A Family Tradition? That’s One Crazy Family!

I usually go in for nice hotels, unless I’m traveling by myself in a foreign country, in which case I usually like to check out the cheapest option. Usually that’s a hostel calling itself a hotel, and sometimes there’s a pool. Here in the States, my preference is for accommodations in which I don’t have to worry about touching the bedspread for fear of catching a venereal disease. (Seriously, don’t touch hotel bedspreads any more than you have to.)

Now the Madonna Inn on the Central Coast of California… does it fit my criteria? Well the thing is that I can’t figure out if it’s a nice hotel trying to look like a cheesy hotel from the 60s or an actual cheesy hotel from the 60s trying to market itself as a retro kitschy nice hotel!

Madonna Inn

JUST HEAVEN: “This celestial room is embraced by golden cherubs and kissed in shades of blue to create a little heaven here on earth. An enchanting staircase winds upward into a private viewing tower above the king bed…where gentle rays of sunlight filter through multi-colored glass during the day and soft touches of moonlight linger at night. Graceful French-style furnishings fashion an affectionate ambiance in this heavenly creation for two.”


Madonna Inn

ROUND: “The round shape of the room mirrors a circus tent with a high ceiling and sparkling green sequenced walls. The lively multi-colored chandelier is harmonious with the theme, flying high above the ornamental accent pieces and whimsical furnishings throughout the room. The bathroom features two French pedestal sinks and a decorative tiled shower. ‘Round’ has a king bed and is located on the 3rd floor adjacent to ‘Merry’ and ‘Go.’”

Madonna Inn

SKY ROOM: “This cheerful and airy room has a cozy loft area with a double and twin bed overlooking a king bed on the first level. Dark blue carpet and decorative light fixtures echo the restful qualities of this two-level room. The bathroom continues the color scheme with blue tiled floor and shower and white pedestal sink. At this elevation, the private balcony provides a perfect outdoor space to relax. This room will accommodate up to five guests.”

Madonna Inn

BRIDAL FALLS: “This room was inspired by the grandeur and splendor of this picturesque landmark. Surrounded in natural stone, a lovely handcrafted leaded glass window graces the entrance of this secluded room in our hilltop unit. The bathroom features the Inn’s signature waterfall shower, rock wash basin and king bed.”

What do you think — retro kitschy or vintage holdover? My take is “Who cares!” I love the Madonna Inn because it’s hilarious either way, and even though my brain wants to tell me that everything in those rooms might just be vaguely unclean, I’d jump at a chance to stay there.

3 Responses to “A Family Tradition? That’s One Crazy Family!”

  1. Mifty July 15, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    The Madonna Inn was built in the very early ’60s, I believe, and has always been the way it is. That was rather too early for the whole ironic-retro-kitsch thing. It is not “trying to look” like anything.

    A lot of the themes are pretty amusing, I guess, from our (jaded?) perspective, but they were designed with nothing in mind other than filling rooms and making people happy. And they do. Some guests, I’m sure, are pleased to indulge their ironic detachment, and that’s fine. But others really do think these rooms are beautiful (imagine that).

    And I really don’t know what that crack means about “vaguely unclean.” There isn’t any reason at all to think that (except maybe some preconceptions about the people who might enjoy this sort of thing?). The Madonna Inn is a long established and successful hotel with a perfectly good reputation, in a beautiful part of the state.

  2. Glinda July 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    From my understanding, the Madonna Inn has always been what it is from when it first opened fifty years ago or so. They don’t have to “try” to be anything, they just are!

    It is a staple for trips up and down PCH.

  3. Never teh Bride July 16, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    Mifty: I meant no offense to the Madonna Inn in particular with my vaguely unclean comment — I tend to think of most hotels as being vaguely unclean, and the older they look, the more reason I have to believe that they’ve accumulated the detritus of years. Even upscale establishments have their issues when tested for germs and bodily fluids. It’s part of hosting people with differing standards of cleanliness night after night after night. But I’m not sure why you’re miffed at the tone of my post — I did say I’d jump at a chance to stay there! I think the rooms look super keen, especially Round.