My Whimsical Stay at the Madonna Inn

My Whimsical Stay at theMadonna Inn

In the midst of planning for my solo California trip, I decided to book a hotel to break-up my drive from Disneyland in Anaheim to San Francisco. I’m so happy I stumbled upon the Madonna Inn in my search. It ended up being a major highlight of my trip.

The Madonna Inn was constructed for just that purpose: to create a place to stop in the otherwise rural Central California town of San Luis Obispo. It opened its’ doors in 1958 with twelve rooms.

madonna inn neon sign california

Major expansion has happened since then. Now the inn houses over one hundred rooms and includes a steak house, cafe, bakery, gourmet shop, wine cellar, gift shop, and spa. There are also horse-back riding trails and tennis courts on the over 1000-acre property.

madonna inn evening california travel

What makes the Madonna Inn unique? Each room is individually themed, and they can include fine European furnishings, rock walls and fireplaces, and funky, bold colors.

This entire place is some serious eye candy for lovers of kitsch and extravagance.

madonna inn dez california san luis obispo

I had the pleasure of staying in a room called “Dez” (pictured above), part of the “Ren-Dez-Vous” trio on the top floor of the main building. The velvet wallpaper and maroon vibes are absolutely dreamy.

This room would be an economical pick for a couple in need of a romantic getaway. It had more than enough room for just me, and I felt absolutely luxurious when I jumped on the beautiful bed.

After I was settled in my room, I explored the grounds a bit and was further charmed. I stumbled upon the Secret Garden and smelled roses as the sun began to set.

madonna inn secret garden

The staff was setting up an event in that area, but otherwise the garden was empty while I was there. I liked that the Madonna Inn never felt crowded during my stay. I made my way to the main building for a bite to eat.

One of my favorite parts of the Madonna Inn was looking at the intricate details. The combination of stone work, stained glass, and carved wood are truly ornate and special.

madonna inn doors stained glass

The main building is grandiose and welcoming. The decadent (and pink!) steakhouse was bustling yet comfortable on the June evening I was there.

I opted to eat at the bar, soaking in the rosy vibes as I ate their weekly burger special (mine had peanut butter and was amazing) and a piece of their famous and rich champagne cake (sadly the pink variation was not available during my visit.) Music played, couples danced, and the nostalgia was alive and well.

madonna inn champagne cake

I made a visit to the spa in the morning before check-out. Advanced reservations for spa services are encouraged (I made mine about two weeks before my trip.)

The spa is located next to the pool. It is built into the mountainside and is a short walk from the inn rooms. A fitness center is in this area as well, and I worked out before my appointment without any interruptions.

The pool is pretty empty in the early morning, so consider sitting in a beach chair to watch the sun rise. Just bring a sweater because it can get breezy in the hills.

madonna inn spa pool california

My entire spa appointment was lovely. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, and I loved the spread of refreshments (cookies, flavored waters, fruit) offered before and after my services. The provided robe and slippers were size specific (they asked you your size when making reservations), which I really appreciated as someone who generally can’t make “one size fits all” work.

The whole-body massage was relaxing (the perfect mid-vacation refresher.) My masseuse really listened to my specifications. I left the pool area in a tranquil state and decided to grab a coffee at the cafe before hitting the road again.

madonna inn steak house pink

The steak house only serves in the evening, but you are allowed to look around at other times. It was empty when I stopped by. I loved seeing the exquisite details up close.

I stopped by the gift shop upstairs. I unfortunately couldn’t fit much in my carry-on luggage so I didn’t buy anything, but anything found in the shops at the Madonna Inn can be bought through their online store. I’m highly considering ordering one of their adorable ice buckets, famous goblets, and their signature pink lotion.

madonna inn ice bucket

My only regret is that I didn’t get to stay longer. At least I have a reason to return to the Madonna Inn again soon!

Note: This review was not sponsored by the Madonna Inn. All opinions expressed and photos are solely mine.

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