Following a soft opening in September, Madison’s new Edgewater hotel (from $199 a night), located on Lake Mendota’s southern shore, continues to complete and unveil its two-year, $100 million renovation. Last week the hotel revealed its two-story, 10,000-square-foot spa, the first luxury spa in Madison. The day after Thanksgiving, a tree-lighting ceremony will reveal a new ice rink to complete Edgewater’s one-acre waterfront plaza.
These additions follow all that’s been revealed since the soft opening, including the brand-new Wisconsin Building hotel tower, two ballrooms, and two restaurants: the waterfront Statehouse with its adjoining bar, and the craft beer-focused Icehouse, near the plaza. The hotel’s 202 new rooms (which nearly doubled from the original 107) start at a roomy 400 square feet and include 10 studios with kitchenettes, two presidential suites, and art deco-inspired touches, such as bathrooms with black-and-white-tiled marble floors.
Views of Lake Mendota are stunning from the hotel, and Edgewater capitalizes on them from every angle and space, including its rooms, restaurants, and both floors of the new spa. On the spa’s first floor, the focus is on the large fitness center, two group fitness rooms, and a plunge Jacuzzi pool. On the second floor, find seven treatment rooms, all with views of the lake, plus a salon with a blow dry bar.
Originally opened during the big-band heyday of the 1940s, and host to celebrities that included Elvis Presley and the Dalai Lama, the Edgewater closed in 2012 for the massive renovation. Preserving the hotel’s art deco architecture was a priority, but so was the idea of including modern twists, like the expansive, interactive media wall. A curated art exhibit of sorts, the 90-foot wall uses photos, videos, and artifacts to tell the local stories of Madison. Topics include Madison’s early pioneers and sports at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, just next door.
There’s still more to come. By summer, Edgewater plans to add two more restaurants (The Boathouse and The Café), live music on the outdoor plaza, a 170-foot permanent dock, and a dinner cruise on the water.
Is the Langham Chicago’s Best Hotel?
Like Chicago magazine, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler say the No. 1 hotel in Chicago is The Langham, Chicago. The Waldorf Astoria Chicago and Thompson Chicago follow in slots two and three, respectively. See CNT’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2014 for all 10 Chicago hotels on the list.
Smartphone Verses Travel Guidebook
“I had a list of restaurants for lunch and dinner. I knew exactly what I would be seeing at both the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, and I had brushed up on my Greek history to boot! I was prepared. I was winning. I was ready to take on Athens and toss my smartphone into the Aegean Sea.” More at Yahoo.
See Picasso and Dalí in St. Petersburg
Opening this Saturday, the new “Picasso/Dalí, Dalí/Picasso” exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum will feature more than 80 rarely loaned works from both artists from 20 international art museums and private collections. “This exhibition offers the possibility of rereading the relationship between two key figures of twentieth-century art and exploring new interpretations of the period in which their lives and works intersected,” says Dalí Museum Director Dr. Hank Hine. The exhibit runs through February 16, 2015.