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“Way fun, even for my kids”
Review of Madonna Inn

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Madonna Inn
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Way fun, even for my kids”
Reviewed 26 June 2006

I ate lunch at the Madonna inn once, 30 years ago. The place has stuck in my mind ever since. So when a road trip took us through San Luis Obispo, there's no way I was going to miss staying there.

I was traveling with my two kids. Since it was just one adult, the rooms were cheaper than usual ($173). We were in the Gypsie Rock room, one of the rooms with a rock waterfall shower. Though honestly, I'd skip the rock waterfall shower next time; it splashed all over the bathroom floor and was a bit hard (like standing under a rain gutter). But the whole room experience was a ton of fun. My daughter particularly loved rock climing on the walls.

I made my kids eat dinner with me at the steak house (in spite of no kids menu; they split a meal). They now understand kitzch and agreed that while pricy, it was a hoot to eat there. And we all loved the champagne cake dessert. A stop in the restrooms before gonig back to our room confused my son until he saw the famous waterfall urinal.

Our breakfast in the coffee shop rounded out our "Madonna Inn experience". The coffee shop does have a kids menu, and prices are reasonable.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank wubbuwu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 18 June 2006

Four of us travelled from LA to San Francisco via Highway one and the Madonna Inn was the first stop off for us. This place is amazing and it would be a real shame not to stop off even for just a drink. We normally stay is very modern hotels but this place was so kitsch that it was very cool. We stayed in the Bridal Falls and Buffalo rooms (all rooms are completely individual) and I would recommend both although the Bridal Falls is definitely the better of the two. The Bridal Falls room is built into the rock behind the hotel (it has to be seen to be believed) and comes complete with a shower that has a waterfall running off the rock. We had some of the best steaks that we ate on the whole trip at the madonna inn so I'd strongly recommend taking part in the whole "madonna inn" experience by eating at the overwhelmingly pink restaurant.

Note: The biggest surprise for us on highway one was how much we enjoyed Hearst Castle. It is an absolute must see if you're driving past, even for those that are into "power tourism" and would normally not enjoy stopping at castles and the like - I promise you won't regret it.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2006

I really loved this hotel. The rooms were kitchy and it was like staying in 1965. Our room was cute and clean and really cleverly decorated. Everyone who worked there was friendly and helpful and the property itself is nicely laid-out. The restaurant is especially lovely and has marvelous ambience. I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed May 2006
Helpful?
2 Thank pinkypinksand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2006

If you've got a sense of humour and you're into kitsch, then this place is a must. It's what happens when Barbie moves in with Barnie Rubble, all pink and rock. Our room, Misty Rock, was on the ground floor. It was large and very comfortable, although you'd be better off in the upper floors if you want a view. The room had a waterfall shower, which was more for show than functional, but it also had a super duper massage shower head as well, so you could use both.
We booked a table in the restaurant so we didn't have to wait. The food was good, hearty American food and the service was very good. The fish was dry and overcooked, but the steak was melt-in-your-mouth, and given it's a steakhouse I suppose that's what you'd expect. There was also live music and a dance floor for those wanting to work up and appetite for dessert.
All in all it was a great place to stop for a unique hotel experience.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank AEF_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
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
Warwickshire, UK
Level Contributor
107 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
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
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
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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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