The hotel’s historic guest rooms will be completely reimagined as part of the hotel’s $20 million reinvestment

MILWAUKEE— After completing a full revitalization of its ballrooms and meeting and event spaces in late 2023, The Pfister Hotel, a historic AAA Four Diamond hotel owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, has entered the second phase of its extensive $20 million renovation. Set to be complete in early summer, the hotel has begun a total update of its historic guest rooms where countless presidents, performers, authors and hall of famers have stayed since the hotel opened in 1893. Following the completion of those rooms, subsequent phases will include a refresh of the lobby and first floor public spaces, and renovation of the very popular Pfister Café.

“The Pfister Hotel is a local and national treasure, and we continue to make significant investments to enhance its atmosphere of elegance and sophistication,” said Michael Evans, president of Marcus Hotels & Resorts. “Every step we are taking in this renovation honors the sense of refined excellence that defines this award-winning historic hotel. Our guests have enthusiastically welcomed the first phase of our renovations, and we are seeing increased bookings for weddings, galas, business meetings and more. As we enter this second phase, we look forward to seeing our historic rooms transformed into new luxurious havens befitting today’s traveler, while maintaining The Pfister Hotel’s classic charm.”

Restyled Historic Guest Rooms

Using a similar refined color palette found in the first phase of the renovation, the restyled historic guest rooms will feature blue and green undertones to honor the majesty of Lake Michigan. New crown molding and chair rails will adorn the walls, along with newly consigned works of art, adding to the hotel’s vast collection. Plush custom carpeting has been designed to represent framed works of art.

The guest room renovations will include updated furnishings reminiscent of the late 1800s, paired with today’s modern luxuries. For example, stylish desks feature wood fluting and special compartments that mimic styles from the Victorian-era, and the couch, chairs and fringed ottoman in each guest room offer a comfortable yet elegant nod to the past. The end tables, nightstands and credenzas found throughout the rooms will feature marble, wood, and leather, adding to the traditional and upscale design. The guest rooms will also include refreshed drapery and window treatments designed to brighten every room, along with brass light fixtures and other luxurious furnishings that represent modern takes on Victorian design.

Completely new bathrooms will include modern lighting, tile showers, marble countertops, Wisconsin-based Kohler Co. bathroom fixtures, and mirrors with built-in lighting. To tie these modern amenities to The Pfister’s deep history, each bathroom will include a specially created watercolor of the Wisconsin state flower, an abstract pen sketch of a woman from the Victorian era, and an antique-inspired mirror.

To add the comforts of home, the Pfister’s numerous guest room suites will have a new wet bar area for entertaining that features marble countertops and custom wood cabinets. To complete the bar area and pay homage to Milwaukee, there will be a custom wallcovering of native plants found along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, as well as a special framed art piece featuring the exterior of the historic hotel.

With nearly every inch of the guest rooms updated, no detail has gone untouched. The closets will feature custom wallcoverings of iconic images of Milwaukee and its skyline, showcasing the city and its deep culture and history. Other Milwaukee elements can be found in the tapestries above the beds, where buildings from the city are featured in a unique collage.

In addition to the aesthetic updates, all guest rooms will feature updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They will also boast the latest guest amenities, such as Nespresso machines, steamers, motion sensor lighting, and more.

The renovations extend into the corridors of the historic hotel where the design continues to marry timeless elegance with the utmost in distinctive style and sophistication. The corridors and iconic staircase will feature custom Axminister carpet that is similar to the carpet in the newly renovated historic ballrooms and meeting and event spaces. This carpeting will create a waterfall art piece as it descends The Pfister’s iconic staircase. It will continue through the guest room corridors where custom wallcoverings can be found. Honoring the city that The Pfister calls home, the wall coverings will feature views from the shoreline of Lake Michigan with the Milwaukee skyline visible from a distance. While walking the corridors, guests will recognize the valets or servidors on every guest room door, which were used for The Pfister’s specialty laundry and shoeshine service in the early to mid-1900s. New molding and custom wood features have also been added to the guest room doors to showcase the hotel’s historic past. In addition, the original U.S. Mail chutes found on every floor will continue to be available for guests to use.

Floor to Ceiling Lobby Renovations and Rouge Ballroom

Renovations to The Pfister Hotel’s spectacular lobby and first-floor public spaces will be the next phase of this extensive reinvestment, following the completion of the historic guest room revitalization. Complementing the design of the updated ballrooms and meeting and event spaces as well as the historic guest rooms, the lobby will feature an updated color palette along with new carpet and luxurious furnishings. The Pfister’s iconic domed ceiling will also undergo restoration while keeping its award-winning artwork and design.

The Rouge Ballroom, located off the lobby and hosting weddings, meetings and other special events, will be renovated similarly to the updated meeting and event spaces. The neutral color palette will allow the art pieces, ornate steps, beautiful crystal chandeliers and original woodwork to be spotlighted throughout the design.

More information on the future phases of the renovation will be forthcoming. Additional information can also be found here, including images of the renovated guest room design.