By Rachel Werner

Visitors stepping through the sliding glass entrance of the AC Hotel immediately detect the air’s floral notes and are bathed in natural light pouring in from each direction. The new 165-room structure may be European in design, including the ground floor’s illuminated crystal wall and chandeliers imported from the Czech Republic, but Wisco influence still reigns, thanks to the sweeping lakeshore views and glimpses of the State Capitol available on every floor.

The AC Hotel is meant to be a beacon of sophistication in the burgeoning Madison metropolitan area, and the hotel’s designers and staff vow to bring this goal to fruition. Its sleek lines and minimalistic décor, such as elevated beds and hardwood floors, emphasize the brand’s primary focus, says regional manager Holly Breidel. It’s about “taking away all the things you don’t need in a hotel,” Breidel says. “We’re helping remove the friction of everyday life so you only have what you need.”

The meticulous attention to detail also shines in the lavish culinary program. Butter croissants baked fresh daily from dough handcrafted in France are an indulgent teaser to the full dining menu at Eno Vino’s latest tapas and wine bar; topping the AC on the 9th and 10th floors. It’s the second locale for this locally owned restaurant.

Whether seated in the open-air dining room, at the wraparound bar or kicking back on the soft seating adorning the expansive balconies, patrons can sip the night away on Lady Forward cocktails, the hotel lounge’s signature drink, in glasses adorned by an edible screen replica of the capitol building. This location features an expanded menu that also includes such Eno Vino hallmarks as Sweet Chili Calamari Fries and Sea Bass and Scallops and is underscored by knock-out smallplate additions such as Chicken Lollipops and Garlic Roasted Prawns—favorite local eats, served up with a stellar view.

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