What We Love
- Convenient location smack in the middle of downtown and on the edge of the University of Wisconsin campus
- Rooftop bar and restaurant, the Madison Blind, offers views of Lake Mendota and the capitol building and serves local-leaning snacks like cheese curds as well as heartier fare like sausage plates
- Clever uber-local style in the cheerful lobby and 72 guestrooms
- Bathrooms offer upscale Malin + Goetz products
What To Know
- Bike rentals ($5 an hour) make it easy to explore nearby neighborhoods
- Guestroom decor pops with plaid accents and academic touches like desks that could have been lifted from an upscale dorm room, as well as sketches of local personalities
- Suites are well suited to families, complete with pullout sofas
- A 14.5 percent tax will be collected by the hotel upon check-in
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Steps from Wisconsin’s capitol building and situated on the edge of the University of Wisconsin campus, the 72-room property evokes nostalgia for the good old days of college while boasting a decidedly modern style. The clever design aesthetic will delight any type of guest, from future coeds to business travelers to the leisure set, starting with the canoes turned chandeliers, handsome trophy case and a communal oak table in the lobby. (Be sure to grab a snack from the lobby’s coffee and juice bar, Portage Pi.) The guestroom decor pops with plaid accents and academic touches like desks that could have been lifted from an upscale dorm room, as well as sketches of local personalities, while the bathrooms offer upscale Malin + Goetz products. The spacious rooftop bar and restaurant, the Madison Blind, is a lovely light-filled space to settle in for local-leaning snacks like cheese curds or heartier fare like a sausage plate while taking in the view of Lake Mendota and the capitol building.
In the Area
Savor the flavor of this lively college town by strolling (or rolling, on one of the hotel’s rental bike) through downtown and the University of Wisconsin campus, both of which are just blocks away. Gastropubs are a favorite gathering spot for students, locals and visitors; check out the original location of the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, the first brewery to open in Madison. Just a block away, another perennial favorite is the Old Fashioned, which serves Wisconsin favorites like cheese, brats and — of course — beer. A bit farther afield is the Freiburg Gastropub, which offers authentic German fare in the Monroe Street dining district.
How to Get There
I booked a room via Hotwire for $85 and landed the Graduate. Wow! What a great surprise! First, I love dogs and was pleased to see the hotel was dog friendly at no extra charge!
We brought our pup and when checking in, the gave her a Bark Box ... so cute!
Valet parking was $25, little coffe shop was quaint-great location. We will be back !
Best place to stay for a game!!! Room, bar and Kurt at the front desk! We will stay here for every game! Restaurant had amazing food and was great for the kids! Roof top, s’mores, games and blankets! Couldn’t ask for a better stay
We loved our visit to Madison. Staying at the Graduate Hotel was perfect. It was located in the center of town between the university campus and the Capitol so we could walk everywhere. Rooms are not hr smaller side, but cute and comfortable. The hotel staff were super friendly and accommodating.
Note: Parking is valet only.
Having stayed in Madison many times, we thought we would try The Graduate. While the reviews were mixed online, we stayed anyway... we really really wanted to like it as the concept is great. But the reviews were all correct. We were in a King "suite" with a pullout. Room was very small (think NYC small) for 3 people, with barely room to walk once bed was pulled out. Biggest negative however was the noise. Room was hot and we could not adjust the heat, so we opened the window. A friday and saturday night stay on Langdon street with frats and sororities having parties and students walking by till 4am meant none of use slept. The bar on the 7th floor has little to no insulation so late night and early morning noises made sleeping impossible. Decor is charming and the lobby is really cute with students studying so a great vibe. But the room comfort and overall great night is not one of the strengths. And at $300 per night, overpriced for sure.
This is a fun, college-themed hotel with an excellent location, just a block or so from the UW Madison campus. Most impressive was the staff. They clearly do a great job hiring and cross-training from the front desk to the back office to housekeeping. I had several attachments to print and the front desk helped with this at no charge AND let me borrow their stapler :). They also helped with where certain buildings were on campus. Housekeeping cheerfully gave me an extra 15 minutes after check-out to finish packing for my day of meetings and a later flight. The team spirit was evident throughout my stay. Each person had their own role/responsibilities, but each were also more than willing to jump-in and help if things got busy or if they could offer helpful advice. After my meetings on campus, I went back to get my luggage and figure out how to get around the Homecoming Parade to catch a cab or Uber/Lyft to the airport. One of the staff was heading in the direction I needed to go and offered to walk me and my luggage a few blocks over where I could catch a ride to the airport, since the free hotel shuttle couldn't get to the hotel due to the parade. He also called me a cab and checked to see if he could find me a faster ride. He waited with me until the cab arrived through the parade delays/traffic. I later found out that this person was Stephen Hansen-Sturm, the Controller at The Graduate Hotel Madison. I was pretty amazed that he took his own time to help, ensuring that I made my flight back to CT. I can honestly say that I have never experienced so much genuine helpfulness from hotel employees as I had during my short stay. Thank you Stephen, the front desk and the housekeeping employees that worked on October 18-19th! When I visit Madison again, I know where I will be staying :). Best, Margot Popowycz