Hey, friends! Last month Jeremy and I took a trip to San Luis Obispo to visit close friends as well as stay at the famous Madonna Inn. It was such a strange and surreal hotel experience that I thought I would share it with you here!
I have always been a sucker for novelty and kitsch hotels, so when I saw the room listing on the Madonna Inn website (scroll over the names of the rooms to see a preview of each room), I knew we had to stay there at LEAST once. I mean—pink glitter wallpaper, waterfalls, cave rooms, it's crazy and there are 110 rooms to choose from.
Since the Madonna Inn opened in the 1950s, I expected a Mid-century vibe, and there was some of that. But more than anything, it felt SUPER 1980s. It's a feast for the eyes. In this photo above, if you could look to the right a little bit, you'd see a doll swinging from the ceiling. Yep. So, needless to say, it is sorta creepy. Definitely creepy in a cool way. But, yes, major creepy.
Jeremy and I were very into it and spent the first morning exploring every little corner of the property (actually, that's a lie because it's 1000 acres).
Every corner is just kind of amazing.
The first night we stayed in The Vous room, which was the one I picked from all the little photos online. I thought the circle bed was hilarious and the floor to ceiling blue is pretty epic!
A friend gave me the BEST tip. He said that if you ask, you can stay in a different room every night, which I hadn't even considered (bc normally— how rude, right?). But he said that people do it all the time there because the craziness of the rooms is the main attraction.
So we asked to swap on night two. The girl at the front desk pulled out her GIANT catalog of room photos, and I picked this one—
The Merry Room. The glitter was actually WAY fun to sleep in. You can still kind of see it in the dark. It made all my Madonna Inn dreams come true.
This painted window wall was my favorite.
Oh and they had a pink tennis court. Of course they do.
Can you tell we had the best time ever?? Yes we did. We only stayed for two nights, and we squeezed as much time as possible in with friends. It was the perfect start to our vacation (after that we went to Palm Springs for a long weekend).
We had some AMAZING food while in San Luis Obispo. For such a small town, there are some truly delicious (and beautiful) spots. So if you decide to visit San Luis Obispo, we definitely recommend staying at Madonna Inn (it's basically a national treasure), but for food, we recommend going into town and trying ALL these places! If we can squeeze all these in in just two days, you can too!
Our must-eat list: Scout Coffee, Luna Red (for food or drinks or both), Granada (for the absolute cutest patio seating), Sidecar (drinks), and Kreuzberg Coffee (for breakfast too! so good)
And that, my friends, is all I know about that! I had so much fun sharing our trip with you! xx. Elsie
Credits: Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Elsie Larson (all iPhone photos) plus a few images from MadonnaInn.com and ScoutCoffeeCo.com.
This is my hometown! So crazy to know that you traveled to my little neck of the woods 🙂
I had no idea all of this was in San Luis Obispo. I’ve been here for just a day and missed all the goodies you have found. I must go back. This hotel looks amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Oh my goodness, I have always wanted to stay at the Madonna Inn, but I never knew you could switch rooms each night! I’m so glad I read this before going! 🙂
So fun! We live in SLO and love to have breakfast (cake) at Madonna Inn and snoop around, but have yet to actually stay there. Sounds like you did it up right while you were in town…pretty impressive and cohesive itinerary! Thanks for sharing! Cute pics!
Kruezburgs is my favorite coffee shop in SLO!
I’ve read so much about The Madonna Inn, and if I’m ever in that part of the world I’ll make sure I stay (for more than one night – how fun that you can swap!)
Yay, you went to Scout! The only things missing for food/coffee on your list that you should include on your next visit are Sally Loos and Novo!
Glad you enjoyed my hometown!
Ahh SO excited to have our favorite blog in our hometown!! Awesome pics!! We always do computer work over at Scout Coffee-love their almond milk and honey tea bowls-mmmm. We highlight local SLO restaurants on our blog on Monday’s if you ever want some more favorite stops, thanks for sharing your adventure!
I want to go there so badly! And basically I just want my bedroom to be a pink sparkle palace
Oh my gosh the Inn is like a dreamland for a creative person. So stimulating haha!
Isn’t madonna inn fun?! We live about 10 mins from slo and my 4 year old daughter and I go there frequently for tea and cake. Plllllease….tell me you had the cake??? The banana slice rocks my world.
Hey it’s my hometown! Did you happen to try the red velvet cake from the Madonna Inn?!
The Madonna Inn looks so dreamy!
So pink and everything <3 What a lovely place! I’d love to visit one day. 🙂
I love The Madonna Inn. There is so much pink, and it’s all very necessary! The gum wall is a really fun SLO landmark to visit if you’re in the area 🙂
Ugh so adorable!! Love it
What an amazing place!! I will love spend a weekend 😉
Keep the travel posts coming! 🙂
I saw you guys in Palm Springs! Modernism Week is a great time to visit!
My old stomping grounds! I used to sneak around and skinny dip in that hot tub in High School. =]