Plan a retro vacation to the amazing Madonna Inn


The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, provides all kinds of inspiration on how to give your bedroom some crazy retro flair. Today, I feature some of my favorite rooms – chosen for their delicious use of wallpaper.

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In the booming world of motor court hotels built in postwar America, the Madonna Inn stands out for its over-the-top rooms.


Many feature boulders and rock installations from the nearby excavated hills. The Inn opened on Christmas Eve 1958 with 24 rooms, then expanded again in the 1960s.


To my mind, the bedroom is a place where you can and should create the room that inspires you and only you. These rooms remind me of swanky jewel boxes…viva las vegas love nests. Life is big canvas, throw on a lot of paint! Er…wallpaper! Seriously. I am inspired. I have multiple rolls of metallic 1963 Thibaut wallpaper in my private stash – I think the bedroom is ripe for its 60s  makeover for sure!


Thanks to the kind people at the Madonna Inn, including Susie and Peggy, for their help with this post and more inspiring bedroom images to come! Here’s the link to the Madonna Inn – be sure to visit if you’re in the area!

  1. Elvis (aka) Jane says:

    #1 rules! That zebra carpeting and the golden finishes are perfectly set off by the kelly-green door. That little peek of the bathroom is enticing. What a great retro vacation spot!

  2. jill says:

    I used to always stop there for post cards back when I was in college…in the 70’s! My dream honeymoon hotel! Then it was too kitchy for my taste, now I think I am ready for another look!

  3. Tikimama says:

    Oh, I think a convention is a great idea!! I’ve been to other types of conventions and they are a great resource and very inspirational. The Madonna Inn would be great for the first one…then maybe Palm Springs…then maybe in some of the other readers’ neck-of-the-woods where there are great mid-century homes and shopping! You need help with planning, you let me know!! 😉

  4. Milster says:

    They featured this awesome place on the show with Hef’s three playbunny girlfriends and I absolutely fell for it and wanted to book my next vacation! All I need now is my suburban station wagon and some vintage luggage and a picnic basket for the road trip!

  5. Robert says:

    I would like to stay in the room that has the green tones. It is picture # 3 in this course of pictures if I counted right.

    Kind Regards,

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