San Luis Obispo’s Madonna Inn is the ultimate charming, mid century, hotel. It’s a marvelous Disneyland-esque haven for eccentric visitors who aren’t afraid of the color pink. Besides having a colorful history filled with celebrity, the Madonna Inn is the epitome of kitsch in it’s delightfully gaudy, extravagant decor. As a photographer, I’ve been able to capture clients and wedding parties in almost every single room. Each one has something distinct and special to offer, so that makes choosing which room to actually book difficult. To help out when booking your next trip or photo shoot at this glittering hotel, here is my list of the 8 most photogenic Madonna Inn rooms that just beg to be photographed.
The 8 Most Photogenic Madonna Inn Rooms
Room 164: Merry
Merry isn’t the largest room, but it is one of the cutest. The walls are floor to ceiling plastered in a glowing pool of champagne glitter wallpaper. The gilded chandelier and light fixtures make you want to lounge atop the king bed, and dig into a famous Madonna Inn pink champagne cake like Marie Antoinette (I actually did do a Marie Antoinette styled shoot in Merry which you can see more of HERE.) This is definitely one of the most photogenic locations on the property. Check out a portrait session shot inside this room HERE.
Room 150: Romance
Romance is a western/Victorian aqua dream. Follow the velvety cyan roses floating over the walls up to the elevated sleeping area where 1950s iron flower chandeliers hover on each side of the bed. One of my favorite features about Romance, is it’s cozy window seat that acts as a frame for any subject. Romance tends to be pretty popular with brides due to its open floor plan and beautifully ornate mirrors. It also has one of Madonna’s acclaimed rock showers and sweet his and her sinks. See a colorful bride getting ready in Romance HERE and click HERE to see this glamorous portrait session.
Room 183: Love Nest
It doesn’t take more than one glance to see why Love Nest is fabulously photogenic. If the pink vaulted ceilings don’t wow you, then the strange, shag carpeted spiral staircase leading a small stained glass viewing area will. The doorway to the bathroom is adorned above with a classic red Valentines heart and the Rococco floral wallpaper will make you feel like you’re in the aesthetic of a Wes Anderson movie. Love Nest would be perfect for a high flash fashion shoot, a ultra sultry boudoir shoot, or a romantic, non-traditional engagement session.
Room 184: Just Heaven
If pink isn’t for you, then do a quick hop across the hallway to find Just Heaven. It’s a mirror image of Love Nest, only dipped in blue. You’ll find yourself on cloud nine, feeling calm in this utopia embellished with floating cherubs. Can’t you just imagine yourself exquisitely perched on these stairs, donned in a floor length gown with the train draping down each step? That would be heavenly. Just Heaven would be lovely for a bride without a wedding party or an anniversary photo shoot with your sweetie.
Room 160: Austrian Suite
Pop on a crown and start practicing your royal wave because this is the castle. The illustrious Austrian suite is gigantic; probably the largest room in the hotel. Two separate balconies (one in the living area and one in the bedroom) enable natural light to travel easily throughout this massive suite. The European gold and vivid blue that seamlessly weave together compliment basically any type of photos you’d want to take here. Vanity Fair inspired family photos or a bridal boudoir session would be well suited within these walls. It’s also especially ideal for a wedding party because of its size. Click HERE to see this beautiful bride’s getting ready photos shot here.
Rooms 218: Carin
I simply cannot list the most photogenic rooms at the Madonna Inn without talking about the beloved Carin room. I have been inside this room more times than I can count. On the 4th and highest floor, it has it’s own private staircase leading to the stained glass front door. Carin is famous for having decadent pink glitter walls, a fuchsia settee, and two balconies peering out over the hills of San Luis Obispo. Brides love getting ready for their wedding day in this blushing, spell bounding tower room because it has some of the best natural light at Madonna and it’s large enough to also house their bridesmaids. See a surprise proposal shoot this room HERE.
Room 169: Vous
The Vous Room is one of the few in which I’ve personally stayed. Here you’ll find the only circular bed in the entire hotel. The metallic sapphire, baroque wallpaper scales the rounded walls up to sky high ceilings. Because of the way this room is positioned, daylight hits the white deck of Madonna’s hillside building and splendidly illuminates the interior, creating studio quality light for your photos. Vous isn’t enormous, but it’s great for a one or two person portrait session, like a playful BFF shoot. Here is a little iphone photo of me in this room in 2015.
Room 149: Old Fashioned Honeymoon
Old Fashioned Honeymoon gets my vote for the best bathroom at Madonna Inn. The pastel, floral tile wraps around the claw foot tub and up the wall. It’s no trouble to imagine relaxing here in a bubble bath under the vintage incandescence of those wrought iron, rose lights, haloing the golden framed mirrors. The rest of the accommodation is also camera ready. Delicate lace-like room dividers separate the living area from the bedroom which gives off an indoor English garden vibe. See my anniversary session of a couple also obsessed with this bathroom and tub HERE.
Which room would you want photos in?