I stayed here with a friend during a visit to the UW-Madison campus. The Friedrick Center appears to be a jazzed-up dorm building; if the facade doesn't give this away, the yellow-painted cinderblock interior will. That said, this is not your place for a romantic getaway, nor is it the type of place to put up guests for a conference when you're trying to impress. *However,* it is certainly more than sufficient if, like we were, ,you're just in Madison for a few days to see the sights and spend the majority of your day outside of your hotel, and wish to be lodged on campus.
Great points: very clean, on campus, lakefront, free apples at the front desk, free continental breakfast, and cab service is complimentary between the Friedrick Center and any building on campus (when you have the front desk arrange the ride for you)
Not-so-great points: very basic interior, shower didn't seem to ever actually get much hotter than lukewarm (at least in our room), cab can take a long time to come (so you'll possibly be late if you haven't called the front desk for one at least an hour in advance)
All in all, we were happy with our having booked a room there. For having once (it seems) been a dorm, it was cozy, with rustic comforters and other accents, as well as a pretty "lodge"-type common area just off the main lobby. I can't say anything about the conference rooms themselves, but the dining room and common area both had lake views, so even if your own room doesn't, you can still find a spot to enjoy the scenery outside. I must warn, however, that the Friedrick Center is at pretty much the exact *opposite* end of campus from downtown, so if you intend to walk to that area, plan on a good (partially uphill) hike. Then again, cab service is free on campus when arranging it through the Friedrick Center, so you can still get pretty much right to the downtown area without having to pay anything! Finally, the continental breakfast was pretty basic, but, then again, they all tend to be.
Bottom line: Upscale establishment, this is not, but if you want a clean, comfortable place to stay on the UW campus with a lakeview, this place is great! (And the free cab rides and apples, of course, are also a plus.)