A Wisconsin landmark with charm
202 Rooms / 2 Suites
Situated at the edge of sparkling Lake Mendota, the aptly named Edgewater Hotel is Madison’s landmark hotel. But like many things in the Midwest, its understated appearance and attitude is what makes it so enjoyable.
Within minutes of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and the domed state capitol, The Edgewater hosts business travelers, UW alumni and hardcore Badger sports fans in its 202 guest rooms, the majority of which offer awe-inspiring lake views.
Like The Plaza Hotel in New York City or the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, The Edgewater is a local icon. The Madison hotel first opened its doors in 1948 and has hosted an array of dignitaries and celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Elton John, Bob Hope, Bob Marley and the Dalai Lama.
To learn more, check out the sprawling interactive display in the lobby, which showcases the history of the hotel, the city and its esteemed guests.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Be sure to reserve a room with vistas of picturesque Lake Mendota.
• The one-acre, landscaped brick Plaza is open to the public with regularly scheduled free outdoor events, movie nights, concerts and celebrations.
• The Plaza converts into a skating rink in the winter.
• The Boathouse, a two-story space on the shores of Lake Mendota, is the most coveted spot May to October, when you can dine inside or out.
• The hotel has more than 40 boat slips that are free and open to the public in the summer. Boat rentals and charters can be arranged from the pier.
What to Know
• The luxury hotel sits next to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is within walking distance of State Street’s restaurants and shops.
• You can arrive by boat and even dock at the hotel’s own pier.
• The Wisconsin building houses most of the guest rooms and the lobby. Marble floors, warm lighting and a wrought-iron staircase make it a contemporary and inviting space.
• Constructed in September 2014, the Wisconsin tower adopts an Art Deco style and added fine dining, meeting and banquet space.
• The original Langdon tower recently updated its extended-stay lofts, but preserved many original design elements, like claw-foot tubs, porthole windows and black-and-white checkerboard flooring.
• The spacious rooms vary in size and layout, but one thing is constant — the large, luxurious bathrooms with fixtures from Wisconsin company Kohler.
• Many rooms include an outdoor patio for a gulp of fresh air.
• The Statehouse seafood and steak restaurant serves modern Midwestern cuisine and has an adjoining tavern for classic cocktails and casual fare.
• Visit the Langdon building to use the full-service spa. The offerings include everything from couples massages and acupuncture to a soothing signature facial.
• Work out in the expansive fitness center, which provides a slate of classes and a relaxation pool. Bonus: The gym overlooks the water.
• Taste Wisconsin’s famed beers and cheese (whether in the gooey grilled cheese or the cheese curds with Aleppo chili ranch) at The Icehouse food hall.