Dinner at Smyth is a great way to fuel a writing binge.
Dinner at Smyth is a great way to fuel a writing binge.

Brushing up on hometown hotels

Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. These 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.)

During last year's Hotel Week, I mentioned that I could tell you more from experience about Chicago hotels than I could about Milwaukee ones, because, well, I live here and so I've very rarely experienced a Brew City hotel as an overnight guest (as in: never before last autumn).

That's changing. I can now boast a whopping three Milwaukee hotels in my personal experience portfolio. In order of appearance...

1. Potawatomi Hotel and Casino

This was my first hotel stay at home and, come on, it set the bar woefully high. The most expensive hotel room in town, it may also be the largest. Sprawling, with incredible views and tons of amenities, it's hard to imagine things could go uphill from here...

2. Iron Horse Hotel

...and yet. In January, feeling pressure to meet a writing deadline, I sent the kids to their grandparents' house and my co-author and I hunkered down to write in a place that would have fewer distractions than home. Fewer distractions in terms of feeling the need to do dishes, clean the bathroom, raid the fridge, read the books on the shelf, etc. With a view of the skyline and a sleek, comfortable room, we made good progress with our dueling laptops here in the warm and welcoming Iron Horse. Plus, we kicked it off with an incredible dinner at Smyth and followed it up in the morning with a rare joint visit to the gym for a cardio weight-lifting class.

3. Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

You can read more about this here. But, what you won't read in that piece is that I brought one of my kids for a night out with dad during which we listened to live jazz at City.net Cafe and then feasted on some insanely rich dessert at Amilinda – each place barely a two-minute walk from the hotel.

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