It would be interesting to be here in 2093 when they open the time capsule. Will the hotel be as opulent as it is today and as it was a hundred years ago? I hope so, because the Pfister Hotel is one of Milwaukee’s gems.

Pfister Hotel Lobby LoungeDrinks at the Pfister Hotel

If you go

The Pfister Hotel is located at 424 East Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Check the rates and compare prices at TripAdvisor.


Disclosures: Our stay at the Pfister Hotel was hosted by Visit Milwaukee and the Pfister Hotel. Our room was complimentary , but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.
This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room through this link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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