If you’ve heard of Harrisonburg, Virginia, it’s most likely as the home of James Madison University. We had no connection to the school but chose it as a stop close to Luray Caverns during our road trip in Virginia as it’s just 45 minutes away.
Hotel Madison is the official hotel of the school, a public university founded in 1908, and it is just steps away from The Quad. It’s also home to the Shenandoah Valley Conference Center.
The first thing I loved about Hotel Madison was the soaring and inviting lobby, with a fireplace, several seating areas and communal tables. The wood-and-stone front desk had a backdrop of a mural with “We the people” on it. History refresher: James Madison presented his Virginia Plan that proposed a central government with three branches: legislative, judicial and executive.
Please see the related stories from other stops on our Virginia road trip.
The second thing I really appreciated was the covered adjacent parking garage with free parking and easy access to the hotel. It burns my butt to pay a lot for a hotel room and then get hit with huge parking fees. Plus, I hate to call a valet every time if I’ve forgotten something in the car.
RVs are welcome and guests have access to off-site parking for them.
See related story: Best Southern Hotels Where We Always Feel Welcome
Accommodations at Hotel Madison
The third thing I loved was our room, an Executive Suite on the corner with views of the mountains and facing toward downtown.
We had a large separate sitting room with a sleeper sofa, desk, mini-fridge and 50” TV. The hotel has several types of suites including two-bedroom suites and a 1,546-square-foot Presidential Suite.
There are 230 rooms at the hotel, which also include extended stay rooms with a full kitchen.
Pets are allowed in certain rooms but you’ll want to check for details before you go.
Amenities and Dining Options
I’ve seen many hotel fitness centers that were barely bigger than a closet, but Hotel Madison has a large well-equipped one, so pack your exercise gear if you’re ready to work out. There’s also a nice indoor saltwater pool for an additional opportunity to exercise or just relax. There’s also a business center and complimentary self-service laundry.
For breakfast we got coffee and delicious breakfast sandwiches from Grace + Main coffee shop in the lobby. They also serve teas, scones, muffins and croissants. The lobby market also has a selection of grab-and-go options for breakfast and lunch.
Montpelier Restaurant & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving farm-to-table dishes. Menu items include charcuterie boards, chicken wings, burgers, steak and seafood. You can also opt for casual dining at Quills lobby bar.
One last thing I loved about Hotel Madison is its location, which is within walking distance to downtown Harrisonburg where you’ll find shops, restaurants, museums and breweries.
Be sure to check out the specials page, which includes a package to visit Luray Caverns.
For more on Harrisonburg, see VisitHarrisonburgVA.com