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“The most fun out of all of our stays through California” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 31 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
hartlepool
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“The most fun out of all of our stays through California”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We booked this imagining a surreal and fun experience and this is exactly what we got.
We could easily have spent the weekend in ROCK BOTTOM it was such a cool room. You can see exactly what you are booking if you check the rooms out online but I was suprised at how well the room was styled. It had a great quality feel to it and the shower room really was great with the waterfall shower.
We approached the restaurant expecting the same kitsh/fun vibe and thats exactly what it delivered.
We were up at 8 am and felt very lucky to have the pool and jacuzzi to ourselves - we wrapped oursleves in our robes and carried a mug of coffee up there. Watching the mist over the mountains was just perfect.
Staying at The Madonna was a memorable part of our trip.

Room Tip: We loved Rock Botton but check out the website. This is built for FUN
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for returning to The Madonna Inn Resort and Spa this year and for providing your comprehensive review. Such thorough feedback is very valuable to our team. We appreciate your attention to detail and look forward to the opportunity to better showcase our Five-Star service in the future.
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1,025 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
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English first
Belmont, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

If you live in a town with more than 4,000 people... if you have stayed in a few 3- and 4-star hotels... if you've eaten in a few "foodie" restaurants...

Do not go to the Madonna Inn for any reason whatsoever. Do not, under any circumstances, stay in any room. Do not eat in the Steakhouse or cafe. Do not believe the persistent rumor that it is charming or unique or a "must see."

It's hard to explain how many ways this place manages to disappoint you. Start at the prices... outrageous for the quality of rooms and amenities. Then they add extra unannounced fees. Then they charge your credit card in advance for hundreds of dollars more than your booked rooms and spa services. Then you have to sign 15 places on their list of things you can't do. Once we got to our room, we understood why: So many people storm out in disgust... many no doubt without paying.

We accepted the top-price "American Home" room because the rock rooms were all booked. American Home? We failed to find anything even vaguely "American" in the mishmash of decor. The obviously Asian red door and window framing as well as wall decor belonged in a Chinese restaurant. There were 4 patterns of wallpaper and 3 of upholstery, none matching, none representing a traditional American craft or theme. Although there was an impressive rock fireplace, no seating faced it. The two uncomfortable king beds faced each other on opposite sides of the bedroom area (designed for swingers perhaps). Somehow, they managed to make a large space totally uncomfortable, unusable, unpleasant and depressing.

Then we went to dinner in the steakhouse. Waiting for dinner, we were awestruck at the decor... a cascade of plastic foliage and flowers, white Christmas tree lights and gauze butterflies dripping from above, around, everywhere. My wife might have been willing to find some chicken on the bony pieces of back and wings she was served... but then she tasted the vile BBQ sauce. My prime rib was the precise consistency of pot roast, and would have been tasteless if it weren't for the overwhelming saltiness. We left most of it on our plates, paid, and left asap.

Then we checked out, preferring to return home rather than spend 2 more nights and a spa treatment in this miserable excuse for a resort. We were prepared to pay top-dollar... but not for this.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for your notes about your recent stay with us. We are disappointed to hear about your experience. This is not the level of service we expect from our team and is atypical of the type of guest service Madonna Inn Strives for. We sincerely apologize for letting you down. Please consider giving us another opportunity, so we may demonstrate that the resort’s beauty goes well beyond the surface – to the people, where it matters the most.
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

It was almost 40 years ago that I first heard of The Madonna Inn. My family and I finally made it this summer. If your looking for the Ritz this is not it but if you are looking for over the top fantasy and fun this is it. We stayed in the "Old Spain" room. It was big, clean, and old spain. The bathroom was also clean and big. Don't go for the food go for the kitsch. My son got to poke his head into the "Safari Room" and made me promise we'd get that room next time. Make reservations a year in advanve for a specific room. Its just interesting and different.

Room Tip: Reserve early (1 year) to get "that special room."
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank your for such positive comments regarding your recent visit to the Madonna Inn! We are pleased to hear that both you and your son enjoyed your stay and that you will be back for the Safari Room!
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Orlando, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

The Madonna Inn has 118 individually themed rooms. Do check them out on the hotel website. Set in large surroundings it is immediately apparent that this hotel id different from the rest of the pack.

My wife and I stayed in the Caveman Room which is very popular and I'd booked it 9 months earlier as part of a trip along the Pacific coast from Seattle to Los Angeles. The room was very...different with running water down one of the walls (floor, ceiling and walls all made of "stone"). The bathroom had a rock waterfall shower and something similar in the stone sink.
King size bed decorated with a fake tiger skin covering plus two clubs on the wall to beat each other up with...you get the general idea why I say it's a fun room.

The staff were all courteous and the restaurants were good, albeit the steak restaurant was a bit pricey.

All in all we had a good fun time and I'd recommend.

Room Tip: Use the hotel website to review all the rooms before chosing one.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for your recommendation of our property and of the Caveman room! We pride ourselves on being a fun and unique hotel so we're happy you enjoyed your stay!
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012 via mobile

I know we booked this for its " uniqueness" but in terms of value it was disappointing . The room we were allocated was the americanpioneer room which I thnk was really low key compared to photos I had seen of other rooms, the room was also next to the ice machine and vending machine and on the corner of a car park. For 200 plus dollars I spect more than an up market motel. The food was disappointing in quality , quantity was there but quality should beat that anytime and it didn't. The decor was over the top for sure but the priced the meal was way too high and the coffee was very poor. Wi fi was not available in the man building not in rooms. The other surprise was the resort fee, surely this should be included in the room rate and not added on as an additional extra when you get there . Even when you don't use any resort facilities is I.e. the pool etc it is still charged and adds a good 7.5% to your cost plus taxes . Overall give it a miss.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Suffolk
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Yes, there are themed rooms as detailed, and they are a wide mix from Italy to cave man. Irrespective of the theming, the craftsmanship is high: in our rooms the shutters were really high quality (how particular was I, inspecting the quality of the shutters on a family holiday) and the sofas and wallpaper high end. And fun, with glitzy stage mirrors, lacquered cabinets and so on. The heated outdoor pool is wonderful, overlooking the mountains, and we were given pizza by the pool that the waitress for the bar had just cooked. That was lovely, and she didn't mind if, in our decadence, crumbs went into the spa. No free glass of champagne, though.
The main restaurant is over priced ($40+ dollars for filet mignon) and not the best we had, but where else can you eat in such a flood of pink kitsch. The toilets are renowned, and okay, and there is a fun little wine merchant downstairs to help keep the waterfall going.
The truth is, it is a bit 70s, but then Dallas is back, so Madonna is at least contemporary as the seventies are recycled. And for reasons that aren't clear, I shed a tear on leaving. It's a funny old place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your recent stay and appreciated the details. The Madonna family had many furnishings and decorations in the rooms custom made to their creative visions. Thank you for the kind review on the property and the service you received! We look forward to welcoming you back!
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Hayward, CA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

My husband and I spent two nights at the Madonna Inn last week when we went to SLO to help settle our granddaughter into her dorm at Cal Poly. Other family members stayed next door, but we wanted to check out the Madonna Inn. We had been by here years ago but never stayed here. Quite the "unique" experience. We stayed in the Misty Rock room because it was recommended as the best available "rock" room at the time we were there. It was definitely different. A little dark for me, but it was as expected for a cave. It was clean and the bed was comfortable with nice linens and a variety of pillows. We ate at the Copper Cafe, actually 3 times, 2 breakfasts, and a dinner, and at the Steak house one night. We enjoyed both, Steak House a little pricey, Cafe was very good and we felt it was reasonable.
We went to the pool one afternoon. It is a wonderful pool in a beautiful setting. The pool temp is perfect, I really enjoyed it.
Overall it was a good experience. Our family enjoyed eating dinner with us in the Copper Cafe, and seeing our room and the grounds of the Inn. We would stay there again, but in a different room.

Room Tip: The rock rooms are very dark. We had a large window, but either you used the blackout curtains, or y...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe_Forgette, Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to write about your experiences here at the Madonna Inn. I'm happy to hear you decided to give us a try with your family staying elsewhere and that everyone had an opportunity to enjoy the facilities. We hope to see you again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madonna Inn

Address: 100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Luis Obispo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Luis Obispo
#8 Family Hotel in San Luis Obispo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Madonna Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 110
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Also Known As:
Madonna Hotel San Luis Obispo
Madonna Inn San Luis Obispo
Madonna San Luis Obispo

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