Speckled Hen Inn

How to Stay at The Speckled Hen Inn Bed & Breakfast

If this is the first time you have ever stayed at a B&B you probably have questions about what to expect.  We are happy to provide the following information and if you still have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  We want you to be comfortable with your selection of our B&B and it is a lot better to get answers now than to leave your precious getaway time to chance.


All That’s Missing is You

So, first let us get rid of any preconceived notions that you might have about B&B’s in general.

As Innkeepers we have heard it all when it comes to myths about B&B visits and owners. Some of the misgivings can be quite amusing while other myths have hung on for decades and simply won’t let go. So, here is our attempt to “bust” some of these myths about B&B’s.

  1. You have to share a bathroom. FALSE.
    Each of our rooms has a private bath.  And just like our guest bedrooms, the bathrooms are unique too.  We have invested in luxury spa-like bathroom upgrades that include jetted tubs and plush robes.  Visit the rooms page on the website to determine which amenities are to your personal liking, since each room is different.  All our bathrooms have a shower and a tub, not a combination of the two because we dislike fighting a shower curtain as much as anyone.
  2. To be licensed as a B&B, the building has to be historic. FALSE.
    The Speckled Hen Inn was originally built in 1989 as a family home and converted to an Inn in 2000. We bought it in 2016 and have continued most of the traditions that came with it and, of course, have added our own.  It is decorated the Inn in an eclectic mix of traditional, contemporary and modern country styles and are recognized as one of Wisconsin’s “Top 10” eco-elegant destinations.  The interior and 20-acre grounds have a “country estate” feeling which guests find comfortably relaxing and private. The rooms feature HD televisions, ROKU streaming options, DVD players and, WiFi.   This is a unique property designed and built by the Innkeepers as our way to “live the dream”.  However, as with other local small businesses, COVID disrupted the traditional way in which we used to operate and we have had to make difficult changes in order to remain open – but we’re still here!
  3. Inns are expensive. FALSE.
    Our pricing policy is simple.  We price the rooms to cover the expenses of owning and maintaining our 20 acre property located just outside of Madison.  The Innkeepers have retired from Corporate-America and are proud to now be an “American Small Business”. We focus our efforts on “sustainability” and support our local community business owners.  Our locally produced foods are featured in our baked goods, ice creams, canned goods and other items offered in our farmer’s markets and are available to guests when available.    As a contrast to many hotels we also provide you with free WiFi , free parking, and complimentary beverages and snacks.  You can even borrow a movie from our collection and watch it for free and have a bag of popcorn too.
  4. Innkeepers prefer not to be asked questions. FALSE.
    We do this because we enjoy talking to people.  People who stay at B&B’s are unique and extremely interesting folks. We are proud of what we have to offer to our guests and sharing our story of acquiring the inn as well.  Many guests have entertained the idea of someday owning a B&B and want us to describe what it is like to them.  We also know our community and are actually honored when you think of us as your personal concierge. Let us help you with boutique shopping suggestions, restaurant recommendations, winery tours, Madison’s must-see attractions, and directions to the best hiking and biking trails in the area. So, ask away!  That said, we are not going to hover around you during your stay.  We respect your privacy and space.  If you need us or want to talk with us, we have our cell phone numbers clearly posted for your use.
  5. There’s a curfew. FALSE.
    Check-in begins officially at 3 pm and checkout is no later than 11:00AM the following day.  Other than that, there are no “rules”.  Each room has its own locked entrance and the main door has a secure entrance with an access code that will be provided to you upon arrival.
  6. There’s a front desk staff available 24/7. FALSE.
    As Innkeepers we serve as housekeeper, gardener, farmer and maintenance person all rolled into one, so our job will take us away from the “office” for brief periods of time. When you enter the Inn, our cell phone numbers are on the counter, so just call if you do not see us and we will be there in a couple of minutes to greet you and check you in.  When making a reservation, you’ll typically be asked for your estimated time of arrival.  As a courtesy, if you are going to be late or early, just call so that that we will be available upon your arrival, especially if you are going to be arriving after 6 pm.  At check-in, your bill will be taken care of and you will be all set for check-out, we just ask you leave your key in the door or on the nightstand.
  7. Innkeeping is a hobby. FALSE.
    As innkeepers we left behind full-time 30+ year careers in the corporate world to dedicate ourselves to what is often a seven-day-a-week job. We do this because we want to and love what we are doing…it is a labor of love and having you as our guest validates our passion for innkeeping.  This property wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding to us if we couldn’t share it with others.
  8. B&Bs are not for business travelers. FALSE.
    Many of our best customers are business travelers and have been staying with us for years.  We offer breakfast at the time of your choice, in-room desk, WiFi and other essential business related services.  Pretty much just like a hotel, but without the “cookie-cutter” atmosphere!

Frequently Asked Questions
If you have never stayed at a B&B and your co-workers are telling you that they had such a wonderful time at a special B&B in Madison last weekend, it might have been The Speckled Hen Inn.  Guest referrals are a major source of new business for us. This sounds interesting but you have no idea of what to expect and you have a few questions.

Here are some of the questions that we as innkeepers hear frequently and our answers. If you have more questions, just call.  We want only satisfied guests who will feel that their stay “exceeded expectations”  each and every time that they visit us. So email us or pick up the phone and call. We would love to answer your questions.

We have never stayed at a B&B, what is it like?
We invite you to visit TripAdvisor.com and read the reviews of our guests regarding the Inn.  Personally, we strongly believe that The Speckled Hen Inn is not just another place to stay.  It is a unique property and referencing the reviews sited above, you will get a few hints of what to expect.  It is special.

Do I need reservations? How far in advance do I need to make a reservation?
Reservations are required.  This is a boutique property with only a few guest rooms.  Weekends book early, so making a reservation a few weeks in advance is highly recommended.  May – October are our busiest months.  UW graduation, football weekends and New Year’s Eve usually book a year in advance.

What do I do if I need to cancel my reservation?
Please call or email the innkeeper as soon as you find out that you need to cancel. The official cancellation policy is that cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to your arrival to avoid a substantial penalty.  The policy is clearly stated on the website and will be included in your confirmation email.  Please understand that we are a small business and your cancellation means that we instantly have lost a significant amount of our income for the day you are cancelling.   So, even though our policy says 48 hours, we certainly appreciate knowing if there is a change in your plans very soon after you know yourself.

How should I act while I’m at a B&B?
Relax, enjoy yourself, and have fun! But remember that others are trying to do the same thing so please be respectful of others desire for privacy, relaxation, quiet and comfort.

Am I actually staying in someone’s house? Can I come and go whenever I want or is there a curfew?
You set your own schedule and come and go as you please.  If you return to the Inn late, please be mindful that there may be others sleeping so respect their desire for quiet.

I’m allergic to cats and scented things like potpourri really bother me. Should I just stay away from B&B’s?
We strive to be as eco-friendly as we can possibly be, but it is a farm and there are a myriad of animals on the property, including cats and dogs.    Cleaning products and bath amenities are selected for their natural ingredients.  Our bath amenities are in sealed dispensers.  Do be aware that the Inn is located in a natural setting which means that pollen and dust do surround us.

Can I bring my kids? They can just sleep on the floor.
State regulations require that an approved bed be provided for each guest.  Also as a matter of policy, children under the age of 12 are not allowed and only designated rooms will accommodate more than 2 people (please see the website).

Do I need to bring anything?
Many guests tell us that we have thought of everything when it comes to furnishing and equipping our rooms.  We do supply hair dryers, shampoo and conditioner, make-up remover towels, irons and ironing boards, robes and all the bed and bath linens you will need.   Our library is well stocked with books and magazines.  There are games and puzzles and movies to entertain you too.  Please leave any candles at home.  Complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate and ready to make bags of popcorn are available.  We do have a wine list and offer a variety of wines for sale to our guests.  There is a small refrigerator in the gathering room that guests can use to store dinner left-overs, meds that need refrigeration, or bounty from the farmer’s market.

May local friends come visit us at the Inn?|
Certainly!  But please remember that you are sharing this space with other guests and don’t let your enjoyment compromise theirs.  We do require that only registered guests be on the property between 10:00PM and 7:00AM and that you, as a courtesy, let us know if there will be friends or family, other than registered guests, here at other times.