The New Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg VA: A Refreshing Sneak Peek!

Hotel Madison opens May 1!

Harrisonburg, Virginia is growing by leaps and bounds. We are literally seeing new businesses coming to town regularly, and there seems to be construction everywhere, all the time now. No kidding.

So when the whole block at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Main Street was razed to the ground, I knew that something big had to be coming.

I was right.

In the fall of 2016, the ceremonial groundbreaking took place for the new Hotel Madison, and construction to build this premier facility was underway. And now, 18 months later, this hotel and conference center is set to open in just days….HURRAY!

A view of Hotel Madison from Main Street.
A view of Hotel Madison from Main Street.
Photo credit: Denedriane Dean

“Why are you so excited about a hotel opening, Dee?” I’m glad that you asked. Aside from the fact that I enjoy seeing progress and revitalization take place, I am really thrilled for what this new hotel represents for our community. Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Conference Center is a joint venture that has brought James Madison University, the city of Harrisonburg and private investors into a public-private partnership. In simple terms, I see its presence here as a benefit to both JMU and the people of Harrisonburg and surrounding counties. Would you like to know why? Are you ready to hear what I learned and saw on my pre-opening tour? Buckle up and prepare to be WOWed!

Hotel Madison: First Impressions

Our tour took place as the finishing touches were being made on the facility, so there were some areas that were still not completely done.  Nevertheless, I can say that what was completed gave me a definitely feel for the style and ambiance that the architects and designers wanted to convey. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • A modern and contemporary feel. There is a very open layout with lots of light streaming in. The chandeliers and lighting fixtures are very contemporary. And there are modern amenities for the traveler (i.e. charging decks at the desks in the lobby).
  • The feeling that this is a premier facility. From the sensor-operated revolving door to the marble-look flooring and rich-hued wood in the lobby, one can tell that an upscale feel is what the designers were going for.
  • Honoring the history of the Valley.  The interior designers were charged to decorate with “subtle sophistication and rustic elegance”, and they definitely got it right. The custom-made carpet in the Shenandoah Grand Ballroom simulates an aerial view of the Shenandoah National Park. The subtle colors in the carpets and on the walls reflect the spirit of JMU. The designers definite incorporated important elements of the community and landscape into the very fabric of this hotel.
A contemporary look and feel in the lobby of Hotel Madison.
A contemporary look and feel in the lobby of Hotel Madison.
Photo credit: Dominique Dean

 

The Hotel Madison lobby has all the contemporary feels!
The Hotel Madison lobby has all the contemporary feels!
Photo credit: Dominique Dean

Fast facts

I just want to share with you a few of the information points that I learned about Hotel Madison:

  • It has 230 guest rooms and 7 floors
  • The hotel and conference center is independently owned and non-branded
  • P3 Design Collective in Northern VA helmed the interior decorating
  • Customer service is expected to be at the highest level
  • The hotel aims to “be a good team player” in the community and to promote tourism for the Valley

Conference, Event and Meeting Spaces

Let’s start with the meeting spaces. “…an unprecedented venue for meeting and event space in the Shenandoah Valley, Hotel Madison offers the flexibility to accommodate groups ranging from 12 to 1200 people.” Truer words have never been spoken – these hosting spaces are quite large!

Hotel Madison is well-equipped to handle hosting local, regional and even national conferences. Spaces can be partitioned off to make for more intimate settings, or opened up to hold bigger crowds. The Alleghany Ballroom seen here can accommodate 11 different meeting spaces:

The Shenandoah Grand Ballroom is grand indeed. It is made to hold around 1,000 people for a speaker event, and 560-570 people for a banquet setting. {When I stepped into this massive space, I thought, this would be ideal for weddings and receptions. Prospective brides, check into this!}

The custom-made carpet in the Shenandoah Grand Ballroom pays homage to the beautiful natural surroundings found in the Valley.
The custom-made carpet in the Shenandoah Grand Ballroom pays homage to the beautiful natural surroundings found in the Valley.
Photo credit: Dee Dean

Rooms

The rooms! Oh my…simply gorgeous. These 230 guest rooms offer a wide variety of lodging styles to meet varying needs. We walked through a standard King room with a lock-off door, and it is plenty spacious. The bathroom opens by way of a sliding barn door, a unique touch that I loved. The lock-off room can be opened to reveal a full kitchen and living area, which is just perfect for those on an extended stay at Hotel Madison (check out this kitchen!):

Contemporary styling and detailed artwork define this Hotel Madison guest room.
Contemporary styling and detailed artwork define this Hotel Madison guest room.
Photo credit: Dominique Dean
This full kitchen makes an extended stay even more luxurious!
This full kitchen makes an extended stay even more luxurious!
Photo credit: Dominique Dean

I loved the details such as the wood of the cabinetry, the floor, and the artwork. It is evident that a lot of thought went into the décor of the rooms.

The Presidential Suite and the view

My eyes almost popped out of my head when I entered this suite! It covers in excess of 1500 square feet on the 7th floor of Hotel Madison. In addition to a King room with its own bathroom, a full kitchen and living/entertainment space, the Presidential Suite offers a handicapped-accessible double queen bedroom (with its own bath), and a separate bedroom for guests….with ITS own bath. Wow!

And while the lodging space is amazing, the view of Harrisonburg from this suite is spectacular:

Photo credit: Denedriane Dean

 

Fine Dining

The words premier and signature come to mind immediately. Montpelier Restaurant & Bar is the name of the flagship restaurant. The feel is upscale casual, and the restaurant itself will seat around 180 guests. Montpelier will be an attraction in and of itself for students, guests, and the community at large. It will offer 3 meals per day for guests and visitors. Food will be locally sourced, giving the farm-to-table experience to patrons. In addition, special dining events can be hosted in the Dolley Madison (private) Dining Room.

We were treated to a moment with Executive Chef Michael Collins while making a stop in the state-of-the-art kitchen. He has regional connections, and once served at the prestigious Greenbrier in West Virginia. He and his staff have access to high-tech equipment in the kitchen to expedite service. One of the goals is to have no lag time in service to anyone in the restaurant, no matter how large or small the party.

Executive Chef Michael Collins shares his insights with us in the spacious kitchen at Hotel Madison.
Executive Chef Michael Collins shares his insights with us in the spacious kitchen at Hotel Madison. Photo credit: Denedriane Dean

 

Hotel Madison boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen facility.
Hotel Madison boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen facility.
Photo credit: Dominique Dean

 

Other special amenities and features

There is an indoor pool…YES. In fact, it is large enough to wade in and swim laps. The hotel also boasts a sizable and well-equipped fitness center.

The lovely indoor pool at Hotel Madison.
The lovely indoor pool at Hotel Madison.
Photo credit: Dominique Dean

Hotel Madison is also a place for students in the school of Hospitality & Tourism Management to get hands-on experience in their field. Students can shadow and receive mentoring here, and in their Junior year, they can apply for paid internships.

It has been a couple of days since I walked through the tour, and I’m still trying to soak in all that we saw. I think one of the best ways to sum up all that I experienced is with these two words: Excellence speaks. From the start of the tour to the end – every ballroom, guest room, and small details that we saw – all of them spoke to me. They spoke to the desire to give guests a quality experience in every way. The rooms, the meeting spaces, the mezzanine, the dining, the amenities, and the peaceful views were all designed with detail and care to make a stay here one that is unforgettable.

Are you local to Harrisonburg? Hotel Madison is running a couple of specials that might interest you –  check out the details here.

If you are planning to visit the Shenandoah Valley, it would definitely be worth your while to make a reservation! Visit HotelMadison.com to see more and book a stay.

{A special thank you to Marketing Manager Jennifer Sodikoff for the gracious invite to this media tour, and to Public Relations Director Eddie Bombaugh for being a gracious host and awesome tour guide for this event! }

I would love to hear your thoughts about Hotel Madison or your upcoming plans to visit the Valley …feel free to share in the comments below!

Here’s to unforgettable experiences,

 

4 Replies to “The New Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg VA: A Refreshing Sneak Peek!”

  1. Awesome write up!! Beautiful description of what we can all expect to see. So glad for the Harrisonburg community!

    1. Avatar Denedriane says: Reply

      Me too Tracy! Thanks for stopping by to check out my writeup about Hotel Madison, and I hope you and the family make it back this way in the near future 🙂

  2. I don’t even recognize campus anymore. What a wonderful opportunity for Business students and the community at large. Thanks for keeping Alumni updated DeeDee!

    1. Anytime Sherri! And yes it is indeed. I’ll be glad to give you a personalized campus tour next time you are here!

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