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“Nice place to rest during Pacific Coast trip”
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Nice place to rest during Pacific Coast trip”
Reviewed 9 May 2012 via mobile

At least once in a life you should stay at this place, a great anniversary hotel, their cafe is expensive but interesting, in the cuty many other dining options are also available

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ONER A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Dear valued guest. Thank you for leaving your candid comments on your previous stay with us. Indeed, The Madonna Inn is definitely a place to stay at least once. We do hope that you will visit us again, even just to stop by and grab one our delicious cakes and pastries.
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (419)
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NJ
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

We only stayed here one night on our way up the coast from LA to San Francisco. We booked the Starlight room online. This was one of the lower cost rooms. I really liked it. You can view all the rooms at their website. Call me crazy but I loved the toilet...it had Toto Washlet...it's like a bidet, heated seat and dryer all in one. I want one.
The rest of the property is worth checking out. Try to have at least one meal here...you have to see the pink restaurant and the men's bathroom on the lower level.
This place is fun and romantic. It's worth the price ( go online to get the best deals).

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NJgirlonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
We at The Madonna Inn would like to thank you for taking the time to leave a review on your past stay with us. It’s these kinds of reviews that let us know our service continues to be exceeded. We do hope that you will visit us again soon.
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Carmel
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 April 2012

Definitely worth seeing! One of the most interesting hotels around. Cave room is a must

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dakota T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Greetings valued guest. We appreciate all of our guest’s comments and we would like to thank you for taking the time to leave a review on your past stay with us. Indeed, the Caveman is very unique. Caveman is actually our most popular room, reserving at least 6 months in advanced. We couldn’t be happier that you were able to experience it. Again, thank you for your review and we look forward to seeing you again.
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London
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

The Madonna Inn is a fun overnight stop off on the route down (or up) the coast.
Great rooms - large, quirky and individual.
We ate in the restaurant and really enjoyed the atmosphere and kitsch décor.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shmaffle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave your candid comments on your previous stay with us. We are ecstatic that you enjoyed your stay with us. We do hope that you will visit us again soon.
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Boston, MA
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

I will start out by saying that this hotel completely saved my 'drive down the Pacific Coast Highway' experience. I had been looking forward to this ultimate road trip for months and of course, the weekend I had the chance to do it ... it rained and was 50 degrees. The bright spot of my trip was my stay at this interesting hotel which takes Kitch to a whole new level.

I labored over which hotel to stay at and am so glad I chose the Madonna Inn! I read other reviews on here and I am completely convinced that your experience will vary based on the room you choose. My advice to anyone thinking about staying here ... pony up and splurge to get one of the more expensive rooms, or else your experience may be average. (based on other reviews I read.)

It was a budget stretch for me to pay $249 for a room at this place when there were normal rooms for $150-$200 ... I got the Gypsie Rocks room because I wanted the full experience ... rock waterfall shower and all. There is a list of room ammenities on the website, which shows pictures of the rooms and list the features. A tip ... there IS a difference between a rock shower and a waterfall shower. For $20 extra per night, I don't know if having a waterfall shower vs. a normal one is worth it to you, but for me ... it made the experience.

My room was amazingly clean. Given the 'dated' furnishings of most rooms, I worried they would be dusty/dirty (shag carpet) but the room was impeccably clean ... no dust anywhere. The 'dated' furniture is what adds to the kitch of the rooms. As you probably know ... each room has a different theme to it. The most popular rooms (Caveman Room) I am told book up to 9 months in advance. While I couldn't get that one or the jungle rocks ... Gypsy Rocks was open, so I snagged it. (Another tip ... during slow periods, there are Internet Specials on the rooms, which take the price down $50. Unfortunatly, as I stayed the night after the marathon, this was not available.

Gypsy Rocks had wooden beams on the walls and the ceiling that were painted bright colors. It looked like something out of the Swingin' 60's from Austin Powers on one side of the room and Dr. Evil's cave on the other. The room was so cool ... it really did feel like a cave. There was a flat screen tv mounted on one of the cave walls and Gypsy Rocks has a unique bathroom which is almost entirely made of rock, which gives the room a rock formation in the middle. The bed was comfortable ... and had a REAL COMFORTER and not some cheesy white duvet, which I loved. Of course the shag carpet was something you don't see every day, but was very plush and comfortable to walk around on.

The bathroom is what really made this room. It is almost entirely made out of rock ... the shower has a regular spray showerhead and also a rock waterfall overhead, which spills lots of warm water out. The shower was so soothing and relaxing ... there was even some rock spaces for shampoo and soap. I will agree with some other reviewers ... there is no shower curtain (thankfully) ... so water does get EVERYWHERE in the bathroom while you are showering. Its a waterfall after all. So, don't leave anything on the sink you don't want to get wet. Especially cell phones!

The towels were thin and old ... this was the only thing I could complain about in the room. I would have preferred more soft and plush. But the toiletries were upscale and nice, especially the little soap. Also, the mirror in the bathroom was kind of small ... but the sink with the rock basin was unique. There was plenty of privacy with room darkening curtains and a shade on the stained glass door.

Again, I loved my room ... and couldn't resist the urge to peek into other rooms while they were being cleaned. I didn't get to see in the Caveman room, but did see Jungle Rocks and it looked really cool. Some of the standard rooms without the rocks and the waterfall shower looked kind of average ... a little dated and blah.

I was able to have dinner at the steakhouse. The waitress (Brit) couldn't have been any better. She was perfect! I was also very happy to see Abalone on the appetizer list. Very, very few restaurants offer this. Even though it was $20, I splurged and got it. It came pounded and fried like a cutlet. I thought it tasted great and was a treat to try it. I also had a filet minon ... and wow! This was one of the most flavorful and perfect steaks I ever had. It had a wonderful oak smokey flavor and was so soft and tender. Seriously, one of the best steaks I have had ... never would have expected it. Also tried the chocolate cake for dessert. A little dry for me, but a crowd pleaser for sure ... each slice is HUGE. Dinner wasn't cheap here ... about $100 for the Abalone, Steak, Glass of wine and cake ... but well worth it. One of the best dinners I have had on the road.

The restaurant (Alex Madonna's Goldrush Steakhouse) was amazing. It takes kitch to a new level. Seriously, I don't know how anyone could ever think to decorate a restaurant like this ... plush pink velvet booths, golden candle holder lanterns, silver garland everywhere, and a giant tree with huge butterflies in the center. It was like dining in Pee Wee's Playhouse. Normally, I am not a 'kitchy' person but this was so over the top and amazing that I have to admit, I was dazzled. The bartender has a bit of an attitude, she was the only staff member I didn't enjoy. The rest were great ... from the hostess to the dude who bussed the tables and of course Brit, who was really the perfect waitress.

I had a great experience here and as I said, it totally made my trip to the Pacific Coast Highway worth it. I actually paid $3.50 and changed my Hearst Castle reservation (see review on here for that rip off) just so I could spend a few more hours in my awesome room. They also had great cable channels.

There was a little mix up with my bill, which was taken care of cheerfully by a manager. I think it is also cool they give you a free postcard of your room at check out, so you can show everyone where you stayed. I hope to be able to try a different room and stay here again ... the managers say that it is common for guests staying more than one day to change rooms every day. This is one of those 'roadside wonders' you see on the travel channel ... and is well worth the experience. One of my best hotel stays on record. Thanks everyone at the Madonna Inn. Remember, its worth it to splurge on a top level room here more than just about anywhere else.

Room Tip: Worth paying extra for the rock rooms, if they are available.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LovinHotelLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Dear valued guest. Thank you for taking the time to review your resent stay with us. We are thrilled that the Gypsy Rock room exceeded all of your expectations. All of our rock rooms are very popular and we couldn’t be happier that you were able to experience one. Thank you for also leaving your comments on your experience in our Steakhouse. Those comments have been passed along to the Steakhouse manager. Again, we appreciate your review and we hope to see you again very soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baywood Park, California
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This is more a review of the restaurant than the hotel (tripadvisor could not locate the restaurant as a 'stand alone'). Had an excellent steak dinner, birthday celebration, at this long standing kitschy roadside attraction. All rooms are themed in over the top fashion - (men's public urinal is legendary.) Coffee shop and steakhouse on grounds. Steakhouse service was generally top notch, but dropped off noticeably as the room filled. The steaks were thick and juicy and properly cooked, old fashion relish tray to start, (salads unspectacular basic iceberg, mine smothered in bleu cheese), and overkill desert serving more than enough for two to share. Speaking of "cheesey' the tufted naugahyde booths in HOT pink and gold lame, the stained glass ceiling inserts and giant faux tree centerpiece make for a giddy celebration atmosphere and several parties were doing so (with table balloons designating the event). A fun evening, more family friendly, not very romantic given the mayhem, but worth a trip - did I say the steaks were terrific?

Room Tip: some very pricey rooms, but a variety to chose from, so inquire about the options
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gary k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laguna Niguel, California
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

I took the kids to the Madonna Inn for one night on a stopover en route to San Francisco. The inn is certainly an iconic and unique place, well located along Highway 101. The over-the-top pink and fanciful decor is kind of cool in a kitschy sort of way. However, our room "Showboat" was nothing showy -- just a rather plain motel room, looking a bit old and tired. My daughter burned herself in the shower because the water was ridiculously hot. The chocolate cream pie was not so good, but breakfast was excellent. The cost was not a good value. We've "been there, done that" now but will select another option next time we are in the SLO area.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Diverdad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe_Forgette, Front Office Manager at Madonna Inn, responded to this review, 23 April 2012
Dear valued guest. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments on your previous stay with us. We appreciate all feedback. We apologize that the Showboat room didn’t fulfill all of your expectations, however, we have a wide variety of more elaborate and whimsical rooms to choose from the next time you join us. Even if you choose not to stay, we hope the next time you’re in town you will stop by and visit. All the best!
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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
Region: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Luis Obispo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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