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“Creepy and Crusty Chic” 2 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
New York City, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Creepy and Crusty Chic”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2007

After much prodding and pleading my boyfriend convinced me that a one-night stay at the Madonna Inn would be a fun diversion from our beautiful and breathless coastal vacation. So knowing myself as well as I do I prepped myself for what was to come and lowered my expectations further than they had been lowered before for I knew this could not be good. The first sign of trouble was when we asked a young college student for directions and she looked at us rather oddly and giggled. I could only envision what went through her mind as she looked at this rather cosmopolitan couple seeking refuge at such an establishment. How could we have missed this place? The road sigh alone took up an entire intersection corner and welcomed visitors like flies to flypaper. Immediately, the place brought me way back to road trips spent with my family when airline flights were the exception and motel stays were the norm. I am not sure if it was the creepy guy behind the reception desk or the moldy, smoke-filled room that surfaced such memories. I made certain to wear my dark-colored sunglasses to ensure that I would not get noticed by anyone remotely in the area! We stayed in room 216, the Matterhorn. The room was dark, dank and dingy and the faded portrait of the VonTrapp children above our bed ensured that I would never sleep a wink. Naturally, my boyfriend slept soundly. I must admit that as gloomy as our room was the vista view was very pleasant. I tried hard to convince my boyfriend to sleep out on our terrace but he was confident that we would be eaten by coyotes. Thankfully, the sheets were clean and fresh and I was impressed that they were monogrammed, however, after further review the monogram noted, Madonna Inn 2003 (it is now 2007). The bathroom was clean and somewhat pleasant and the cake soap was deliciously scented and fun. As creepy as this stay was I was completely struck by the many happy faces that surrounded us at dinner. Perhaps it was the pink sugar that rested on the tables but it made me recognize the wonder in how we all share different tastes. Hey, whatever works! The Madonna Inn was clearly for them and definitely, definitely not for me.

  • Liked — The pink sugar
  • Disliked — Where do I begin?
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 (200)
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2007

This was my first trip to the Inn. I have always wanted to go, but my friends have always been...a little weirded out. Come on, where's your sense of humor and adventure?! Now, granted, I had my own pre-conceived notions- That the grounds would be covered with fetishists and porn stars, or other such opportunists taking advantage of the campy decor. But, I was pleasantly suprised to find that the Madonna demographic, was in fact, families and seniors. Even younger couples strolled around, enjoying dinner or the gift shop.

The service in the Steakhouse and Coffee Shop was outstanding. The quality of the food was tops, and since we were celebrating our 1st Anniversary, they made it very special, with desert, a great booth and a balloon (cute touch).

We stayed in the "Barrel of Fun" room, which features a fireplace and rock shower. I was very skeptical of the, well, bacteria that could be in the shower, but the bathroom appeared to be very clean, save for a few ants on the windowsil. The room was HUGE, and could easily sleep 6+ people, but there is only one king bed and a couch by the fireplace.

So, in summary, my husband I and I really enjoyed our overnight stay. The location to downtown SLO couldn't be better. We will be back once they build the POOL!

  • Liked — The service, restaraunts
  • Disliked — No pool facilities :(
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Riverside, California
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
225 helpful votes 225 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

We stayed in the Daisy Mae (A rock room next to the famous Caveman Room).
The good: We absolutely loved this place. It is different, tacky and wonderfully fun. The room we stayed in was huge rocks from floor to ceiling. The waterfall shower was the highlight. If you are into water conservation DO NOT get this room. I hated to get out.
The hotel guides in the rooms are outdated - restaurant prices not up to date, but also some of the services have changed, so if you aren't sure call the desk to ask. They do have wireless internet if you can pick up the signal in your room.
Warning: The rooms are not quiet. With four rooms in a little cul de sac, we could hear doors shutting and if you stand in walkway, you can hear A LOT of what is going on in the rooms.
Tip: Don't forget to pick up your free postcard of the room you are staying in. You just paid $250, might as well remember it with a postcard showing what the room looked like.
The bad: Had a really bad sandwich at the Copper Cafe (a $16.95 sandwich). No replacement or adjustment of the bill.

  • Liked — Wonderfully unique
  • Disliked — Greasy food at the hotel's restaurant
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
folsom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

Me and my wife did not stay at the Inn but decided to have dinner at the Steak House in celebration of our first anniversary. We had dinner reservations at 9 but got there around 8:30 so we decided to have a drink at the bar. The bartender was excellent and friendly.

9 o' clock rolled around and we were seated in the amazingly pink dining area in a circular booth. We were amazed at the decor and loved it. It was amazing how gaudy and pink the room really was(pictures on the internet does not do the room justice). We were given our menus and while the busboy was filling our gauntlets with water he spilled my wife's full glass of champagne on her new $280 dress which she wore for about an hour.

The busboy was apologetic, however, he did not do much to correct the problem. He handed one of our napkins to my wife to use to dry herself off and the other one he tried to hide the wet table cloth.

My wife went to the bathroom to try to dry off and the busboy walked off also. I thought the busboy went to get another table cloth and some more napkins to dry off the wet seat, however after 10 minutes passed, I figured out that he was not coming back. I decided to take matters in my own hands and turn the table so the wet spot on the tablecloth was not facing us. When he saw me turning the table he returned and offered help. I had to ask for a couple more napkins to dry off the wet seat, since he did not seem anxious to help clean up his mess. I was not able to completely dry off the pink vinyl seat with cracks, so me and my wife sat on the opposite side of the wet spot. It was pretty late and there were plenty of other booths that were dry but he did not offer to move us to another table which i found unusual. He did not even offer to change the wet tablecloth.

The waitress finally came and apoligized too and we ordered our food. The rib eye steak was perfectly cooked and my wifes fillet was perfect also. The food was a pleasant suprise as I pretty much came to see the wacky decor and spend a nice evening with my wife. My only complaint during dinner was that the waitress and busboy never came around to fill my water. All in all the food and the decor was great and interesting, however, the service was terrible.

Dinner at the Inn is something to experience once, but probably will not come back as the price of dinner should include a dry table cloth and better service.


  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2007

It's like Disneyland! We stayed in the "Kona Room" one of the cave themed rooms and it was so gaudy funny and over the top! There were a few issues that we brought to their attention that they were kind and interested about receiving since they were remodeling and updating here and there. The sink spigot was way too close to the rock sink so scraping your knuckles was common and the towels are horrendus. My husband in a pink bathrobe was hilarious though. I suggest you bring your own soap because everything is very perfume-y (hand soap, shampoo etc) I did feel a bit old after my bath due to the smell.

Everything is pink by the way. We went in October prior to driving up to Hearst Castle, their dinner restaurant was lit up and beautiful with Christmas decor. Although, since the restaurant is purely pink leather it's not that hard to add a distraction to make it more appealing. The restaurant looked like the inside of the I dream of Jeannie bottle. The food was wonderful, I loved the steak and trust me I'm not a big steak person. Their website has photos of each room so you know what to expect. It's charming, unique and everyone has to stay here at least once, but just once ;-).

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
164 helpful votes 164 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2007

Let's be honest - we stayed here for the novelty value of the hotel and its different rooms. It is a tourist attraction in its own right - witness the pricey tourist shops and the self-referential souvenirs.

None of which is a bad thing. The men's toilets - sorry, "Restrooms" - near the restaurant feature a rock-wall fountain (as reported by male members of our party). Women can buy a postcard.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay - the room was comfortable and vast. We stayed in the San Francisco Room , which was a bit like a late 19th century bordello.

the food in the restaurant was more than adequate - the usual American huge portions, and quite tasty. We managed to get steamed veggies and salad, without vast amounts of condiments. American hospitality and service is high, and it was no exception here - even if this is a vast enterprise now. Reception makes up in efficiency for lack of personality and warmth.

  • Liked — Novelty value
  • Disliked — Nothing bad
  • Stayed April 2003, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2007

We stayed one night at the Madonna Inn on a trip to Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Solvang, and Hearst Castle. My two daughters pored over the photos on the Madonna Inn website and selected the Sky Room- and it turned out to be as magical for us as it was for them!

The Sky Room is two stories, with the upstairs perfect for 1-3 children. It has a twin and full bed in what looks like an attic tower, so it was perfect for my fairy-tale-loving girls. They placed ALL their belongings in their corresponding nightstands, and they thought they were in a castle.

Downstairs, a king sized bed for us with a chandelier hanging overhead. A flat screen tv in the corner, elegantly funky pink bathroom with matching robes, all great fun.

If there was any wear and tear in the room, I didn't notice it and my girls most definitely didn't either! They want to stay here again! In the same room, which seems like a shame with their being 107 other different rooms.

Although the cafe and restaraunt are great, we opted to have breakfast at one off our favorites up the freeway a bit, at the Apple Farm- DELICIOUS!

  • Liked — It's like a fairy tale
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#6 Family Hotel in San Luis Obispo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Madonna Inn 3*
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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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