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Westin hotel fills niche in downtown Milwaukee

The Westin Hotel’s first location in Wisconsin is at the heart of the action in downtown Milwaukee.

The 220-room hotel, built by J.H. Findorff & Son, has nine stories and features views of Lake Michigan. It’s situated in downtown Milwaukee, near attractions like the Summerfest grounds, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Third Ward.

The 172,879-square-foot hotel has 9,000 square feet of meeting space, a 5,000-square-foot ballroom which seats up to 300 people, a lobby bar that boasts craft cocktails and a wide-ranging bourbon selection, as well as a state-of-the-art gym.

The hotel also has the Italian-American steakhouse Stella Van Buren, which has become a destination independent of the hotel since its opening, said Jeff Hess, general manager of the hotel.

Hess said Westin saw an opportunity to expand into the Milwaukee lodging scene and meet the market demand for a premium property with fitness accommodations.

“As new properties have been added there has been a need for certain niche,” Hess said. “We’re kind of missing a little bit on the premium end. It was the right brand in the right place, positioned next to the lake in the central business district. It just really was a great use of some underutilized real estate.”


The Westin took advantage of the brand-new Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE, which helps developers finance energy and water-efficiency infrastructure and renewable-energy improvements. Project officials expect to see a 20 percent reduction in energy use intensity by 2026.

Along the same lines, the Westin has also made use of design elements that reflect the natural landscape — a living wall is a showpiece of the lobby — and keep guests from having to disrupt their routines when they are away from home.

The hotel has exercise bikes, yoga classes offered through a partnership with the Wisconsin Athletic Club and a running concierge that guides guests on runs through the city.

“It’s all about making sure that anybody that comes to visit can maintain their routine in an upscale environment,” Hess said.

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