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“I’d only stay here for special occasions.” 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 #9 of 31 hotels in San Luis Obispo
Acton, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“I’d only stay here for special occasions.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

My wife, two adult daughters and I stayed at the Madonna Inn for a weekend to attend a wedding. The décor in both rooms was PINK but each room was decorated with unique furniture and wall paper. Each room had a very large living room area with a large couch and bay windows with a nice view of the valley. The bathrooms were very modern, clean and had double sinks. The beds were very comfortable. On our first night, we had a roommate. Our door was open, so we could move back and forth between our two rooms, and a gray cat with a flea collar came into our room and proceeded to make itself at home. It didn’t want to leave at bed time, so we let it sleep on the couch. It seemed to think it owned the place. The next night, it spent the night with one of the other couples we were traveling with. Never had a roomate like this.

There is a nice pool and a spa. The Copper Café is an excellent choice for breakfast. Overall it’s a very nice motel. But it is still a motel with cars parked outside the rooms and that creates the normal motel noises in the middle of the night. It is the most expensive Motel I have ever stayed at. Our rate, with a $15 resort fee and taxes was just over $300 per night per room. It was a nice unique experience, very comfortable but expensive. I’d only stay here for special occasions.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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, May 30, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay here. We most certainly hope that our green initiative pest control kitty did not negatively impact your stay and that overall you enjoyed your experience. We would love to have you back for another special occasion!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (217)
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Lakewood, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed here on our honeymoon..in a beautiful quirky pink tower room overlooking a field of baby horses. Carin was the name of the room It had balconies flowered wallpaper and a gold angel over the bed.

We took part in a couples massage and had dinner in the restaurants. They raise their own beef..so very tender ..and the cake..is to die for!

Will come back here many times.

Room Tip: some rooms have fireplaces or rock wall showers this is a great place for family trips too with room...
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  • Stayed May 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monrovia, CA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Stayed here this weekend in the Holland and Pick and Shovel Suite. Both rooms were really fun, but what I have to compliment the hotel on is how immaculate the rooms were. Yes they have kitschy and wild (if outdated) decor, but nothing about this place feels dingy. The rooms were sparkling clean, and that is something you can't say about all hotels. Breakfast in the restaurant was great, and the service was top notch. Overall a really great stay!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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 writing this excellent review. We are so pleased to hear that the cleanliness and service exceeded your expectations!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buena Park, California
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

My family and I stayed in the Old Mill room (209). Since our room was not ready at 2pm, we headed to the pool at the top of the hill. In addition to the pool, there are two hot tubs, a waterfall, a bridge, snack bar, spa, mini gym, and amazing views.

The room has the mill theme everywhere (door, wall mural, shower stall, an actual water wheel that is turned by running water in between the 2 king beds). The closet is shaped like a barn. The bathroom has 2 sinks and an awesome toilet that squirts warm water to clean you after you pee or poop (bidet like, but way better) and dries you afterwards!

There was a flat screen tv with basic cable, a mini fridge and another sink out of the the bathroom, and a coffee maker.

We had breakfast the next day at the Copper Cafe. The Monte Cristo sandwich was delicious. The spinach omelet, French toast, and pink champagne cake were good too. Don't forget the check out the "world's most famous men's restroom"!

We will definitely be back again to stay in another room, maybe the Jungle Rock room next time. Cannot wait!

Room Tip: If you want a certain room, book it at least 6 months in advance.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, NV
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for one night and really enjoyed our stay. We stayed in the Matterhorn room, which we picked because of the soothing decor and large balcony. The room was lovely and included a beautiful antique desk and stained glass window. The rock shower was fun, though the water pressure was lacking. The Matterhorn room is at the end of the building and its balcony overlooks rolling hills and grazing cattle, which was wonderful to wake up to. We would definitely recommend the Madonna Inn and especially its Matterhorn room, to anyone looking for a fun getaway.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
loveland ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

Stopped there on our 11 day trip from southern Cal up to San Fran then over to Hwy 1. We stayed in the old world suit . It was fun . The food at the restaurant was great. It was to cold to check out the pool , but it was beautiful !!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Now, it is not often that we can throw down the gauntlet and proclaim a hotel one of our favorites in all the land, but when it comes to the infamous Madonna Inn, located quite literally off the 101 Freeway near San Luis Obispo, we simply have no choice but to submit. In celebration of Doug’s annual September birthday, we traveled up the coast to soak in all of the gold and pink goodness that we could stomach!

First off, to quell your confusion, the Madonna Inn has nothing to do with a certain pop star, or a religious baby-mama for that matter. The hotel, which started off as a small motor lodge, is named after its proprietors, Alex and Phyllis Madonna, who in 1958, decided it would be more fun to name each of their 12 rooms after a theme instead of just sticking to tradition and numbering them. And thus, rooms like "Country Gentleman" were born.

Demand for the themed, and flamboyantly-decorated, rooms soon became so high that, within a year, another 28 rooms were added. (The main “Inn,” which now houses the restaurants and bar, was added a year later in 1960.) Some of the more striking names of the accommodations include “Barrel of Fun,” “Gypsy Rock,” “Cayucos Queen,” “Oriental Fantasy,” “Time of Your Life” and “What’s Left,” the theme of which is a hodge-podge of items from all other rooms right down to the schizophrenic carpet made out of mismatched remnants!)

All in all, the Madonna Inn boasts a pretty unusual layout, with multiple spiral staircases leading to the now over 100 rooms. See that weird conglomeration of rocks on top of the hotel? It’s actually the collection of four fireplace flues that have found their way to the roof from any of the crazy “rock suites” that form the first floor of each building. We stayed in just a such a suite.

While I had attempted to book the more flashy-sounding "Kona Rock" or "Caveman" room, they were both already reserved, with waiting lists going out a year in advance! Instead, I chose the “Old World Suite” from a handy list on the hotel’s web-site that showcases the individual features of each room. After glancing at “Kona Rock” and “Caveman” through their windows, I think we ultimately got the best of the lot.

Our “Old World Suite” was cavernous - literally - and featured a design aesthetic that was clearly “ahead-of-its-time.” (Did Philippe Starck ever stay here to gather inspiration?) The suite was broken up into four separate areas: bedroom, lounge, bathroom and the breakfast nook to end all breakfast nooks. Each were constructed head-to-toe in sculpted rock that was then lacquered so that no surface was too rough to break skin. Softening up the fireplace-lit “cave” were sumptuous pieces of ornate furniture awash in all shades of sumptuous red! If we hadn’t known any better, we would have thought the room was an homage to “Danger Diabolik’s” secret home, or at the very least, a much sexier “Batcave.”

Upon booking, I was told that the “Old World Suite” came with a "waterfall feature." Sure enough, after one visit to the bathroom, we were pleasantly surprised by a trickling stream that appeared out of nowhere from the top corner of the room and proceeded to flow down the wall into a series of smaller pools that eventually emptied out into the giant oyster shell basin of the sink! After a weekend of having to wait a full two minutes to wash your hands after using the restroom, we realized that the feature was probably not the most practical, or environmentally sound, still it was pretty darn cool.

Of course, we assumed that the sink was our room’s only “waterfall feature.” And thus, we were completely thrown off by the amazing “shower cave” that, once activated, sprayed jets of water from crevices in the wall and ceiling. While the experience was top-notch kitsch excitement, there was one downside to the “shower cave”... water went everywhere!! We had to ask for more towels from the management in order to sop up the runaway H2O. No wonder the room smelled somewhat damp. (It led us to wonder... how do the housekeepers clean all of these insane surfaces??) Ultimately, the “Old World Suite” would have been the perfect party pad, though we signed a waiver upon checking in that said that we would not be throwing any such soiree!

After a celebratory birthday dinner at the preposterous Gold Rush Steak House - that you just have to see to believe - we headed over to the Inn’s “Silver Bar.” The cozy establishment featured a bounty of magnificent woodwork, and yet, hardly any silver in sight! We downed a few Vodka Collins while ear-wigging on conversations had between the Central Coast couples taking in the over-the-top potpourri watering hole that Saturday night! We returned to the “Silver Bar” the next day for some more photos - only to fine that, like our “Old World Suite,” it was red, red, red!

Of course, no trip to the Madonna Inn is complete without indulging in some of their famed baked delicacies. Check out the Coffee Shop for some seriously iced cupcakes and pastries!

Ultimately, kitsch be damned, we love this place, and will definitely be back to sample other rooms in the future! Set of Drifters tip: A revamped “infinity pool” and massage spa sit atop a mountain in the background adjacent to the hotel. The location offers tremendous sweeping views of the valley (and freeway) below, but if it is the least bit windy out, prepare to cower inside the hot tubs instead!

Room Tip: Book in advance... like a year in advance.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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
What a great review! Both thorough and accurate! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and would recommend it to others. It sounds like you had an amazing time and we look forward to welcoming you back!
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:
#5 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*
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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