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“next time....a rock room!”
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Monica
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“next time....a rock room!”
Reviewed 25 April 2008

The Madonna Inn is everything tacky and fun. I had wanted to stay there a long time. One mistake, I booked through expedia using points. Don't do that. We had the romance room, which was large, blue and decorated, but I really wanted a rock room. Apparently those book a year in advance! Next time I will book directly through the hotel. The staff was great, and we had a delicious breakfast. Also, we checked out the pool and the hottub. They are really nice! Enjoy!

  • Liked — The fun atmosphere
  • Disliked — The bed and the towells. You go for the fun, not the amenities!
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jmoSantaMonica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2008

Madonna Inn, I always promised myself to come back when I can afford the stay there. 17 years later we returned with our 3 year old son to stay in the "cave man's room".
The room was fun and most items well integrated, apart from the coffee maker and iron & board which seemed to be completely out of place. Up to that point everything was great, we turned on the waterfall in the room and enjoyed the atmosphere. We decided to dine in the Restaurant and went across to the main part of the Hotel. Dinner was very disappointing, more service station like, not the quality of food I was expecting. Never mind, at that time we thought, okay but not to be repeated. When we returned to our room the guest in the next door room told us that Reception was looking for us. Next we had a voice mail message to contact reception, so we did. When contacting Reception they accused us that we have been smoking in our room and that there have been complaints. I tried to ensure the gentleman that we are both non smokers and have been for the last 2 hours in the restaurant. I even contacted the Restaurant Manager on the night to confirm this. He was not having any of this.....
My husband then went across to reception to talk to the gentleman to clarify the situation, but again the chap started to argue, did not want to retract his accusitions against us. He did not give us his name or the name of a manager whom we could speak to. You can imagine that we have been very upset and we did not enjoy our night.
Next day at breakfast I tried to bring my point accross to the Breakfast Manager. A nice lady who listened to us and invited us for the breakfast. She was very nice, but not empathetic. Clearly not a good recovery strategy. Would I go back, clearly not, would I recommend it, never!
Nevertheless the Hotel is a fantastic business idea and a must see, but the Family is clearly not managing this property with the pride it deserves to be managed as it is truly unique!

  • Liked — The unique rooms
  • Disliked — Service and food
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Hoffeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norway
Level Contributor
68 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2008

This hotel is just one of a kind and has to be experienced. We stayed one night in the Caveman room and it was quite different from anything else I have ever seen. The whole room including the bathroom is decorated as a cave and the shower is made to resemble a waterfall. The hotel restaurant is a steakhouse that is completly pink. Ugly as hell, but worth it just for the experiance. The food however, is just average.
We chose this hotel after reading about it in a Norwegian newspaper. It was described as "as far as you can come from every day life" and I would say that this description could not have been more aqurate.

  • Liked — The Caveman Room and the originality of it all
  • Disliked — The price
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank loves-to-travel76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
south florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2008

The most important thing you need to know about this hotel is how gaudy and tacky this place is. If you are warned, and ready for this going into your stay, you will love it. If you are expecting 5 star treatment, you'll be disappointed.
I booked the Caveman room. It is not a huge room, but it is comfortable and definitely lives up to it's name. The picture I saw online was outdated. It showed an old black and white tv-so I was surprised to see a flat screen and dvd player in room once we got there.
The hightest point was definitely the shower, it is literally a waterfall that makes a huge mess because there's no door, but it's fun - and it fits 2 ;) Overall, the room was fabulous, with small details that added alot to the room. The bed was comfy, the room clean, and good service. Everyone that I came into contact with that worked there was nice.
The bedroom even had a little mock waterfall that we kept running all night long. They have a pool, work out room, and looked like they were working on a spa area. Too bad we didn't bring our bathingsuites, the pool is even heated. And they have a huge waterfall right near the pool area.
If you're looking for an exreme experience, I say stay here. We were on our way to SF, so just stopped here for the night. I have no idea if there is alot to do near the hotel, but there is so much detail in and around the property, that it suited us just to enjoy the scenery.
The only negative, if any, was the fact that I could hear the highway traffic. That surprised me b/c we seemed far away from the road, but when the tv was on, or the waterfall was running, I couldn't hear it at all.
The color pink was everywhere! The entire hotel was a design nightmare, but that's what made it work! If you're looking for a funky room that you want to spend a fun night in, this is the right place!

  • Liked — Bathroom was fun and cheesy
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank kost44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san diego, ca.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2008

we've stayed here before in the madonna suite and the anniversary room, both were nice. Booked the love nest room for our anniversary this trip. I understand this is not a four star resort and that you're paying for the novelty atmosphere but clean and in good repair should be standard, especially for 264.00 a night. I do expect more than 8 channels on the TV, the carpet to be clean and the paint to not be chipping. Even outside the room, the doors were chipping paint, the place looked in need of some cosmetic attention.The room was shabby and dirty, the door stuck, the carpet was absolutely disgusting with stains everywhere, the coffee maker was only stocked with decaf, room was dusty and just overall not very clean. Big ashtray directly outside our door so when the people across from us were smoking you could gag from the smell.

My husband called ahead a few days to order a pink robe for me as a gift. It was to be wrapped and delivered to the room before we arrived. It wasn't. He had to go hunt it down in the gift shop and was told by the people there that it is the gourmet shop's responsibility to deliver gifts to the room. I really got the impression they could care less. Certainly did not seem to me that they were willing to go above and beyond, they told us that they don't usually get requests like that so the person probably just forgot.
Attention to details like this are important, especially when you are asking the prices that they do, and it was a special occasion.

Dinner at the steakhouse was very good as was the coffee shop for breakfast, no problems there at all.
To top off the room experience, when you check out you are supposed to get a free postcard of your room. Of course they were out of ours, not that I prefer to remember it anyway.

Defintely not a "first class resort" as their website claims. Like I said, the last two rooms we stayed in were nice, maybe we just got unlucky with this one. I don't think I'd go back though, 600.00 for two nights stay just isn't worth it, better off at a B&B on the coast for that kind of money.

  • Liked — restaurant
  • Disliked — room accomodations
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank mrowson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2008

OK, if you're just passing through and want a regular run of the mill room to sleep in, don't stay here. The Madonna Inn is an experience, not just a nights sleep. I was aware of this when I booked my room through their website and over the phone. I wanted a specific room so I made sure I got what I wanted. The goal was a romantic getaway with my lovely gal. My girlfriend and I stayed in the room called "Just Heaven". It was exactly that. We are into experiencing different things and the Madonna Inn was a perfect opportunity to fulfill our desires. Just Heaven has a spiral staircase that leads to a copula overlooking the entire San Luis Obispo valley. A gorgeous view from there. I called ahead of time and had the hotel services people deliver flowers, champagne, fruit, cheese, and crackers to the room before we arrived. Everything was perfect for our stay.

The room was appointed with four unique chairs and a leather sofa. Two huge windows provide scenic escape. The bed was a Cal-King with a comfy Serta mattress. The TV was a Hi-Def flat screen from Dell, although I didn't look to see if there was any hi-def programming. We didn't bring our laptop so we didn't sample the internet connection.

Just Heaven is a round room so the bathroom is the room that took the hit in the awkward space catagory. Despite being a strange shape, the bathroom was still functional. My girlfriend was particularly joyed by the scale which read 5 lbs lighter than ours at home.

We dined at the Madonna In Steak House on Friday evening. The food was AMAZING but our waitress was unknowledgeable about any bartender's specialties. We also patronized the coffee shop for breakfast on two separate occasions. Saturday morning was amazingly awesome great tasting food and fast service. Sunday morning was good but not stellar as the place was packed with sunday brunch type of folks which slowed up service.

BRAND NEW POOL area was very nice. We used the infinity pool and one of the two jacuzzis. There is also an excercise room but we didn't use it.

My gal and I can't wait to return to the Madonna Inn to try out another unique room. This place isn't for everyone though, you must be the adventurous type to appreciate the surroundings.

  • Liked — Architecture and uniqueness of the entire experience
  • Disliked — Spotty resturaunt service
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank riverseine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2008

Other people who have visited the Madonna Inn seem to be disappointed that it's not The Four Seasons, San Luis Obispo. The Madonna Inn is amazing in a totally quirky way, and if you can't get on board with that quirkiness, this really isn't the place for you.

The Madonna's Inn's abundant charms stem from its total commitment to its storybook atmosphere. Unlike the hipster irony you find in places like Los Angeles, the Madonna Inn is completely sincere in its over-the-top decor and atmosphere. Its campiness is not mere applique; it goes all the way to the foundation.

We stayed in the Cabin Still room, which is designed with elements of a bootlegger's still from the Prohibition era. We'd loved it in the photos (which are not entirely up to date on the site - the furniture had been updated and the non-stone wall elements had been improved), but they didn't do it justice. Like many of the rooms, most of the walls and the entire floor were made from the Madonna Inn's trademark boulders. While this might seem cold, it actually created a cozy atmosphere. The stone was not cold, and it was comfortable to walk around in bare feet. We took great enjoyment in the stone shower (big enough for two!), and had fun with other quirky design elements of the bathroom. The TV was surprisingly modern, with a substantial number of channels and On Demand fare. Not that we watched much TV - when you're in a room like that, the whole point is to immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

We didn't bring a computer, so we didn't have a chance to test the wireless. If your needs include constant wireless access, however, it might be a good idea to book a non-stone room, as stone is a big impediment to wireless signals.

The stone walls were great for insulating us from noise from our neighbors. Unfortunately, a sundeck/walkway was directly over our heads, and at points in the night the sound of people walking on it was very distinct. However, it wasn't intolerable.

On this visit, we did not take advantage of the other amenities on site, including the fitness center and the restaurants. We're looking forward to doing that on our next visit, though!

All in all, we really loved it and can't wait to go back and try a different room. If you want to soak up the decor and indulge in the fantasy they've created, it's a great place to go. If you prefer something more normal and predictable, with square corners, beige walls, a standard minibar in-room and spot-on 24-hour service, I'd recommend a different venue. The Madonna Inn is all about experiencing the fantasy.

  • Liked — The immersive quirky decor
  • Disliked — The noise from above.
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank rednikki
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
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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