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“The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”

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Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”
Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

I am a happy veteran of the former, more rustic Madison Beach Hotel. My many stays there over the years always provided a tranquil chance to relax and unwind. The fully renovated Madison Beach Hotel still provides that--no change! It is far more upscale than it used to be with prices to match. The comfort level is quite a bit higher as a result and the personal service is great. We did feel, though, that for the prices we paid there were a few missing amenities. The beach is lovely and the lounge chairs are comfortable but if you want to use any of the equipment, i.e. kayaks, paddleboards, or bikes, there was a fairly steep hourly charge. At nearly $400/night for the room, that extra fee felt like they were "nickle and diming us". Also, the nightly turn-down service included a bottle of water -- I hate to sound picky, but shouldn't those be readily available all day along with, perhaps, coffee and tea in the lobby? I will say, though, that when my husband went down to get an iced coffee at the bar in the mid-afternoon, the bartender comp'd him unsolicited, which was very nice and seemed appropriate to us. So why not just have some version of that available for all to enjoy? Speaking of the bar, they pour very good and generous drinks, and we had three meals at the restaurant and enjoyed every bite! The food was fresh, inventive, and delicious. Yes, I would go again, when my budget allows, to enjoy the peace and quiet that this beautiful area offers. I hope they have found a way to make the value somewhat more genuine -- a little bit would go a long way.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravelFan15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (155)
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English first
CT
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

On a whim, we decided to book one night here on a weeknight for the kids to get a little beach time. Unfortunately it rained the entire time, leaving us lots of time to explore this gem of a hotel.
The room-
I am VERY picky about the cleanliness of a hotel room and it was impeccable upon arrival. I removed all seat cushions etc. and there was not a speck out of place to be seen. The room is obviously completely updated and well appointed with a safe, fridge, coffee maker, wireless phone, ipod docking station and ports to charge all our devices. Beds were very comfortable and extra pillows were in the room. Beautiful detailing from the self closing cabinet doors to the automatic lights in the closet. Very nice full lengths mirrors also. The one small and only complaint was the lack of water glasses in the bathroom which I found inconvenient, but a minor problem. Sliding plantation shutters instead of a slider curtain was a fantastic streamlined idea. The balcony was clean and well maintained. The chairs were all weather wicker and sturdy. Our only complaint about the balcony was that in the rain, the balcony roof was leaking on the entire 3rd floor, making it impossible to sit outside in the rain, which we should have been able to do. They defiantly have some sort of leaking issue they need to address on that floors overhang.
Hotel ammeninites
One thing this hotel is sorely lacking is a swimming pool. Yes, it is on the ocean, but especially in inclement weather, we had little to do but sit in our room. (especially since we couldn't go on the balcony due to the leaking roof!) And not everyone enjoys swimming in the murkiness of Long Island Sound waters. An indoor swimming pool would have made this an exceptional experience, despite the weather. It also does not have ice makers for guests. A water or soda vending machine (even in a room off the lobby somewhere if necessary) would have been appreciated as my children have medical conditions that sometimes require the need for a quick unexpected snack.
An outside snack area, or menus available for ordering light fare would make the guest experience even better.
We did not use the spa or fitness rooms, so I cannot comment on these.
We did enjoy the live band that was playing on the night we went even though they could not hold the event outdoors as planned, staff made the best of it.

Restaurant
We decided on breakfast at the "wharf" restaurant since it seemed not so "kid friendly" for dinner. The restaurant was the only area of this hotel that was somewhat mediocre. Beautiful views, impeccable decor and cleanliness. But, it was overpriced, our eggs and potatoes were somewhat overcooked, and the wait staff was not entirely knowledgeable or enthusiastic about the items on the menu. The lacking option of even a few children's items was also a definite miss.
I think we would perhaps dine off premises for breakfast next time. Judging by the empty restaurant, others perhaps have the same view.

The staff.
From the bell hops to the front desk, the staff was fantastic, helpful and went out of their way to make our stay fantastic. They opened doors, responded quickly to needs and provided 5 star service. They strove to serve us no matter where we were. On the beach, waitstaff provided towels and asked to take beverage or food orders. The valet attendants were exceptionally helpful, courteous and respectful. Other than the restaurant service being so so, we had a wonderful experience with the staff.

Overall
We would definitely return! I did feel the rate of $375 ($431.25) with taxes was high but not exorbitant, given the exceptional level of service provided. (I have paid more elsewhere and received far less in terms of room and service). I do not think that the hotel is worth the higher rates that they command on the weekend, mainly due to the lack of a pool and food options. Only if it had a pool, might I consider the higher Fri-Sun rate.
The hotel itself is beautiful and not a detail has been overlooked, We appreciated the detailing from the exceptional woodworking to the exquisite door knockers, and it is obvious that a great deal of time, effort and money has been put into this hotels renovation. I hope that it continues to be well maintained and staff continues to provide the level of service they provided us this week. I look forward to a return trip!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mom2three157
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MA
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at the hotel. Check in was fine - it was a little busy in the lobby and there was a Sunday brunch set up in the lobby which was a little awkward. Our room wasn't ready so we had a drink on the deck overlooking the ocean - it was beautiful. There was a wedding going on, so that was fun to watch. Once our room was ready we went up. Room 405 - top floor, right outside the elevator. The room was immaculate and the balcony view was gorgeous. The bellman showed us around the room and how to work everything. Everyone we had encountered thus far made sure they told us they were available "24/7" for anything we might need. Before dinner we had time to go sit out on the rocks by the ocean. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and were able to eat outside because the weather was so pleasant that night. I'm glad we did. The inside of the restaurant looked fine, but it was definitely a treat to eat outside. Our waitress was wonderful, the food was delicious - no complaints!
In the morning we had time to sit on our balcony and relax. Unfortunately there was some construction going on down by the parking lot and it was very loud. We had breakfast outside again - and again it was great. Before we left we took a nice walk down by the homes on the water and had some more time to sit on the rocks and watch the ocean. all in all - it was a perfect getaway.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelingfamily4Ma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Several years ago, the old Madison Beach Hotel was taken over by new owners and it was then—in a 3-year renovation—rebuilt from the ground up. The new MBH opened in 2012. We'd heard of its dog-friendly attitude so booked a July week and arrived with our two standard poodles in tow. This gem of a hotel surprised—even wowed—us. The dogs were welcomed warmly and our room was thoughtfully pre-equipped with separate dog bowls and two comfy dog beds. The room was sunny, breezy, high ceilinged, king-bedded, and our large terrace overlooked the beach just a stone’s throw away. Normally, when staying at a hotel we’ll dine once in its dining room—find it lacking—then head to town for our remaining meals. Not at MBH. With well-behaved dogs allowed to join guests at tableside on the outside deck, we stayed put. During our week we enjoyed 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners at the hotel. (Probably sets some sort of record for dog owners?) The general manager, John Mathers, along with each member of the staff is: A) warm & friendly, B) alertly helpful, and C) devoted to going out of their way to make your stay memorable. We found it remarkable to encounter such genuine pleasantness in a newly recruited staff. (Perhaps Mr. Mathers will write a book explaining his HR secrets.)
Madison Beach Hotel—a precocious one-year-old—has managed to join the rarified world of iconic luxury hotels. We loved it. Our dogs loved it. And we will return.
John Emmerling
NYC

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelton, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

The staff is under the assumption that this is a 5 star hotel-WHAT? It was obvious when I got into bed the first night that the housekeeper did not change the linen from the last occupant. How she didnt have time is beyond me because our room was not ready upon check in time. A very nice attendee at the desk at 10pm rummaged thru the housekeeping closet and accomodated us with new sheets that we put on the bed.Too much staff doing too little. Had brunch at the Wharf restaurant and barely saw our waitstaff een though it was self serve. Hot coffee please?? All staff need retraining. I received better service on a business trip staying at a Hampton Inn Hotel. Go figure!

Room Tip: Third floor seems the best.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank m s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013

So we are sitting at the bar, enjoying our drink and the three girls running the hostess stand tell a couple that they 'can't' have a booth that NO ONE is using and it's reserved for hotel guests. They shoo a couple away and then giggle about it afterward. Seriously bizarre scene in a bar that barely has 10 people in it. My friend and I couldn't believe it. Dining room empty, bar empty and they pull that. My 'tree hugger' vegetarian burger was a pile of mush. My friend had the burger with the pulled pork and it was way over salted. We did enjoy sitting on the porch after our terrible dinner. Again at a near empty bar with 5 people behind the bar, we waited a long time between drinks and forever for our food. In that amount of time, the three teenagers running the hostess stand never did seat that table that they shooed that couple away from an hour earlier.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AllyBens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
katona
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Upon our arrival my friends and I noticed how quick everyone wanted to please the hotel guests our stay began with a relaxing visit to the spa for pedicures and massages. All was pre-arranged by concierge Trish. Since there were three of us in the room we asked for one more deck chair that was almost immediately delivered. Housekeeping also supplied us with additional towels water bottles and wine glasses. The staff inside and out at the beach were most accommodating. The gentlemen who worked the car valet often sprinted off ( in 90 degree heat) to get our car whenever we went out . Truly a clean and well run hotel. A nice feature at the beach was an outdoor shower with both hot and cold water. Large umbrellas came in handy during this heat wave! A descrete side stairway leads to a restroom from the beach , thus not having to walk through the lobby. Breakfast was superb. So much fresh fruit and of course the views! Ice water is constantly replaced
The area that could use some fine tuning is the pet friendly policy. Two large standard poodles had the run of the lawn ( off leash at times) we didn't care for looking out to see them using the green as their toilet. Allowing them to be on the beach was not pleasant these dogs barked at two in the morning. I mentioned to the staff that we didn't want to sit near the dogs on the porch during breakfast . The hostess didnt think the dog was an issue. We chose not to make a fuss about the dogs because the staff told us that the dogs allowed are supposed to be small. Still We rate it a five star stay. We blame inconsiderste pet owners .

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 94 W Wharf Rd, Madison, CT 06443-2905
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Connecticut > Madison
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Along a curve of the Connecticut coastline,with a clear view across the widest stretch of Long Island Sound, stands the Madison Beach Hotel, Connecticut's only hotel, resturant, banquet and coference faciltily located directly on the beach. The Madison Beach Hotel is undergoing a transformation and will re-open as a world class, luxury hotel in 2011, a casually elegant boutique resort with a traditional New England beach front ambiance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madison Beach Hotel

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