SLO County's Madonna Inn Is California's Kitchiest Hotel

SLO County’s Madonna Inn Is California’s Kitchiest Hotel

Even when you have not been to Madonna Inn, the monument to kitsch in San Luis Obispo alongside the central coast, you have most likely seen it, if solely on social media. The glowing pink constructing is difficult to overlook, even when scrolling. If the intense pink and gold eating room does not catch your eye, or the curved bar with its roughly hewn rocks and stained glass home windows, perhaps it is the pool constructed into the facet of the mountain or the limitless number of bedrooms. theme out there for rent.

You’ll be able to most likely already inform from my effusive description that I stayed there and liked it.

The resort’s swimming pool overlooks the La Panza vary.

Julie Tremaine

The Madonna Inn is a bit like Dolly Parton being a constructing. Numerous coloration, plenty of persona, plenty of shine, and completely no self-consciousness about how some individuals would possibly think about it an excessive amount of. Mismatched water goblets in an enormous array of jewel tones on each desk? No drawback. A store filled with sequins and rhinestones in case you arrive badly dressed? Even higher.

But it surely has no reference to Parton (though she had a house at 101 in Solvang) or the pop singer with whom the resort shares a reputation. The Madonna Inn was constructed within the late Nineteen Fifties by Alex and Phyllis Madonna, throughout the peak of the golden age of the street journey, simply down the road the very first motel in the world.

At the moment, the inn solely had 12 rooms, nevertheless it had sufficient attraction to draw the crowds that began approaching its opening night time, December 24, 1958. Now the place is full from everybody from {couples} and households vacationing for the weekend, to nationwide touring bands like Seaside Home and Fleet Foxes stopping in for an evening, to locals who identical to to hang around on the place.

The main hotel building houses two restaurants, three gift shops, and banquet facilities.

The principle resort constructing homes two eating places, three present outlets, and banquet services.

Julie Tremaine

There are 110 rooms unfold over a number of buildings, and the sq., rising in entrance Madonna Mountain (household owned), not seems like a motel.

Tower suites are new, even in a hotel with individual themed rooms.

Tower suites are new, even in a resort with particular person themed rooms.

Julie Tremaine

Every of those rooms has a unique ornamental theme. Some are simply properly embellished however principally atypical rooms, like “San Francisco”, one of many funds lodging that may accommodate 4 individuals. “Harking back to the lavish 1850s San Francisco, this room is richly embellished in purple and gold,” the web site says. “Crimson carpeting and purple embossed wall coverings dominate the room.”

However others are actually outrageous, in the very best means. “Just Heaven” is a French-inspired luxurious suite with a sitting space and a spiral staircase resulting in a viewing space that overlooks the property. “Old Fashioned Honeymoon” has a clawfoot tub and ornate white wooden partitions, hand-carved by Phyllis Madonna herself.

The Kona Rock room at the Madonna Inn is one of 110 themed rooms in the hotel.

The Kona Rock room on the Madonna Inn is considered one of 110 themed rooms within the resort.

Julie Tremaine

When driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, I virtually at all times select the longer route on the 101 over the sooner route by way of the Grapevine, simply so I can cease at Madonna Inn for lunch or a slice of signature Pink Champagne cake too good, Kacey Musgraves shouted it when she carried out in Los Angeles earlier this 12 months. However regardless of my affinity for the over-the-top resort and the few nights I would spent there in cheaper lodging through the years, I would by no means stayed in one of many kitschiest and most ornate rooms — in largely as a result of they’re very costly, topping out at over $400 after resort charges and taxes.

However the chimneys! Rock showers! Thematization on thematization on thematization! I needed to know what it was wish to sleep in an inside design fever dream. As a result of I went to the true Kona earlier this 12 months, and since I’ve a deep affinity for tiki lifeI selected the “Kona Rock” bed room.

“This piece is a novel embodiment of the Kona Coast of Hawaii,” reads its description. “The pure aspect of rock is symbolic of the unrefined lava discovered on the islands. In entrance of the king mattress, the big stone hearth warms cooler nights with tender heat mild reflecting the glow of volcanic vitality.

The Kona Rock room has echoes of Hawaii, but is made from locally quarried rock.

The Kona Rock room has echoes of Hawaii, however is produced from regionally quarried rock.

Julie Tremaine

Flying into Kona on the Large Island of Hawaii, you see the brightest blue water you have got ever seen and black fields of volcanic rock. Opening the door to the Kona Rock Room, I used to be instantly struck by a sea of ​​greenery within the type of a luxurious carpet between partitions constructed with actual rocks. A palm tree lamp and pineapple chandelier lit up the partitions, making a glow and illuminating the way in which to the gold tufted mattress and stone hearth. Past that, the lavatory was all stone, together with a bathe constructed completely of stone, from the ground to the partitions to the cabinets for storing toiletries. Should you squint, it was a bit like Hawaii, however in reality, it actually wasn’t like another place I would ever been to earlier than.

Themes may be the largest draw, however the Madonna Inn expertise is not simply in regards to the room. The pool, overlooking the mountains, has scorching pink umbrellas and 0 entry, and seems like an oasis, particularly with a frozen “pink cloud” drink in hand. After laying by the pool for some time, we dined at Gold Rush Steakhouse, sitting in one of many spherical pink cabanas whereas watching individuals dance within the ballroom on the different finish of the eating room. to eat.

Dinner at Gold Rush Steakhouse.

Dinner at Gold Rush Steakhouse.

Julie Tremaine

When the time lastly got here to strive the rock bathe I used to be dreaming of, I admit, I used to be somewhat dissatisfied. It seems that moist rock, particularly when coated to withstand moisture, could be very easy. I spent most of my bathe hanging onto one of many rock cabinets attempting to not slip and fall. However the room as an entire? A Hawaiian-inspired oasis amid rosy daydreaming, particularly at night time when the fireplace casts a golden (with somewhat creativeness, volcanic) shine on the rock faces.

If I might, I’d have spent the entire subsequent day on the resort too, lingering on the espresso counter, enjoyable on the spa, lounging by the pool…however we did an entire street journey forward of us, and Large Sur was beckoning us.

The bathroom has a shower built entirely of stone.

The toilet has a bathe constructed completely of stone.

Julie Tremaine

Should you’re staying for a fast night time, I would not suggest splurging on one of many suites. You’ll be very comfy in one of many economic system rooms. However in case you’re actually right here to expertise a timeless place and are prepared to embrace the pink-and-gold life that Madonna Inn presents, you could possibly do lots worse than indulge your self.

The nostalgia is within the very cloth of the place – actually, because the rugs are specifically designed by Madonnas in Phyllis’ signature rose sample – however quite than being an echo of the previous, it is a dwelling factor inside. ‘resort. It faucets right into a time when a keep there was essentially the most modern trip potential, a vacation spot for honeymoons and celebrities.

Simply being there, you possibly can’t assist however really feel a bit glamorous your self.

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