Alex and Phyllis Madonna opened this famous motor inn in San Luis Obispo, California in 1958. After it burned down, they refashioned their namesake into the smorgasbord of eclectic style that’s made it a California icon. Here are some of the more unique rooms you’ll find at this one-of-a-kind establishment.
1. American Home
The Madonna Inn isn’t shy about its stone features, and the natural stone fireplace at the center of the American Home room is no exception. Tastefully appointed with lavish furnishings, a soaking tub, and a patriotic (mostly) red, white, and blue color scheme with golden accents, the American Home is one of the stateliest, most handsome rooms in the inn, and certainly one of the least ostentatious.
2. Jungle Rock
One of the best examples of the inn’s use of natural stone, this room pairs the natural beauty of the jungle with comfortable, simple furnishings. Natural stone walls and rock showers are paired with animal prints and textured wood throughout, all beneath a sky-blue ceiling canopied with vines, leaves, and tree branches. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping beneath an Amazonian canopy, but mercifully, without the mosquitos.
3. Highway Suite
Before he was the owner of the inn, Alex Madonna was a construction magnate, and this room pays homage to his history in thag industry. Apart from its relatively simple furnishings, the suite features pictures from various construction job sites that Madonna was worked at before the creation of his inn. From the room’s balcony, you can catch a glimpse of nearby Alex Madonna Highway, a local stretch of U.S. 101, from which the chunks of stone that make up the room’s central fireplace were taken.
4. Golfer’s Room
A room inspired by – you guessed it – a golf course, with smooth green walls contrasting against the rough brick accent, natural wood furnishings, and a winding tile trail throughout. This room also features a roll-in shower for easy access, and its own private walled patio with stone fireplace for outdoor relaxation, which, unlike golf, is not an acquired taste.
5. Cabin Still
This room’s decor and furnishings powerfully recall the bootlegging days of Prohibition. The room’s natural stone walls and flooring create a rustic atmosphere, but the real talking points are the replica copper boiling tank near the bed, and the copper still in the bath.The room also features wood paneling reminiscent of the barrels used to store bootleg liquor, in addition to one of the Madonna’s trademark rock showers. Unfortunately, the still and boiler are just replicas, so attempting to brew whiskey in the room is strongly discouraged.
6. Bit Of Solvang
This room’s moniker hearkens to the nearby Solvang, California, (“Sunny Field” in Danish) and its historic restaurant “Bit o’ Denmark.” The room live up to its namesake, with its Danish-inspired decor and the blue and yellow color scheme of a bright, sunny day, detailed in delicate patterns reminiscent of Denmark’s hand-painted china. If the room gives you a hankering for a danish, mercifully, you’re not far from the inn’s bakery, where they prepare them fresh daily.
7. Just Heaven
“Just Heaven” is exactly what it sounds like – a sky-blue paradise adorned with cheeky golden cherubs in flight. Tastefully decorated in the French style, the room is made extra special with a winding staircase that leads up to a private viewing tower. With its top-floor location up against the backdrop of the hillside, the tower offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside, while letting in plenty of natural sunlight.
8. Wilhelm Tell
You may know him as William, but in his native Switzerland and at the Madonna Inn, he’s known as Wilhelm Tell, a folk hero known for shooting an apple off of his son’s head (and less well-known for assassinating a tyrannical lord). In keeping with the legends of Wilhelm Tell, this room is splashed with bright apple red, contrasting with its natural stone walls, while the lead glass windows are detailed with scenes from his famous life story. Brush up on some folk history before falling asleep in the room’s king-sized bed.
This room has nothing to do with the tech company, instead drawing its inspiration from the early pioneer days. The centerpiece is the authentic buckboard wagon bed, complete with four wheels and a driver’s seat (although you’ll have to bring your own whip). The furnishings are otherwise rustic wood worthy of any cowboy, and the natural stone Madonna employs throughout the rest of the inn. It also features a bathroom door reminiscent of an outhouse, but thankfully, has an actual toilet behind it!
10. Old Mill
If you’re on your way down to Disneyland, than the Old Mill room is a great place to set the tone. Its storybook appointments include a lovely hand-painted mural of a river that segues into a replica of a water wheel and mill, which in turn propels the animated figures that live inside. Thankfully, none of them sing “It’s a Small World,” but the theatrics of the room are perfect for the young at heart.
For more information about the Madonna, room pricing, or to see more of their 110 themed rooms, you can visit their website!