The [Madonna] Inn is featured in Umberto Eco's book Travels in Hyperreality (1991). According to Eco, "the poor words with which natural human speech is provided, cannot suffice to describe the Madonna Inn...Let's say that Albert Speer, while leafing through a book on Gaudi, swallowed an overgenerous dose of LSD and began to build a nuptial catacomb for Liza Minnelli." (Link)What can I say. Either you get it...or you don't.
You can tour all 109 rooms of the Madonna Inn online, or you can look at my blurry snapshots. Here are some of the rooms. (You get to have a postcard of the room you stay in, gratis.)
We stayed in #143, "Rock Bottom".
The bed we slept in:
The TV on which we ordered up Charlie Wilson's War.
The toilet with the seat that would not stay up, necessitating a sit-down to man-pee:
All Guy knew when he booked the room was that it had a waterfall shower. He said, "Give me a waterfall shower." If you look closely, you can see the camera flash captured water in mid-fall.
Does this all seem so very unholy to you? Well, the Gideons were here too.
To be honest I found the room rather hellish, but germ-phobic Guy was delighted. As he correctly pointed out, it was very clean, without the usual sketchy carpets and hotel room textiles and suspicious dried flower arrangements. Nowhere to hide for microbes and germs.
Anyhoo, very content and physically tired, we checked in early and did not leave until check-out the next day.
We had Reubens at the counter...
Cakes to admire...
A dip in the pool...
Numerous drinks in the bar (where we got chatted up by a fun couple from LA--him a contractor and her in Hollywood).
We sat by the cozy fire...
And had a romantic dinner for two in a pink vinyl booth...
I took this picture looking straight up.
San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden in Part 11.