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Online Exclusive - HotelRED, Madison, Wisconsin

Aug 27, 2013

By JoAnn Greco


Architect Robert Sieger knew the corner across the street from the University of Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium in Madison was primo, but as he started buying up properties there over the years, he quickly learned just how big an opportunity it offered. "The buildings were old and inefficient," he says now. "I thought there was a higher and better use that could take full advantage of the power of the university."

                                           
                                                                Photography Courtesy of HotelRED

And so, after decades of working on others' apartment towers and hotels, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Why not, he thought, build what would become Madison's first boutique property? He started constructing the four-story metal and concrete, Bauhaus-influenced hotel in 2008, but it would be three years—and the financial and marketing assistance of his son-in-law Mike Erikson—before the doors to HotelRED opened.

                          
                                                                 Photography Courtesy of HotelRED

Taking its name from the Badger team color, the 48-room property makes judicious use of red, from the porcelain vanity bowls to the guestroom pens, from the pulls on sliding doors to the racing stripes that accent the ashy black headboards.

                          
                                                               Photography Courtesy of HotelRED

Custom millwork such as the units that contain those headboards, artwork by local artists that incorporates text and sound wave formations, and red draperies and LED bands are other features. For Sieger, though, a favorite touch remains the extensive use of concrete—both polished (floors) and rough (10-foot ceilings). "It's one of the distinguishing features of the hotel," he says, "and unlike any other hospitality options in town." A quirky city deserves a hotel with a similarly punchy personality, he adds.

                                            
                                                             Photography Courtesy of HotelRED





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