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Radisson Hotel Madison
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

Overall impression: The room was sufficiently clean and comfortable enough to warrant a return stay should it be necessary. The hotel is probably about 30 years old and is in need of (more) renovation.

Purpose of the stay: Traveling with family for a weekend in Madison.

The lobby/entrance: The hotel has a port cachere where smokers congregate. When I arrived, late on Saturday evening, I saw two smokers sitting on a bench outside the entrance. The next morning, when I loaded up the car to leave, I saw the same two smokers. This was not a particularly comforting welcome.

The lobby is a bit dated. The check-in/check-out desk is on your right. A seating area is on the left, which has a big-screen TV. The seating area is small, and limited by the stairs leading to the second floor. This foyer is dimly lit, painted white, and has dark wood trim. Vegas-style carpet that looks like it was installed during a previous renovation in the early 1990s covers the floors of the lobby and the hallways. A sign near the stairs said the hotel was in the midst of a renovation. Aside from that sign, I could not tell whether there really was a renovation.

Hallways: The Vegas-style carpet--abstract pattern, with lots of red, yellows, and blacks--drew my attention to the floor at all times. The walls were cream-colored. There was nothing novel in the design of the hallways. The elevator was exceedingly slow for a two-story building. Unless your bags are too cumbersome or your physical needs restrict you, I'd advise sticking with the stairs.

Room: Our room was non-smoking, with two double beds. The room had an LCD TV and cable. The kids wanted to watch Nick Jr., but it wasn't listed on the channels. The Disney Channel, at least, was available. But really? No Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. on Madison cable?

The drawback for me was the placement of the sink and vanity mirror within the hallway entrance to the room. The toilet and bathtub had a separate room. I know it's a matter of personal taste, though from a practical point-of-view, it's nice to have the sink in a separate space from the toilet and bathtub (someone who wants to use the sink while someone else uses the bath or toilet at the same time can), but I cannot give a room that is designed like this more than a 3-out-of-5.

The beds were sleep-number beds and appeared to be new. I looked over the instructions, which suggested a sleep number of 35 (the most popular sleep number according to this pamphlet). My wife and I like our bed to a be a bit firmer than most we encounter, so we ended up moving it to 45. We changed it back and forth a few more times (35, 50, 40, 60, etc.). I don't know which number we settled on, but it didn't matter. We didn't like it, and it only made sleeping more complicated and uncomfortable. Perhaps had we slept in a larger bed, which supposedly has zoned sleep numbers, we would have been more comfortable. I don't doubt that these beds can be comfortable, but I think you'd have to bring a sleep number consultant in to help you figure out how that's possible. On the plus side, the sheets appeared to be new.

The shower's water pressure was superb.

The room also had a desk and chairs, a little closet by the doorway, and a chest of drawers.

The artwork was typical hotel fare. Two sort of 1980s impressionistic-style prints with shades of blue-green and magenta.

Like the lobby, the lighting was a bit dim in the room, but there was a big window facing the parking lot. Open the curtains and you get plenty of light for the room.

The service was adequate, although I had little interaction with them. They do not place newspapers by your door in the morning, at least on Sunday mornings. I don't know whether they place newspapers by the door on other days of the week.

Safety was not a big concern. The hotel appeared to have one central entrance and exit. I did not explore it to find out otherwise. The neighborhood has a lot of retail, restaurants, and hotels. Apparently there's also a restaurant, but I did not try it either.

Noise and vibration: I include this category for this review because this was an issue. The walls/doors did little to isolate those of us in the room from the noise in the hallways. If someone let the door in a room across the hallway or on either side of our room slam shut, we could feel the vibration in our beds. Not cool.

Pool and Hottub: We used the indoor pool and whirlpool hottub facility. This was actually pretty decent. Chlorine did not overwhelm the smell in the room. The whirlpool was warm and quite soothing, even though my exposure was limited to about five minutes.

Location: The hotel is located off the belt line highway, near a major shopping mall and a number of strip centers. We were about a 10-15 minute drive from the University and the State Capitol. The neighborhood itself is a bit dated. It is not "upscale" but neither is it in a run-down part of the city.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank detailwatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mark b, Director of Sales at Radisson Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at our hotel. We are in the initial stages of a multi million dollar renovation.Knowing the importance of a quality guest experience, we are confident that many of the items you mentioned are being addressed. Please conatct me at mbrown@radmad.com so I may discuss your stay in more detail. Thank you again for staying with us. Mark Brown Director of Sales

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Reviewed September 16, 2012

I knew this hotel was under renovation when it was booked but there were few choices. I requested a renovated room to ease the potential pain. When I arrived to the hotel, no rooms were available although it was past check in time. After waiting about 30 minuntes a room was available.

The hallway is quite long and smelly. The carpet and walls are in terrible shape but I finally arrived to my room. Yes, it was a renovated room. The bathroom had new tile, flooring, and some fixtures. There was a nice flat screen TV but the room smelled. A closer look reveals that the room is only partially renovated. The carpet was stained and dirty. The wall coverings are the same ones from 1970 with all kinds of scratches and marks.

The bedding was clean, thankfully, and the room was equipped with a Sleep number bed. I have not used one of these before but was easily able to adjust it to a comfortable setting as initially the bed was as hard as a rock. My satisfaction was soon destroyed when I turned and the bed squeaked and made horrible noise. While the mattress may be newer, the bed and box springs dont appear to be. Every turn was met with horrible noises that could wake the entire wing of the hotel.

The hotel does offer a free breakfast buffet. There is some hot food as well as pastries, cereal, fruit and limited beverages. Its self serve and there was no hotel staff member in sight. The hot food was not seasoned and very overcooked. After eating here, i would not take a chance on eating dinner in the restaurant in the evening.

The only highlight was that the staff was friendly and helpful. There are several restaurants within easy walking distance and the hotel provides a local shuttle...although we were not informed about this at checkin and only after we asked about it. Its also not mentioned in the services directory located in each room.

Bottomline, they are under a big renovation. If the room I experienced is the end product, its too little too late.

Room Tip: Choose a room at a different hotel
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Just_Got_Back_Again
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mark b, Director of Sales at Radisson Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay with us. I offer our sincere apologies for the problems you encountered during your visit. Our hotel is in the initial stages of a multi-million dollar renovation and we certainly value our guest's comments and know the importance of a quality hotel experience. Please contact me at mbrown@radmad.com so that I may address your concerns and discuss your stay with us. Thank you again for being our guest. Mark Brown Director of Sales

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Reviewed September 16, 2012

Stayed at the Radisson in west Madison for 4 nights and found it to be an average stay. The positives - the staff was very nice, the fruit and water available in the lobby for grab and go in the morning. The linens were nice and the bed comfortable. Other than the first night, the hotel was quiet and sleeping was fine. I enjoyed the free wi-fi. The downsides - the work out room was not the best - 4 pieces of equipment, one of which was a treadmill that no one could figure out how to work. The carpeting throughout the second floor and particularly in my room was really in need of cleaning. There were stains and crusted stuff on the floor in my room. I found the room to have a musty smell and woke up each morning with my allergies aggravated. The first night there was what appeared to be a dead spider curled up in the light fixture above my sink and the next morning, before I could ask housekeeping to remove it, it disappeared! Imagine my surprise when it seemed to reappear in my bathroom 3 nights later alive and kicking! The weirdest thing was that the TV would change channels on it's own each night. Haunted? Cable issues? Who knows? I was shocked when I received the final bill to see what my employer paid for me to stay there - way overpriced in my opinion. Maybe it was higher due to the special event happening during the week I was there. I would not rush to stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank dinamber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Came in for Epic training, was directed to stay this property. It is an older hotel, signs everywhere said it is under a big renovation but never heard any construction in the morning. Hotel shuttle took me and my colleagues to Epic campus every day, and the drivers were friendly. Didn't eat in the restaurant but the bartender was great. Wi-fi signal was strong in my guestroom but only one bar in the breakfast room. Breakfast was standard hot buffet fare, but done well. Company is sending me back twice more for training, will be happy to stay again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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Thank powerplusconsultant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

We arrived late and there were only 3 spots left in the lot making it a pretty long hike to the main lobby. The hot tub wasn't functioning, but the pool was nice. It was long and narrow with a depth of 5'3". When we arrived they weren't able to make our keys because the machine was broken, but were able to fix it a few minutes later. I appreciated the friendly staff. The room was nice, the bathroom was small with no sink (located in the main room). The complimentary breakfast was great, however! Eggs and sausage.

We used Priceline and got a good price, but if I would have had to pay full price, I would have been disappointed.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank PizzaWeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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