If you’re considering hotels in downtown Madison for business travel, meetings or events, you’ll want to check out The Edgewater. Opening in August 2014, it has been undergoing a massive renovation and expansion that enhances and preserves the iconic Madison hotel’s Art Deco architecture as it sits along Lake Mendota.

Experience The Edgewater in Madison, WI:

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The Edgewater offers:

  • 202 guestrooms
  • Two Presidential Suites
  • Two ballrooms
  • Multiple terrace and outdoor event spaces
  • Four restaurant concepts
  • A spa
  • A one-acre public plaza

For meetings and events, The Edgewater has 45,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a 170 foot permanent dock, explains Meredith Voller, director of sales and marketing for The Edgewater. It also has a direct view to the state capital building.

The hotel and its unique spaces should interest planners who are considering programs in Wisconsin’s capital – which tend to include financial services, academic, health care and government programs.

The Edgewater Design

The interior is expected to evoke an exciting, new contemporary décor with modern technology touches such as an interactive media wall and touchscreen tables. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the hotel features the complete restoration of the original property’s two existing buildings as well as the addition of a new hotel tower, the Wisconsin Building.

Elkus Manfredi Founding Principal David Manfredi explains, “Madison’s warmth and cheer inspired the overall aesthetic. The guest experience was always on our mind throughout the design process. We want arriving at The Edgewater to evoke a feeling of coming home.”

With the hotel’s focus on “authentic hospitality,” the interior spaces offer an environment that varies from modern elegance to rustic comfort. In addition, the architects and designers pay homage to Madison by using indigenous materials to reinforce the sense of place.  Additional localized features include an interactive multimedia wall along the Wisconsin Building concourse, works by local artists, and a fireplace in the pre-function area that is constructed of local limestone and wood.

“Reinventing an iconic city landmark is no easy task. The new elements will help create a destination that sets the standard for the highest quality of hospitality in Madison,” says Manfredi.

The Hotel Lobby

The Edgewater lobby is not your typical lobby, opening to a multi-story, flowing sequence of spaces. A new auto court with covered parking leads guests down from Wisconsin Avenue and Langdon Street to The Edgewater’s main entry in the Wisconsin Building. Guests arrive directly at the check-in area, which is designed with wood paneling and gray marble flooring. While a wood and stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace dominates one wall, a centrally-located grand winding staircase truly defines the space and leads to several floors of public venues.

Connecting the Wisconsin Building’s entry to the north façade overlooking Lake Mendota is a gently curving, 93-foot-long concourse where the interactive media wall resides. The wall features a collage of video monitors, display vitrines containing artifacts and images, and photos that tell the history of the city and the hotel. After checking in, guests access their rooms by circulating around the central spiral staircase to reach the wood-paneled elevators.

Meeting & Banquet Facilities

The hotel boasts 45,000 square feet of meeting and special event space with a variety of flexible function venues for meetings, galas, weddings and more.

The lobby’s grand spiral staircase leads down to a pre-function area called The Nolen Gallery. With warm wooden tones and a stone fireplace against modern light fixtures and furniture, the Nolen Gallery is rustic yet refined. Floor-to-ceiling windows lead to The Veranda, an additional outdoor space, to create a welcoming setting ideal for a cocktail reception.

Through the Nolen Gallery, guests arrive at the hotel’s hallmark indoor event venue, the 6,150-square-foot Grand Ballroom. It boasts 15-foot glass windows offering sweeping panoramic views of Lake Mendota. Exuding sophistication, the up-lit walls accentuate the spectacular ceiling height. Drawing inspiration from The Edgewater’s surrounding, the floor pattern was inspired by the waters of the lake, while the wood paneling reflects the organic elegance of Wisconsin’s natural beauty. The dramatic room can accommodate up to 780 standing guests or 650 with banquet seating. Guests also have the option to divide the flexible space into three separate venues.

For a more intimate event space, the Mendota Ballroom, located one level below the Grand Ballroom, offers an alternative venue for up to 120 guests with an adjacent Mendota Gallery for pre-function entertaining. Deep-brown paneling paired with blue walls inspired by the water provides an inviting space with influences drawn from the surroundings. Other private spaces include the 15th-story Sky Bar atop the Wisconsin building with commanding views of Lake Mendota and the state Capitol. As a spacious lounge atop the adjacent Langdon Building, the 2,800-square-foot Red Crown Club offers equally stunning views with indoor seating for up to 50. With black lacquered paneling and red wall-covering, the city’s beloved UW Badgers inspire the finishes 


Bringing a new level of dining experience to Madison, The Edgewater will introduce a range of outstanding dining options including:

The Statehouse Restaurant & The Statehouse Bar, located on the seventh floor of the new Wisconsin building, offers a sophisticated dining experience, which combines the sunset views of Lake Mendota with world-class culinary talents. The dining room exudes warmth and charm with contrasting textures of wood, leather, and steel with modern light fixtures. Floor-to-ceiling windows and the opposing open kitchen with 30-foot-long, glass-enclosed wine wall anchor the dining room with seating for 100. In addition, three private dining rooms and a chef’s table provide intimate dining experiences unfound in Madison. Outdoor dining overlooking the water also is available during the warmer months.

The adjoining Statehouse Bar offers a mix of classic and modern with steel bar stools juxtaposed against geometric wood flooring, printed ceiling, and a grand piano– reminiscent of Wisconsin’s famed supper clubs.

Hotel guests and pedestrians on Wisconsin Avenue and Langdon Street can retreat to The Café forcoffee, pastries and light fare on the go. For a touch of high-tech design, guests can sit at a custom-designed central table with touch-screen technology, which serves as an interactive scrapbook that connects visitors to their time on the plaza and other venues at the hotel. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to capture the moment and take home personalized photos of themselves as souvenirs from their special stay at The Edgewater.

On the first two floors of the Langdon Building,The Boathouse, a casual lakeside restaurant at the pier, provides a unique waterfront dining experience. Offering classic casual Wisconsin fare, guests are welcomed by car, foot, bike, boat or other possible transportation. The interior makes strong references to life on the water with a rustic nautical theme. Outside the bar & grill rests a 170-foot permanent dock with temporary extensions for docking boats, planned for the summer of 2015.

Finally, guests can enter through the brick arches at the base of the plaza’s grand staircase for grab-and-go offerings at The Icehouse. With the intent of evoking a classic lively food hall, there will be several serving stations as well as a full bar with a wide selection of beers highlighting local Wisconsin breweries. One wall in the Icehouse will provide a view through glass to the keg room’s large-scale beer storage. Seating will include café tables and chairs with a few causal benches for visitors to change ice skates in the winter.

Guest Rooms

The three buildings offer 202 luxurious guest rooms, two presidential suites with panoramic views of Lake Mendota, and 10 studios with kitchenettes–all with spectacular lake, Capitol and city views.

With rooms covering three buildings, the guestrooms span a full range of styles and sizes. The palette of the Wisconsin Building is olive with purple, while the middle Lake Shore Building has a palette of taupe with gold accents. Standard king and double-queen guestrooms in both of these buildings consist of timeless wood furniture and ample storage for a comfortable stay. All guestrooms will have a professional workspace, in-room safe, refrigerator, and a LCD flat-screen television. The bathrooms have marble tiles, large walk-in showers, and toilets located in separate private alcoves.

With a subtle Art Deco design overlay in the furniture detailing, the palette of the Langdon Building is cream with teal accents. The bathrooms feature cream and black checkerboard polished stone floors, generous stone showers, and custom Art Deco vanities. The Art Deco circular windows from the building’s original design also have been preserved. In addition, the Langdon Building consists of extended-stay suites that resemble studio-style living and features claw-foot bathtubs.

Located on the 12th floor of the Wisconsin Building, the two premium suites have radial glass walls overlooking Lake Mendota. Each suite offers a dining room, living room, bedroom and additional guest bathroom and the main bathroom features travertine tile and marble finishes for a spacious walk-in shower and soaking tub. For guests looking for some extra pampering, the two convertible spa rooms in the Langdon Building allow guests to enjoy on-site luxury appointments from The Edgewater Spa.

Have you stayed at The Edgewater? Share your comments with us!