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“Wonderful Bed, but where was the Breakfast?”

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Mendota Lake House B&B
Ranked #5 of 7 Madison B&B and Inns
Reviewed 25 September 2013

Mendota Lake House B&B is in a fabulous location. The rooms are big, airy, and have comfortable beds. Some of the rooms have balconies that overlook Lake Mendota. Our stay there was comfortable and pleasant. However, where was the breakfast? We were told breakfast was served from about 7:30 to 10:00 Upon arriving in the dining room at 8:30 for "breakfast" I found three pieces of cheese, an English muffin sitting in a package near a toaster, a few bananas and peaches (same ones as on the table the night before). I kept waiting, expecting more food to be brought out. There were two containers of cold cereal sitting on a buffet table. But that was it!!
A few other amenities were also missing: no hair dryers in the rooms. Also, some cheese, cookies or some other dessert or sweet item would have been appreciated in the evening.
Bob, the host was extremely helpful, kind and welcoming.
If you want a comfy, pleasant place to stay in a great Madison location, this is great. Just don't expect breakfast. Expect a pleasant hotel.

Room Tip: Tennessee Williams room has a great balcony and view along with a lovely sitting area.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Sycamoresue49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2013

Thanks for letting us know we could spruce up the continental breakfast. Our current offering includes two kinds of organic cheese, plain english muffins, 3 fresh fruit offerings, home made organic granola, a commercial cereal, organic yogurt, juice, tea and coffee. My business model is to charge less in exchange for a light, self serve breakfast. Those looking for a big beefy breakfast will definitely not find it here. We do have wonderful places nearby that serve an excellent full breakfast. However, I really appreciate this feedback as it allows me to strive to do better!

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Reviews (40)
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31 - 37 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2013

Before booking, we checked out all of the Madison B&Bs before settling on the Mendota Lake House, in part due to its great location and view of Lake Mendota. We were very happy with our choice. Our plane got in very early, so we called Bob to see if we could leave our car in their parking lot even though check-in wasn't until 3 PM. He graciously offered us both the parking spot--necessary for Madison--and an even earlier check-in if we needed. We stayed in the Oscar Wilde room, and the photos don't do the room justice. It is very spacious, attractive, and comfortable. It would be perfect for an extended stay. We appreciated the tempurpeadic mattress as well. The entire house is a lovely example of the prairie school of architecture and was a treat to see and experience. The yard and gardens are beautiful, very diverse, and inviting. The continental breakfast fit our tastes--homemade granola (yum!), good coffee, fruit, etc. Bob recommended the restaurant Fourquarter, just a block away, for dinner and we couldn't have been happier with that suggestion. Excellent! The only drawback--and this is out of the owners' control--is street traffic noise. But, given the choice location, that would be hard to avoid. We'd definitely stay here again, especially considering that the owners just moved in 9 months ago and are working hard at upgrades, etc.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank CM L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2013

Thank you for this great review! We feel very fortunate to open this great house to people who are away from home. So glad you chose to stay with us! And we are so lucky to have such a top notch restaurant as the Forequarter so close. Those folks really know what they are doing.

David

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Reviewed 18 July 2013

We recently spent a week at this B&B. If you appreciate staying in a heritage house you will no doubt enjoy this home and the surroundings. It's more of a "cottage" feel I would say, but quite comfortable and we enjoyed the hosts too. They have worked very hard to restore and beautify the home and gardens. Madison is a great place to visit for a holiday - this location has all the advantages of being right on the lake and beside a large park/beach, as well as being walking distance the the capitol and top restaurants. The best of both worlds! There is also a 24 hour self-serve laundry just half a block away, which we took advantage of during our stay, very convenient. There is quite a bit of traffic noise from the street on weekdays, but this is eased somewhat if you close the windows. The breakfast is continental - we didn't take much advantage of it in favour of the local bakeries, but the coffee was good (important!) and the breakfast items were made available for several hours each morning, which was convenient.

Room Tip: We stayed in two rooms - the Oscar Wilde, which is extremely spacious, but partly faces on to the bu...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Woap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2013

Great having you folks staying with us. We often refer to our house as our little cottage on the lake. And at over 7000 sq. feet, I love that a house of that size can feel cozy like a cottage. Great description! Thanks for taking the time for giving us a review. Hope you'll come see us again!

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Reviewed 17 July 2013

Spacious downstairs rooms that exude a solid charm. I enjoyed the soft classical music playing in the background. Our room upstairs (Tennessee Williams) was also large with an antique tub and nice towels. The toiletries hidden inside the plain containers are high quality and natural. The owners are friendly but not imposing and seem happy to take the time to talk or leave a guest alone as to the guest's whim. The Mendota Lake House B&B is a historic property but newly opened by the present owners. Expect there to be a bit of peeling paint, and not every doily in perfect place. Also the continental breakfast, while tasty, is minimal. Downtown and the university are very close. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would happily return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Karina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2013

Great meeting you folks and thanks for this review! I have immediately inspected all doilies! It was great having you, we really enjoyed your visit. Hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 12 June 2013

We stayed here 3 nights as part of a months holiday crossing USA by bus and train.It was a perfect place to stay,a lovely old (for USA!) house on the shore of the lake.It is nice to see older properties which haven't been spoilt by modernisation, retaining the features and atmosphere but still being a very comfortable place to stay.It is a great situation with public transport right outside the front door though is walkable to and from downtown.We had a lovely 3 days and thanks to David and Bob for everything.Keep up the good work!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ethne30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2013

Great having you folks. I really appreciated how much YOU appreciated the public transport. Thanks for the delightful visit. AND, I will look you up when I make it to Scotland!

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Reviewed 6 May 2013

This is a beautiful house with lovely touches everywhere. We considered it our best B & B experience ever; in fact, found it hard to leave for home, which was a first. The Oscar Wilde room, where we stayed, has a stunning view of the lake and the architect did a great job with the layout, which has the short hallway entrance opening out to a wide vista as you enter the room proper. The fireplace is a nice touch. As another reviewer mentioned, this is a luxury suite and the spacious sitting area is bathed by natural light and is an ideal place to read.

The continental breakfast was simple but foodie quality. Delicious granola (one of the best we've had), fresh fruit (peel it yourself), organic milk and cream, a scrumptious local organic peanut butter, jam, butter, cheese, juice, large selection of organic teas, and French press coffee. And English muffins. Hmm, maybe not so simple a breakfast after all.

Bob and David are warm, unpretentious, funny and very helpful. We had opportunities to talk to both at length and found them just delightful. One thing we especially liked is that they use such high quality, environmentally-friendly products, like Dr. Bronner and Seventh Generation soaps.

For those who want to watch TV, there is one in the living room but we were thrilled not to have a TV in the room. Wi-fi is also available.

There is a bus stop in front of the house with many different buses passing by. Downtown is within easy walking distance.

We would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We only got a glimpse of one other room, also on our floor--it looked fantastic.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank picksandpans_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2013

Thank you for this wonderful review. You hit on everything that is important to me as an Innkeeper. You made my day!! And we really enjoyed our visit with you -- birds of a feather! Hope to see you again the next time you are in Madison.

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Reviewed 16 December 2012

Fun new inn right near downtown Madison. Recently opened so still figuring out the ropes, but great promise for the future. Awesome room layouts, still in need of some updating. Two person jacuzzi is a nice touch; would love a working fireplace to make the experience complete. A little high priced in the current state with a fairly basic breakfast, but would happily come back in nicer weather to enjoy the location right on the lake. Would recommend for people who want to experience downtown Madison and the rich architectural history of the city.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank TurnipAndDearAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2012

Thanks for staying with us and providing us with great feedback! We strive to have a good selection in our continental breakfast but we do realize the ideal is a full breakfast. It is our goal to move in that direction and maybe at this time next year we will be there. I hope you'll think of us again when you visit!

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Additional Information about Mendota Lake House B&B

Address: 704 E Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703-1522 (Formerly Collins House Inn)
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Madison
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Madison
Price Range: £80 - £115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mendota Lake House B&B 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Want to be on the lake and downtown? We are on a hill overlooking Lake Mendota, Madison's largest lake. And we are a 15 minutes walk to the State Capitol building. Sunsets are breathtaking. We are on a busy street in a funky neighborhood with eclectic shops and award winning restaurants, and we are one mile from the University of Wisconsin campus. In our back yard is lake Mendota and complete tranquility where you can take a stroll along the lakeshore path, or sit back and watch the boats while the sun is setting. While we don't serve a hot breakfast, guests enjoy a hearty continental breakfast with fresh and organic products. We will provide you with what we look for in our own travels -- a clean room with a comfy bed at a reasonable price in a great location. Because Bob and David have their own private apartment in the lower level, the entire house is for our guests -- including the kitchen should you want to save money and eat in. Languages spoken include French, Italian and Spanish. We are always making updates as time and money permits. And while we do have some fancy upgrades happening, our goal is to keep things simple which translates to keeping it affordable. Hope to see you soon! ... more   less 
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