Hyatt and Starwood Bring Trendy Hotels to Madison

Posted July 25, 2008 by Nicki Krawczyk

Hotelaloft Kids dress much better today than they did when I was 13. Maybe it’s because there are so many more instructional resources to tell them exactly how to dress cool for their age, but their burgeoning maturity seems to match up well with their burgeoning style. In my youth, the social savvy usually came before the fashion style, so that, for example, you’d think to yourself, “Hey, I was pretty cool at lunch today” and then look down in horror to realize you were still wearing pleated, stonewashed jeans.

Welcome to Madison, the municipal equivalent of this unequal growth spurt. Right in the center of Wisconsin, you’ve got a gigundo UW Madison college population mixing with state capital politicians and a citizenry of forward-thinking and interesting people. Cool. On the other hand, you’ve got most venues closing at 6 p.m. and hotels looking like your Aunt Barb decorated them. (She just loves mixing pastels, maroon, and bad art, doesn’t she?)

Well, it seems that Madison is finally getting rid of its proverbial pleated jeans. According to The Capital Times, a Madison newspaper, this full-of-potential town is getting a shot in the arm of coolness with the arrival of a hip Hyatt Place Hotel, a Hotel Indigo and a proposed Starwood Aloft Hotel. Modern decor and Wi-Fi, welcome to central Wisconsin.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem that these boutique hotels intend to offer dining aside from snack options, thereby encouraging people to get out and about to see Madison in all its glory. Which is fine, because there’s a surprising amount of glory to be seen. And enjoyed. In the late spring, summer and early fall. Because, friends, have you ever been in Wisconsin in the winter? I grew up there; I moved 10 years ago and I still haven’t warmed up.

If your business plan involves bringing clients into town in the dead of January, setting them up in a swanky little hotel and then offer them granola bars for dinner, I forecast trouble. If, however, your business plan is to set up delivery to these stranded out-of-towners, things are looking up. After all, what better way to give them a taste of Madison old and new than to let them get cozy in their urban-chic rooms and nosh on a couple of butter burgers and frozen custard? Ah, I miss home.

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