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Located in the city of San Luis Obispo in California, the Madonna Inn
hotel glorifies corny with its excessive decor, full of fake flowers, quilted pinks and tacky knick-knacks. It initially opened as a motel in 1958, a time when mass consumption and new plastic materials were creating a new kind of kitsch.
109 rooms are decorated with a variety of themes that bring this exuberance to life, from the Caveman Room, completely covered with an irregular stone mosaic and a mix of animal prints to the Vou Room, that celebrates cobalt blue with a statement wallpaper and a set of matchy-matchy furniture. The Gold Rush Steakhouse and the adjacent Silver Bar provide an extravagant atmosphere with shiny padded pink seatings and extreme floral carpets, while the Copper Cafe tones it down (if that is even possible) to red and the elaborate wood carvings we see throughout the hotel. Outside, the tennis and basketball courts in bright pink are an extension of the garish interiors.
The Madonna Inn has been continuously used for photo shoots and has inspired pop artists like Weird Al" Yankovic, who mentions the famous waterfall urinal, located in the lobby restroom, in his 1978 song "Take Me Down".
In 'Travels of Hyperreality'
, Umberto Eco described this California landmark as an unusual place beyond belief, saying that "Albert Speer, while leafing through a book on Gaudí, swallowed an overgenerous dose of LSD and began to build a nuptial catacomb for Liza Minnelli". What better way to define this bizarre, fascinating place?