“ Address: Madonna Inn / 100 Madonna Road / San Luis Obispo / CA 93405 „
The Madonna Inn
We didn't stay in this hotel as were in San Luis Obispo it was far away and we passed it so many times I suggested going in to see what it was like.
This looked a bit like a Princess castle rather than a hotel and certainly very unusual even from the outside. It has a sort of a pseudo-Swiss-Alps exterior with a sort of odd castle look , very hard to describe as it is nothing like anything I have seen before. We drove in just to have a nosey around really but ended up having a coffee and snack which was very nice.
We were able to park the car as you can most times in the USA as they realize that people do need to drive cars to get around unlike in the UK where they seem to think you can arrive completely without transport as car parking spaces are either few and far between or charged for.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THIS HOTEL?
Now we didn't stay here but we were able to view some rooms on display in the hotel reception and when we asked if we could see any of the rooms to see if we wanted to book there ( bit cheeky I know) we were allowed to see one. I think the English accents helped there as we found we could often charm our way with our accents.
Every one of the rooms in this hotel is decorated in a unique style, not one is the same as any other. They are also very different from any other hotel you might ever have stayed in and had I known about it I would have booked a night here just for the originality of their décor.
The room we were allowed to peek in was the Caveman room which is certainly very different. Anyone with an interest in the Flintstones would love this one. This one has a king sized bed and its own waterfall , yes you read that correctly and costs the princely sum of $280 a night! The room looks like it is in a cave with mock rock walls and slate floors. The décor is all muted browns and greys with mock animal skin furniture coverings. The lights look a bit like candles in rows and the entire place is the most amazing room that could be a film set. It even had a mock tree with light in it beside the bed. Despite all the strange décor it looked very comfortable with comfortable chairs and the bed was huge and comfortable.
Looking at the pictures we had fun choosing which rooms we fancied. My favourite was 'Just Heaven'which was decorated in blues with a spiral staircase leading up to I know not what as we only saw the photo. It had a king sized bed and a table with heavy gold base and a glass top as well as a chaise longue, plus its own golden cupid with arrow handing from the ceiling. I am not sure whether I could actually sleep in it as it was VERY blue but in truth compared to some of the rooms this was quite tame.
My husband liked the 'Golfer's room' but then golf is his passion when we are at home not gallivanting around on our travels. This was also one of the less dramatic room with a Dark brown leather king sized sleigh bed, green walls and a sort of pathway which presumably was the fairway on the floor which was a pale colour so all quite normal in comparison to some.
Many of the rooms had their own waterfalls, some had balconies that looked out while others had balconies within the room, some had spiral staircases, some sloping roof lines and some had such strongly patterned wall paper that I would have developed migraine and I don't suffer from them at all!
Every one of the 110 rooms was different and they all had names such as Yahoo ( wagon styled not internet), Love Nest, Old Mill, Kona Rock, Irish Hills, Cloud Nine, Hearts & Flowers, Rock Bottom, Austrian Suite, Cabin Still, Old World Suite, Elegance, Daisy Mae, Safari Room, Highway Suite, Jungle Rock, American Home, Bridal Falls and the Carin. I urge you to take a look at the website and click on accommodations and as you hover over the rooms a little photo comes up so you can see what they are like. They vary in price but are all around the $200 at the cheapest and go up to $600 for the Harvard Square but that does have three rooms in it.
I can't see people spending more than a night here for novelty reasons alone but it is not cheap compared to other room prices in the USA so you are paying for the originality of the room.
APART FROM WEIRD DÉCOR WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
Well, they do have a spa and treatments are of course extra. We didn't try this so I won't comment on that facility. A swimming pool and fitness room are also available and once again there is a feature waterfall. I wish we had been able to have a swim there but as we did not have our swimmers with us we didn't ask if we could or whether it was for staying guests only.
There are various options for dining but we had our coffee and snack at the 'Copper Café'. This was a sight too. The whole room was in the shape of a horseshoe and everywhere was polished wood, some with carvings. The seats were red leather and it looked like the set out of a Western bar, a very exclusive one not the kind with stable doors. It was highly ornate and a sort of cross between the western theme and Austrian ski lodge I guess.
As it was nearly lunch time we decided to have a coffee and snack and any excuse to try a cake I am first in line. Luckily my sister feels the same so we chose a couple of yummy looking ones to share. Neither of the men are into cakes so they chose a burger and some sweet potato fries with chipotle sauce to share. They enjoyed their 'snack' and the sweet potato fries were very tasty as I had to try one with the spicy sauce, it was good. Our cakes were a banana nut cake and a pink champagne. I have to say both were good but the banana nut was my favourite as it had a bit more taste behind it and I liked the crunch bits of nut. I am not sure that the cake had any champagne; I think it was just the pink colour that gave it its name.
This dining room served cakes and drinks as we had and also served full three course menu dinner food as well which from the menu looked good but it wasn't a cheap place to eat compared to other places we had eaten in while in the USA.
AFTER OUR FOOD
Having eaten and drunk we decided to use the 'restrooms' as the Americans call them. Ours was very nice, clean and a bit cave like with rock walls and the like but when the men came out they were chuckling. The men's loos had a rock waterfall urinal , a feature designed by Hollywood set designer Harvey Allen Warren. We wanted to take a peak but every time we tried another man went in so we had to give up sadly so I will have to take their word for it.
We decided that we could not justify paying the $200 to stay a night when we had already paid for the place we were staying for the week. If I ever went back to this area I would book a night here as it is so very different and there are not too many places with 110 differently decorated and quite so original rooms. Even if you don't stay here it is worth popping in to have a look and just enjoy a coffee as we did as you do see some of the hotel at least.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.