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“Cabin Still room” 4 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
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Cabin Still room”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Stayed in the 'Cabin Still' room - it was fun for one night but wouldn't have wanted to stay longer, it was very dark and a bit oppressive with all the dark furniture and rock walls, not the best nights sleep.
You have to check out the bar and restaurant, I've never seen anything like it, very funny. The food in the restaurant was very good too and some nice background 'lounge' music. Pool area very nice with bar, pool was 80 degrees. Friendly reception staff, you get free cookies at checkin. Handy that you can drive up to your oom and park outside. I'd stay again but would want a different room. If it wasn't for the novelty factor I'd have given it a 3.5 rating.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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936 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (248)
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Udon Thani, Thailand
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

The Madonna Inn falls near the top of the "California Kitsch" category of attractions. Yes, it is an attraction, not just a hotel. Like Disneyland, it is a place where you put reality away and enter a land that is so make-believe and kitschy that it makes you laugh and, somehow, brightens your day. I suggest a one-night MAXIMUM stay, as the attraction does wear thin after a few hours (and it's not like there is tons to do in the immediate area).

I chose to stay in "The Old World Suite," one of the more over-the-top "cave rooms," complete with gas fireplace and rock shower. It was a fun room, if somewhat gloomy due to its location in somewhat of a sub-basement of the hotel, and lack of much natural light. The OTT furniture and rich red-velvet decor - like something great-great-aunt Mabel might have had in her living room - added to the somewhat creepy, unreal feeling. Again, for a night - very cool; by the morning I couldn't wait to get out of the "cave" and into sunlight!

Price, as you would imagine, is on the high side - you don't stay here because it's a bargain. Service and amenities were fine. Everything in the room worked. I had a very nice meal at the steakhouse for dinner (see separate review) and breakfast in the morning at the coffee shop, which was fine.

Overall, a nice experience - and definitely one of those "California Experiences" that one who lives in the state, or visits the state often, needs to check off his or her list!

Room Tip: If you can afford it, go for one of the "cave rooms" with rock shower, as they are the mos...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Stayed here, on a stop over from San Fran to LA.
I'd read the reviews, and wanted to stay to see the rooms and the decor.
Well, it was fine. Not bad or anything. Since booking the really neat rooms was so expensive, I settled for "Antique Cars". The room itself was large, with couch, two DBL beds, and a very modern (to my surprise) bathroom with large shower and double tub sinks.
The restaurant had a nice extensive menu, so it was perfect for families with kids. I also had steak for dinner. Dinner quite expensive, though--more than I thought it should be.
In the end, I admitted that I was paying for the charm of this place, and I don't really have any regrets. I was on vacation, after all.

Room Tip: You'll have to pay much more to get the funky, decorated rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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, April 25, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us on your vacation from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We appreciate your business and hope you will consider us again next time you vacation in the area!
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Pasadena, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I have stayed at the Madonna Inn on a couple of occasions but my last trip which was March 21-23, 2013 was the WORST stay I have had. The room which was the Mardi Gras Room was so dark and dreary that with every light on you still could not see your items in the suit cases. There was no blow dryer which the front desk denied that there was one there. Had to call front desk twice to receive a blow dryer for which I was attending a wedding. The beds were too soft and bumpy. Front desk personnel were okay but didn't offer any assistance. Masks were falling off the wall. Took my telephone number to have a supervisor call me but that hasn't happened yet. They just want your money and for you to leave. The wedding which I'm referring to had several people staying there and all had issues about their rooms. Our room is a depressing room and anyone with anxiety problems shouldn't stay in this room. The shower head was so high you couldn't reach it and the water pressure was lousy. I definitely would not recommend this hotel any longer. Don't waste your money. You are better off at the Embassy Suites. There are to be no private parties in the rooms but we had people parting outside our room until 3 AM. What a dump this place has turned into. Not what it used to be. Has gone downhill. Don't waste your money on a room here just go to the bakery and restaurant.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money!!!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camborne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

This place was awesome and certainly lived to the hype we had read. We stayed in the Crystal room. Which as the name suggests had faux crystal chandeliers everywhere and garishly decorated. The pool was great. Perfect temperature for lie about in with nice libation or two! Then off for dinner which was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Red and pink over the top decor everywhere. Fantastic meal followed by some dancing with my daughters to the excellent Glenn Miller type band. A big thanks must go to the staff who were both very sociable and adept at what they did. . It's just a shame we only stayed the one night but if I'm ever near here again it will be a place to splash out on again.

Go on your worth it!!!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, April 20, 2013
This review is the reason Madonna Inn considers itself such a family tradition. I am so pleased that you have such great memories here. Reading that you and your daughters danced together to the band gave me a big smile! Looking forward to seeing you and your family here again in the future!
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Bradford, West Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We visited from the UK on a roadtrip from San Diego to San Francisco. We had read about the hotel online and thought it sounded fun and it was certainly that! We stayed in the Swiss Chalet room, which did feel just like being in a ski lodge, despite the fact that we were in California in the middle of August! Loved the ambience and decor in the room, and the bathroom with the two sinks was a great touch. We also ate in the restaurant which was just as cool and our drinks were served in goblets which wouldn't have looked out of place in the Wizard of Oz! All in all, a fabulous experience and would highly recommend. Would stay again in a different room if we ever pass through again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

What can I say? I’m a sucker for customer service! I can definitely feel the love at Madonna Inn!

It all started with the reservation phone call I made several days prior to my stay at the Madonna Inn. When I called the 800 number, the representative I got on the phone was so helpful and professional! I wish I could remember her name (yes, I know--’m all about service but I can’t even recall the names of those who have helped me in the past! I write the names down and then I can’t remember where I put the note!) Anyways, this lady gave me one of the best phone experiences ever. She always said “please, thank you” and apologized for any delayed responses to my inquiries after 5-10 seconds. She called me by my name and continued to impress me with her choice of words and positive attitude. I booked the Zip & Sip package and she accommodated my appointment with Margarita Adventures for zip lining. She never left me on hold for more than a few seconds while making my reservations. After she was done with my reservations, she advised she was going to transfer me to the café department so that I can place my order for our gourmet lunch (this came with the package). I was very pleased up until she transferred me.
When the new person came on the phone, she picked up “hello?” – I figured they were supposed to say something like “café so and so, how may I help you?” or something along that line. Not just “hello.” I thought I was transferred to the wrong department/person. I then continued with “Hi, I was just transferred over to provide you with my order for the gourmet lunch” and the person on the other line seemed to not understand why I was transferred over. Her response was OK, then a long pause. I had to keep asking the questions and tell her why I was ordering. I advised it came with the zip & sip package, and her responses were always “ok” as if I’m telling her how the package works. She also kept saying “yeah, and uh-huh” – PET PEEVE! There was more to it, but I just don’t want to get into all that details because I can’t stand poor customer service. I just want to say, front desk/lobby – AMAZING service. Café person – needs more customer interaction practice!

Several days past and we arrive at Madonna Inn around 1pm. Again, AMAZING front/desk service! I walked into Registration and I was immediately greeted. When I checked in, they were just so nice and welcoming. I was told check in was not until 4pm but the lady advised me the room is available if I wanted to check in now (thanks for the early arrival Madonna Inn!). However, we didn’t check in right away because we had to make our ziplining/wine tasting appointment. While we were away, I received a phone call from Madonna Inn. I missed the call and listened to the voice message – the rep said “we found a complimentary wine tasting pass and wanted to ensure you received yours upon check-in.” They wanted to make sure I didn’t leave my behind! WHAT GREAT SERVICE I’m telling you!
Jump to the end of the ziplining and making our way back to the hotel. Our room was the rocky mountains room. We were on the side facing the freeway but high up to overlook the entire area. I loved it. The room was decorated just as I had expected! Wood/rocks/brown/blue everything! Huge King Size bed (comfy and clean!). No refrigerator but it’s OK because we were able to get ice to chill our drinks. Great bathroom! I love the heated toilet seat and all the toilet options to cleanse yourself! Every bathroom should have this. The sink décor looks as if the vines are growing out of the floor. I love it. The shower was THE Best part! Rocky shower! I recommend anyone staying at the Madonna Inn to opt for a rock shower versus balcony! You have water flowing from both side..it’s like your very own waterfall! I loved our room and it went well with my entire “outdoor” activity theme weekend. I also loved the dimmed lighting.

The only downside was the heater. It was broken! It was a cold evening and after 1 1/2 hour of letting it run on full high heat, it wasn’t getting room. But have no fear—here comes the great service again! Called the front desk and they were so great once again! They sent a rep to us ASAP and within 5-7 minutes, someone was knocking on a door with a standalone heater. He tried to fix our automatic heater but he too found it not to work. So they provided a portable heater for us. It stopped working a couple times, but finally we got it to work throughout the entire night. I’m telling you that one heater made our room so hot! Oh and to top of the great servce, they even called us back after the rep came to our room to make sure we were OK with the portable heater. I just love great service! Oh I forgot—another downside is the upstairs unit—I could hear them walk back and forth through their floor and our ceiling (but I was so tired I was able to fall asleep so it didn’t bother me too much).

The next day, the sun was shining through our windows (again, great view). We had to leave right away because we had another activity to attend to. We visited the pool area really quick and found it to be heated! Love it! Next time we visit we’ll definitely take a dip! I heard there’s a waterfall too at the lagoon every hour.

Overall, Madonna Inn was great! I love the unique rooms and the great service (except the person on the phone for my gourmet lunch). I can’t wait to go back and check out another room and their pool!

Room Tip: Pick a theme for the weekend -- there's so many to choose from so I went with what we were doing...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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, April 20, 2013
What excellent comments and feedback! Thank you so very much for taking the time to write out such a wonderful and thorough review. We look forward to having you back (maybe in summer?) so you can utilize our pool facilities!
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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
#7 Family Hotel in San Luis Obispo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Madonna Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 110
Reservation Options:
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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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