The Capitol building glows softly against the night sky, its pristine white dome standing watch over Madison's youthful, bustling State Street and the University of Wisconsin. One block away, the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club's decidedly quieter, more traditional lobby throws open its doors, leading guests past a cherry-wood check-in desk and up a chandeliered grand staircase into one of its 256 Concourse guest rooms.
The property, voted Best Hotel by Madison Magazine in 2010, invites visitors to unwind with its warmly lit rooms, each replete with a soothing neutral color palette and dark wood furnishings. King or queen beds, resplendent in smart white 300-thread-count sheets and quilted throws, sit by a living area beneath the window. Tired travelers can sink into the cushy chairs, train all three eyes to the DirecTV, and log into laptops with the complimentary in-room wireless.
Downstairs, Chef Charles Lazzareschi forges playful American cuisine, employing creative global influences and local ingredients at the attached Dayton Street Grille. Crowd favorites at the contemporary spot include grilled miso-glazed ahi tuna and a carpaccio of lamb. After sating stomachs and slaking thirst with the $50 food-and-beverage credit in the restaurant or through room service, serenity seekers can swan dive into the heated indoor pool on the third floor, recline in the whirlpool or sauna, or work out in the hotel's up-to-date fitness center.
The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club sits steps away from State Street, a long, pedestrian-friendly stretch of coffee shops, quirky stores, and cozy restaurants that, along with nearby Capitol Square, often draws crowds of University of Wisconsin students. Just a few blocks away from the hotel, the free Madison Museum of Contemporary Art sprawls across the sidewalk, its oversize ground-level windows showcasing an ever-changing lineup of photographs, painted works, and Mark McGwire's self-portraits. Down the street, perfumes waft from the doors of a specialty soap store, and an artisan cheese shop offers free tastes to those venturing back towards the Capitol building. As the sun sets, explorers can curl up in an intimate, authentic Nepalese restaurant to slurp bowls of dal and check out the colorful wall hangings.
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