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“A lovely little B & B”
Review of Hotel Ruby Marie

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Hotel Ruby Marie
Ranked #36 of 63 Hotels in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
ithaca new york
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A lovely little B & B”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Even though we couldn't get a room with a lake view, this was a lovely little inn located near the heart of Madison. Close to everything, very cozy and clean room for less $ than other hotels in the downtown area. Helpful and responsive front desk people. Easy walk to capitol square and Monona Terrrace Conference Center. Little longer (but do-able--maybe 15 minutes) to the State St. area. Nice breakfast (European style) downstairs and free drink for happy hour at bar on ground floor. Also, while you're there get a "boot" at the Essenhaus next door. My son and I very much enjoyed our stay. We thoroughly recommend them to other Madison travellers.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank hhr5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
173 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed at the Ruby Marie for our first wedding anniversary. The room was the king Jacuzzi suite. The room was huge and the décor was early 1900. The bed was oversized king and very comfortable. The air conditioner and fire place both worked and were equally used for our stay.
The elevator went from the ground floor to the first floor which was the Up North Bar. Nice and very retro in décor. Floor #2 was the front desk and the first group of rooms. Floor #3 was all rooms and that is where we had an entire front corner.
There are down sides. The railroad track in downtown Madison run right in front of the hotel and there were four trains that night and each one blew their horn 4 times. It was as if they were in bed with us.
The Jacuzzi was in need of much repair and better cleaning. Only half of the jets worked, the pump suction had no screens so who ever used it last put rose petals in the Jacuzzi so when we turned it on they came out of the jets and eventually partially plugged them.
The breakfast was good even though it was all a cold breakfast. Specialty baked goods were very tasty.
It also rained very hard that night and we could here dripping. In the morning, we found the water was dripping behind the bed, thankfully it was not on the bed.

Room Tip: If you want to enjoy the past, any room will do, but if it is sleep you are after, find a different...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

The Expectations: Hotel Ruby Marie was everything I hoped for, plus more. I expected a fun, memorable stay in a kitschy hotel in Madison, and it came with a friendly staff and goddamn delicious complimentary food.

The Reservation: Super easy. We waited until the last second to make plans. Called on Friday mid-morning and made reservations for that night with no problem. I don't know if online reservations are available - it said "no rooms available" online so we called to see, and of course there was vacancy.

The Location: The hotel was very easy to find. We took the highway into town and knew where/what we were looking for: a gorgeous red building at the corner of Wilson and Blair. About a 4-5 minute walk from the Majestic and the Capitol.

Parking: We got there around 7pm. Parking was a little difficult in the lot by Essen Haus and Come Back In because it was the dinner rush but we just waited for someone from the restaurants to leave, took about 5-10 minutes. We were able to leave our car there the next day after check-out, just needed to tell the front desk that we'd be leaving it there for the day.

Check-in: We warned them we were checking in late and they told us we'd get our keys from the barkeep in the Up North Saloon on the 1st floor. It was crowded but he attended to us quickly and professionally.

The Bar: Our free drink vouchers (1 per guest) were good during happy hour 3-7pm and they let us use them at 7:30 so we grabbed a quick drink before heading out. Later in the night, we went back to the Up North Saloon to meet a friend, had beer and a little pizza around 11 pm.

The Room: We paid for the cheapest room available, at $150 after taxes, and had a wonderful view of the lake. Everything was clean, the bed was nice, the bathroom had modern furnishings and the shower was very nice (it had one of those giant shower heads). The building had some creaks and groans throughout the night like an old building would and it wasn't bothersome. I don't think there were many other guests because I didn't hear anyone else in the hotel.

The Staff: Laid back and unobtrusive. I don't think they'd have free toothpaste for you or stuff like that that you'd find at a big chain hotel so you just need to manage your expectations. The front desk is closed at night but checking in and out was easy and we had no other problems. It seemed like a do-your-own-thing kind of place, like you're renting an apartment room for the evening and the landlord isn't going to be there to hold your hand.

The Perks: The free drink vouchers were a nice touch but more importantly, we got a complimentary meal at the Come Back In the next morning. You order whatever you want off the menu. That means a steak & egg and skillet breakfasts with wheat toast and potatoes, an orange juice, an apple juice, and a bloody mary with a chaser. For FREE. The friendly server didn't even bring us an itemized bill, she just let us know that gratuity wasn't included in the voucher.

I would definitely recommend this hotel to other Madison visitors.

Room Tip: Just ask for a recommendation from the person with whom you make the reservation.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Emily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
115 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2013

The city of Madison doesn't have many unique hotels to stay at, so every visit we make to Wisconsin's capital city has us staying at this hotel. Our favorite room is #13. It is good sized and has a gas fireplace. The rooms are furnished with older furniture but the bathrooms and carpeting are all brand new. Also has a great view of Lake Monona. It does face a busy street and a train track so the noise can be a bit annoying. If you think this will be a problem for you, ask for one of the rooms with an interior view of the small courtyard.
What we also love about the location of this hotel are the free drink tickets for happy hour at the Up North Bar and the incredible breakfasts (weekends only) at the Come Back Inn. Both the bar and the Inn have a north woods type of feel and the staff at each one are always extremely friendly.
It is a great place to stay.

Room Tip: Rooms facing Lake Monona have a wonderful view--but can be noisy late at night and early morning.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PatWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina, Usa
Level Contributor
230 reviews
127 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

My wife and I stayed here three nights. Our room, # 21, was large and had a good view of Lake Monona. We enjoyed our stay. Of note, the hotel is downtown, and our room was on the street and train track side. Auto/truck/bus traffic noise was prevalent during the day. Trains were infrequent (max 4 one night, 0 the other nights, some during the days), but when they came, the crossing bells rang and the trains rumbled and blew, naturally. Didn't keep us awake though. Otherwise, the hotel shares building space with 1) the Essen Haus (authentic German dining and a good choice of German beers on tap), 2) the Lakeview Bakery & Deli where breakfast is offered as part of the room rate, 3) the Up North Pub where Paulaner Hefe is on tap and where each guest gets a free drink each night's stay, and 4) the Come Back Inn, a bar/grill which shares a kitchen with the Essen Haus and has Franziskaner Hefe on tap. Nice situation if you ask me, but if you tire of those, note there are many other restaurants within easy walking distance. The hotel is across the intersection from Lake Monona, which has a paved walking path along part of its shore. Hotel parking is in back, if you're lucky enough to get a space, otherwise it's somewhere else - we got a space. The only problem with our room was that we could not control the heat - we had to sleep with the windows open, in February. The room had a nice, LARGE bathroom. Comfy bed. I would readily go back, and if I did, I'd get room # 21 again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RoadMode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
144 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

My wife and I stayed here and we really enjoyed it. It's right downtown, walking distance from several bars and restaurants. It's also just a block or so to the lake with a nice walking path that goes around it. We saw a spider and got a little freaked out, but you could see a spider anywhere, right? Overall, it's a really cool place. Certainly not your boring, everyday chain hotel room.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Redbirds1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Hotel Ruby Marie is newly renovated, close to all things downtown, and a really nice place to stay. We stayed on the second floor and had a large room. There is a bar downstairs, and on weekends it can be noisy. If this is an issue for you, I'd recommend staying on the third floor.

Breakfast was in the cafe in the same building...made to order and wonderful.

We will definitely be staying here again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank gellermo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ruby Marie

Property: Hotel Ruby Marie
Address: 524 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703-3431
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Madison
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Ruby Marie 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ruby Marie Hotel

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