West of Downtown
- Where to Go
- The Best of Milwaukee and Madison
- The Best Wisconsin Weekends
- A Perfect Week in Door County
- Wisconsin for Recreationists
- Rustic Road Tripping
- Made in Milwaukee
- Madison Weekend
- Sports: The Packers and Beyond
- Out on the Town in Milwaukee
- Say Cheese!
- Four Days in the Mad City
- A Wisconsin Family Road Trip
- Wisconsin’s Best Brews
Those options listed here are nonchain lodgings and those inside the western suburbs. If you’re simply searching for a clean, cheap place, heading north or south from downtown gives you more (and better) choices.
If you’re looking for western accommodations, the suburbs of Wauwatosa, Elm Grove, Brookfield, and Waukesha (all along I-94 West) have plenty of chain motels and hotels; however, they’ll likely push $100 in peak season. If you travel north off I-94 along U.S. 45 just east of the zoo, you’ll come across a half dozen chain (and nonchain) motels, all with equally fine rooms at greater value.
Adjacent to the Ambassador Hotel (see $100–150), its sister hotel is the more business travel–oriented (but equally worthwhile) Executive Inn (414/342-0000, from $69). There are similar amenities here with the bonus of a fitness center.
For a B&B, try the 1897 Queen Anne Acanthus Inn (3009 W. Highland Blvd., 414/342-9788, $85–120), a 10-room historic mansion that has retained most of its original design. Period lighting and artwork add a nice touch.
Resurrected from the doldrums (and helping the neighborhood do the same) is the Ambassador Hotel (2308 W. Wisconsin Ave., 414/342-8400, http://ambassadormilwaukee.com, $129), just outside the western fringes of downtown. Inside a remodeled 1927 art deco structure ($12 million and counting sunk into upgrades), right down to the terra-cotta exterior), this boutique hotel is a new fave. Historic meets state-of-the-art. I just love to sip a martini in its Envoy Lounge. As it’s on Wisconsin Avenue, you can’t beat the transportation options to downtown, either.
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition