Good friends had told us what a feast for the eyes the Madonna Inn was prior to our trip and I nearly booked a night online when we were doing all our planning but found the choice of 'themed rooms' much too overwhelming, so we left it up to fate and didn't end up booking it 'till the night before. We forfeited another night in LA to get there. No regrets!
Stef did a great job of driving and I did a great job of road trip DJ and chief bird/critter spotter. As we did when we went to NYC a few years ago - we found the most popular Hip Hop radio station and blasted it in-between my West Coast road trip playlist. What does one generally listen to when driving out of LA? Lots of Fleetwood Mac, Bill Callahan, Elliott Smith and Madonna. Madonna doesn't really fit but also ALWAYS fits! Then it was Drake, Yeezy, Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce on repeat basically.
SO...the Madonna Inn - a place with themed rooms has a lot of great camp value obviously (which I live for) but I was surprised by how beautifully maintained everything was - this love and care prevents me from using the words 'gaudy' and 'tacky' to describe it - it had a lot of charm. We stayed in the 'Old Fashioned Room' which was comfy and quaint (as it should be) - our friends tell us the Caveman Room is also a quality dwelling.
Everything is pink and all the glasses in the tea and dining rooms are heavy coloured glass goblets. The service is full-on 'good old fashioned American 'thank you m'aam and sir' which was a change from the friendly but cool and casual LA vibe. The dining room was a pink masterpiece with a ceiling festooned with gold cherubs overhead. The main dining room was essentially a steak house serving simple (but great) food.
The people watching was excellent too - the two older, very well put together cowboys dressed head-to-toe in black and the smartest bolo ties had me searching high and low for my own for the rest of the trip. There was a live band playing stuff like 'La Bamba' and a middle aged couple in matching outfits took the dancing VERY seriously. 100% would stay again.
In the morning, as we checked out, Stef was defeated by a cartoonishly large stack of pancakes but we rallied impressively to tear through an enormous, pink slice of champagne cake for, what they call in America, "breakfast dessert".
(We don't think "breakfast dessert" is an official thing, but, well, this cake you guys, it was calling our names.)
Thanks Madonna Inn! You're a charmer!