Entrance to Madonna Inn in 1962

The early days of the Madonna Inn before the freeway and overpass were built.thumbnail

Construction on the Reservations Office and Round Room

Parts of the Inn were designed and built around these enormous rocks depending on where they landed when they came down the mountain.thumbnail

Lifting the rock into place over entrance to Copper Café door

Placing this heavy duty crescent-shaped rock over the entrance to the Copper Café was no easy task!thumbnail

Early photo of the same location shows the rock in place

The balustrade leads to our women’s and men’s clothing stores.thumbnail

Master carver at work on one of the Inn’s decorative beams

Shown here working with a special tool on the huge American Beam, which extends from the fireplace across the three large Executive booths in the Steak House.thumbnail

Installation of the 28-foot tree in the Steak House

It's branches cover the ceiling and provide Mrs. Madonna a wonderful framework for her seasonal decorations.thumbnail

Aerial view of Madonna Inn

Aerial view of Madonna Innthumbnail

History of the Madonna Inn

Many people have asked for a history of the Madonna Inn, so with this brief story, we will attempt to tell you how it all began.

The first 12 rooms were completed December 24, 1958, and were given complementary for that night’s stay, to a very surprised group of travelers. An additional 28 rooms were quickly built, making a total of 40 rooms available to travelers.

Demand for public areas to handle the rooms encouraged us in April 1960 to start construction of the main inn, which was to eventually consists of the wine cellar, bakery, coffee shop, dining room, the cocktail lounge, banquet rooms, ladies’ boutique, men’s gift shop, and the gourmet shop.

One hundred ten unique rooms now exist, each decorated differently to suit many individual tastes...rock rooms, waterfall showers, rock fireplaces, European fixtures, and fine furnishings to name a few.

The Madonna Inn sits on over 1,000 acres and the large rocks used in the construction came from these surrounding acres. Some of the larger rocks weigh in excess of 200 tons each.

The leaded glass work throughout Madonna Inn and the large etched glass windows in the coffee shop, almost things of the past, were custom made for the Inn. The leaded glass inserts in the windowed area facing the large fireplace are of particular interest, since each insert illustrates one of the various Madonna enterprises: construction, lumber and cattle.

The hand-carved marble balustrade in the Gold Rush dining room came from the Hearst Castle. All copper and brass items were etched and/or shaped from original designs and fabricated right on the premises. The 16'4" tall, 29'6" wide gold tree fixture in the main dining room was made from electrical conduit left over from building projects as well as from left over remnants of copper.

Several wood carvers were brought in for the specialty work of hand carving the doors, beams, railings and the many other carved adornments you see here at the Madonna Inn.

We hope you, your families and friends will enjoy our facilities and that you will continue to do so for many years to come.

» Read more about Alex Madonna and the Madonna Inn on Wikipedia.