Posted by Mimi on 18/09/12

On a recent road trip to San Francisco my big sister and I stopped off at a motel you should know about. The Madonna Inn is thee kitsch-est pitsop off highway 101. A Disney dream of Pepto-Bismol pink pseudo-Swiss architecture, waterfalls with multi coloured lights, flowers covering ceilings and adorning carpets, it is a western Barbie-esque monument to 1950s gaudy. Each room has a different theme, from ‘hearts and flowers’ and ‘cloud nine’ to ‘American beauty’ and jungle rock’. This is the ultimate in tacky charm. Be sure to check out the waterfall urinal designed by Hollywood set designer Harvey Allen Warren!

In direct contrast ‘Deetgen’s’ in Big Sur is also a must see, though a totally different aesthetic. This rustic inn was born when two stylish Danes Helmuth and Helen Deetjen began welcoming guests in the 1930’s. Situated on the edge of the redwood forest in Big Sur, log cabins on stilts protrude from steep forest walls and are surrounded by woodland. The décor is very homely and the landscape is awe-inspiringly beautiful. We only stopped off for a drink as no rooms were available but I really hope to return and spend a few nights. The cabins have guest logs full of the personal histories passing through for decades which make for a charming read and some have old record players and records inside the room in fully working order as well as cosy fireplaces. You literally feel as though you are in a tree house, truly magical and historic. It is unfortunate that the English language falls short of words to describe how very beautiful it is. I say go and see for yourself!