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“Comfy Yummy Friendly Delightful!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arbor House, An Environmental Inn

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Arbor House, An Environmental Inn
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3402 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 8 Madison B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Prescott, Arizona
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Comfy Yummy Friendly Delightful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Love this place! My room (Ecovista) offered everything you could ask for in a charming, quiet B&B. I stayed upstairs in the historic house and breakfasted in the airy, spacious annex. The food is fabulous - gourmet level - tasty and healthy and served with elegance. I stayed 4 nights and didn't want to leave. I was snug and warm on the coldest days of the year, and the woodsy setting made the snowfall all the more beautiful. Cathie and her wonderful staff are genuine in their environmental commitment - everything from the linens to the soaps to the snacks were eco-friendly and safe. Friends recommended Arbor House to me and I will gladly do the same!

Room Tip: Just ask Cathie the innkeeper - she treasures her guests and will make your stay perfect!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    83
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
East Lansing, Michigan
Top Contributor
230 reviews 230 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I have thought about this review for a long time. I used the reviews of this property when I booked a trip for a football game in Madison. Depending on how much you travel and stay in bed and breakfast establishments, along with your expectations of a B&B, you will be very happy with Arbor House or very disappointed. We stayed in 12 different B&B's in the last 12 months, all over the US. I chose Arbor House from the TA reviews, along with talking personally with the owner. I wanted a place within walking distance of Camp Randall Stadium. Technically, it is, but it is a good mile plus, one way. It is all sidewalks however, and we felt safe. If you are not a frequent walker, it will be taxing for you. Also, the game was over after dark, and it was a pretty dark return walk.
Arbor House has two different buildings. One is modern, open and airy. The other is part of an original tavern/inn. We were in the older part. The website shows Ecovista as an environmentally friendly accommodation, which it is. However, this is where your B&B experiences will dictate the quality of your stay. This room is on the second follow of the building, up a steep stairway. The sink is in the mail room, with a stool and shower in the bathroom. The vent fan did not work, so a window was open to let out steam. Ecovista was IMMACULATELY CLEAN. It also had the worst bed I have slept on in a B&B. Amenities listed in the literature and on the website include cold drinks 24 hours a day. Following our walk back fromCamp Randall, we were very thirsty. There was less than a quarter of a container of lemonade, and all of the cookies had been eaten, leaving only a plate of crumbs.the first night we did have margaritas and a small savory in the main house. Part of this situation might be the support help employed. I remember they were teaching a new support person that week-end.
As far as breakfast, again, your B&B experiences will dictate your impression. This is not a typical B&B experience. The idea seems to be environmentally conscious diet conscious menu and portions. For our table of 8, we had 4 rashers of turkey bacon cut in half to share. We were given small undercooked multigrain muffins. Juice was also limited. The egg dish had a small garnish of a thin orange slice, which was billed as "a side of fruit". My husband felt Arbor House was trying to make a point about nutrition and healthy eating. If you are expecting food similar to what is shown on the website and in the brochure, I am not sure you will feel your expectation will be met.
Overall, Arbor House has a brochure and website generally consistent with what you will experience. However, of the 12 B&B experiences we had from Connecticut to Arizona and Texas to Wisconsin, Arbor House will not be a place we would put on a list for a return visit.

Room Tip: If you want a modern room, the new section will have what you want and looks to be a good value. I...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EnvironmentalInn, Owner at Arbor House, An Environmental Inn, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
We welcome all feedback although in this instance, the venue and the several month delay between a fall weekend stay and the Christmas Eve posting...is disappointing. In general, Arbor House guests are well-traveled and know a quality and value-added property when they stay at one. It appears that this guest may have wanted to find issue with other exceptional postings regarding the inn and chose Trip Advisor and our home page, which posts the most recent reviews, as a blog space to argue her position. With that said, because future guests do consider and depend on the online postings, we would like to clarify a few points. The Arbor House takes immense pride in our food preparation not only for guest social hour and sweet treat, but in particular breakfast. It is not an understatement that for the majority of people staying with us, it's where we shine and it is a point of difference with others in the marketplace. The food photographs pictured on our website are indeed real-time photos of actual plates taken by a hospitality intern. Meat, on the rare occasion it is part of a menu, is always a compliment to the main hot dish and portioned as such.

Specifically to the Ecovista guest room, the stairway leading to the second floor is a standard rise found in any home. The mattress has been replaced to ensure a “blissful” sleep, the bath fan repaired, and the decor now incorporates a touch of blue which is not updated on the nine photos of this room available on the website. We appreciate the research and effort that guests put forth to select the property and guest room that best suits their needs. This is why we take pride in our website being comprehensive and accurate. The best options for providing feedback are to innkeepers directly or through the comment card system in-room. Those options are so much more direct, efficient and valuable than any online posting. We are responsible and responsive seasoned innkeepers who have hosted tens of thousands of people in the eighteen years of business. It is regretful that the online climate for guests prior to, during and following a booking has fostered disconnected communication. The internet also enables properties "less than" or those who embrace questionable marketing magic to somehow thrive on the web.
Our mission at the Arbor House, An Environmental Inn, has been and continues to be to showcase the art of hospitality and be the best in the market we serve. Our guests, their feedback and loyalty, have helped the inn achieve this mission and longevity.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Israel
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

My daughter & I spent three nights at Arbor House in Madison and we didn't want to leave! Our room (Parkside) was beautiful, comfortable, charming - we didn't want to leave the room, let alone the Inn!! The common room is also amazing - couch, fireplace (we came to Madison during a blizzard - 13 inches of snow), books, computer, TV, movies, popcorn(!!), games, tea and cocoa, cups, evening treats...a kitchen to make tea, the entry porch has bikes to borrow and loads of information about Madison. The Inn is across the street from the Madison arboretum (x-country skiing after the storm). So much attention to details - it is truly an environmental inn - Burt's Bee's products, recycled paper, fresh fruit or whole-grain salads for breakfast, reminders to turn off lights...
And oh! The breakfasts were just incredible - made and served by Cathie, the innkeeper - heavenly food, good coffee, fruit smoothies, it was all delicious and fresh, and Cathie is an amazing host.

Room Tip: I don't know about the other rooms but the 'Parkside' room is on the ground floor (good...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

I stayed at the Arbor House for one night for a business trip. I didn't want to leave. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a friendly employee and given a short tour. Wine and cheese in front of the fireplace was followed by a splendid evening treat and hot chocolate. I stayed in the Eco Vista room, a cozy, clean and comfortable room perfect for one or two people. The homemade breakfast was wonderful, with special attention given to individual dietary restrictions.
The rooms were sufficiently clean, not to the point of feeling sterilized, but definitely clean.
The location was nice, and as a runner it was easy for me to find paths just outside the door.
Looking forward to staying here again soon.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We just returned from a short mini-honeymoon at the Arbor House. It was our first time there and we were thrilled. We loved the location and had not explored that part of Madison before--great shops, great restaurants, the arboretum etc. The service was impeccable--the room was adorable, cozy and comfortable, and the breakfasts were delicious. Sitting by the fire each night enjoying a glass of wine while we decided where to go for dinner was heavenly. We will definitely be back and plan to make it our traditional getaway. This place does not disappoint. A great find!

Room Tip: Cozy Rose room--no tv but a gas fireplace.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa City, Iowa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

My husband and I visited the Arbor House for the first time to celebrate our 4-year wedding anniversary in October. We were both thrilled with the beautiful rooms, the charming location, the helpful staff, and the accommodating service. I'm vegan, and every morning they provided a freshly made, healthy, vegan meal for me. We'll be heading back very soon for sure. Best bed and breakfast experience to date.

Room Tip: The bathtub in the John Nolen room was spectacular.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We stayed at the Arbor House for one night on a business trip and wished we could have stayed much longer! The rooms were clean and very comfortable and the food was delicious. Best of all was the very friendly and considerate staff. So great it was that I am compelled to write a review of it--something I have never cared enough to do before!! Thanks, Arbor House!

Room Tip: Cozy Rose and Ecovista were both lovely.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arbor House, An Environmental Inn

Address: 3402 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Madison
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
National award-winning inn/model for urban ecology. Fireplaces, whirlpools, free canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, golfing, hiking, cross country skiing. Complimentary special beverage, appetizer and dessert. Travel & Leisure's Inn of the Month, Fine Living Network's Top Ten EcoHotels in the World. Great for retreats and reunions. Just over a mile from Camp Randall stadium and the University of Wisconsin and 3 miles from the Capitol. Walking distance to popular shops and restaurants, urban but just across from UW-Arboretum. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Arbor House, An Environmental Hotel Madison

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