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Hotel Check: Hotel Northland, Autograph Collection

Green Bay, WI

WHERE IS IT? In the heart of downtown Green Bay,  this historic hotel is central for locals looking for great dining, a friendly neighborhood sports bar, and a hub for social activities. The drive to Lambeau Field, Titletown, and the new Resch Center takes about five minutes for those attending Green Bay Packers games or large conferences and events there.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Decades ago, this was the city’s premier hotel hosting important city events and social functions, and when it opened in 1924, it was the largest hotel in Wisconsin. It is also where all of the football opponents that played the Green Bay Packers would stay when they were in town. The hotel’s football past is evident in historic photographs and artefacts on display throughout the property. Public tours of the building’s architectural detail and sporting history are a popular draw for locals and visitors. Packers’ coach Vince Lombardi signed his original contract here; it’s also where he held his first news conference. He lived in the property for a short period of time, too.

Today, the lobby is a bastion of architectural detail and elegance. As with all Autograph Collection properties within the Marriott brand, there is a “mark of craft” that tells a local story. A bronze replica of Vince Lombardi’s hat sits by the front staircase, which is the property’s legendary “mark of craft.” High ceilings, beautiful brass railings, original chandeliers and mail chutes, intricately tiled floors, and historic art add to the building’s architectural experience. Past guests have included President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The property has been fully restored following years as low-income housing and a senior center and is once again a highlight of the downtown revitalization efforts. Its COVID-19 protocols are in line with Marriott’s strong efforts and included signage reminding guests of masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizing.

ROOM FACILITIES Two elevators rise to the refurbished guest rooms with large beds backed by cushioned headboards and accent walls. Power and USB outlets are everywhere including by the bed, by the coffee table, and near wall shelves by the TV. I also liked that the cushioned luggage sofas at the base of the bed had drawers for extra storage. The hotel is generous in the details including two bottles of water in the fridge, two robes, Italian coffee in the rooms, and great recognition of Marriott Bonvoy elite status members. Bathrooms sport tiled shower stalls with sliding doors and the smart repositioning of the shower handle so that you don’t get sprayed with hot or cold water when turning it on.

Views of the downtown area are highlights, but given the hotel’s history, there are almost three dozen different room layouts and styles adding to the variety. Some of the suites have full kitchens and fireplaces, which are ideal for those with longer stays in mind.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Poke the Bear is the hotel’s Packers-themed sports bar that features a variety of local beers on tap (including one especially made for the hotel) as well as wine, cocktails, and a bar menu. The Walnut Room is the elegant dining room serving breakfast and dinner; its private dining room with walls of wine behind glass is a great venue for more intimate functions. There’s also a two-lane bowling alley and lounge on the bottom floor that double as a great event space.

LEISURE FACILITIES A modest fitness center is on offer, and the nearby riverfront is the ideal jogging spot.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel has a dozen meeting venues including its iconic Crystal Ballroom with enormous windows, grandiose décor and high ceilings, and lofty balconies. Many groups appreciate the closed-off section at the end that makes it ideal for some groups that want private dining amidst a larger setting. The building’s history and décor make it especially appealing for wedding groups and Packers fans among others.

VERDICT This hotel pays ample homage to the Green Bay Packers, the city’s history, and Marriott’s energy behind what Autograph Collection boutique hotels should truly be. For those looking to enjoy downtown Green Bay’s many dining and shopping options, this hotel is in the midst of it all.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 160 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Refurbished historic building with impressive architectural detail in the heart of downtown

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $123

CONTACT 304 North Adams Street, Green Bay, WI, 54301, Phone 920-393-7499