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“Why didn't someone tell me”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Why didn't someone tell me”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2006

Call me crazy, but when I spend $200 a night for a room, I don't want to hear everything in the next door room. The walls are paper thin and speaking in a whisper is too loud. Don't plan on sleeping when you're here. I knew that the rooms would be "tacky", but I thought that they would be clever "tacky." They weren't. This is a tourist trap extraordinaire.

On the positive side (yes there is one), the help in the restaurants was great. Everyone was cheerful and efficient.

Helpful?
58 Thank JABLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (408)
Date | Rating
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English first
Warwickshire, UK
Level Contributor
109 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2006

This place was just unbelievable! Ignore all the boring old sourpusses moaning away (come on guys, if you post on trip advisor, one would assume that you also use the site to check out places to stay beforehand!).
I was determined to stay here on our Hwy 1 road trip, but loads of discount travel sites said the place was full, so I went onto the inn's own website and booked a room which was assigned at check-in. We got 'Starlite'which I think is probably one of the less OTT rooms, but very pleasant with a lovely view and nice and clean and quiet.
We had cocktails at the bar before dinner, and I was completely blown away by the dining room which is just a complete explosion in a pink factory! The food was excellent, with huge portions (well this is America) and charming service. Breakfast was good too, although I really don't like having to queue for a table (they do say that it is popular with the locals, and you can eat at the bar if you don't want to wait for a table) and the cakes looked gorgeous.
The shops are indeed stuck in a time-warp; it's not a place where you'd buy something and wear it at home!
Great fun overall. If you don't want anything out of the ordinary then stay in a typical bland boring chain hotel.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
34 Thank Ratbag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2006

We stayed at the Madonna Inn for the first time back in September of 2005, to celebrate our 4-year wedding anniversary. I had read about the Madonna Inn many times throughout the years, and always wanted to stay there. Their cakes are truly amazing, and one of a kind!

We stayed in the "Short and Tall" room, which included a small balcony and a huge, comfy king-sized bed. Yes, it's very pink, but we looked at all of the rooms on the Madonna Inn's website prior to booking, and knew exactly what to expect. It was great to stay in a room that is far different from the boring old standard rooms of regular main-stream hotels. The room was very clean, and I loved the fact that the Madonna includes the warm, soft pink robes in the Wardrobe for you to enjoy (I liked it so much that I bought one for myself at check-out to wear at home!) My Husband is tall, and was unhappy with the low height of the shower head (it was perfect for me!) The coffee maker in our room didn't work, but we went down to the coffee shop and got fresh coffee which was a much better alternative! The Madonna Inn has a huge spider problem - The ceiling of the balcony was completely covered with these creepy little critters at night fall!

We ate dinner at the steak house, and loved it. The food was excellent, the service was outstanding (our waitress received a 50% tip!!) and the decor is unlike anything you've ever seen in a restaurant. The Madonna Inn truly is an "experience" and one that we highly recommend.

On sort of a silly side-note, I had read that many celebrities frequent the Madonna Inn. We certainly didn't stay there with the hope, expectation or purpose of seeing any celebrities, but on the night we dined in the steakhouse, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell dined in a booth right next to us. The nice thing was that nobody in the entire restaurant bothered them (including us,) and they seemed to be very relaxed and comfortable among all of the "everyday" people. It was a cool little extra that added to our special experience at the Madonna Inn.

We did the Sideways wine tour while we were there, and visited Hearst Castle. The Inn is ideally located for wine tasting, going to the beach, visiting Hearst Castle, and seeing beautiful central California!!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
32 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2006

The Madonna Inn is the place where outrageous design dreams come true. Not only is the realization of a beautiful, fantastical vision, it's situated in the beautiful California central coast.

The Madonna Inn isn't just whimsy, however. The staff is excellent (always in tune with the fun, trippy quality of the place) and professional, the beds are amazingly comfortable, and the ice buckets are padded and pink, like champagne.

Take note of the recurring themes -- ranchero-style, curly cut door moldings, local stone in fireplaces and bathrooms, and pink, pink, pink -- imagination everywhere.

The Madonna Inn is much more than the cave bathroom -- you need to stay overnight to really experience it! (Best done with a group of friends, so you can visit more than one room.) Hats off to Alex and Phyllis Madonna for creating this living masterpiece of Americana!

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2006

We stayed at Madonna inn back in 2002 when we visited Hearst Castle. My colleagues highly recommended it and I also really like it too.

I read some of the angry reviews here and I can understand why. Firstly each room is decorated differently. There are quite a number of rooms that look cheesy, whack, dated and mismatched, but you have to look very carefully on their website and choose the right one for yourself. To be honest I probably would feel miserable too if I stayed at 195 tack room (I actually peaked through the window of this vacant room and it looked like someone got killed there with all that red and reflective plastic bed cover!). However I picked carefully on their website and there were a few of them that I liked that are equally eclectic in a stylish way. Most of them were booked so I was left with "What's Left" (room 158). It wasn't my first pick so I didn't keep my hopes up, but I was completely shocked that it turns out to be a very lively room. It reminds me of a fairy tale gone wild. The doorframes and everything are crafted beautifully and they even have these crazy plastic flowers and fake birds on top of the mirrors in the bathroom! There are special chandelliers made with mirrors and light bulbs on the ceiling. Everything has a Rococo feel with a splash of craziness and personality to it.

Since it is a historic hotel, I pretty much prepared myself to see dirt and cracks here and there - but once again to my suprise, everything was very clean! The toilet is spotless and there are no aged-dirts or cracks anywhere. It is even in better shape than some of the big name franchise hotels. The bed cover and the curtains could be changed though as they looked a bit tired.

Another thing is, if you are more a 5-star hotel/big resort kind of person, or you don't like to research and book your hotels in advance, Madonna inn may be the wrong pick for you. Madonna inn is more for the adventurous and fun-loving type of personality. It is more of an experience rather than a hotel stay. You will either love it or hate it.

My tip is, look at the pictures, pick carefully and think clearly what makes you happy. It may not be a good idea to stay in a gloomy room even if your favorite color is blue and black. Another advice is it may be a better idea to have a short stay rather than a long stay so you won't go crazy waking up in that constant eclectic room every day.

  • Stayed February 2002
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
32 Thank IreneATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2005

Our family (kids 11,13 and 15) stayed here for 1 night out of a 3 1/2 week vacation and loved it. We got the mid week special of $50 off the room rate. I was looking for experiences that my kids would really remember on our trip of a life time, and the Madonna Inn gave us just that! We stayed in the Jungle Rocks room with 2 king beds and we brought an inflatable mattress for my son, but he ended up sleeping on the lounge! The beds were really comfy and everything appeared clean. I think I was the only one who like the massaging effect of the rock waterfall shower, but all agreed it was fun to try. This room was huge, perfect for a family. We ate dinner in the Copper Cafe and enjoyed it, and had breakfast (that we bought with us), in our room.

Really nice, different stop over on our way up north!

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Roxy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2005

Just returned from a 2 night stay at the Madonna Inn. I have always wanted to stay there and I was not disappointed! We had the "Barrel of Fun" room which was extremely unique. We had our own spiral staircase to our room, rock shower and sinks, a balcony as well as a fireplace complete with "Duraflames" for us to use. Tacky room, that's what makes it fun and unusual. Comfortable bed, great robes (pink of course), and the shower was roomy and the pressure was perfect! I got a massage and I have to say it was one of the best I have had and I am a spa junky. Not the typical type spa, they are rooms that I would guess used to be guests rooms. My therapist gave me a great relaxing massage, it was private, no noise, just bliss. I showed up at 4:15 for my 4:30 appointment - she started at 4:20 and gave me the extra 10 minutes which was nice and really unheard of anywhere else. We called the coffee shop to see if they offered room service, they said they didn't really do offer this service but would bring something up. It was delivered hot to our room in about 15 minutes with a friendly staff member. Staff was extra helpful all the way around, the location is great - a must stay at least once.

Helpful?
13 Thank itstricky
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
Reservation Options:
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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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