Where to stay in Madison, Wisconsin? The Graduate Madison is my favorite. It’s Wisconsin + Northwoods inspiration makes it not only comfortable, but fun!
It’s no surprise that I would find myself at home somewhere that advertises on their homepage, “Mad for Plaid Digs.” The Graduate Hotel in Madison is not only full of plaids, but full of campy Northwoods style goodness.
One of my favorite things is staying in boutique hotels. They inspire me so much for their creative decor, attention to detail and customer experience. Graduate Hotels have all those things! I stayed at The Graduate Minneapolis hotel and can’t wait to go back. You can read about that trip here.
All Graduate Hotels are located near university campuses. The Madison Graduate is only a block from the tour with beautiful views of the State Capital and Lake Mendota.
Each little detail at Graduate Hotels is FUN! Your room keys are ID cards for famous locals tucked into a library pocket. The design team behind the hotels does a lot of research to give each hotel personality and history.
The lobby of The Graduate Madison starts the campy style with vintage luggage, tennis racquets, an old radio, duck tray and yearbook. The mural with flamingos sure caught my eye and I asked the front desk right away the the story was behind it.
It was a 1979 prank where 1,008 plastic pink flamingos were put in front of Bascom Hall.
I’m in love with the red leather tufted sofas pilled with plaid pillows.
And the bright colors of the plaid rug pull it all together!
Pheasant feathers are another favorite decor element for me, so these big ones were a perfect touch!
Patches and varsity letters, ribbons and medals all framed together gave me a great idea for my kids awards.
The lobby coffee shop, Poindexter, has coffee, lunch and all day breakfast. It’s also often full of students studying. What a fun place to sit and work!!
I love their canoes on the ceiling turned into chandeliers full of string bulb lights.
Even every inch of the bedrooms are included in the theme. For those of you that don’t know about traditions at Badger Football games, they play the song “Jump Around” and everyone in the stands start jumping. Above the beds are framed physics textbook pages about Jumping.
And each of the beds has a varsity letter pillow either saying BRAT or CURD. It wouldn’t be Wisconsin without those food staples!
Camp Wandawega designed a special suite. I hope to stay in that room sometime!
The do not disturb signs are pennants saying “Studying”.
You don’t need to be staying at The Graduate Madison to enjoy their rooftop bar, Camp Trippalindee, inspired by summer camp. My girlfriends and I had so much enjoying old fashioneds, cheese curds and other yummy drinks and eats while playing games.
The decor in the Camp Bar takes you straight to The Northwoods and nostalgic days with its decor. They have games scattered all around.
Right when you come off the elevator for the roof top bar you enter one of my favorite areas. I love the wallpaper and all the fun decor. The red tackle box is full of match books. Remember those?
There’s a beautiful view of the capital from the roof.
The food and drinks were so yummy!
Even the menu has fun touches like “Shhh! Don’t Tell the Counselors” on the drink menu.
I collect vintage drink stirrers so loved adding their Splash paddles to my collection!
The capital looks beautiful at night too!
Next up on my Graduate Hotel bucket list? The Graduate Iowa City at The University of Iowa.
See My Stay at The Graduate Minneapolis
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Mary from Life at bella terra says
I LOVE the Graduate hotels. When my son was at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, we would always have dinner and/or cocktails on the roof of the graduate hotel there. It is such a wonderful boutique hotel experience and they really have the details down to make your stay or visit extra special. Thanks for sharing and hopefully some day I can visit there.
Chas Greener says
What a fun hotel! If I’m ever out that way, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.
Ana Molina says
Thanks for sharing Kristin! We stay at some college towns from time to time with my husband’s speaking engagements & will surely be on the lookout for these adorable hotels!