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“Great Experience in a very funky hotel”
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Experience in a very funky hotel”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

I really liked this hotel, it's different than any other hotels I stayed at in the past and gives a very personalised and unique, funky experience with all the rooms decorated differently in a fun and quirky way.

We stayed there as part of a road trip in California, so it was perfectly located for this, being on the highway in San Luis Obispo, which is exactly half way between San Francisco and San Diego, and the hotel had a big free parking. We only stayed 1 night, so we did not have time to experience the spa, but the pool looked nice and breakfast at the restaurant was good too. The room itself was very big, we had a 2 beds room, and it had all the amenities which you usually need: 2 huge double beds, a tv and sofa, a big bathroom with shower, hairdryer, coffee machine, all this in a nice cool 'china flower' decor, which was the theme of our room.

The only negative point I would like to mention, was that although I had a prepaid reservation, they added a resort fee and room tax on top of it, nothing huge, just around £15 per night, but it's worth mentioning it, as it's never clearly mentioned when you book hotels.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank fanny2207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (415)
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We booked to stay one night at the Madonna as part of our honeymoon. I had heard many things about the Madonna and was really keen to check it out.
The hotel was incredibly easy to find as it’s right off the highway and is clearly visible with its iconic pink sign. Check in wasn’t until after 4pm and we arrived at lunch time however the reception staff did offer us use of the pool to occupy us. SLO town centre was only a ten minute drive away and there was an outdoor mall just down the road so fortunately there is no shortage of things to do.
We stayed in the Kona Rock room which felt a bit like staying in a cave – only a lot warmer! Each room really is truly unique and everything about the hotel from the moment you drive up is quirky. Our room was clean and spacious with everything we could possibly need – funky pool towels, bathrobes, toiletries, and even a pineapple light fitting! Photos don’t do the rooms here justice – ours looked very mismatched in the picture but once you see it and all the finishing touches become clear you can see how much effort has gone into it.
The pool was a short walk away – none of the rooms that I could see lead out to the pool and are all a short walk. The pool was heated and set atop the resort with lovely views. There is a bar for pool side drinks and a spa too although I didn’t use this.
We ate in the steak house restaurant which is a truly amazing experience in itself. The staff were super friendly and attentive and the pink champagne cakes was well worth it – although it was big enough to share. The food is quite expensive however the portions are large – possibly a little quantity over quality but we were happy to pay it for the experience. As with the rooms, everything from the seats to the glasses on the table are all in keeping with the hotels quirky theme. There was even a live ban playing in the bar behind us and it was lovely to watch all the older generation putting the younger to shame with their dancing.
We didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel the following morning but we did make it to the guest shop to buy our own wine glass as I fell in love with them over dinner! Overall I would highly recommend the Madonna for a special occasion or even just a fun night away. It was a magical experience and will certainly remain a highlight of our honeymoon.

Room Tip: Look on the website to get an idea of the room you would like, and how much you want to spend as the...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank McNoodle
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 28, 2012
I wanted to express appreciation for your review of the Madonna Inn! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you enjoyed the details of the Kona Rock room. Hopefully we can welcome you back for an anniversary trip in the future!
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Cardiff
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012

I loved my stay here. If you are doing the whole road trip down the coast thing, you HAVE to stay here. There are reviews saying this place is tacky and dated...that's precisely why it's good!

The pool was great, the view and the waterfall made it so relaxing. The staff were extremely helpful and went that extra mile. Would love to stay again in the caveman room!

Room Tip: I stayed in gypsy rock....what you see is what you get with the photos on the website. I will say th...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bethan H
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 kind review! We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
69 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012 via mobile

We stayed one night in the Mountain Cabin room. It was a lovely, clean room with a very comfortable bed. The day we arrived was quite hot so we went to use the pool which was lovely. They had snacks and drinks up there that were reasonably priced. The view was beautiful.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Rose F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hartlepool
Level Contributor
143 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank smallluxuryitem
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belmont, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bruce G
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan P
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 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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