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"No, you may not", says Madonna Inn about bringing outside pool toys (Guest Room Review for Room #111)

Posted by San Luis Obispo Mom on Monday, April 18, 2022 Under: Madonna Inn
I called Madonna Inn this morning as I'm so excited about our upcoming Madonna Inn staycation! We've only stayed at the Madonna Inn once at the room named San Francisco, Room #121. Read my personal review of this Room #121. They have an outdoor pool for room guests and last time we didn't bring any fun toys for the kids so this time, I wanted to see if we could bring them.

I called their main line and a lady answered. I asked her "We're checking in later today and I wanted to see if it's okay to bring our own pool toys for your pool there?"

She quickly responded back, "No, you may not." No sorry, or we apologize type of thing. I feel like it's a teacher scolding me. I was not shocked that we can't bring them but I was taken back by the abruptness of that response. Okay, I won't bring them, no problem.

I'm still excited about this staycation! We're staying in Room #111 this time. The theme is Antique Cars and the room is quite a contrast from the first room we stayed at. We had our Madonna Inn cake fix over the weekend when I brought home a Coconut Lemon Cake from their bakery for a family birthday (read about this blog entry) and I also reserved this hotel room stay as part of the birthday surprise for a few days later.

Before we entered our Antique Cars guest room, we ate at the Madonna Inn's Copper Cafe for dinner. It was a busy Monday night as many people are on Spring Break right now. I love how they have such a wonderful restaurant that's open from breakfast to dinner so we really don't have to go far to eat. However, during this staycation, we really wanted to also dine at a downtown SLO restaurant that we've never tried before as well. (Read all of my restaurant reviews.)

3 Days Later, Recollection of our Madonna Inn Stay

When we entered our Antique Cars guest room #111, I really loved how it was literally across from the entrance to their Secret Garden! It's so wonderful! It made this staycation experience that much more memorable. The Antique Cars is definitely a more masculine theme, compared to many of the other guest rooms of Madonna Inn.


After having two staycations at the Madonna Inn as a local, here is a summary of what I like and don't like about staying at the Madonna Inn versus staying somewhere else.

Cons about staying at the Madonna Inn:
  • There is no microwave in the rooms so if you have to heat leftover food, tough luck or just eat it cold! We brought our own air fryer with us! Since we drove here in our car, bringing our own airfryer was not a hassle.
  • There is no refrigerator in our room. Online, it says that you can have one upon request and availability but it would require extra effort on your part to put in a request for it and it's probably not guaranteed that they would have one available during your stay.
  • I can hear the conversations from the guests staying in the room next to us! We stayed in room 111 and we could hear the ladies and a man having their conversations from room 112 just by sitting on the couch next to the wall. It was not my intention to eavesdrop. I was just working on my laptop and that was the ideal place for me sit and plug in.
  • The Madonna Inn has been around for a long time so the rooms can smell a bit musty if you don't open the windows. The carpets feel old. Every night that I was there inside of room #111, I started wheezing around 9PM and could not sleep. This problem is unique to me as I do have dust mite allergies (a blood test verified this) and the rest of my family members do not. I am not sure if it's actually because of the dust that was causing my allergy-related nocturnal wheezing but after we checked-out and was no longer staying there, my nightly wheezing stopped. Just make sure to bring your inhaler if you have allergy issues to dust/dust mites like me. I didn't have an inhaler as I haven't had to have a prescription for it for years since my last nocturnal asthma incident was over 5 years ago!  My allergies, like many others who have certain allergies, often worsen at night.
  • There is no corporate standard that they are following so the check-out process was a bit lackluster and different from my experiences with other hotels or lodging properties. I walked into the Registration Office to check-out and handed my keys (I don't like to hoard old plastic keys). While reaching out to hand my keys over, I said, "I'm checking out of room #111." All the front desk agent did was said, "thank you" and then proceeded to look down to finish what she was doing and assumed I would just leave. I was taken back by that! It got me wondering if she was the same person who picked up the phone when I asked if I could bring our own pool toys before I had arrived. All of the other hotels I've ever checked out of always made sure to ask me if I needed a copy of my folio/receipt and said a good bye with a smile. Nope, she didn't she ask me if I needed a copy at all. I remembered from my last stay that they offered us a free postcard to keep after we checked out. She didn't even mention that to me this time! Good thing I remembered because as soon as I left through the door, a few steps later, I walked back in to ask about my free postcard souvenir and she said "Yeah, just go to that rack over there and pick one." I picked the postcard that has an image of the Antique Cars guest room, which was the very room we stayed in and then said, "thank you" and walked out of there.
Pros about staying at the Madonna Inn:
  • They have a beautiful pool that stays open late until 11PM with two hot tubs!
  • The have a fantastic restaurant and bakery on property that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner! They also have a separate fancy steak house as well.
  • If you stay in the rooms in the building closest to the garden, the entrance to their secret beautiful garden is really close! It could be a nice Zen stroll when you really need it.
  • It's close to a couple shopping centers and other restaurants so you have options, including a grocery store.
  • Parking is free during your stay and you can conveniently park really close to your room! 
  • There is a big Tesla charging station area. I don't own an electric car but this is a huge perk if you own one.
  • No two guest rooms are alike so you can always pick a different room number, knowing the stay experience will feel different!
  • It's a fantastic property for photo opportunities. All of the restaurants, shops and outside decor is eclectic and unique! I've never seen so much hot pink at any other property! On a busy day, you'll see people taking photos or selfies around the property: inside and outside!
The highlight of this particular family staycation for us was hanging out at their pool. It's Spring Break for our kids and we don't own a pool at home so we really enjoyed their pool area. Their pool area is so beautiful with a lot of room to lounge and a pretty waterfall.
(This is a picture that I took of the pool area at night.)

See my instagram video reel of my staycation at Madonna Inn's Antique Cars Room #111

See an older TikTok video that I created during another visit below.


As you can see, I'm pretty obsessed with Madonna Inn! We've dined at the Copper Cafe for special occasions, when visitors come into town and we've tried all but one classic flavor from their cake menu! See all of the Madonna Inn cakes that I've tried (with pictures I took). 

My guest room stays (two so far) and cake purchases have never been sponsored by Madonna Inn so all of my experiences are authentic and personal with no biases. To see all of my other blog posts about Madonna Inn, click here.

Note: All embedded Pinterest pictures on this post are original photos that I've uploaded from my own device for pinning. Therefore, all of the photos are my original photos.

In : Madonna Inn 


Tags: madonna inn stay experience  madonna inn room review  pros and cons madonna inn  san luis obispo famous hotel  california motel 

About Me


San Luis Obispo Mom Originally from San Diego, California, I'm a San Diego State University alumna, veteran's wife and mom of two kids who were born two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, we now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here, the exploration continues.
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