November 23, 2009
Utilizing the Spa & Stay package
My girlfriend and I spent two nights at the Madonna Inn, the week before Thanksgiving. We both agree that this is the best hotel we have ever stayed at, and I'd like to explain why.
1. The uniqueness of the rooms - We actually stayed in two different rooms: "What's Left [room 158]" the first night and "Madonna Suite [room 141]" the second night. Oh, wow. The uniquely tailored, custom designed rooms were so impressive. "What's Left" had a glitter wall, a colorful tiled floor and shower area, a double set of sinks, and - my personal favorite - an electronic bidet installed on their toilet. This toilet had a warming seat, and then one had the option of "front cleaning" and/or "dry cleaning" after going to the bathroom, complete with a final "drying" option. I was utterly amazed. The bathroom in the second room had a rock waterfall shower, as well as a waterfall sink. The room itself also had an electric fireplace, and the warmth was definitely appreciated by us Phoenicians who haven't had to adjust to cold weather in our hometown just yet. Before we even left, my girlfriend and I decided we would return because we want to start trying out as many rooms as possible. They are all so different. Rooms designed in these ways could have ended up looking tacky or gaudy, but that wasn't the case. The specific details of each room, upgraded flat screen televisions, upgraded bathroom options, consistency in their design, and individual tailoring of each room definitely made the rooms unique, NOT tacky.
2. Comprehensive binder of information - The binder included information on events around the area, activities occurring at the resort, spa opportunities, and dining options, along with a variety of other pertinent information (e.g. channel numbers, for us out-of-towners who wouldn't have known them otherwise).
3. Hiking - They had different levels of trails that were close to the hotel.
4. Friendly staff - The three womyn at the spa were amazingly friendly and accommodating. The two front desk staff members, as well as employees in the eating areas, were the same way.
5. Spa services - Oh, wow, did I want to take Pial (sp?) home with me. She gave me a scalp and foot treatment, as well as a body soak. I had never had these particular treatments, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, my body felt so relaxed and smooth afterward. Another lady completed a Swedish Deep Tissue massage on me, and I really felt it made a difference. That is the best deep tissue massage that I have ever had from a womyn. After all treatments were finished, a different lady brought me into a room and served me tea, cookies, mixed nuts, pineapple, and orange slices. She even gave me two extra cookies when I raved about how good they were.
6. pool - The pool is heated, which makes it useable for most of the year. It was also huge - definitely big enough for people to swim laps if desired.
7. workout area - It had enough cardio equipment, and you could plug your headphones into their TVs, making it easier to zone out while exercising. They didn't have a great selection of weight machines, although there were free weights available.
1. Internet connectivity - We paid $10 for Internet connectivity in our room, but it was a slow speed. This wouldn't be good for the businessperson taking her/his kids on a trip while needing to also get some work done.
2. Staff is hit and miss with their knowledge. The front desk lady didn't know how to set up wireless Internet in our room and in fact told my girlfriend she couldn't, when it was clearly listed in the binder as something we could pay to do. The older lady selling truffles said she had no boxes to sell me truffles, even though there was a stack right behind her, and there were also boxes right in the next station by the cakes. Also, when I called in an order to the Steakhouse, I ordered a salad and specifically requested no meat on the salad. She, along with the guy at the front desk where I picked it up, assured me there was no meat. ... There was meat, so I had to walk back and get it exchanged.
3. Food was mediocre. With a resort so lavish in so many ways, I expected to be impressed by the food as well. I wasn't. The breakfast omelets and egg salad sandwiches were standard diner style. The salad I got for dinner one night was $20 for spinach, one tomato cut four ways, six water chestnuts, and a sliced hard-boiled egg. It was overpriced, bland food. It will fill your stomach, but it certainly won't be something you remember them by.
With all this said, I will absolutely return to the Madonna Inn someday. I believe I have a few dozen other rooms to try out, so I have just gotten started.