Mendota Lake House Inn

704 E Gorham St , Madison, WI 53703-1522 USA (Show map)


Historic 1911 arts and crafts home in downtown Madison, on the lake, near the Capitol. One mile to UW campus. We are a plain and simple B&B that caters to travelers looking for a clean room at a great price with a fantastic location. We are committed to being your best value in Madison. Our breakfast is continental style with all organic and local (when in season) products. Bob makes the granola! We also feature baked goods from Batch Bakehouse. Our cleaning products are all natural and scent free. We are on a busy downtown street with numerous amenities nearby. The back of our house faces the stunningly beautiful and tranquil Lake Mendota. Sunsets are magical. Our house is also located in James Madison Park, with a beach, volleyball pit, play structure and numerous other amenties. Or wander around and enjoy nature in this downtown park. Owners Bob and David have a private apartment in the lower level so the entire house is for our guests -- including the kitchen should you want to save money and eat in. Because we chose to do our own restoration over time, we are continually making improvements as time and money permits.




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  • Guest room4.2
  • Service4.6
  • Value4.6
  • Cleanliness4.5
  • Onsite Dining3.8

Awesome place to stay!

5 on May 11, 2017

We loved out stay - friendly, and in a beautiful setting. I'm recommending this to friends and family traveling to Madison.

Great Stay at Mendota Lake House Inn

5 on May 09, 2017

The owner are very nice, the place is very clean and beautiful ! It is also very well located in Madison, close to downtown, Mendota and parks.

Beautiful lakeside B&B

4.0 on May 01, 2017

Lovely B&B with sweeping views of the lake, close to downtown Madison, and a fun little neighborhood

Stunning house, perfect location.

4.0 on April 23, 2017

A true bed & breakfast that reflects the character of the owners. A beautiful and historic house that was comfortable as it is real. The room we had was the largest and had a brand new double shower and huge soaking tub, which we did use and is a real luxury (not normally bath people.) Excellent location on the isthmus, we arrived late but had some excellent cocktails at the Robin Room 2 blocks away. If you want to feel like you were really in Madison, this is a great place to stay.

A room with a view!

5 on March 20, 2017

We loved our stay at the Mendota Lake House Inn! So many positives- the location- close to downtown and campus. The view-amazing! The owners- charming and available when you need them - we felt so at home and thank them for sharing this incredible home. Most importantly the basics were addressed- such as comfortable bed and super clean accommodations- if these 2 basics are not provided than all the antiques and cutesy stuff that so many B&Bs emphasize do not matter to us. Luckily, Bob and David make clean and comfortable a top priority. That being said, they sell themselves short on how gorgeous the home is- they may not have doilies- but the decorating they have done is just right. Interesting artwork and the the furniture they have chosen complements the craftsman style home perfectly. We stayed in the Oscar Wilde room which was beyond my expectations with spaciousness. So comfortable- and like having our own little studio apartment. The shower was amazing- a rain shower overhead along with a hand held sprayer on the side and even a seat. We especially appreciated the "king-size" bed in this room- We cannot sleep together in anything smaller and so many B&Bs only offer a queen. Breakfast is continental and was very good- yummy scones and healthy choices too- organic yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, cereal and coffee and tea and juice. My husband prefers this to the B&Bs that prepare a full cooked breakfast- where you have to commit to a time to be downstairs etc- and this often does not allow us to just relax and sleep in a bit if we feel like it- which we usually do on vacation. If we are back in Madison we will certainly stay at the Mendota Lake House again.

Excellent stay for holiday relaxation

3.2 on January 16, 2017

My husband and I had a great week in Madison, including our stay at the Mendota Lake House. We stayed in the spacious Oscar Wilde room which was perfect for our stay since we needed to do a bit of work during the week and wanted to still feel comfortable being cooped up for a few hours during the day. Some minor improvements, as they clearly mention on their website, are needed but don't take away from the experience. We also peaked into the other rooms and were equally impressed at their appearance. We had plenty of options for a light breakfast - famous scones, english muffins, yogurt, cereal, etc. This was a great place to stay, within walking distance to plenty of great restaurants and close to the University and all it has to offer. The only part of our trip that I would change is to go during the summer so we can see all of the beautiful landscaping in its full glory.

Marvelous Honeymoon

5 on January 06, 2017

We stayed at the Mendota Lake House for our honeymoon . It was perfect! Charming home with tons of character, the owners were wonderful and welcoming, right on the lake and so close to amazing downtown Madison. We cannot wait to go back and make this a regular get away spot! My only regret is that we didn't stay longer!

Splendid Spot

4.4 on January 02, 2017

This is historic house is a place to relax and enjoy the lake views. I visited in December and saw swans and eagles on the lake. My room (Walt Whitman) was large with many amenities (small frig, TV, wine glasses). The breakfast is DIY (bagels, cereals, cheese, juice) with excellent coffee. Note to hosts: hard boiled eggs would provide those with dairy issues a source of protein in the morning.

Very relaxing and welcoming

4.4 on November 28, 2016

We stayed for two nights. Got there late the first night and Bob was up waiting for us. It was much like home, nice and clean with a small project going on here and there but nothing out of place. The rooms were spacious, warm and tidy. The internet worked, the coffee tasted good and their continental breakfast was organic and delicious. Easy walk to a nightlife, dining and shopping and an easy 15 to 20 minute walk to the capital building. Also had a great view out over Mendota Lake. I would recommend this if you want a friendly, at home atmosphere!

An Okay Stay

2.8 on October 28, 2016

Mendota Lakehouse B&B offered a clean place to stay in Madison, and it comes in at a competitive price. That said, it's not quite as idyllic as the stock photos indicate. The owners are clear in the literature that the B&B is a work in progress, but I don't think it was evident just how much work was left to be done. From unpainted walls (and other walls--most walls, really--badly in need of a fresh, clean coat of paint) to unfinished bathrooms and millwork, there was a lot that didn't quite live up to basic expectations, even taking into account the owners' disclosure the B&B is a work in progress. The breakfast was adequate. All things considered, a mostly clean place that meets minimum expectations. In hindsight, though, it may have been worth spending an extra $20-$50 a night and getting something more B&B, and a little less hostel-like.

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Rooms & Rates

Walt Whitman

The Walt Whitman is a beautiful 2nd floor room with a queen bed and windows facing the lake. Enjoy stunning sunsets from your private deck overlooking the lake (deck closed Nov-April.) The private bath includes a large, 2-person jacuzzi whirlpool.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Tennessee Williams

The Tennesse Williams room is on the 2nd floor and features a beautiful queen sleigh bed. This street facing room has a private deck. The private bath features the original subway tile and a whirlpool tub and shower.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Gore Vidal

The Gore Vidal room is on the 3rd floor with a queen bed. All windows face the lake. The private bathroom features a bathtub and shower combination.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Oscar Wilde

The Oscar Wilde is our largest and most luxurious room, is on the 2nd floor and features a king-size bed. With windows on 3 sides of the house, the light just pours into this room. This room has its own private sitting area with couch and love seat. The beautiful private bath is lined with period subway tile and features a rain shower and a hydrotherapy

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 King

James Baldwin

The James Baldwin is a spacious room on the 3rd floor with a queen bed and windows facing the park and the lake. This room includes a futon sofa that can be converted to a second bed. The private bath features a clawfoot tub with shower.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen


This is not a room

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Check Dates


Location Type

Downtown, Lakefront


Madison, WI (MSN-Dane County Regional) 5 miles

Directions to property:

Located on a major street through downtown. Direct route from airport to campus and Capitol.

Area Attractions

Art Galleries, Beach, Concert venue, Historical interests, Lake, Live Music, Museum, Nature area, Night life, Children's Museum, State Capitol, Restaurants, Performing Theater, Picnic area, University

Inn Details

Establishment type

Historic Inn, Mansion

On-site amenities

Computer, Fireplace, Fridge, Ironing Board, Kitchenette, Library, Microwave, TV, Walk to mass transit, Wi-Fi

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Coffee/Tea facilities, Desk, Hairdryer, Hot tub/whirlpool tub, Radio, Wired internet

On-site activities

Bicycle rental, Bicycles, Boating, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Swimming

Check Dates


  • Alcohol Provided

Terms and Conditions

  • Cancellations: Because we are a small Inn, please do not reserve rooms unless you are certain of your dates. It is much harder for us small innkeepers to absorb cancellations. There is a $20 processing fee for any cancellation. For cancellations more than two weeks out, the fee is $20. For cancellations within 2 weeks of arrival, the charge is 100% of your reservation unless we can rebook the room. All cancellations must be in writing (via email) and must be acknowledged by us in writing.



David Waugh and Bob Klebba

Languages spoken

English, French, Italian, Spanish

Resident Pets


About the innkeepers

Gardening enthusiasts, historic preservation.

Check Dates




  • Time Served: 7-10AM
  • Serving Location: Breakfast Room, Breakfast/dining area, Dining Room

Special meal options

Low fat , Vegetarian