Friday, August 7, 2009

A Monument of Kitsch

Waaay back when I turned 30, Greg planned a really amazing birthday weekend for me. We flew to Vegas to see Siegfried and Roy (I should explain the night we first met was on Halloween and my roomie and I were dressed as Siegfried & Roy...she and I looked ridiculous but somehow greg still asked me out. We always joked we needed to see S &R someday). Then after Vegas greg took me Disneyland (hush yo mouth, its FUN! And one of my favorite things.) Finally, our last adventure was a pit stop at the Madonna Inn on our way home. Ahhh, the Madonna Inn! Pink, kitschy...faaaaabulous! Each bedroom has a different theme and it's like a kitsch extravaganza lemme tell you. I feel like this must have been what Liberace's guest rooms might have looked like.

Located in San Luis Obisbo, the Inn was opened in 1958 by Alex Madonna. It didn't turn this flamboyant until after 1966 when a fire nearly burned the whole thing to the ground. Like a mad genius (who believed "Anyone can decorate a room") he wallpapered, shellacked, and ticky tackified this place into the wondrous creation it is today. All the rooms have Theme names ("Barrel of Fun", "Krazy Dazy" "Jungle Rock" etc), which just adds to the fun.

One of the centerpieces of the Madonna Inn is the pink dining room....and I DO mean pink, pets!
How amazing are those round booths? It's as luscious in person as it is in this photo.

Greg and I stayed in one of the cave rooms, which is like Flintstones meets Tretchikoff meets Swingin' Bachelor Pad. Did I mention the rock shower? Awww yeah. You can see the larger suite version of that room in this YouTube video. (seriously, is EVERYTHING on YouTube??)

If you're ever in California you have to swing by for sure. My dream is to do a big vintage photo shoot with my friend Kristen.

Oh Madonna Inn, I love you soooo!

Images: Madonna Inn

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  1. This look slike the most amazing hotel ever! The room with the stuffed horse on the ceiling is pretty spectacular. I need to go here. Now.

  2. good heavens, what a place! I think I'd like to stay in the room with the stagecoach mural. That's rad.

    I need to show this to my bf, def.

  3. I have never seen the pink dining room before! It looks like Barbie barfed all over it- and I love it! Maybe my husband and I have to tottle up for a weekend.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  4. That is crazy! And nothing wrong with loving Disneyland - I'd go in a second if I could!

  5. I think this just might be the most fabulous place on earth.

    Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach

  6. I hate to admit this, but I think I saw this place on The Girls Next Door :)!

  7. this place should be a landmark, i love it! Did you sneak into the men's restroom for a peak at the fountain urinal? ;)

  8. Note to self: when coming across misc. carousel horses, save to use as chandeliers!

    Hee hee!

    Also, I have heard wonderful things about the men's bathroom...

  9. oh my... you know the scene in Indiana Jones, where they open the Ark and that guy's face melts off?? i think my face did that when i saw the dining area.. i need to go to there. so. kitsch-a-licious :)

  10. woooow!!! when can I move in!!!!

  11. we almost eloped and the madonna inn was on the list. kitchy pics and one of the cave rooms? fun!

    it will just have to be a weekend trip.

  12. Aaah!! The Madonna Inn!! Hubby and I just spent our 5th wedding anniversary there. Because nothing says Hot And Steamy like the rock shower in the 'Hideaway Room'. Then we got a little crazy and switched it up all romantical... the next night it was the 'Vous' Room (As in 'Ron-de-Vous'), followed by the topper in the 'Go' Room (as in 'Merry Go Round'). I LOVE the Madonna Inn!!!

  13. So fabulous! When we were in the US and drove LA to SF the Madonna Inn was on our list of "musts", but unfortunately we couldn't make an overnight stop there work with our itinerary. But next time I am SO there! Thanks for all the photos and for making me insanely jealous.

  14. sounds like a lot of fun!! i want a blue headboard like that (in the first picture) for my bed!

  15. I have been drooling over your sire since 3 am. I went to bed, woke up looked some more, cleaned, looked some more , eat, looked some more lol. You have made me want to do 60s fun again. I am in a blah phase in my life and you brightened my day with this blog. Also I have been looking for a honeymoon place...this place is RAD. thank you i hope we get to do this!