Paula Goldstein

This must be the Place: The Madonna Inn

Paula Goldstein
This must be the Place: The Madonna Inn

When you think rock & roll American motel, you don’t automatically think, "Ah, fabulous for kids!"

Yet the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obipso isn’t just a Disneyland for adults; it is actually a magical break from the road for small people, too.

Founded in the 1950's, each room in this hip retro inn is themed. From Caveman to Wild West (complete with a wagon with wheels for a bed) no level of kitsch is spared. The bakery here, in my opinion, is one of the world's yummiest; and their crazy grotto of restaurants essentially only serve kid food. Oh, and did I forget to mention? The whole place is decorated in bright shades of pink.

Staff are friendly and accommodating, and the service feels very much like you've fallen back into a simpler time. Kids play in the pool alongside bleary eyed rock stars on sun loungers, and no one seems out of place. Everyone is just enjoying how utterly un-self-conscious it is, no matter how out of the norm the guests might seem in the real world.

Companion:  Lovers, toddlers, your cool Aunt Maude. Seriously, anyone with a sense of fun will get a kick out of it.

Drink:  Bad Mai Tai; because, why not?

Safety:  It is a motel, and caution might be advised based on the transient nature of its guests, but this establishment is very family friendly on the whole; we never felt weird or unsafe staying here with a baby.

Mini Bathroom Products:  You MUST take all the Madonna Inn themed mini's home.

Wifi:  Yes; it's America.

Pack:  Levis and a crop top? A rockabilly dress, or just a tie dye hoodie and cowboy boots like I did.

Must:  You must have dinner in the steakhouse, and you must dance to lindy-hop afterwards while your children watch in horror.

Awful:  It's a motel, so don't expect 5-star service or exceptional amenities.