Mapes Hotel, Ripon, WI

My wife's birthday is this coming week and, as part of that celebration, I took her up to Ripon, WI to see one of her favorite bands, Hinder. The concert itself was free but I struggle driving at night now so we needed a place to stay the night. After some consideration, I booked a suite at the Mapes Hotel on Watson Street.

There are a couple reasons why I chose this hotel. The first was it is located only a block or two from where the concert was held, meaning we could just walk over rather than worrying about a place to park. The second was it was surprisingly affordable. I paid $172 after tax, which was comparable to most of the other hotels in Ripon. 

I had some doubts about this decision because all I really knew about Mapes was it was a historic hotel (dating back to the 1850s) that had been remodeled. As I told my wife, it was likely either going to be a beautiful hotel or a dump. As it turns out, it was the former.

One of the things I found somewhat interesting was the way you check in. Unlike most other hotels, that have you sign in at a counter, this one has lock box that you key in your reservation number into and retrieve your room key. When you walk in the lobby, there is an interactive kiosk that will show you how to get to your room and help you locate local businesses. When you book your room via their website, you are even able to select which room you'd like to stay in. That's something I wish more hotels would do.

I think the best way to describe the suite is it reminded me of a very nice starter apartment. As you walk in, there is a spacious living room with a sleeper sofa, chair, dining table and a coat closet. 

To the right as we entered the room was a separate kitchen area, complete with fridge, sink, stove, microwave and dishes. One of the cabinets also had a toaster and other kitchen necessities. The bathroom, which was located one door over, had a modern shower and a counter with plenty of space for our toiletries.

On the far end of the suite was a separate bedroom. It was well-lit with a closet and full-length mirror. It also had its own television, though I was unable to figure out how to get that to work (I think the smart TV might have needed an update). That part about the TV didn't matter all that much though since we didn't plan to watch it in the bedroom anyway.

Speaking of TVs, I should mention the televisions had both access to cable TV and could be programmed with your streaming services. That was a huge difference from many of the other hotels we've stayed at, which were lucky to have five channels.

The bed in the bedroom was a little too soft for my tastes but that was more of a personal preference. It did come with thick pillows though and two extras in the closet.

We didn't use it, but the hotel also had a patio for guests. A nice touch, especially on warmer days.

To tell you the truth, I didn't get a great night's sleep there but that was mostly because of noisy guests, which we have an issue with at most hotels and I won't fault this one for. However, if I were to stay there again, I do think I would look for a room on the upper floor because the lower floor room we did stay in (205) seemed a little too close to the street and patio for us to feel like we had enough privacy, even with the shades drawn. Plus, I could hear the guests above us whenever they walked around, something that, again, isn't just unique to this hotel so I'll give it a pass.

Final Opinion: This is a nice hotel that incorporates a lot of modern ideas but still keeps a lot of the hotel's history as well. I feel like my wife and I got a lot of value for our money and would definitely stay here again. If you're staying the night in Ripon, this is the hotel I would recommend.

My Grade: A


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