The Pfister Hotel Press Coverage

Join The Pfister® Hotel’s New Narrator In Residence For Chai, Henna and Journaling

MILWAUKEE – May 23, 2019 – The historic AAA Four-Diamond Pfister® Hotel, owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, today announced Bela Suresh Roongta, founder and owner of Milwaukee-based boutique shop, belabela, as its 12th Pfister Narrator in Residence. An artist and writer inspired by her East Indian roots, Suresh Roongta will bring a new series, called “Chai at The Pfister,” as well as henna, journaling workshops and more to her year-long residency as The Pfister Narrator. During the residency, she will also share her experiences at the hotel and interactions with guests via The Pfister’s award-winning blog (


“As an immigrant, travel lover, business owner, lawyer-turned-artist and storyteller, I identify with The Pfister’s history as a hotel built by immigrants living the American Dream,” said Roongta. “I believe strongly in the power of human connection and am guided by my conviction that it is in each other’s stories that we find the beauty of the human spirit. I can think of no better way to continue this work than to capture and share the stories of The Pfister Hotel’s guests and visitors.”


During her residency, Roongta will host a bi-monthly “Chai at The Pfister” series, the first of which will be May 28, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. These events will encourage guests and locals, alike, to enjoy a cup of chai and pause for a moment to sit, rest and share stories. Every other week she will also apply henna in the lobby, as well as journaling workshops and henna classes for those interested in learning more about this Ancient East Indian art form.


Roongta, who is based in Milwaukee, is a published author and has been recognized extensively for her literary and arts work. She was the 2018-2019 Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) spoken word mentee, and in 2016, she received a Special Recognition Governor’s Trailblazer Award for Women in Business for innovation and success. Her book ‘…fill in the beauty, a book for the storyteller and artist in all of us,’ captures original drawings and stories that invite readers to read, draw and reflect.


Prior to focusing on storytelling and art, Roongta was the director of courthouse advocacy for the Task Force on Family Violence, now the Sojourner Family Peace Center. She also served on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the Tamarack Waldorf School and DIDI, a community organization that provides culturally specific advocacy for victims of family violence. She continues to use this expertise as a volunteer attorney at the Milwaukee Justice Center. She received her juris doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City, Iowa, as well as a bachelor’s degree in sociology and philosophy from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.


The Pfister Narrator is selected each year from a pool of applicants by a review panel consisting of local writers, editors and hotel representatives. Suresh Roongta succeeds Anna Lardinois, who served as the 11th Pfister Narrator.


More information about The Pfister Hotel’s Narrator-in-Residence program can be found at For more information on the latest news and updates from Marcus Hotels & Resorts, please visit:


About The Pfister Hotel

At more than 125 years old, The Pfister Hotel is one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in the Midwest and downtown Milwaukee. Originally opened in 1893 by businessman Guido Pfister, it was the most lavish hotel of its time. The hotel’s storied elegance had faded following World War II, until 1962, when Ben Marcus, founder of The Marcus Corporation, purchased this grand hotel out of bankruptcy. The Marcus Corporation renovated and restored the hotel to its original glory, adding convention facilities, a parking garage and 23-story guest tower. The Pfister Hotel is home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world as well as an award-winning Artist-in-Residence program.

Today, The Pfister Hotel continues its tradition of gracious service and impeccable style and has been recognized by AAA as a Four-Diamond property for 42 consecutive years. In 2018, The Pfister was recognized as a Top Hotel in the Midwest in Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious annual Reader’s Choice Awards for the second consecutive year and was ranked the No. 1 Best Milwaukee Hotel by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. This exceptional property is a member of two prestigious hotel organizations, Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The Pfister Hotel is located at 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. For more information, please visit and follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter (@PfisterHotel).

October 2023