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Visitors to Shenandoah Valley’s Harrisonburg, VA, should absolutely book a stay at the Hotel Madison. Whether you’re planning on visiting the James Madison University (JMU) campus or strolling the streets of downtown Harrisonburg, the Hotel Madison is ideally located.
If, like me, you love visiting small towns with an easily walkable and discoverable Main Street area, then Harrisonburg, VA, hits all the right notes. A stay at the Hotel Madison means rarely being more than a few steps from your favorite destinations. Read on to find out more.
Hotel Madison Review
Next door to the JMU campus is a large hotel offering everything you could possibly need for an enjoyable stay in Harrisonburg.
What is Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Conference Center?
The official hotel for JMU, Hotel Madison is ideally situated for all things JMU and Harrisonburg related. The hotel is also perfect for persons visiting Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College, and the Shenandoah National Park.
Because of its proximity to the JMU campus, the hotel offers two programs geared toward JMU visitors: JMU Parent Loyalty and JMU Alumni Club. JMU Parents earn loyalty points by staying throughout their child’s time at JMU, giving them priority access to May Commencement reservations and discounts. JMU alumni enjoy discounts at the hotel and restaurant as well. Both programs are free to join!
But you don’t have to have a connection to JMU to enjoy Hotel Madison. I enjoyed parking my car in the attached garage (there is a nominal fee) and being able to walk to enjoy all that downtown Harrisonburg has to offer. The hotel offers multiple accommodations, from regular rooms to suites particularly suited to extended stays and some pet-friendly rooms. The rooms feature in-room safes (big enough for laptops!) and USB and electric ports on the nightstands. So many thoughtful touches!
PRO TIP: I stayed in a one-bedroom suite. Book this type of room if you’d like a lot of room and a kitchen.
What can you do at Hotel Madison?
You can spend an entire weekend at Hotel Madison without leaving the premises, but typically, you’ll want to explore the area! Check out the hotel’s amenities.
The hotel’s mezzanine serves as an art gallery, where local artists’ work is displayed. Art is rotated so you can expect to see different pieces on many visits. Guests can check them out any time, but the hotel also participates in the town’s First Friday celebrations.
The mezzanine features lovely seating areas, making it the perfect place to enjoy the lobby’s atmosphere without being in the middle of the action.
Listen to Live Music.
Sit for a spell in Hotel Madison’s lobby and enjoy the sweet notes of a piano or guitar player. Grab a cocktail from the hotel bar while you reminisce while listening to musical memories.
Relax at the Pool.
Cool down in the resort’s indoor saltwater pool (that’s right – no chlorine odor here!). Open year-round, the indoor pool features garage-style doors that open onto a patio. The indoor pool’s extended hours mean there is a pool option early and late in the day before or after exploring the area.
Work out at the Fitness Center.
Hotel guests don’t have to sacrifice their usual fitness routine if they don’t want to. Open 24/7, the Fitness Center features everything a guest could expect from a fully-stocked workout room. Sweat it out on treadmills, stationary bikes, or ellipticals. Work your muscles on weight machines or free weights. Even a middle-of-the-night workout is okay!
PRO TIP: Hotel Madison is a 100% smoke and vape-free facility.
Keep your clothes clean with the laundry room.
With an eye toward more extended stays, the hotel offers a laundry room for guests. Free to use, a washer and dryer at guests’ disposal means you don’t have to pack many clothes or extra bags for your visit.
Bars and Restaurants
Harrisonburg is a foodie destination, but if you don’t want to leave the comfort of the hotel, know that you have multiple food and beverage options inside Hotel Madison.
grace + main coffee shop
Start your morning with a great cup of coffee and a breakfast treat. The coffee shop is also the hotel’s option for those looking for lunch fare.
Quill’s Casual Dining
This lobby bar is open Thursday – Sunday, 4 pm-11 pm (subject to change), and during other busy times. It is the perfect spot to grab a drink and some lighter fare to enjoy while listening to live music or watching the game on the big screen.
Specializing in comfort food with a modern touch, Monty’s serves casual fare such as pork nachos and wings as well as upscale entrees like roasted salmon, filet mignon, and shrimp and grits. The varied menu has something for every kind of taste.
A breakfast buffet offers an affordable option for breakfast at the hotel if you don’t want to venture out.
What to Do in Harrisonburg from Hotel Madison
Harrisonburg doesn’t lack things to do! The city is a recent winner of the Great American Main Street Award, and you’ll soon discover why.
- Catch a performance at the neighboring Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Don’t forget to reserve your tickets in advance!
- Watch the JMU Dukes football team take over the Bridgeforth Stadium, which can seat 25,000. Of course, individual tickets may be hard to find, so plan ahead.
- Stroll the JMU campus, with its famous Quad, one of the most Instagrammable spots in town. Take the time to discover the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, which is free to visit and open daily with many places to admire the local flora.
- Across the street from Hotel Madison, the John C. Wells Planetarium delights visitors every Saturday during the JMU school year. Attend one of the twice-daily feature shows for free and learn about the stars visible on starry nights in the Shenandoah Valley.
But most importantly, stroll the streets of downtown Harrisonburg. Shop the boutiques that dot Main and side streets. And discover why Harrisonburg was named both Virginia’s first culinary district and first art and cultural district. This also means discovering Harrisonburg’s breweries, cidery, and vineyards.
Final Thoughts on Staying at Hotel Madison
Whether you’re looking for a fun place to get away for the weekend, a home base for exploring Harrisonburg, or even Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Hotel Madison is an excellent choice you won’t regret!
Check out these other related posts:
- Most Instagrammable Spots in Harrisonburg
- A Foodie Destination: Harrisonburg, VA
- Lavender Fields to Visit in Virginia
- Sunflower Fields to Visit in Virginia
Annick, The Common Traveler