Stayed at the Monona Terrace labor day weekend, 2003. Although the gardens are beautiful, the location is great, and the decor of the hotel has been very thoughtfully planned - there were major problems with our stay and our room. This is a hotel that upon first glance appears to be a 4 star facility. However, we found that it functioned at a 2 star level. The rates are at a 4 star level.
Upon check in - the King, non-smoking room that we had reserved months earler was not available. There were no parking attendents or bellmen visible anywhere, and the hotel parking lot was full. The front desk clerk told us to park in the lot a couple of blocks away, and they would charge us for parking on the hotel bill. They told us to just take a ticket as we went into the lot, and show them the voucher they gave us when we left. My wife took the keys and voucher and other papers up to the room with the luggage, while I parked the car.
Well, when I got to the parking lot, they wouldn't let me in without paying, unless I had the voucher. It appeared that they had changed their routine because of the Taste of Madison event going on that day.
However, getting back to the hotel was a problem since I was at the end of a one-way street going the wrong way to easily return. So, I paid again and parked.
Since they didn't have the room we reserved they "upgraded" us to a lakeside room on the "club" level with two full size beds. This included evening appetizers and drinks, and breakfast.
The room had a beautiful view, and lovely furniture. But, in spite of the beauty of the furniture, somehow the room just wasn't attractive or well laid out. The beds were uncomfortable, the A/C kept the room alternately too hot or too cold, and when it kicked in it sounded like there was a truck starting in the corner. But, in a way this was good because it drowned out the constant drone of the adjacent elevators and some other nearby air handling unit. And, it had obviously been a room that allowed smoking, and was now masquerading as a non-smoking room after a few squirts of febreze.
There were swarms of lady bugs doing laps up and down the corner between the ceiling and the wall over the beds, and nests and webs of spiders on the same spot on the opposite side. One wall of the room had a myriad of tears, holes and tape from abortive attempts to hang something there.
The lounge that was supposed to have something to eat in the evening had a few very delicious appetizers. But, we got the last couple, and it didn't seem that anyone came to replenish them.
The water in the shower was tepid, softened, and without pressure.
In the morning, breakfast was supposed to be available from 6:30 -10:00 am, but by 9:00 there was essentially nothing left but a loaf of rye bread and some boxes of cereal - and during the ensuing hour, the food was not replenished. So, we packed our bags and went somewher nice for breakfast.
Would I stay here again? Probably not. I've had better stays at much less expensive hotels. I have no idea if our experience was typical for this hotel, but I doubt if I'll give them another chance.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, perfectly located in downtown Madison just two blocks from Capitol Square, is an elegant property connected by skywalk to the Monona Terrace Convention Center. Choose from a variety of guestrooms and suites with spectacular views of the State Capitol or beautiful Lake Monona. With an upscale, urban and residential feel to the rooms and public spaces, the hotel boasts full service dining and bar options as well. Transportation service is provided complimentary to downtown locations, including the University and Kohl Center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Madison Monona Terrace Hotel Madison
- Hilton Hotel Madison
- Hilton Monona Terrace Hotel Madison
- Madison Hilton