Mendota Lake House Inn

704 E Gorham St , Madison, WI 53703-1522 USA (Show map)
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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 room4.3
  • Service4.6
  • Value4.7
  • Cleanliness4.6
  • Onsite Dining3.9

Atmosphere, lake, atmosphere, lake

4.4 on September 18, 2017

If you want to feel part of a Madison neighborhood, admire an Arts & Crafts house, and have plenty of areas to relax, this is the place. Beautiful views of Lake Mendota, beautiful gardens around the house, and several very good restaurants and coffee shops are within walking distance. Breakfast was very good. Scones and excellent choices of cold cereals (quality dry cereal) were just two of other choices on the buffets. If you know you aren't getting a hot breakfast, no worries. Focus on the great coffee, and the innkeepers rescuing an historic Madison house. Oh, and great linens!

Charming Arts and Crafts home by the lake

4.8 on September 14, 2017

The first clue that Mendota Lake House is no ordinary B&B is the riot of huge flowers that take up every inch of the front and side yards. This is a vintage house that the owners have filled with Arts and Crafts style furniture - some authentic, some reproduction, but all filling the entire first floor, which are the "common rooms" for guests. The five guest rooms vary greatly in size and each one is named for a different author. Our room was small and serviceable. The Oscar Wilde room (we peeked) was spacious, bright and beautiful. We were told before hand that there would be Continental breakfast only, but this had a lot of variety including cheese, fruit and home-made granola. When you walk out the back you are at the lake shore and the rooms have beautiful views. Would totally recommend this B&B for anyone who is more interested in a charming, vintage kind of experience than the typical modern low-budget hotel.

Bed and Breakfast Stay in beautiful Madison

4.6 on September 11, 2017

Mendota Lake House in Madison, Wi is a lovely B & B overlooking Lake Mendota. You can spend the entire day just relaxing in one of several rooms downstairs on the first floor or spend the day site seeing in Madison. The B & B is within walking distance to the capitol, the university and a number of restaurants.

For those who value uniqueness and charm

4.8 on September 03, 2017

The first clue that this was no ordinary B&B was the front yard - an absolute riot of huge, colorful flowers! It's a breath-taking introduction to this charming Arts and Crafts style bungalow. The entire first floor is a Stickley-lover's dream, including a kitchen where one could pick up cold drinks and tea at any time. The rooms vary greatly, from the grand Oscar Wilde suite (we took a peek) to the smaller but personable rooms - we stayed in the Tennessee Williams and it was fine. The innkeepers Dave and Bob were very welcoming and keep the mood friendly and casual. We were told ahead of time that service was minimal and only a Continental breakfast would be served ... but even that exceeded our expectations, including fresh fruit, cheese, and home-made granola. This is not the place for someone who wants all the modern amenities. But if you love Arts and Crafts, and are charmed by vintage, we recommend it. And the views of the lake are Fantastic. We would stay here again! Pat H.

Our Madison favorite for hospitality and ambience.

4.8 on August 24, 2017

We love the local cheeses that accompany the continental breakfast and the decor of the rooms. Bob and Dave are flexible about kitchen use for other meals. They have helped us find lodging when our flight was cancelled. On a previous occasion they have helped with posting articles left behind. There is a bus stop at the corner that makes getting around even more convenient. The area is safe and lovely for walking.

Beautiful Historic House on the Lake

4.0 on August 19, 2017

Although I was only at the Mendota Lake House for less than 12 hours, I enjoyed it and will return. The bed was extremely comfortable and the gardens and view of the lake are outstanding!

Extremely peaceful place to stay

4.8 on August 17, 2017

The most spectacular lakeview over breakfast and fantastic service.

Gorgeous time of year for stay

4.6 on August 13, 2017

Our Madison favorite for hospitality, ambience, and convenience.

Mendota Lake House

5 on August 06, 2017

We had a chance to stay at Mendota Lake House Inn twice. Wonderful experience!! When we visit Madison again, we hope we can stay there again.

Lovely Mendota Lake House Inn

4.6 on August 01, 2017

This is a darling property with a beautiful yard and view that is convenient to the capitol and the university. Our room was very nicely appointed with everything we needed (extra blanket, fan, plenty of towels, etc.) and it was great to be able to use the downstairs space for lounging and reading. Breakfasts were healthy and delicious with many pleasing options (fresh fruit, scones from a local bakery and homemade granola). The only drawback had to do with bed comfort -- the mattress seemed played out (caved in in the middle). A memory foam mattress pad mitigated the problem a little, but it seems like it's time for a new mattress in the Gore Vidal room. Other than that, our stay was perfect. Thank you, David and Bob.

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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

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