Madonna Inn Hotel

Madonna Inn Hotel by Lifestyle Blogger Laura Lily,

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

Madonna Inn Hotel:


It’s likely that you’ve heard of the Madonna Inn Hotel at some point.  It’s a quirky and eclectic hotel in San Luis Obispo where each room has a different theme and the restaurant looks like it’s from a fairytale movie set. The entire place reminds me of Disneyland because every inch of it is covered in colorful details.

Liz and I drove up for a one night stay to take it all in and capture some epic photos. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Los Angeles (with minimal traffic.) We stopped at a Walmart on the way up to grab snacks and picnic supplies, only to realize there is a Ralphs, Denny’s, even a Target, and everything else you could need right across the street from the Madonna Inn Hotel.

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

We stayed in Room 160: The Austrian Suite which is one of the largest, if not THE largest, room on the property. It’s on the third floor (no elevator, hi stairs!) and overlooks the mountains and beautiful pastures with horses grazing. We had plenty of room to sprawl out and relax, however, there was hardly any relaxing going on. As soon as we checked in we had about 100 photoshoot ideas we wanted to get through. We shot a ton of photos in our room (see above.)

Elizabeth Keene Style Blogger, #LauraLilyPicnics | Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily
 #LauraLilyPicnics | Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

We spent the golden hour in a field shooting an epic picnic. Just an FYI, this field is NOT part of the Madonna Inn Hotel and we were probably trespassing. Luckily, from years spent on horse ranches, I knew to look for an electric wire before climbing over the fence. We were able to find the one spot that did not have the wire. That would have not been good (but funny!) if one of us had accidentally grabbed it.

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

Once the sunset, we headed to dinner at the Madonna Inn Steakhouse. Honestly, the food was subpar in general and not worth the steakhouse prices.  We could have eaten at Denny’s and plenty of other options right around the corner.

After dinner, Liz and I relaxed with a glass of wine. We considered heading to the hot tub, but once we laid down it was lights out for us.

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

The next morning we awoke nice and early to shoot in the Secret Garden and the pink tennis courts. The golden glow that came over the garden while we were there was nothing short of magical.

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily

I think these photos from the tennis courts are my favorite because although I have a fitness section on the blog, I haven’t written about athletic apparel very much. I am going to work on changing that this fall. Since working out is a part of my weekly routine.

Madonna Inn Hotel featured by top Los Angeles travel blog Laura Lily
We got as many photos and outfits in as we could before we literally ran out of steam. We managed to make use of Jonny’s Room: 155 “Hearts and Flowers” room for a few photos. This room looked like it had gotten stuck between being a rock wall room and being a romantic sweet. After that shoot, we called it a day and headed to the pool.
A note on the restaurant: it’s open during the day for you to walk through and take photos. Although I will say the bartender was quite unfriendly when we asked for 3 glasses of water (there was NO ONE there for him to be very busy.)  When we sat down at one of the tables to relax for a second another employee rudely asked what we were doing there. There is a way to ask someone if they need something without sounding rude. This is especially important for anyone in the service industry.
We ordered lunch at the pool and it tasted like canned food. For a $16 salad, I would expect a bit more. You pay for the scenery at the Madonna Inn Hotel, not the service.  One last thing to note, as I want my review of the hotels I stay at to be completely honest with fair warnings: our room (the Austrian Suite) had a funky smell to it so we left the balcony doors open for most of our stay. The hotel was built in the 50’s so not everything is brand new and that’s totally okay, but a smell like that isn’t normal.
Would I stay there again? Absolutely. I would probably just plan to eat elsewhere for all our meals and enjoy the hot tub after dinner.

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