For me, this is where the trip began. When we were organizing the trip, I had originally planned to depart out of Milwaukee at around 9AM on Friday, but thanks to some good negotiation with the people at Delta, I was able to get a 7AM flight.
That led to a new wrinkle – how to get to the airport so early, and the idea was hatched to pick up a stay at a hotel the night before. I used Hotwire to get a deal on the Comfort Suites Milwaukee Airport, and I have written a review on Trip Advisor, which I have, for the most part, republished here; just with a couple of more details 🙂
I stayed at the Comfort Suites while I was on my way out on a trip to Hawaii. It worked out much easier for me to stay overnight in a hotel since my flight was due to leave Milwaukee at 7AM, and I found that the rate for the hotel, and having a family friend take me down to the hotel was a better (and less expensive) option than having to be awake at 3AM to leave my home with a car service.
The room that I was booked into (2062) was a suite with two queen beds, and it had a very simple set-up. When you enter the room, you are presented with the two beds, a large dresser and a flat screen TV.
Behind that is the bathroom and kitchenette, featuring a microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker. Finally, you have the sitting area, with a second TV, couch and workspace.
There was also a window there, and in the room that I stayed in, it had a view of the indoor pool and spa, which was fantastic – it also meant that you would not have to worry about any sunlight coming to you as a surprise if you are a later sleeper, or staying in the summer when sunrise can be as early as 5:30 AM.
One thing that I have seen mentioned in other reviews is the charge for the use of a safe in the room. I was aware of the charge already (which can be removed by simply asking at the end of your stay) thanks to the reviews. However, travellers who may not have read reviews on TripAdvisor are made aware of the charge for the safe on the check-in paperwork that you sign off on prior to receiving your room key. One other thing that I arranged for right away was a booking on the free shuttle that runs at :10 and :40 past each hour.
After getting myself settled in to the room, I headed down to the bar in the hotel to check out the happy hour that was mentioned (which you get a card for at check-in), along with the prospect of pizza being available for a dinner. When I got there at around 6PM, there were a couple of people in there enjoying the complimentary beverages (Miller Lite was the beer on tap, along with house wine and soda). While there was not any pizza there at that time, there were pretzels laid out on each of the tables.
I waited for around half an hour or so in hopes that the pizza would appear. Ultimately, I decided to head out into the rain and walked over to Subway to buy dinner, along with stopping at Speedway to pick up a bottle of water. There’s also a McDonald’s at the same corner, but I wasn’t interested in it. I then came back to my room and had my dinner.
I then went into the pool and enjoyed the spa and pool area, swimming a couple of laps of the pool, then spending time in the spa. I also played some of the games in the game center, which was a good way of spending a couple of minutes, even though some of the machines seem to be a bit out of maintenance, which is a disappointment.
While on the way to the pool, I went back through the pub (which I will mention was quite poorly lit, even for a “pub” atmosphere), and found that a single pepperoni pizza had been delivered sometime around 7:00-7:30 PM.
After that, it was time for me to (try to, but ultimately fail) go to sleep. I will note that it was due to me not wanting to oversleep and miss my flight, as the bed was very comfortable and I was glad to have the choice of soft or firm pillows available to me.
One item that I had seen touted on their website is that the rooms are more “tech friendly” with USB ports available. I was disappointed to find that all of the available power outlets were in the kitchenette, bathroom, and seating area of the suite, and not a single USB port available in my particular room. This could be an issue if you like to plug your devices in near to your bed and have them set to play an alarm, especially if you’re needing to get up at 4:30 AM for your 5:10 AM shuttle to the airport.
One other thing about the room was that the toilet seat was cracked. While that did not prevent me from using the toilet, it did make the experience unnerving since I did not know if the rest of the seat would hold. When I spotted it, I did make a call to the front desk, and they did assure me that the issue would be resolved in the morning when maintenance came in.
A final item about when I checked out (which was easy with the gentleman who was there doing the overnight shift) – I was very pleasantly surprised to see that there was a box on the front counter with a number of bags in it, offering a small breakfast treat for those who, like me, were getting up too early to enjoy the full breakfast the hotel offers.
In the bag was a granola bar, an apple, and a bottle of water, all of which I did enjoy having as a nice treat which came as a surprise to me.
Overall, the Comfort Inn is certainly a hotel that I would stay at again if I were needing to stay overnight close to the airport prior to heading out on a very early flight on my own, and not wanting to use the at-airport parking. It’s also a great option for anyone staying for a longer time in the Milwaukee area, as you find that while you are not immediately close to downtown, it’s only about a 10-15 minute drive, and you can certainly pick up public transportation into the central city.
Up next for me: going through the recombobulation area at Milwaukee Airport, and on my way to Honolulu. It was dark then, and I was expecting it to just be hitting sunset when I arrived.