What We Love
- The party-central public plaza hosts fall football bashes, summer fireworks and a winter skating rink
- A boat-up beer and brats pier
- Ethereal Lake Mendota views from the two-story waterfront spa and the Lakeview Rooms
What To Know
- Street parking is tight and overnight valet parking runs $25 ($18 for self-parking)
- There is a $14 resort fee per night (it includes WiFi, airport pickup and in town transportation, as well as fitness club and business center access) that will be collected at the hotel
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Housed in the historic Langdon Building (big bands used to blow trumpets on the roof), the hotel added a sleek new tower in 2014 overlooking Lake Mendota. The lobby’s curving grand staircase is lit by cubist glass chandeliers and leads up to a 90-foot interactive media wall that features video screens and lightboxes commemorating Wisconsin icons such as Frank Lloyd Wright and past Edgewater guests (Elvis Presley, Elton John, the Dalai Lama and Sammy Davis Jr., who allegedly attempted to fish from his lakefront guestroom).
Bed and Bath
The 202 guestrooms have been thoughtfully designed. Specially commissioned Deco chests and desks add a historic accent to the high gray headboards, jewel-colored throws and prints of heartland lakes in the coolly contemporary Wisconsin Building. The digs in the Langdon Building, which includes the original building from the 1940s and an addition from the ’70s, are quirkier, down to the porthole windows in a few rooms and freestanding clawfoot tubs in some studio bathrooms. Wisconsin’s own Kohler fixtures are present in all the gleaming bathrooms, along with epic walk-in showers and black granite countertops.
Designed as an urban resort, the sprawling property features a 10,000-square-foot waterfront spa (packed with eight treatment rooms, separate steam rooms, a fitness center and a plunge pool), the grab-and-go Icehouse café, a Boathouse grill and deck and a party-central one-acre public plaza. The best seat in the house, though, may be one of the green velvet chairs beside the lake-view picture window in the formal Statehouse restaurant, where the ode to the Midwest starts with Wisconsin craft beers from the adjoining bar and continues through a charcuterie plate that maps the heartland, featuring Iowa coppa picante and Indiana lamb salami as well as Madison’s own soppressata. For dessert, a bowl of the Edgewater’s signature specially created flavor of caramel corn ice cream, produced by the University of Wisconsin’s Babcock Dairy Store.
In the Area
Perfectly positioned on Madison’s central isthmus, between State Capitol Square and the University of Wisconsin’s leafy campus, the Edgewater allows for easy access to Madison’s best bits. Start at the Dane County Farmers Market, which circles the square from spring through fall and which features fresh-faced hippie farmers hawking a rich Midwestern harvest and helping to stock the bumper crop of locavore restaurants in the area. Among the best of the bunch are the James Beard–winning L’Etoile and the comfort food haven Old Fashioned (try the Wisconsin-on-a-plate beer-battered cheese curds). Then stroll down State Street, past bookstores, indie boutiques, and the coffee shops that keep the university’s 40,000 students fully caffeinated, to the heart of the UW campus. The Chazen Museum of Art features a world class collection of art from all over the world, and the lakeside Memorial Union Terrace, where everyone is either eating just-grilled bratwurst or licking a cone of UW’s own Babcock Dairy ice cream, offers boat rentals, so you can actually row right into that view of Lake Mendota, or canoe under your room’s window.
How to Get There
Excellent facilities, my only regret was not staying for the weekend. The rooms and the staff were superb. The views of the lake and the capital were stunning. The rooms were very large, and I especially appreciated the balconies.
The team at The Edgewater was exceptional. I'd go back in a heartbeat. If I'd do anything different, I'd make sure I stayed a few extra nights. Going from one building on the complex to the next finally became intuitive the second day. I would also make sure you make time to book some spa treatments. There's an excellent spa on the property. The food! You won't go wrong getting allergies and sensitivities taken care of AND the food is delicious.
A Very Pleasant Experience .
The cafe could offer a few more items to eat and some basics, like candy and magazines. The staff was very nice and helpful.
Everything was very clean. We had an excellent 3 nights.