Hotwire never fails me.
When Travis and I first decided to take the first part of our road trip north in two legs, we very quickly decided that we would make San Luis Obispo our home for the night. Not only was it a good mid-way stopping point, but we stopped there twice on last year’s summer road trip and really loved the downtown area and wanted to explore it more. So what did I do? Hopped onto Hotwire to find us a hotel. Surprisingly, even though there are a ton of hotels in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas, they are not cheap! I’m talking 2-star hotels in the mid-$100s. Even through we spent more than we thought, we both were happy we ended up getting the Madonna Inn. Well, actually I was super happy we got it, but my husband was a bit skeptical.
Growing up, we’d take a ton of road trips between our home in Northern California down to the southern part of the state either to go to Disneyland, San Diego or to visit family down in Mexico. I always remember passing by Madonna Inn and wanting to stay there just because of how it looked on the outside. It is right off the highway and really looks like something out of a fairy tale. Come to find out, each of the 110 rooms is uniquely decorated with a different name and theme and range in styles from ornate antique to wacky and whimsical. Some rooms even have waterfalls and/or rock showers!
There are pictures of each room on their website and if you book through the resort itself, you can pick your price category and request a specific room, though the room is not 100% guaranteed and based on availability. My favorite rooms are Austrian Suite, Caveman, Desert Sands, Edelweiss, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite Rock.
Before we stayed there, I didn’t know that Madonna Inn had two restaurants (which were totally packed when we were there), a cocktail lounge, a bakery and a spa. There are also gorgeous trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Seriously, this place has everything. And if somehow none of those things interest you, downtown San Luis Obispo is less than 10 minutes away.
The check-in staff was super friendly, asked how our trip was and offered us some cookies from the bakery which I obviously accepted 🙂 I was told our room was called “Time of Your Life” and was given a map of the grounds, directions for how to get to our room and where to park. When you read the name of our room did the song from Dirty Dancing pop into your head? It totally did for me. I was hoping our room would somehow be a Dirty Dancing theme, but it was a Mardi Gras theme – also awesome.
I hopped back into our car and up the hill we went to our room. I loved that parking was crazy easy and we always had a spot directly in front of our room. Since this was our first time traveling with Cecilia, I totally over-packed and brought half of the things she owns, so the closer parking spot was a life-saver after the long car trip. Right across from our room was the Madonna Inn Secret Garden (see the photos above) which Cecilia and I explored after we settled in.
I totally forgot to take a picture of our room before it got filled with all of our stuff, but you can check out a picture here. Yes, the walls of the room were a shimmery purple brick and, yes, the walls of the bathroom were a purple glitter wall paper. It was awesome. The room was spacious. In it were two double beds, a sofa, TV, desk area, closet and window seat. There was also a door that adjoined it to one of the rooms next to it, should you stay there with a larger family. The bathroom was fairly large as well and I loved that it had double sinks and a nice walk-in shower.
After we settled in, Cecilia and I went on a walk of the grounds. The resort is expansive and is nestled in the mountains so it’s very scenic. The trip up the hill to the spa area was a bit of a hike, but it was a gorgeous winding trail lined with flowers, bushes and trees. The secret garden was also a nice area to explore because it had a little pond, gazebo and an actual garden where they were growing herbs and vegetables.
But want to know my favorite part of our room? THE BATHROBE IN THE CLOSET! Seriously. It was bright pink and I probably looked like cotton candy wearing it, but I told my husband I felt like I was being hugged by a cloud. I honestly said those exact words. If I could buy ten of them, I would.
Overall, we loved our stay at Madonna Inn. Even my husband (who was totally skeptical before we arrived) enjoyed it and said he would gladly stay there again. I also highly recommend it if you find yourself in the San Luis Obispo area and want to stay somewhere a little less ordinary.
We’ll be back!
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