The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo

The Madonna Inn in San Luis obispo – An Unforgettable Hotel Experience

Nestled along the beautiful Central Coast, the Madonna Inn is an iconic hotel that offers a one-of-a-kind experience that combines quirky, retro and whimsy designs. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps of booking your stay at the Madonna Inn, ensuring that your visit is nothing short of extraordinary. I’ve stayed at this hotel many times over the years, and it’s never a boring experience. There’s definitely some tips and tricks to booking a great room, read on to get the inside scoop!

The Madonna Inn: A Brief Introduction

Before we dive into the booking process, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Madonna Inn’s history and allure. Founded in 1958 by Alex Madonna and his wife Phyllis, this charming inn has been a beloved destination for travelers for over six decades. Known for its distinctive architecture, the Madonna Inn boasts 110 uniquely themed rooms, each with its own character and flair. The easiest way to describe the aesthetic of this old gem is fabulously tacky!

Where is the Madonna Inn Located?

The Madonna Inn is ideally located on the scenic Central Coast of California, in the charming city of San Luis Obispo. Situated along the iconic Highway 101, this enchanting inn is perfectly positioned for travelers exploring California. Its central location makes it easily accessible, whether you’re driving up from Southern California or down from the Bay Area.

Surrounded by the region’s natural beauty, including rolling hills, vineyards, and pristine beaches, the Madonna Inn offers a serene and picturesque escape for visitors seeking both relaxation and adventure. Moreover, its proximity to the heart of San Luis Obispo ensures that guests can easily explore the city’s vibrant downtown, filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, making it a convenient and unforgettable destination for travelers.

The Best Time of Year to Visit the Madonna Inn

The Madonna Inn welcomes visitors year-round, but the best time to experience its magic depends on your preferences and what kind of atmosphere you’re seeking.

Spring, from March to May, is a wonderful time to visit, as the Central Coast’s hills and valleys burst into vibrant greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your stay. The mild weather during spring also allows for outdoor activities like hiking and wine tasting in the nearby vineyards.

Summer, from June to August, is perfect for those who love sunny days and want to take advantage of the outdoor pool and garden areas. However, it’s important to note that summer is a popular season, so booking well in advance is advisable.

Autumn, from September to November, brings pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making it an excellent choice for a peaceful retreat.

Lastly, winter, from December to February, offers a cozy and romantic atmosphere with the Madonna Inn’s festive holiday decorations and the chance to enjoy the warmth of indoor amenities. Ultimately, the best time to visit the Madonna Inn depends on your preferences, whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, a bustling atmosphere, or a tranquil escape.

Planning Your Stay at the Madonna Inn

There’s so much to see and take in when you’re visiting the Madonna Inn, and it’s easy to accidentally bypass some of the fun details without even knowing it. Doing your research and planning ahead is the best way to get the most out of your stay.

Browse the Photos of All the Rooms Before Selecting a Room

I’m going to give you a bit of homework, but I promise it will pay off in the end. There’s 110 rooms at the Madonna Inn, and each one has a unique and different decor theme. You won’t really know which one is your favorite until you have actually done the work to look through all the room photos. Spend the time to click-through all of them, taking notes of your top choices.

The Most Popular Rooms to Book at the Madonna Inn

If I’m being honest, not all rooms are created equal at the Madonna Inn. Some of them really pack the pizzaz, while others are more simple and have less of a wow factor. The most colorful and whimsically designed rooms are booked out for weeks and sometimes months in advance, especially during peak Spring and Summer months. As a cheat sheet for you, below I have listed and linked the most popular rooms to book at the Madonna Inn.

Room 218 – Carin

Amidst a burst of vibrant pink hues and fairy tale-like spiral vaulted ceilings, you will ascend up to the fourth floor and see the panoramic view from your very own castle. This is a honeymoon sweet style room with one large king size bed. See photos of the room Carin here.

Room 164 – Merry

This room stands as the top choice for bridal parties and bloggers when it comes to photography, and the reason behind it is no mystery. With shimmering walls adorned in glitter, a magnificent double chandelier, and walls painted in a vibrant floor-to-ceiling pink, this space is essentially a dream come true for anyone who embraces their inner girly charm. See photos of the room Merry here.

Room 118 – Fabulous Fifties

Oh my the nostalgic wall paper! The soft pastel color scheme in this room gives you the sense of lightness and airiness that sets it apart from some of the more dimly lit rooms. The style draws inspiration from the “domestic bliss” of the 1950s, which would be fun for retro themed photos. See photos from the room Fabulous Fifties here.

Room 169 – Vous

Immerse yourself in the opulence of this French-inspired room, adorned with lavish blue and gold hues, with intricate decorations that transport you to the grandeur of Versailles. This room offers an abundance of captivating photo opportunities, and it’s also one of the rare rooms that is great for more masculine vibes (calling gay grooms for wedding photos!). See photos of the room Vous here.

Room 183 – Love Nest

Pink, pink and more pink! Love Nest is another Rapunzel-like tower suite which includes a charming bridge entrance and a spiral staircase leading up to a captivating stained glass viewing tower. See photos of the room Love Nest here.

Room 184 – Just Heaven

If pink is not your color, but you still want to experience the fairytale tower with dramatic vaulted ceilings, the Just Heaven suite is your room. There’s two floors with a spiral staircase leading up to a private loft. See photos of the room Just Heaven here.

Room 174 – Krazy Dazy

The name tells you everything you need to know about the theme of this room, because from floor to ceiling there’s bold daisy pop art. The colors are pastel green and bright pink, with a white iron bed frame. For those looking for a bold and quirky room, this could be the one. See photos of the room Krazy Dazy here.

Room 149 – Old Fashioned Honeymoon

This is the room that we stayed in! As you can see from the photos in this blog post, the bathroom with the vintage clawfoot bathtub is the showstopper. If I’m being honest, the rest of the room is a bit blah, but most book it for the luxury bath experience. See photos of the room Old Fashioned Honeymoon here.

Room 150 – Romance

The best way I can describe the Romance room is if Cinderella and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette designed an aesthetic together. The pastel blues and the carved wooden details with gold trims add a gilded touch. I’ve seen some great photo shoots done in this room, the colors photograph very well! See photos of the room Romance here.

Room 138 – Daisy Mae

The name of this is a bit deceiving because it gives the impressions of bright daisies, but it’s actually named after a character named Daisy Mae who lived in rocky mountains. This room showcases a signature style of the Madonna Inn, rock and cave rooms. The floors, walls and ceiling and the bathroom are literally inside a giant rock cave, with the shower as a waterfall. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind hotel stay experience. See photos of the room Daisy Mae here.

Book Far in Advance

Now that I’ve given you the list of most popular rooms, now I have to tell you how you can book them. When you head to the website, or try booking on, you’ll find that most of the dates are taken. I do not exaggerate when I say that these rooms are the most coveted. Make sure you keep your dates flexible and work around the available dates for the room you want. These bookings are non-refundable, so be sure of your room choice and dates. Planning far ahead if your best bet!

Planning Your Bachelorette Party at the Madonna Inn

Want to do something fun and unique for your bachelorette party?! The iconic Madonna Inn offers the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable bachelorette getaway. With its whimsical, themed rooms and a range of amenities, the Madonna Inn provides a unique and enchanting setting for the bride-to-be and her closest friends to create lasting memories. Plus the photo opportunities are really epic!

Dinning at the Madonna Inn

Gold Ruch Steak House

The iconic Gold Rush Steak House, with its charming pink leather booths and tacky-elegant décor, offers a quirky fine dining experience known for its steaks, seafood, and an extensive wine list. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a romantic dinner, this restaurant promises an unforgettable meal.

The Copper Café

The Copper Café provides a more casual and charming atmosphere, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. I recommend having their giant milkshakes that come in the iconic Madonna Inn colorful goblet.

The Famous Madonna Inn Pink Champagne Cake

Be sure to savor their famous pink champagne cake, a sweet delight that has become a beloved symbol of the Madonna Inn’s culinary excellence.

Madonna Inn Hotel Amenities

The Madonna is considered a full resort retreat, and it comes with all the bell and whistles. It’s not just a place to stay; it’s an experience! Beyond its enchanting rooms, this iconic hotel offers a wide array of amenities designed to enhance your visit. For those seeking relaxation, the Madonna Inn Spa provides moments of tranquility with its massage and spa services. The outdoor pool and inviting garden areas invite you to soak up the California sun, while the picturesque surroundings offer ample opportunities for hiking around the property.

Workout at The Fitness Center and then Lounge at the Pool

For those who like to stay active even while on vacation, the Madonna Inn has you covered. Their fitness center is equipped with exercise equipment, allowing guests to maintain their workout routines. After a satisfying workout, the perfect way to unwind and soak up the sun is by lounging at the outdoor pool. The Madonna Inn’s pool area offers a tranquil oasis surrounded by lush gardens and comfortable loungers. Take a refreshing dip, bask in the warm sunshine, or simply relax with a good book. It’s an ideal way to balance your fitness goals with relaxation, ensuring that your stay at the Madonna Inn caters to all aspects of your well-being.

Book a Spa Day

Hotel guests don’t have to venture far from their room to get some pampering treatments. The hotel offers massages with optional add on of hot stone, heated bamboo, deep tissue and more. Additional body services include full-body scrubs and oils. The facial skincare menu is lengthy, with all kinds of facials and peels. Couples can book a massage experience together, and there’s also wellness packages you can bundle together.

Horseback Trail Rides

As you can see in these photos, the Madonna Inn has horse pastures and stables on the grounds. Both hotel guests and day visitors can book a horseback trail rides along the hillside paths near Madonna Inn. These paths offer stunning views of the local landscape. The trail ride lasts for one hour and costs $95. Children must be at least 7 years old. During the entire ride, you’ll be accompanied by an experienced horse handler.

Tennis, Basketball & Pickleball

The Madonna Inn has signature hot pink tennis courts, making this old school sport all of a sudden cool and new. Pack your cute tennis inspired outfits and take plenty of Instagrammable photos on the court. The courts are available on a first-come-first-served basis from sunrise till sunset. The hotel offers tennis racquets, tennis balls, pickleball gear and basketballs at the front desk.

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