Sometimes a place just gets it right, and that's the case with Madison's first boutique lodging, HotelRed. The 48-room, contemporary-style hotel stands directly across from the city's popular Camp Randall Stadium, home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger football team (known for its red and white colors). It's also less than 2 miles from the Capitol Square and State Street and is steps from the wealth of boutique shopping on Monroe Street. Rooms start at $139, and all feature spacious king beds, plush bedding, Aveda bath products and kitchenettes. Some rooms also have amenities like soaking tubs and private balconies. There's also complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and eye-catching artwork from local artists (or artists with ties to the area). Parking is free.
As inviting as the rooms are, you might actually prefer to hang out in the lobby, which features a huge fireplace that towers over a wealth of comfy seating. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the bustling Monroe-Regent Street corridor, affording great people-watching. Or maybe you'll want to saunter over to The Wise, a restaurant-bar offering tapas-style dining and an extensive drink menu that includes craft beers. The Wise is basically the other end of the lobby, so you can still peek out the windows while you nosh or toss one back. In warm weather, outdoor seating is available. This is also the spot where breakfast is served in the morning, should you wish to dine on items including fruit and yogurt, eggs and pancakes. Can't forget to mention pets are welcome here, too. The only thing missing at HotelRed is a fitness center. But the hotel is a short walk from one of the city's popular bike paths (plus a B-Cycle urban bike-sharing station), so we can forgive that one detail.