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“Unique Rooms, Nice Experience, But need to Get Reserve Updated Room” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 31 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
358 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Unique Rooms, Nice Experience, But need to Get Reserve Updated Room”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We have stayed at the Madonna Inn 6 or 7 times in the last five years, we usually book at least one weekend a year for our Birthday, Anniversary, or a Special Occasion. They are under going updates to most of the rooms, many of them still have / had the decor from the 60's / 70's. You will be much happier if you book on of the renovated rooms, unless you are seeking a special decor that you want. We stay in a different room each time we go and enjoy, they have a spa and pool area now, which is very nice, and the steak house is great ! If you do not mind moving rooms, best to book two different rooms if staying for two nights and enjoy a change of scenery to enhance the stay with a different room each night.

Room Tip: Believe most of the lower level buildings have been renovated at this point, if you want to stay in...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rod B
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, January 2, 2013
Thank you for your review and we greatly appreciate you and your family continuing to come back for special occasions. Not many people know that you can experience a different room every night so I'm happy to hear you have taken advantage of that!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,376 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (369)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

I'm amused by some of the reviews about this place. If you have done your research then you should know what to expect - and it is not a Hyatt, Intercontinental etc and does not purport to be.

We had the Fabulous Fifties room - in the low front building opposite the horses. It was glorious in its pinkness with brown minky bed spreads with leopard print on the otherside! Loved it!!

Generous bathroom - not so sure about the coffee maker on the bench in there! The bath tub was deep which made it a bit interesting climbing out of the shower!

Usual shortage of power points in the room.

Brief encounter with staff was without incident.

Dinned at the Steakhouse - good service, massive serves and quite expensive. Maybe it is just what we are used to here but easily could cut the portions (and thus prices) by 1/3rd. I don't like leaving so much food on my plate but it is inevitable.

Managed to get a view of the men's bathroom which was a good laugh. Womens one is also fabulous!

Pool area looked good and decent sized modern gym from what we saw.

Really recommend a stay here as it is so unique!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
2 Thank AFlyingKiwi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
153 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

I had Thanksgiving Dinner here last week after hearing that it was a great place to go. We arrived ahead of time and were told we'd be called in 20mins. They seated us in 5 mins! Our server was very attentive and friendly. Unfortunately the food was boring and not worth the price. The main meal was a plate of turkey (or ham or duck) a smallish serving of mashed potato, peas and stuffing. We got a tiny serving of cranberry sauce in small tub on the side. We asked for candied yams - as they were supposed to come with the meal. When they did it was obvious they were out of a can, I took one bite and left the rest.
I think I would have got the same meal at my kid's school if they served one. Dessert was also extra. It was also my birthday but the host told my wife that they do anything for that. Fortunately our server changed that and surprised me with a huge piece of cake and a candle. After spending more than a few hundred dollars for a boring meal this was a nice surprise.
I wouldn't consider eating here again. Plenty of great options 5 mins away in Sam Luis Obispo.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank RunnerAkl
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, November 30, 2012
Thank you for writing a review in regards to our annual Thanksgiving dinner. I’m pleased to hear you were seated so quickly and that the server helped celebrate your birthday with a piece of our cake, although I’m sorry that you were disappointed with the holiday meal that was served. Perhaps you can come back another time to try one of our traditional steakhouse menu options.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lodi, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We reserved brunch for 12 one day head. Excellent food and wonderful service. We had four servers at any time. Everyone loved the food and accommodations. We would do it again. Great place for a very special meal.

Room Tip: We only ate in their restaurant so cannot review their rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amanda386
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, November 30, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Madonna Inn to host your group of 12! We are sincerely happy that everyone enjoyed their time and you received the quality service we have become known for over the years. We look forward to welcoming you all back in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Overpriced, very poorly managed and maintained, outdated decor, good food. That sums up our recent two day, two room experience at this 1960's era property. I drove my wife and her two parents, ages 86 and 91, to a 100+ person party hosted by one of her brothers celebrating his 60th birthday on the property. Two months in advance, I booked the last two rooms available (so they said), naturally their most expensive ($346 each/night), but was not advised they required climbing 20+ and 30+ stairs, respectively, to get to them. (The Inn has no elevators but doesn't tell people when they book the hard-to-reach rooms.) Upon our arrival and finding out where the rooms were located, I somewhat strenuously protested taking them due to the seniors' inability to climb the stairs. Lo and behold, we were magically offered two other rooms, requiring no stairs to climb. One room, #187, was marginally OK, but the other, #188, had one of the two sinks so stopped up it wouldn't drain and there was so much body hair in the shower it wouldn't drain, either! Gross! And so much for good housekeeping.

Not to worry, tho', I received a call about an hour later asking me to return to the office where they informed me that the new (?) rooms were ours only for the first night and then we would have to move back to the original stair climbers! I kept this good news from the seniors until the next morning when I returned to the office, protesting their "move every day" policy.

I spoke to the manager, I guess that's who he was, as he had no business cards with a name on them, but said he was "Joe Forgett" (what an apt name, as he must have forgotten what guest relations were all about). "Joe" said he could do nothing for us as they were sold out. I advised him that he was subjecting senior guests to a dangerous climb and, again, magically, a new room was located for them! Wow! But no room for my wife and I. As I left the office, Joe smirked and said "have a nice day", a fitting conclusion to our meeting, in his mind, no doubt.

During our visit, we enjoyed the bar, restaurant and coffee shop, as well as the birthday party. A marginal wine list, but adequate.

The "spa" lacks a sauna, steam room, adequate locker room (a total of 4 lockers) or space for more than one person at a time to change. The pool is excellent.

Would I return? Only to stop for dinner or to celebrate the hiring of a competent new manager.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank BillinIdaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

This hotel was recommended to us by a friend as a great place to stay on route from LA to San Francisco on our road trip. We were so pleased we booked a room here and I would say don't just make it a place to stop if you're passing - make a point of visiting! Each room is individually themed and we stayed in 'Rock Bottom' which was essentially a luxurious cave! There is a range of themes and prices to choose from - the web-site has more info. Okay so it's not suitable for those on a tight budget but if you can afford one night of luxury, then this is the place to stay. The sumptuous décor and eccentric design is fantastic and I also highly recommend the on-site Gold Rush Steak House. Superb wine list and delicious food with outstanding service.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Carli T
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, November 30, 2012
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with others. Our rock rooms really are one of a kind! Thank you for your patronage in both our inn and steakhouse while traveling the Pacific coast!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for one night on our way down the PCH. We stayed in one of the rock rooms, the Daisy Mae room, which was awesome. The waterfall shower was so refreshing...the best shower I've ever taken. The interior decoration is so over the top...it really felt like we were staying in a cave. If I could recreate this for my own house I would. Food in the restaurant was ok, and I'd say visit it just to see the decor...so overly chintzy it actually works. Check out isn't until 12 so had time to spare to visit the rooftop pool the next day. A bit pricey but definitely worth the extra money...I won't forget this place in a hurry!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jodie K
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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