Nestled in Southern California sit a hotel like no other (unless there are parallel universes, in which case there are an infinite number of them). The Madonna Inn is one of the most stunning and interesting hotels you can visit, with room rates that won’t break the bank. With amazing pops of color and lavish decor, you’ll feel as if you stepped into some kind of time warp, but the fun kind of time warp, not the kind where your atoms get ripped apart. You’ll be surrounded by murals, hammered copper fixtures, pink rose accents, and indoor rock waterfalls.

Vintage shot of the Inn, after some additions.
Madonna Inn

A Modest Start

Alex Madonna was a successful construction entrepreneur and opened the Inn’s initial 12 rooms on December 24, 1958 in San Luis Obispo. The Madonnas were so excited to host their first guest that they refunded his $7 fee. That’s technically bad business, but it didn’t matter: Travelers were instantly enamored with the Inn’s pseudo-Swiss Alps exterior.

Vintage shot of the Inn, much smaller, with 1950s cars in the parking lot
Madonna Inn

Soon after, the Madonnas completed additional rooms, opening up 40 total for booking. That’s where this hotel goes from “huh, neat,” to “whoa.”

A Look Like No Other

Rooms at the Madonna Inn are decorated by theme, some of which include all rock rooms, waterfall showers, fireplaces, a Western carriage bed frame, and beautiful European fixtures and furnishings. Fall in love again in the all pink Love Nest room. Or take a walk on the wild side in the Lucky Rock room, complete with tiger-striped carpet and furnishings. Some rooms and features were even designed by Disney artist Alice Turney Williams.

Caveman Room at the Inn, with rock floors and walls
Madonna Inn

In 1966, a fire destroyed all the original rooms. It took about a year for the Inn to reopen, and by the end of the decade all rooms were rebuilt. Today there are 110 rooms available at the Inn.

Amenities On Amenities

From extravagant bathrooms to grand dining areas, the Madonna Inn is really quite the spectacle

Pool and spa area of the Madonna Inn
Madonna Inn

During your stay you can enjoy the pool and spa, partake in some boutique shopping, play a round of tennis, join in on horseback trail rides, or simply enjoy some live music during dinner (though live shows are postponed due to Covid 19). 

Elaborate dining room, with huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling
Madonna Inn

There is also a wine cellar, bakery, coffee shop, cocktail lounge, banquet rooms, ladies’ boutique, men’s gift shop, and a gourmet shop. All your vacation needs are covered at the Madonna Inn.