What is a Hostel?
A hostel is a budget-friendly lodging option with a focus on community and shared experience. Like a hotel, we offer private rooms–but with shared bathrooms–and we also offer shared rooms (dorms) that sleep upwards of 12 people. We have two shared gendered bathrooms and two non-gendered private bathrooms. Every bathroom has toilets, sinks/vanities, and showers. All guests have access to the kitchen and common areas. Staying in a hostel allows you to save money and meet some fellow travelers. It's a win-win!
Our office is open for check-ins from 3pm to 8pm. Outside of those hours, the office is closed, but the reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day. If you would like to drop your luggage off before check-in, we offer this service free of charge to all hostel guests, so just just give us a call to make arrangements. The entry doors and hallway doors are accessible by a security code that you will receive upon check-in. If arriving after 8p- we will give you a front door code to get into our lobby. Call or email us for that code.
Checkout is at 11am. To check out, simply place your sheets and pillowcases in the laundry bins on your floor. Your door code will expire at noon on the day of your departure. Late checkout is 12pm: In other words, you should have left the hostel by that time. Upon request and at no additional charge, we can store your luggage for up to 12 hours after you check out. Just let a staff member know.
I’m arriving before or after the check-in times. What do I do?
If you’re checking out early, you do not need to do anything differently. We ask that if you leaving early from a shared dorm you leave quietly so as not to disturb your roommates. In this case, you may leave your bedding intact and we will take care of it later in the day. If you’re in a private room, please remove all bedding and place it in the laundry bins on your floor.
If you are arriving after 8pm, please give us a heads up by phone, text or email and we’ll have your check-in packet ready to go and a code to get you into the front lobby. A staff member will get you a door code and get you settled in. If possible, we ask that you book a private room if you are planning to arrive after 10pm.
Free street parking is available through the City of Milwaukee for up to three nights with registering with the city on their website.
$10 per night off street parking available to guests staying longer than three nights or with availability to other guests staying less than three nights. Discounts available if staying longer than seven days.
We do have bike parking on-site and can store bicycles in an indoor storage area. Bicycles are also available to rent on-site.
How far are you from downtown?
We are located three miles from the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Jump onto the 15 bus line, rent a bicycle from us, or take advantage of the nearby Bublr bike share bikes.
Is the neighborhood safe?
While we like to say Milwaukee is a big small town, it is a city like any other city. Stay aware of your surroundings, give a good Midwestern hello to those who you pass on the street and have fun exploring. As owners and staff, we have lived in this area for decades. We you invite you to explore our neighborhood. Of course, like any big city, there are multiple options if you need a lift- Uber and Lyft, taxi, bike share, electric scooters and bus.
Do you provide towels and linens?
We provide all sheets, pillowcases, pillows and blankets. We’ve got lots of extra comfy blankets for those who are chilly at night and extra pillows for those who need more fluff in their lives. We ask you not to bring your own bedding from home. Let us do the laundry!
We have towels and hand towels to rent for $1 for the length of your stay. We’re working on reducing our water usage with less laundry.
Can I bring a guest to the hostel?
We do not allow any guests who do not have a reservation at Cream City Hostel. We encourage you to socialize in the backyard or at one of the many establishments around the neighborhood. Out of respect for your roommates, unless you have a group booking, dorm beds are meant for one individual.
Can I cook my own food?
There is a fully equipped kitchen in the basement rec room. There you will find a stove, microwave, dishwasher, shelves and bins for dry storage, and large refrigerator (no freezer). We ask you to label your food with your name and checkout date. It is not permitted to store alcohol in the kitchen.
There is complimentary coffee and tea in the mornings and a few grocery stores within walking distance if you’d like to purchase food or other items not provided by the hostel.
There are security cameras outside of the building, at each of the entrances and over the backyard. We also have cameras in the hallways and reception area. For your privacy, there are no cameras in the common areas or in the rooms.
Upon check-in, each guest will be given a unique passcode for the main doors and their room door. This code expires at 11 am on your scheduled checkout date.
We offer secure lockers for each dorm room guest and have locks for purchase ($8) if you forgot yours at home. The private rooms do not have lockers. We have a safe if you have valuables you do not feel comfortable leaving in your room.
May I bring a pet?
Nope. We’re sure they are adorable and we’d love to see pictures, but as far as guests are concerned, we allow certified service animals only. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. The ADA does not apply to assistance animals, therapy dogs or emotional support animals.
Are there lockers?
We have secured lockers for each guest in the dorm rooms and offer locks for purchase ($8) if you forgot yours at home. The private rooms do not have lockers. We also have a safe if you have valuables you do not feel comfortable leaving in your room.
What if I’m under the age of 18?
All guests must be at least 18 years of age unless pre-approved by management and accompanied by a parent or guardian. For group reservations made directly through the hostel (not through a third-party website), this age limit can be lowered.
I’m traveling with my family. Can we stay at Cream City Hostel?
We welcome families! We ask that you book a private or 4-bed dorm room if travelling with kids under the age of 18. Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian if spending time in the common areas or backyard.
Can I pay in cash?
Yes. However, all reservations must have a valid credit card in the reserver’s name on file. We may take a small deposit from the card at check-in to guarantee you have sufficient funds.
What are the accommodations like?
We have eight rooms: Six dorms and two private. In addition, there is a quiet common area on the second floor with three desktop computers and space to read, journal, or work on personal laptops. The half basement holds a second common area, which features a rec room, dining area and fully equipped kitchen. We have a large backyard for general use as well as community events, hostel events, and bonfires when weather permits.
Each dorm room has lockers, privacy curtains around every bed and a shelf, light and outlet for each bed. Both of the private rooms come with a dresser/wardrobe.
The reception area has bike rentals, check-in desk and local area resources.
Quiet hours and curfew
We all like sleep. If you’re staying a dorm room, we ask you to be quiet after 10pm to allow folks to catch some z’s. Not ready for be by ten? Feel free to hang out in our basement rec room. The second-floor lounge has quiet hours starting at 10 pm until 9 am and we ask that you use headphones. There is no curfew. You will be provided a code to get into the building after hours, and we are staffed 24 hours a day.
Do you require a deposit?
Yes. A deposit covering the cost of your first night’s stay will be taken upon reservation.
Please contact us for reservations and policies for groups of 6 or more.
What is your cancellation policy?
No-shows/cancellations within 24 hours of check-in will forfeit their deposit. No-shows with multiple-night bookings will forfeit the entirety of the reservation if we have not heard from them by 11am the day following their scheduled arrival. In addition, per our 24-hour cancellation policy, they will be charged for the second night.
For all reservations over $1,000, cancellations must be given 72 hours in advance or we will charge you for the remainder of each night within that 72-hour cancellation window.
Cancellations due to cancelled flights, changed travel plans or weather delays can not be honored.
Can I stay at the hostel if I live in Milwaukee?
In order to meet our mission to be a destination for world-wide, adventure-oriented and budget oriented travelers coming to Milwaukee, all Milwaukee-metro area residents must make a reservation 48 hours in advance and will be asked for proof of activity including but not limited to concert tickets, sporting event tickets and other event tickets.