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“What a fun place to stay!”
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
tr1ckykid
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“What a fun place to stay!”
Reviewed December 29, 2007

My husband and I stayed here for part of our honeymoon. We stayed in the caveman room. Definitely not the most functional room, but by far the most fun. Many fun photo-ops. The bed was comfortable and the room was quiet- until the construction on our roof in the early AM (which we were warned about, but didn't want to give up our room for-- we had reserved it months in advance!!- I thought maybe they would offer a discounted room rate, but didn't).
The only negative thing I have to say is that the urinal waterfall in the bathroom left faint scent of stale urine in the room throughout the stay-yuck!
If you are looking for something different and fun while traveling in SLO, you should definitely stay here! We can't wait to come back and check out a different room!

  • Liked — The room
  • Disliked — The price
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank tr1ckykid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
125 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2007

Wife and I from UK returned this year to the Madonna for about the tenth time, I think. Saw JJRenee review of recent visit; agree with almost everything in it about the lack of convenience and practicality, but got to say: you don't go to Madonna for the convenience, you go for the quirky, kitsch, overdone fun of the whole place. I'm sure we'll go yet again the next time we pass through, because although it would be good to have a fridge in the room, good to get a reservation in the restaurant (in our experience, usually advised by reception clerk on check-in), etc., not only are the rooms spacious but they are also exceedingly comfortable, with perfect beds. We all have a pet grumble, I guess: ours is that whilst Madonna usually discounts online bookings, the online booking engine doesn't allow you to ask for a specific room, which at the Madonna is quite likely to be what you go there for.

Also noticed this time that the entirely new, and much needed, pool and hot tub complex which had only just opened was still not advertised on the website, and was not mentioned to us at check-in......I would certainly have used it, but not much use to me to find out it was there 15minutes before we had to leave!

  • Liked — individuality of style, comfortable spacious rooms with comfortable beds and good amenities
  • Disliked — lack of in-room fridge
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank usaphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2007

My husband and I stayed in one of the "rock" rooms Dec 7-9. The room was huge, and decor was wild but cool in its own way, but the rock waterfall shower was excellent!! Room was very clean, bed was extremely comfortable. Only complaint about the room layout is that the rock floor in the bathroom was not entirely smooth so I bumped my toes several times going to the restroom at night.

Unfortunately it seems that all you get for your $240 is the clever room. Amenities are sparse. No mini-fridge, no microwave, no wireless access (they claimed to have a connection but it was too weak to actually support internet use), no guarantee that you will be able to get a meal at one of the property restaurants (even the cafe/bistro!) without a reservation, and in fact you can expect to be sneered at by the host/hostess if you didn't think you needed a reservation to get a sandwich.

The history of the place as described in the (suprisingly non-functional) guest directory is that Alex Madonna was a developer who traveled frequently and was dismayed at the dearth of nice hotels where you could get a nice meal and rest. The contemporary Inn has strayed far from that ideal. In an effort to make big bucks on the locals who apparently like to dine at both the steakhouse and bistro, in droves, the actual hotel guests are viewed as an afterthought at best, and an annoyance at worst. No tables are kept at either restaurant for guests. And we were not warned when we booked the room that this was the local college's winter graduation weekend, and that reservations for either restaurant were advisable. The lack of convenience also indicates a focus on rich locals rather than hotel guests. For example, the steakhouse serves lots of food - but if you don't finish you have to refuse leftovers because there are no fridges in the rooms, so your food must go to waste. The wine shop also has wines, cheese and other items for sale that must be refrigerated - which folks staying at the hotel apparently can't buy except on the way out. There are three shops on the premises - for high-end men's clothes, high-end women's clothes, and wine - but nothing with items like toothbrushes, advil, or basic necessities that travelers may forget.

The room directory as I mentioned is inadequate - hours for shops, restaurants, etc., are not listed. Room service is alluded to but no menu or hours are provided. I see from the website there was a pool, and when I booked the room I was told there was a jacuzzi on the premises. No mention in the directory and I never found the thing. I think it was under renovation.

But the kicker was the first night we arrived, when we were ready for bed and realized we needed more pillows, and towels for morning. I called the front desk and was told I had to get them myself because he was the only guy there at night!! So I put a coat over my pajamas and walked down the hill in 30 degree weather and a bit of sleet to get pillows and towels, and hike with them back up the hill... and while I expect to have to do that at a Super 8, I expect better service when I am paying $240 a night!!

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank JJRenee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madonna_Management, Reservation Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, December 26, 2007
We always enjoy reading the comments from our guests. However, I felt it necessary to clarify some misunderstandings.

Madonna Inn’s brand new state of the art pool, Jacuzzi, and fitness center is open for guest enjoyment and wireless access is available throughout the Inn. If guests are unable to access wireless we do provide wired access in each guest room. A general map of the grounds (including restaurant, room, and pool location) is presented to each guest upon check in… guests are always encouraged to ask for further assistance. Upon request we offer mini refrigerators for any room that is not already equipped with one. We provide complimentary simple items such as tooth brush & tooth paste, mending kits, soaps etc. Other toiletries can be purchased from our Ladies Boutique. Please note...there is one correction. Our complimentary shuttle from airport, train or bus stations runs 8AM—8PM daily. The massage center/day spa is under construction and is due to open mid-2008. Guests are welcome to call regarding our facilities.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2007

If you're looking for a fun and unusual place to stay, this is it!! With quirky rooms and a great restaurant, you can't go wrong.
My wife surprised my and we stayed in the Daisy Mae room. What a great room with a water fall shower and huge shell sink. The overall experience was fantastic. I highly recommend this hotel, just watch out for the rocks in the wall.

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Luck76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed here on the return trip from Big Sur. I had been wanting to stay at the property since a road trip that took me past it seven years ago. The stop wasn't originally on our trip plan, but I am so happy that we stopped. We had the Old Fashioned Room. I picked this one from the choices we were given because I thought it would be antique cars or something more maculine than the others- I wanted my boyfriend to enjoy the experience too.

Imagine our surprise when we walked into a completely pink room accentuated with roses. The ceiling was even pink with sparkles. The bathroom was huge and pink with so much attention to detail that there were even floweres painted inside of the toilet bowl. It was all so over the top that I fell in love at first sight. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. And, despite all of the pink, my boyfriend was happy because I was so happy. The room was absolutely huge and came with a pink ice bucket, pink robes, and fun toiletries.

The building where we stayed was four stories with crazy spiral staircases and very ornate latticework. The pool was beautiful, with gorgeous views and the fitness room is brand new.

We ate dinner at the restaurant and it was fabulous. The steaks were excellent and the service was top notch. I really couldn't be happier with our stay.

If you are looking for a 4 star Hilton or Hyatt type hotel, this is not for you. The room we stayed in was a bit worn and definately not for the conservative traveller. But if you are open to novelty and pink ceilings (or blue, or green, or stone) this may be the place for you!

  • Liked — Fabulous, over the top decor
  • Disliked — Nada
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stace120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
N.IRELAND
1 review
Reviewed October 22, 2007

Great hotel, friendly helpful staff. Excellent restaurant, coffee shop and bar food.
Only regret was only stayed overnight , will definetely stay here when am back in california.
Would recommend it and this is one hotel were you want to swap rooms for good reasons with all the themed rooms, I stayed in the daisy mae room with its stone floor and waterfall showers really liked it.

As some were I picked as it was roughly half way between San Francisco and LA I was seriously tempted to delay my onward travel to LA to stay a few extra days in this great hotel.

  • Liked — Local friendly staff , great vibe
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank eratu13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2007

The Madonna inn was the second hotel on our road trip from San Francisco to Key West and it was ok. The room we had was called the hideaway which indeed it was. At the lowest level the room was brightly colored but only had 2 high level windows which looked out over the car park.
I will say I went to the loo at 3am and the room was pitch black and felt a little enclosed but it was ok. Our major disappointment was the restaurant; we ordered a bottle of Champagne as a treat to really start the trip at $70 not our normal tipple I promise you at that price. It came up not really cold enough and with no ice bucket, we asked a number of times but still never got one. We both decided on the Fillet Mignon and sat back listening to the orchestra playing some really good tunes and really enjoying ourselves when the problems started. My steak was bloody (I asked for Medium Well) and totally tasteless for around $44 I hoped for better, but then a disco started below us in a function room and we couldn’t hear the band playing and the floor was vibrating quite a bit I told the server about this and she called the Manager who said to me she has asked them to turn it down but they wont?????. At this point I had enough and asked for my bill and just paid for the now warm champagne. The Manager told me she was sorry and gave us a carry out pudding which was very nice we had it in our room and another bottle of wine not so nice. I’m sure if we had received better treatment in the restaurant I would have rated our stay higher. The pool area is great however and the views sitting in the hot tubs of the mountains are rather special. I have written to the hotel about our problem and received a nice reply. Would we stay here again???? Yes in another room and ask the restaurant if there is a function going on before we booked a table.

  • Liked — The building was really nice
  • Disliked — the Food
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madonna Inn

Property: Madonna Inn
Address: 100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-5489
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:3.5 star — Madonna Inn 3.5*
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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