Thieves steal from famous California hotel Madonna Inn

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On the outskirts of San Luis Obispo, halfway between the Bay Area and LA on Highway 101, the Madonna Inn is popular for its kitschy charms, retro cafe, and themed rooms. Impossible to miss from the road, the mid-century hotel perches up the hillside like a dusty pink birthday cake, beckoning America’s loving roadtrips and, on one recent night, thieves.

The stolen carpet.

Courtesy of Connie Pearce via Facebook

The rug is only worth around $ 250, according to an article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, and the stills in the video appear to depict college-aged men. This led Pearce to speculate that the theft may have been some kind of stunt. But Pearce was not amused. Contacted for comment via Nextdoor on Monday afternoon, she said the carpet had not been returned and the thieves had not yet been identified.

She does have a clue, however: “We know the sweatshirt he was wearing is the logo of a motorcycle repair shop in Campbell, Calif.”

The Madonna Inn sign by Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo.

The Madonna Inn sign by Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo.

Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Small town on the north coast receives huge Michelin props

For elite chefs and people who frequent their restaurants, the Michelin Awards are perhaps the most sought-after status symbol in the world. Despite their humble origin as a road guide for a tire company, earning – or, tragically, losing – a Michelin star is a career defining event. And for the small but powerful subset of food lovers who take Michelin awards as a gospel, these stars not only influence everyday dining choices, but travel decisions as well.


So when the 2021 Michelin prices fell late last month, it was big news on the California food scene. Among the 90 starred restaurants in the state, 27 were new or renovated this year. And among those who have just achieved two stars, the coveted “Excellent cuisine, worth a visit!” designation, only one was outside the Bay Area: the Harbor House Inn in the tiny hamlet of Elk, Calif., three and a half hours north of San Francisco, where Michelin-starred chef Matthew Kammerer prepares dishes ” very original, driven by an irreproachable technique and a dedication to sustainability ”, according to the Michelin gods.

The small community of Elk, California is located on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.

The small community of Elk, California is located on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.

Nicholas’ motto / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Harbor House isn’t the only hotel restaurant to have achieved one or two Michelin stars – Healdsburg’s Singlethread has Three. But for a community as small, remote, and dependent on tourism as the Mendocino Coast, this three-year-old inn’s rise to a major culinary destination is no small feat.

Everybody’s betting big on Vegas

Like other casinos in Las Vegas, The Palms – once one of the hottest new places in Vegas – was forced to close in March 2020. Unlike most of them, it never reopened. Then, in May, it was sold to the San Manuel Mission Indian Band in California. The tribe, which operates the Yaamava ‘Resort an hour east of Los Angeles in Southern California, has now announced plans to reopen the Palms in “the first half of 2022,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Unlike the Palms, which apparently seeks to attract gamers wanting to avoid the Strip, the Majestic Las Vegas Resort will not have a casino (or smoking) at all. The five-star resort is the grand bet of the Vegas hotel scion Lorenzo Doumani, whose family developed the El Morocco and La Concha motels designed by Paul Revere Williams. Designed by architect Paul Steelman, construction of the suites-only tower will begin early next year and be completed by 2024, according to new details on the resort’s website.

El Morocco, La Concha and The Stardust along the Las Vegas Strip in the 1980s.

El Morocco, La Concha and The Stardust along the Las Vegas Strip in the 1980s.

Krubner / ClassicStock / Getty Images / ClassicStock

And, if you need more evidence that the pandemic hasn’t sapped the vibes of the booming city of Vegas, MGM Resorts International bought The Cosmopolitan in September for $ 5.65 billion, according to Marketplace. The last time it changed hands, just seven years ago, it was $ 1.7 billion.

Last but not least, the news that Canadian hotel company Moon World Resorts is envisioning a 4,000-room, $ 5 billion resort on the Las Vegas Strip with a 1: 75,000 scale replica of the moon as main attraction. The massive 5.5 million square foot hotel project is “in talks” with five-star operators, according to Point Guy.

Inside the moon itself? A 10 acre mock moon colony with craters, “moon strollers” and a $ 500 ticket for 90 minutes. Admittedly, it’s much less than a Space X flight.

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