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SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown is a brand-new all-suite hotel at the heart of Downtown Milwaukee. 155 suites are spread across 6 floors of a hotel that attracts business travelers, conference attendees and tourists. Located in close proximity to the Milwaukee Intermodal Amtrak Station and numerous public transportation connections, the hotel is perfectly situated for the wheelchair traveler.
I recently spent four nights in this hotel, just two weeks after the property’s grand opening. I was impressed with the accommodations in my wheelchair accessible hotel room. During my stay, the hotel was teeming with LSU and Wisconsin college football fans, in town for for their match-up at Lambeau Field in nearby Green Bay. My stay was wonderfully pleasant, and I’d like to describe it below.
Reservation & Check-in
Because I was visiting Milwaukee, Wisconsin as part of a press trip with VISIT Milwaukee, the hotel offered me a complimentary room rate. As such, I did not need to make a reservation online, but doing so is easy via the hotel website.
Room rates for the time of my stay averaged about $200 per night, plus tax. This was perhaps a bit higher than usual due to the high demand for the LSU-Wisconsin game. The hotel’s location may hold rates high, as it is directly across the street from Milwaukee Center – an events and convention center.
Check-in was a breeze, and I had my keys within just a few minutes. A bellman offered to assist me to my room and carry my bags. This was appreciated.
The room key was easy to use, and need only be touched to the door to unlock it. Wheelchair users know how frustrating those magnetic stripe keys can be, and I was pleased to see that this hotel had made this technology upgrade.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room #305
The accessibility features of room #305 were on display from the get-go. For the visually impaired, braille was found on the room number placard in the hallway. For wheelchair users, there was plenty of space next to the door in the room’s interior. This made opening the door easy, as I had the space to park my wheelchair and easily reach the handle.
The first thing that caught my eye inside the room was its size – this was truly a suite! It’s not often that I have so much space to move about in my wheelchair. This was a welcome surprise.
The king size bed was accessible on all sides, with room to spare. Upon entering the room, I asked the bellman to place my luggage on a rack atop the room’s air-conditioning unit. Two large windows looked out over Wells Street.
The bed height in this room may pose issues for some. The bed was tall – higher than my wheelchair seat cushion by 6 inches. But for those unable to transfer easily or independently, there is plenty of space underneath the bed to use a hoyer lift.
Speaking of the bed… It was everything I have come to expect from Marriott Hotels. The mattress and sheets were soft and extremely inviting. The thick and fluffy comforter was a great covering at night, and I slept well. The pillows came in both the soft and firm varieties, and I was able to select the one best for me.
Lamps just above the headboard were easy to control with a switch on their sides. It’s always important to me that bedside lighting controls be within reach, as I like to sleep in complete darkness. That was certainly possible at SpringHill Suites!
Nightstands flanked both sides of the bed. An alarm clock/radio was located on the left, and a telephone on the right. On each side, two power outlets and a USB charging port were within reach, as you can see from the close-up image below.
I was able to charge my power wheelchair, laptop computer and cell phone using the ports here, which was extremely convenient. Power outlets are one of the most often overlooked features in an accessible room, but the SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown really covered the bases here.
The room featured a great desk space that I was able to roll underneath in my wheelchair. Although there were no caster wheels on the included chair, it was light enough to pull out of the way.
No suite would be complete without a sofa, and the room had one. It was of the pull-out variety, which meant there was a second bed in the room. When pulled out, there was still plenty of space for my wheelchair to move about the room. The path to the doorway was not obstructed.
I’m usually able to spot accessibility issues in most hotel bathrooms. But I’m pleased to report that I encountered no such problems in my room at the SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown. Let’s take a look.
I had requested/reserved a room with a roll-in shower. The shower was large and well designed. Everything was in the right place from an accessibility standpoint.
The bench was large, which made transfers easy and safe. A grab bar affixed to the interior wall aided in my transfer. Water controls were within reach of the bench, and the handheld nozzle was easy to operate. The shower curtain could be drawn to protect my power wheelchair from being doused with errant water, and the shower drained well into the floor.
Overall review of the roll-in shower? A+
The accessibility of the bathroom’s other appliances was also excellent. The sink basin extended beyond the base, which allowed me to roll underneath without banging my knees on pipes. Hand and bath towels were stored on shelves and hung from bars easily within reach.
The toilet – yay! I can’t remember the last time that I found a hotel bathroom with space alongside the toilet. This space allowed me to perform the safe, sideways transfers that I am accustomed to at home. Three different grab bars, affixed to the walls surrounding the toilet, aided my transfers. Way to go, SpringHill Suites Milwaukee!
The lobby, hallways and even the laundry room were all accessible to my wheelchair. No unexpected barriers popped up as I made my way through the hotel’s public spaces.
Breakfast was served daily, free of charge, in the hotel lobby. The spread was nice, and made for a great start to the day.
The hotel was also able to accommodate my addictions to Pepsi and Mountain Dew, with the market next to the check-in desk. This little convenience shop stocked candy, snacks, drinks, alcoholic beverages, toiletries and basic medication. There were also some frozen foods for sale that could be prepared using the microwave available in each room. I was probably the market’s most frequent customer during my stay – Must. Have. Pepsi.
Location & Transportation
The hotel’s central location in Downtown Milwaukee means that all of the necessities are within walking distance. Within a radius of five blocks, you’ll find restaurants, bars, a shopping mall, convenience stores, a drug store and more.
Within a block of the hotel, I was able to hop on the Milwaukee city/county buses, using route numbers 30, 30X, 44, 48, 49, 79, 137, the Gold Line and the Downtown Trolley. You can read more about the public transportation system here.
Less than half a mile away from the SpringHill Suites is the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. This is where travelers catch Amtrak’s Hiawatha service towards the Milwaukee Airport and Chicago, Illinois. You can also connect with Greyhound, Megabus and other coach services there.
My stay at SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown really set me up for a successful first visit to Wisconsin’s Beer City. The hotel room was a great example of accessible design and met all of my needs. The location of the hotel made it easy to access public transportation. I was also within walking distance of Old World 3rd Street, which is filled with tons of great bars – including the popular Milwaukee Brat House.
I’d like to extend my thanks to SpringHill Suites for hosting me in Milwaukee, and I look forward to my next visit.