By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

The James Madison Inn, located at 260 W. Washington Street in Madison, was named the third best wedding venue in the country by ResortsandLodges.com, a national site that rates a myriad of travel destinations for quality, comfort, and prestige.

The recognition, first announced in April of this year, has proved beneficial for the Inn. “When this national listing was published, we have seen a noticeable increase in event leads.  Several which have specifically referenced seeing us in the ‘Top 10′ list online,” said Jake Grant, general manager of the James Madison Inn. Everett and Jane Royal, owners of the James Madison Inn, were thrilled to hear the news. “It’s a huge recognition,” said Jane Royal. “We were so excited when we heard about it.”

ResortsandLodges.com characterized James Madison Inn as a charming, upscale and elegant location for a once-in-a-lifetime wedding. “Whether you are looking for an intimate ceremony, or a grand event, the James Madison Inn offers the perfect venue for planning the wedding of your dreams! With both indoor and outdoor options and event planners to help you along the way, the inn provides the premier wedding option in historic Madison. Invite up to 300 guests and hold your celebration in the lush Round Bowl Springs Gazebo and Event Lawn. Celebrate your newly formed union with a host of opulent amenities.

Luxury accommodations that feature a cozy fireplace, an oversize rain shower with teak stool and an outdoor porch with furniture allow you to relax after your momentous occasion. Fill your days with intimate strolls through the picturesque parks that surround the inn, or visit some of the other historic towns on the Antebellum Trail.” The article highlighted the extravagant elements of the James Madison Inn that makes, not only a wedding, but any stay there, worthwhile.

The list included Egyptain cotton sheets, down feather pillows, romantic fireplaces, private outdoor porches, oversized rain showers in each room, and lavish spa packages. According to the website, “You are never far from luxury during your stay at the James Madison Inn.” According to Grant, “All of our weddings are incredibly unique, and scale from an intimate 20-person ceremony with one bridal bouquet to a 300 person plus event with valet and multi-course plated meals.  With all of numerous unique variables, we tailor packages for our brides and grooms according to their needs.

We have the capacity for everything from a rustic-styled wedding at Variety Works to a formal celebration at The James Madison Conference Center.  It is convenient one-stop-shopping, but there is nothing ‘off the rack’ about our products and services.” Grant was particularly honored by this recognition. “In our seven-year existence, we have been fortunate to have been recognized by a number of entities including that of the New York Times, Southern Living, and Condé Nast. We are thrilled to be listed in the top three on a national scale.

This accolade identifies The James Madison brand and all its campus has to offer, including that of the Variety Works venue,” explained Grant.  Grant noted that a recognition for the Inn is also beneficial for Madison as well, believing that the Inn is “completely unique in the unparalleled offerings [the Inn] boasts,” while the surrounding community is a one-of-kind small town.  “Our Madison-Morgan community would not be shocked that our guests might be drawn to this area for its rich history, architecture, and art.  However, at the same time, they’re swept by the Inn and the cultural charm our community offers.

We should all be proud that they leave with an unexpected and enriched experience,” said Grant. “Where else can an event be held where a group has all the components including options in event space, catering, lodging, spa/salon, floral, restaurant, clothiers, etc. all on the same campus?  Furthermore, our group guests love the convenience of historic, downtown at their doorstep.

They spill out into the streets of Madison to explore and spend their dollars at other retailers, restaurants, and attractions,” said Grant. Grant wanted the community to know the power of tourism in the community.    “As long as this industries growth is carefully guided in the direction that benefits all the players, the economic impact tourism brings to our doorstep is astounding.

Those in hospitality here have worked tirelessly to brand our community as a wedding destination, and it’s working:  there is rarely a week where there is not at least one wedding in Morgan County.”