Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade Scarlett and Maximus
Scarlett and Maximus at Kimpton Journeyman
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Kimpton Journeyman logoBeing from Southern California, I didn’t even think to check the weather when I booked my Inner Circle free night at the Kimpton Journeyman for the first weekend of January.  If case you haven’t heard, it is cold in Wisconsin during the winter.  However, the cold weather didn’t stop us from having a great time in Milwaukee.  To start our trip out right, our room was a 1-bedroom Kimpton Journeyman suite upgrade!


Booking a room at Kimpton Journeyman

I’ve never been to Milwaukee before, and I have a goal of seeing a home game for every pro team.  So, when I saw that the Kimpton Journeyman was opening in Milwaukee, I knew this was a great opportunity.  I booked my Inner Circle free night and paired it with a paid night during October’s Kimpton Annual Double Stay Credit Sale.

The King Deluxe room that I booked was $159 a night.

Kimpton Journeyman Hotel King Deluxe room prices

When we checked in, however, we received a Kimpton Journeyman suite upgrade to a 1-bedroom suite that usually runs about $329 a night.

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Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade

When we walked into our Room 615, we were immediately impressed with our Kimpton Journeyman suite upgrade to a 475 square feet 1-bedroom suite.  The front room featured a large pull-out couch with a coffee table, a very cool rustic cabinet, and a flat panel TV.  Large windows let in a ton of sunlight to brighten the room.

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade living room
Kimpton Journeyman 1-Bedroom Suite living room

Scarlett became immediate best buddies with Maximus, the puppy statue that was in our room.  How cute is that?

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade Scarlett and Maximus
Scarlett and Maximus at Kimpton Journeyman

Down the hall towards the bedroom is the bathroom on the left.  The bathroom was above average sized, but the best feature is the shower.  Literally, it was bigger than the rest of the bathroom.  I like the new trend in hotels where they enclose both the shower and the tub in the same “wet area”.  It makes the shower feel so much larger.

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade bathroom
Kimpton Journeyman 1-bedrrom suite bathroom

Further down the hallway is the bedroom area.  As I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the two walls of windows that faced the intersection of Broadway and Chicago.  The sunset was really pretty to watch from the bedroom!

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade bedroom windows
Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade bedroom windows

The bed was very comfortable with the Frette linens, down comforter, and 4 pillows.  And I appreciated that each window had two blackout curtains that blocked out all of the light.  I had such a great night of sleep while at the Kimpton Journeyman.

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade bed and hallway
Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade bed and hallway

The room also had a unique touch that I hadn’t seen before.  On the chair in the corner was a leather bag from a local artisan, Heather Hambrecht.  You can borrow the bag during your stay.  And if you want to keep it, you can take it home for $550.  To me, that’s a steep price, but Anna would probably think differently.  Luckily for me, Scarlett is OK with her pretend purses… for the moment.

Kimpton Journeyman artisan bag

Overall, the room was everything I expect when I stay at a Kimpton, and so much more.  The only thing that was missing was a dedicated work space.  There was a little table next to the couch, that functioned more like a TV tray for snacks and drinks that a workspace.  When I travel, I’m usually working remotely for work or writing this blog, so I like having a place to plug in, spread out, and get some work done.


Kimpton Journeyman Welcome Amenity

As an Inner Circle member of Kimpton’s Karma Rewards loyalty program, I get to create a custom welcome amenity by giving my preferences.  I like to try local beers and snack on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and yogurt covered pretzels.  Sam and the Journeyman team provided some tasty local brews from Lakefront Brewery; a Smash Ale and a New Grist ginger flavored beer.  They even left a glass of apple juice for Scarlett!  [Hint to all other hotels that may be reading this:  Parents love it when you do special things for their kids.]

I didn’t get my usual Reese’s or pretzels.  Instead, the staff must have seen my Instagram picture of the donuts at Donut Bar from the prior week’s stay at the Kimpton Palomar San Diego.

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade
Kimpton Journeyman Welcome Amenity

The donuts from Holey Moley were out of this world delicious!  I’d say that the coffee cake crumb donut was one of the best donuts I’ve ever tasted in my life.  I need to ask them if they deliver!

And I always appreciate it when the staff leaves a personal note.

Kimpton Journeyman Suite Upgrade personal note from Sam

The dozen donuts were tasty treats that we munched on all weekend long, while the local beers, water, and $10 Raid The Mini Bar credit helped to quench my thirst.


Kimpton Secret Password: “Feeling Toasty”

During January and most of February, if you say the Kimpton Secret Password, you get a little something special.  Each property does things a little differently.  At the Kimpton Journeyman, they brought out a little basket with a bunch of wrapped goodies to choose from.

Kimpton Journeyman Secret Password goodies
Kimpton Journeyman Secret Password goody basket

I let Scarlett pick whichever one she wanted.  When we unwrapped the gift in our room, it turned out to be a keychain ruler.  Timmy was super excited about it when we brought it home to him.

Kimpton Journeyman Secret Password keychain ruler for Timmy


Kimpton Journeyman Wine Hour

All Kimpton properties offer an evening wine hour from 5pm to 6pm in their lobby.  Jesse was pouring the standard Two Vines Merlot/Cab blend and Chardonnay white wines you’ll find at most Kimptons.  The Kimpton Journeyman also offered some special twists to wine hour.  First, you could sample Chai Tea, Mulled Cider, or the local brew Fantasy Factory IPA.  A little later, a couple bottles of rum and bourbon were also available for you to sample.

So many tempting choices, but only one hour to partake.  At least you can sample any or all of them!  What would be your choice?

Kimpton Journeyman Wine Hour

To pair with the wine hour beverages, there were a couple of gourmet pizzas to nibble on.

Kathryn from the front desk fawned over Scarlett whenever she saw her.  While we were relaxing in the lobby, she brought us some chocolate chip cookies.

Kimpton Journeyman Wine Hour chocolate chip cookies

The lobby was very spacious and offered seating that allowed for some privacy as well as the opportunity to meet new people.

Kimpton Journeyman lobby seating

And there’s even a pool table on the other side of the fireplaces to play with your friends… or make new ones.

Kimpton Journeyman lobby pool table
Who’s ready for a game of 8-ball?


The Outsiders Rooftop Bar

The Outsiders is the rooftop bar on the 9th floor.  The doors to the outside were closed, but we went outside anyway.  There were fire pits to keep you warm and temporary fabric walls to contain the heat, but it was still really cold and a little windy when we checked it out.  No wonder nobody was outside.  I can imagine how beautiful the views are of the sunset in the Spring, Summer, and Fall when the weather is much nicer and all the windows and doors are open.

Kimpton Journeyman The Outsiders patio area
Kimpton Journeyman The Outsiders patio area

The Outsiders bar looked like a pretty good social scene, but I couldn’t hang out since I had Scarlett with me.

Kimpton Journeyman The Outsiders bar


Tre Rivali Lobby Restaurant

Unfortunately, in 2017, Kimpton eliminated their $50 dining credit for Inner Circle members staying during their free night.  So, we ate while we were out and about instead of at the hotel.

Kimpton Journeyman Tre Rivali

Scarlett and I checked out the goodies and knew we wanted to bring Mommy home something tasty.  Too bad about the TSA 3-1-1 rules, otherwise, we would have brought home one of those cool looking growlers full of local beer.

Kimpton Journeyman Tre Rivali treats for sale

We grabbed some scones, spices for cooking, and some peanut butter treats.  To our delight, when we were checking out, we were told that the $50 dining credit was actually on our account.  So, we went back to Tre Rivali to grab some breakfast and some more treats to bring home with us.


Kimpton Journeyman Gym

I like to work out when I travel, but it would have been a chore to keep Scarlett safe.  So, we just took a couple of snaps to show you what the workout room looks like at the Journeyman.  The gym was fairly large, with windows overlooking the street below.  There are mirrors on the wall to make the room look bigger and allow you to correct your form while working out.  The middle of the room is empty space, which grants you the room needed to do exercises requiring bigger movements without the risk of bumping into anyone.

Kimpton Journeyman gym


How to pay for your room at Kimpton Journeyman

Because Kimpton doesn’t have their own co-branded credit card, my card of choice is the Barclay Arrival.  I like the Barclay Arrival for short hotel stays because you can offset your expenses with points earned from purchases.


The Bald Thoughts

I had never been to Milwaukee before, but now I’m a big fan.  The Kimpton Journeyman was a fantastic hotel experience that exceeded all expectations.  It is the only hotel in the Third Ward area and is walking distance to many of the trendy shops, including the Public Market, which offers many tasty food options.  The hotel is priced reasonably and the staff goes out of their way to make you feel special.


  1. That is impressive! I always see these posts and wonder just how bad my “karma” is with Kimpton. While the welcome amenities and upgrades used to be great (pre-2016), they were so nonexistent and lackluster (1 beer to share between myself and my spouse and some stale nuts or a frozen cupcake, for example) in 2016 we have pretty stopped staying with them (despite re-qualifying this year) and decided to not even attempt to re-qualify for 2018. I really do like seeing these snippets of the Kimpton I once loved, though. Makes me feel very nostalgic.

    • That’s a shame Michael. I’ve had mostly great experiences with my Welcome Amenities. A couple of times they’ve been underwhelming, but mostly great. If not Kimpton, which brand are you staying with now? The others are changing their programs so much (and not for the better), that it makes programs like Kimpton so much better by comparison, in my opinion/experience.

      • We have started using FHR a lot more with the rest being Hilton or Hyatt. Interestingly, I received more Hilton suite upgrades last year than I did Kimpton. I agree the other programs are changing, but I’ve also seen Kimpton’s execution of their program also slip. Last year on several stays the rooms didn’t even seem to be “best available” within the class of rooms (no view, low floor and near an elevator despite my request of a high floor and away from the elevator) even though the Kimpton website showed room all room types including suites being available at those properties. Don’t get me wrong, we used to love Kimpton — but our experience last year was consistently lackluster enough that we just let our last 3 free reward nights expire rather than taking the trouble to drive a few hours to stay at Kimpton for weekend escapes. In the past we saw it as a treat and felt it worth the drive. Now days? Not so much. But I am sincere when I say I love seeing your experiences — I’m great some of the old Kimpton major still seems to be alive.

        • Where are you located Michael? Maybe it’s the luck of the draw, but I’ve had great suite upgrades in the last year at Sir Francis Drake, San Diego Palomar, and Canary in CA and the Donovan in DC and (obviously) the Journeyman.

          That breaks my heart that those free nights went to waste. In the future, feel free to book one for me to use! I’ll bite the bullet for you. Haha

          It makes sense to have other options like FHR even if you wanted to remain loyal to Kimpton given their limited footprint. I generally default to Hilton when I go someplace Kimpton isn’t available (or if their room prices are too high). I have mad love for Kimpton, but not at $400+ a night when other reasonable options are $100-200 or I can use points.

          I hope my stays will inspire you to give them another chance when the price and location fit your plans.


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