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“A Wonderful Stay!”

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Mendota Lake House B&B
Ranked #5 of 7 Madison B&B and Inns
Reisterstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Stay!”
Reviewed November 7, 2013

In late August 2013, my wife and I rented the charming Mendota Lake House in Madison, Wisconsin.

The objective here was to establish a conveniently located, comfortable and attractive place of lodging for friends and family in preparation for our son & daughter-in-law’s wedding reception, to be held at another location, later in the week.

In shopping for the ideal house we had two prerequisites that were not negotiable. One was that the lodging had to be in close proximity to downtown Madison and the other was that each bedroom had to have its own full bathroom. The Mendota Lake House not only satisfied those requirements, it exceeded our expectations in that it sits a mere 200 feet from the shore of Lake Mendota, offering beautiful views of the Lake over which even more lovely sunsets can be seen. What’s more, in terms of downtown convenience, the house is a leisurely 15 minute walk from the State’s capital square. And, as an added attraction, the house’s property adjoins the lovely James Madison Park.

Through our initial email contact with Lake House owners, David Waugh and Bob Klebba, we found them as responsive, friendly and accommodating online as they were when we met them in person. While David and Bob actually live in the basement apartment of the house, we always found them available, engaging to speak with and ready to assist if needed.

The house’s dining room, living room, sun rooms (there are two) and kitchen provided the space, comfort and utility we needed to entertain, visit with, and feed our family. Its five bedrooms were comfortable and clean with the second floor rooms being particularly spacious.
While the house’s interior is well furnished and has a historic ambiance, the grounds around the building are beautifully arranged with strikingly colorful foliage and flowering plants.

Lake House owners Waugh and Klebba are skillful entrepreneurs in that they also operate the Morningwood Nursery & Greenhouse in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. In a reciprocal style of advertising the eye-catching plants around the house not only attract attention to the B&B but ultimately to David and Bob’s nursery.

I should also mention that a large, private parking area at the rear of the house will easily accommodate four cars. For more space, a public parking area is also adjacent to the house.

In all, the Mendota Lake House was a wonderful place to stay—one which we will always remember fondly.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms are particularly spacious.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Chessie-Chaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
Loved having you folks!! What a great group of family and friends. Thanks so much for taking the time to pen this wonderful review. We are looking forward to seeing you again in the future!
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Maryland
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Mendota Lake House. It's a stunning historic arts and crafts style house with a lot of character and charm and, while it's very spacious and open, it also feels cozy and intimate. The view of the lake is spectacular, and the grounds are very pleasant. We stayed in the Gore Vidal room (all of the rooms have great names), which is described as a smaller room, but it still had a sitting area, and we found it more than spacious enough for our needs. The hosts, David and Bob, were very helpful, easygoing and interesting, offering restaurant recommendations and good conversation in general. David encouraged us to use the television and common area as well as the kitchen, which we really appreciated, and it was immediately clear that guests at Mendota Lake House are welcome to relax and make themselves at home. This is a friendly, lived-in place where you feel very comfortable, and it would be ideal for an extended stay. Breakfast was just fine for us; the website clearly states that a continential breakfast is served, so that is what we expected. The offerings, which included cheese, English muffins, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, scones and yogurt, actually exceeded our expectations of a continental breakfast. Parking is provided, and the location is ideal, with many places of interest within walking distance, or only a short drive away. We also thought the rates were reasonable. All in all, Mendota Lake House provided a very enjoyable and comfortable stay, and we definitely plan to return (hopefully when the weather is warmer so that we can really enjoy the lake).

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RJLBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Thanks for this great review -- very well written and thoughtful! We really enjoyed having you and are especially happy when people use the space as their own. That is what we really strive for -- a place for guests to feel comfortable and at home. Thanks for staying with us!
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We booked for 2 nights at Mendota Lake House & were very pleasantly surprised. The lake house itself is stunning, it's like stepping back in time. The furnishings in the lounge, dining room etc were comfortable & beautiful. We liked the concept of one large table for breakfast but only met one other guest at breakfast whilst we were there. Breakfast was ample (for us anyway). Fruit juices, tea, coffee, cereals (recommend the granola), muffins, cheese, jam, fresh fruit & yogurts. We stayed in the Oscar Wilde room & this was huge. Triple aspect, great views of the lake too. Lovely bathroom with whirlpool bath which unfortunately we didn't get to sample. David & Bob, the hosts, are really welcoming & made us feel at home & that's the nice thing about staying here, you do feel like you're staying with friends in their home which worked for us. Would definitely recommend & wish we'd stayed longer. Thanks David & Bob & good luck with Mendota Lake House. Oh & the front gardens are stunning too !

Room Tip: Oscar Wilde room was comfortable & beautiful views but do not know about any of the other rooms.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Barkers706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for this great review. Every day I look out at the lake and feel so fortunate to be in this house and to be able to share it with so many wonderful visitors like you. Thanks so much for taking the time to review our B&B.
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Sycamore, Illinois
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Mendota Lake House B&B is in a fabulous location. The rooms are big, airy, and have comfortable beds. Some of the rooms have balconies that overlook Lake Mendota. Our stay there was comfortable and pleasant. However, where was the breakfast? We were told breakfast was served from about 7:30 to 10:00 Upon arriving in the dining room at 8:30 for "breakfast" I found three pieces of cheese, an English muffin sitting in a package near a toaster, a few bananas and peaches (same ones as on the table the night before). I kept waiting, expecting more food to be brought out. There were two containers of cold cereal sitting on a buffet table. But that was it!!
A few other amenities were also missing: no hair dryers in the rooms. Also, some cheese, cookies or some other dessert or sweet item would have been appreciated in the evening.
Bob, the host was extremely helpful, kind and welcoming.
If you want a comfy, pleasant place to stay in a great Madison location, this is great. Just don't expect breakfast. Expect a pleasant hotel.

Room Tip: Tennessee Williams room has a great balcony and view along with a lovely sitting area.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sycamoresue49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
Thanks for letting us know we could spruce up the continental breakfast. Our current offering includes two kinds of organic cheese, plain english muffins, 3 fresh fruit offerings, home made organic granola, a commercial cereal, organic yogurt, juice, tea and coffee. My business model is to charge less in exchange for a light, self serve breakfast. Those looking for a big beefy breakfast will definitely not find it here. We do have wonderful places nearby that serve an excellent full breakfast. However, I really appreciate this feedback as it allows me to strive to do better!
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Barrington, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Before booking, we checked out all of the Madison B&Bs before settling on the Mendota Lake House, in part due to its great location and view of Lake Mendota. We were very happy with our choice. Our plane got in very early, so we called Bob to see if we could leave our car in their parking lot even though check-in wasn't until 3 PM. He graciously offered us both the parking spot--necessary for Madison--and an even earlier check-in if we needed. We stayed in the Oscar Wilde room, and the photos don't do the room justice. It is very spacious, attractive, and comfortable. It would be perfect for an extended stay. We appreciated the tempurpeadic mattress as well. The entire house is a lovely example of the prairie school of architecture and was a treat to see and experience. The yard and gardens are beautiful, very diverse, and inviting. The continental breakfast fit our tastes--homemade granola (yum!), good coffee, fruit, etc. Bob recommended the restaurant Fourquarter, just a block away, for dinner and we couldn't have been happier with that suggestion. Excellent! The only drawback--and this is out of the owners' control--is street traffic noise. But, given the choice location, that would be hard to avoid. We'd definitely stay here again, especially considering that the owners just moved in 9 months ago and are working hard at upgrades, etc.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank CM L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Thank you for this great review! We feel very fortunate to open this great house to people who are away from home. So glad you chose to stay with us! And we are so lucky to have such a top notch restaurant as the Forequarter so close. Those folks really know what they are doing.

David
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Brampton
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We recently spent a week at this B&B. If you appreciate staying in a heritage house you will no doubt enjoy this home and the surroundings. It's more of a "cottage" feel I would say, but quite comfortable and we enjoyed the hosts too. They have worked very hard to restore and beautify the home and gardens. Madison is a great place to visit for a holiday - this location has all the advantages of being right on the lake and beside a large park/beach, as well as being walking distance the the capitol and top restaurants. The best of both worlds! There is also a 24 hour self-serve laundry just half a block away, which we took advantage of during our stay, very convenient. There is quite a bit of traffic noise from the street on weekdays, but this is eased somewhat if you close the windows. The breakfast is continental - we didn't take much advantage of it in favour of the local bakeries, but the coffee was good (important!) and the breakfast items were made available for several hours each morning, which was convenient.

Room Tip: We stayed in two rooms - the Oscar Wilde, which is extremely spacious, but partly faces on to the bu...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Woap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Great having you folks staying with us. We often refer to our house as our little cottage on the lake. And at over 7000 sq. feet, I love that a house of that size can feel cozy like a cottage. Great description! Thanks for taking the time for giving us a review. Hope you'll come see us again!
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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Spacious downstairs rooms that exude a solid charm. I enjoyed the soft classical music playing in the background. Our room upstairs (Tennessee Williams) was also large with an antique tub and nice towels. The toiletries hidden inside the plain containers are high quality and natural. The owners are friendly but not imposing and seem happy to take the time to talk or leave a guest alone as to the guest's whim. The Mendota Lake House B&B is a historic property but newly opened by the present owners. Expect there to be a bit of peeling paint, and not every doily in perfect place. Also the continental breakfast, while tasty, is minimal. Downtown and the university are very close. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would happily return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpwaugh, Owner at Mendota Lake House B&B, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Great meeting you folks and thanks for this review! I have immediately inspected all doilies! It was great having you, we really enjoyed your visit. Hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mendota Lake House B&B

Property: Mendota Lake House B&B
Address: 704 E Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703-1522 (Formerly Collins House Inn)
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Madison
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mendota Lake House B&B 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Want to be on the lake and downtown? We are on a hill overlooking Lake Mendota, Madison's largest lake. And we are a 15 minutes walk to the State Capitol building. Sunsets are breathtaking. We are on a busy street in a funky neighborhood with eclectic shops and award winning restaurants, and we are one mile from the University of Wisconsin campus. In our back yard is lake Mendota and complete tranquility where you can take a stroll along the lakeshore path, or sit back and watch the boats while the sun is setting. While we don't serve a hot breakfast, guests enjoy a hearty continental breakfast with fresh and organic products. We will provide you with what we look for in our own travels -- a clean room with a comfy bed at a reasonable price in a great location. Because Bob and David have their own private apartment in the lower level, the entire house is for our guests -- including the kitchen should you want to save money and eat in. Languages spoken include French, Italian and Spanish. We are always making updates as time and money permits. And while we do have some fancy upgrades happening, our goal is to keep things simple which translates to keeping it affordable. Hope to see you soon! ... more   less 
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