Madonna Inn – San Luis Obispo, California - Atlas Obscura
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San Luis Obispo, California

Madonna Inn

A hotel/restaurant serving as the mecca of kitsch. 

Built in 1958 by Alex and Phyllis Madonna, the Madonna Inn is a Swiss Alp-inspired hotel/restaurant in seeming celebration of all that is garish and tacky in human taste. Writer Umberto Eco described the decor as “Albert Speer, while leafing through a book on Gaudi, swallowed an overgenerous dose of LSD and began to build a nuptial catacomb for Liza Minelli.”

The Madonna Inn consists of 109 rooms, all with different names and themes: Floral Fantasy, Jungle Rock, Sir Walter Raleigh, Whispering Hills, etc. All colors of the rainbow are employed, but pink is most notably favored in the Gold Rush Steakhouse, Copper Cafe, and Silver Bar which make up the lower level of the hotel and are further decorated with floral carpet and swirling golden trees. Even the sugar on the diner tables is pink.

Male tourists should make a point of visiting the waterfall urinal in the lobby restroom.