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

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.

Innkeeper Response
Thanks for taking the time to review us because it gives me a chance to better explain our model. Our wonderful housekeepers spend the extra time to make sure things are super clean so we are glad you noticed that. If you had done some price comparisons, the bed and breakfasts downtown (and not even on the lake) are easily $100 extra per night. And they are perfect and well worth it if that is your thing. Because we are doing all the work, we sometimes don't get all the trim or painting done before the season kicks in preventing us from finishing. And I don't ever want to be perfect or charge those prices. I like it the way it is.

Great experience

4.8 on October 15, 2016

This was a great place to stay. A beautiful house right on Lake Nendota within walking distance of restaurants and other attractions. Yummy continental breakfast. I'd love to stay here again.

Innkeeper Response
it was great having you and so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Hope to see you again soon! David

Great Value, Lovely Home in Madison

4.2 on October 07, 2016

I just returned from my second stay at the Mendota Lake House Inn. This time I took a group of friends with me. Our rooms were very comfortable, and the lake views were beautiful. The continental breakfast was fine for us, with crusty bread, scones, cereal, cheeses and yogurt. The home is a 6-block walk to the Capitol. The owners are in the process of remodeling the home; some rooms need sanding and re-painting. The Oscar Wilde is the largest and nicest room, but we also rented the Walt Whitman, James Baldwin and Tennessee Williams, and all of them were nice. The gardens around the home are gorgeous.

Innkeeper Response
It was great having you ladies, you really were a great bunch! This is really what we are all about -- creating a space for people to feel at home and to have fun. Hope to see you again. David

Just Lovely! Perhaps the 5th time we've stayed at Mendota Lake House and we are even more delighted with each visit!

5 on October 03, 2016

Every room has charming details among the many conveniences. No room is overdone or cluttered. You feel pampered with the excellent mattresses, pillows, comforters and additional seating and tables for working or just relaxing. The views of the lake are breathtakingly beautiful in every season. This past August the room we booked had an enormous balcony overlooking the water and we spent our down time outdoors in complete privacy. The breakfasts are delicious and generous and wholesome. Fruit, cheeses, scones, granola, and deep, rich coffee. The B & B is often fully booked but we feel like we have the place to ourselves. Except for the great music always playing in the sun rooms, living & dining room you rarely hear a sound. On occasion when you do bump into a guest or Bob and David, there's a nice exchange, often about the history of the house and the "where to go what to see highlights". No pressure to be charming and engaging, just such a great home away from home. The garden out front in spring & summer is remarkable; walk to everything especially restaurants and miles and miles of shoreline. Mary, NY

Innkeeper Response
Loved having you folks. And thanks for this very thoughtful review. It makes me so happy when people appreciate the concept of what we are trying to do: provide the space for people to feel at home and feel comfortable doing so. Thanks again and hope to see you again! David

Lake view and big tub

4.4 on October 02, 2016

We stayed in the OscarWilde suite due to the tub. It's big enough for two, which is usually what I'm looking for in a B&B. Spacious room with a fireplace and lovely view of the lake. Walking distance to downtown, though we got an Uber car due to the rain. Homemade granola was simple, but healthy and good. Looking forward to our next visit!

Lovely spot!

4.0 on September 27, 2016

Truly enjoyed my stay at Mendota Lake House Inn. Was in town for a conference and all hotel rooms sold out so decided to try this. The breakfast was fine for me - a continentalish - all organic. The Inn keepers were very helpful and friendly. I stayed on the 3rd floor and the room was fine - but the rooms on the 2nd floor would be preferable. Booked too late to have a choice..... Would stay again - convenient to downtown; and able to get in some nice walks and a swim in the lake....

Innkeeper Response
So glad you found us and thanks for staying and giving us this very nice review! I am always a little out of breath climbing to the third floor so I have to remind myself that a little extra cardio is good! But it did prompt me to put a little note to users on our website of the stairs. Hope to see you again! David

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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