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“Lovely B&B with the best breakfasts I've ever had!!” 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   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
New Year's Special
Ranked #4 of 8 Madison B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lovely B&B with the best breakfasts I've ever had!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

We spent 5 days at the Arbor House in November 2013 and absolutely loved it! Cathie, the innkeeper, was friendly and accommodating. We informed Cathie that my husband had to leave by 8am for 3 mornings to get to meetings and she had our breakfast ready by 7:40am in front of a roaring fire. I was expecting a type of continental breakfast during the week, but it was a healthy cooked breakfast along with fruit, oatmeal, coffee, tea & orange juice. We were also in the historic building where we would find a fresh pot of coffee and a newspaper in the kitchen every morning before we headed over for breakfast.

I stayed around the inn during the day and would walk down Monroe Street to shop or pick up some lunch while my husband was working. Even though we had a TV in our room, it was rarely on. There was a comfy living room and a full kitchen in our building with lots of books and an interesting scrap book about the inn. I made myself tea and enjoyed the quiet relaxing atmosphere of the inn. At 5:30, we would walk over to the main building for wine and cheese before going out for dinner. We never ordered dessert because we knew there was dessert and coffee waiting for us when we got back to the inn. It was left on the coffee table in our building with plates, napkins & forks, along with a carafe of hot water and a selection of teas.

Our room was warm and comfortable. I love that there were Bert's Bees products as well as candles and bubble bath next to the bath tub! The staff was friendly and left flowers in our room one afternoon! The only thing that could have made this trip better, was if we had gone in the spring or summer when everything was blooming! I bet it's gorgeous and it would have been warm enough for us Southerners to ride the bikes!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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112 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    84
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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 (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

I had the pleasure of staying here over the summer. I have to say...it was amazing! I was traveling to Madison for business and the Inn was recommended by a colleague. Traveling alone can be somewhat lonely and frightening at times...but I felt at home and pampered at the Arbor House. The innkeeper Cathie is a wonderful host and does her best to make you feel at home. From the tasty breakfast to the wine and snack happy hour...followed by a nice soak in the awesome tub in the John Nolen room and better sleep than I get at home in a VERY comfortable bed...I felt more that I was on a relaxing getaway vs. a business trip. I definitely recommend the Arbor House and can't wait to visit again!

Room Tip: The John Nolen was recommended to me, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone else. The tub and bed...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

Arbor house is one of the best inns I have visited. The best of historic Madison blended with beautiful modern comforts and design. Breakfasts were delicious and homemade baked treats by the fire made me feel so at home during my 5 day stay. The innkeeper runs a top notch place. I look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marinette, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

An enjoyable 2 day getaway. During our visits, we have only stayed in the Plough House, which has it quirks due to being 160 years old, but that adds charm and character to the experience, it does not detract. it fits our needs and also our budget. Arbor House is not inexpensive, but if we wanted only a cheap room and an impersonal experience,Madison has options with cookie cutter rooms and tasteless breakfasts.The rooms vary in size and features, but the website presents the rooms well. We had a street side room but traffic noise was barely noticeable. Breakfasts were delicious, varied and hearty; we were not hungry again until late afternoon. The breakfast area in the main house is very welcoming - spending an extra 45 minutes or an hour in a spontaneous conversation with a fellow guest can be a delight to the heart. We have family in the area and also shop on our visits, so we do not spend a lot of time at the inn, so we missed the wine at 5:00 or so. Snacks at night varied from fresh cookies to ice cream, I prefer freshly made snacks, but the ice cream was all premium brands and a many flavors. The neighborhood offers great places to walk, bike, shop and eat. An unusual walk is one through the cemetery, there is much to remind you of Wisconsin's history. We don't stay at the inn every time we come to Madison, just when we want a special experience. It did seem that the owner was distracted and stressed, but it did not affect our visit. A flat screen tv in the Plough House common room would improve those instances when tv is in order not having a tv in my room was a plus.

Room Tip: the rooms vary in sizes and amenities, but the website provides adequate information to find what yo...
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Green Features: much less waste than a normal commercial place, we should be eco conscious at all times not just at home. It is a conscious decision that some of us make and some do not. The eco friendly practices are a draw to us and perhaps a good introduction for others
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest Ranch, California, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Our experience of four nights was less than positive. The place was recommended by the people who brought us to Madison for business. The prices seemed high but for a great B and B we decided it might be worth it. It wasn't. There are framed articles of all the prizes the inn has won, but the manager/owner just did not have her heart in taking care of guests. She was gone most of the time, and when she was there she told tales of her woes with the place, her college help, and the neighbor. The breakfasts, while made with organic ingredients were somewhat sparse. The first day was burned strips of whole wheat bread for french toast and a grain salad with bits of cranberry and a bit of other fruit. There was never an offer of seconds and only on the weekend did there seem an ample supply of what was brought in. We never got much fruit which we expected for a hotel suggesting they were healthy. The desserts were quite meager or gave directions for guests to dish their own ice cream. Evening wine or beer with crackers were left all night and not cleaned up until breakfast started.
The large room for guest only had a fire in the fireplace briefly one morning despite low temperatures outside. The grounds were ugly though, to be fair, a hard freeze had just come on. Maybe there was not time to get the dead plants cut back.
The room was ok, but only clean on the surface. When we dropped something that rolled under a piece of furniture, we found it full of dust and cobwebs. Other rooms seemed poorly kept up. When we looked in the resources for restaurants, the files were in a mess. We had to ask to have our room reviewed because the first day no one even went in. While we did not ask for clean towels or a change of sheets, we had hoped the empty kleenex box in the recycle would be a hint to give us another.
The manager/owner seemed overly stressed and guests were a bother almost. She tried to be nice most of the time, but made it clear that we should fend for ourselves. One poor guest called her one night for toilet paper and was told she was with her family at church. She did give her directions of where to find the toilet paper. We would not return and made sure those who recommended it knew not to do so again.

Room Tip: Did not see other rooms. We liked being in the same building where breakfast was served.
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Green Features: Maybe environmentally friendly, but not always helpful or friendly
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arbor H, Owner at Arbor House, An Environmental Inn, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
We contacted the guest directly after reading this. As is the case with an internet sniper review we had no indication the guests were displeased with their stay who did not fill out a comment card or speak to us directly. The harshness is impactful to our operation and things we can change, we did. To clear up anything misleading or incorrect in short: broiled grapefruit, stuffed apples with granola and omelets six herbs and vegetables count as winter fruits that weekend. An update to a returning guest about the inn's lot-line developer neighbor and his threatening project is not idle banter. The history of the inn and it's numerous accolades do adorn great room walls. It's a rich history we have earned. We will gladly leave out wine for a late arriving guest, leave a church service for a housekeeping mishap and leave guests to their privacy and enjoyment in the evening because Arbor House guests deserve it.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

Beautiful property: the grounds are clean, lots of trees, house is well-maintained, warm and cozy while still being light and modern. Thoughtful hospitality. Delicious food! We had veggie-stuffed paninis for breakfast, smoothie, and yogurt with pomegranate. The Arbor House is a real retreat.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Ecovista; lots of natural light!
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Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

While working for a month in Madison, I stayed in the Arbor House. The room was large and comfortable and the atmosphere friendly and family. It has a full kitchen which can be used by the guests if needed. Food can be stored in a fridge. However, there are also restaurant close to the inn and the menus are available in the living room of the inn. The perfect place for extended stays and business trips.

The breakfast is always fresh cooked and very rich in variety. It was impressive that there were not two days with the same breakfast during my whole stay. The innkeeper tries everything to make your stay most comfortable. A wine hour in the evening and treats for the night made my stay to an unforgettable experience which I can just recommend to everybody.

Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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