January 2015 to January 2016
The Edgewater is a Madison favorite since it opened in 1948, and has become one of our favorite places too.
Our last visit at the Edgewater before the remodel was 9-17-12 for a meal. By November, it closed for two years to be mostly rebuilt from the ground up (except the Langdon building on the left). One last look of the old Edgewater before reconstruction, this picture is from 2010. We spent two nights there in December 2011 and really enjoyed ourselves.
Now we are in 2015, our first visit back, a similar perspective. The central building was demolished and on new land on the right, the new Wisconsin building was constructed. It’s like a whole new place now. It re-opened in October 2014.
In this middle area below (The Plaza) is now an ice skating rink and a cafè called The Icehouse for hungry skaters.
For those people without a boat, winter is a good time to see the other side of the Edgewater facing the water. I went and did just that in February. We had the pleasure of enjoying lunch there with our priest on January 19 during Madison’s Restaurant Week. The main dining room is now called The Statehouse, formerly The Admiralty. The lower tall windows in the Wisconsin Building on the left are the dining room windows with a great view of Lake Mendota.
Lunch was delicious! Here was the menu, we each had a different entreè.
We went back on Feb 25 for our tour. It needs to be arranged in advance by calling 800-922-5512 and not on weekends. It lasted one hour, our guide Julie was wonderful!
One feature they carried over from the old Edgewater is the “Wall of Fame”, highlighting celebrities who have stayed there. It used to be a couple of walls in the lounge just outside of the Admiralty. Now, it is a long curving hallway leading to the Statehouse Restaurant. There are even some video screens in the hall.
Wall of Fame 2011
Hall of Fame 2015
Up ahead on our left is the spiral staircase leading down to the concierge where we met our guide.
Our first stop was in the Wisconsin building where we were. We visited the Sky Bar, offering a great view of the lake. Also the rink and Langdon building below.
We next saw the aforementioned Statehouse restaurant, highly recommended! The new state-of-the-art open kitchen allows guests to see their meal being prepared, as well as being able to interact with the kitchen staff. They even have an open-flame oven. Since I am a professional cook, I really like their new kitchen.
Ajacent to the Stateroom is the Lounge with a full bar. It also has a semi-private room with pictures of the celebrities that have visited.
If you are in a hurry and can’t take in a full breakfast at the Statehouse, the Edgewater Café offers popular coffee drinks and sweet pastries.
We head upstairs in the Langdon Building to The Red Crown Club room, based on the Red Crown Lodge in Minocqua, WI.
The Edgewater also has a Fitness Center with machines to work every muscle and even a yoga room.
When you are done exercising, there is a sauna and pool. Check schedule for exercise classes here. The public is welcome to join in the fun, you don’t have to be a guest.
Upstairs a floor from here is a salon and spa, a great place to be pampered! Also a couples massage room and a private one as well.
Now for the large spaces within the hotel. The Mendota Ballroom was occupied at the time of our visit, so Julie took us to the Grand Ballroom. It can be divided into three sections if a party only needs part of the room. The back section has the veranda with outdoor seating.
We finished our tour with a greater appreciation of this Madison institution and plan on coming back soon. In the summer, The Boathouse Restaurant will open and we can enjoy a meal.
July 24, 2015
We are back, now its summer and also our 16th Wedding Anniversary. Our sister-in-law and my high school friend joined us as well for our first meal at the Boathouse. Remember the ice rink in the winter? Now there was a big tent where a wedding rehearsal was taking place, wedding probably on Saturday.
Let’s go eat! It’s open from 11 AM to 11 PM. The menu is on a plank of wood, nice touch!
The windows here offer a great view of the pier and lake as much as the Stateroom does. There is also a patio outside to dine Al fresco.
There is also plenty of room for customers to pull up and tie up their boat at the large dock.
The high view from the Plaza, the Boathouse on the bottom left.
Our food arrived, tasted as good as it looked!
After dinner we headed downstairs to the pier to see the action there. Look, the Edgewater’s own boat The Cherokee is coming back to port! It doesn’t seem to be here anymore in 2016.
This historic 1924 Chris Craft has three different tours available to the public from now until the end of September. Here is more information on the Heritage Lake Tour. Also the other tours offered. You can take the Cherokee as a water taxi for only $5 to the Union as well.
Dusk was coming, so we headed back up the steps to the Plaza level to take in the mellow evening mood.
You can see the Memorial Union from here (with binoculars or camera with a good zoom). There was music and tables full of happy people enjoying the breezy warm evening.
A wonderful evening with people we care about at our favorite Madison Hotel, The Edgewater!
October 31, 2015
Summer has turned into fall, and we are back for their Halloween Badger Tailgate party. It was held in the big tent also, which was good since it was raining at the time. The Ryan McGrath Band played a lot of great music too. Here is a good example of their performance.
There was great food too, We enjoyed Duck Jambalaya and Pork Spare Ribs. We picked up our food in The Icehouse near the tent. Al is sure enjoying the ribs! There was a beanbag game going on too.
We also went down to the dock to look at the lake. The big pier we saw is the summer was put away for the winter and it was quiet.
We have come nearly full circle, now it is the Holiday season and we came to enjoy their 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. We enjoyed some music beforehand and watched Santa light the trees with a large crowd filling the plaza. Afterwards we had another great meal at the Boathouse.
We are now back to January again with Madison’s only ball drop at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Al was there to cover the event for me. Watch the Edgewater official video below. As you can see, there is a lot of fun to be had at the Edgewater the whole year around!
The Edgewater has become a tradition for us to celebrate the seasons throughout the year and we love all the upgrades they have made. We encourage you to come too to create great memories for you and your family!