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“Shameful” 1 of 5 stars
Review of John Muir Lodge

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John Muir Lodge
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   86728 Highway 180, Grant Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633   |  
Hotel amenities
Oakland, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Shameful”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

Shame on the DNC for allowing such a cheesy structure to be part of our National Park's lodging. The walls are thin, the doors to the rooms don't close unless you pull them closed every time and the entire interior looks like a pre-fabricated, cheap structure. The outside is VERY deceiving!
After a long and torturous night on the hardest, cheapest pillows I have ever slept on, my friends and I decided to go to breakfast at the lodge restaurant. The waitress decided that not writing down our orders would be a great idea (which frustrates the heck out me me at ANY restaurant!). As a result, you guessed it, ALL of our orders were WRONG... COMPLETELY WRONG! Instead of apologizing, she had the audacity to ask if we wanted her to take our food back to the kitchen to fix it....REALLY!? No sweetheart, we'll just eat what YOU ordered for us!
Do yourself a favor, read the bad reviews and BELIEVE THEM....just keep on driving!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
We're extremely sorry to read that you had such a disappointing stay at the John Muir Lodge. Delaware North Companies just assumed concessions management of Kings Canyon and the John Muir Lodge a few months ago on November 1, 2013. With this change in management and our national park concessions management experience, we're confident that our company will improve many of the conditions that you identified in your review. The John Muir Lodge will be undergoing renovation in the coming months. Although we were not involved in the building's design or construction, we will certainly look at the noise issues that you identified and possible sound proofing improvements. The renovation will include the complete replacement of mattresses, linens pillows and soft goods in the rooms. Flat screen TV's and full Wi-Fi will also be included. Amenities in the bathrooms such as soaps, shampoos, towels and other guest amenities will also be upgraded.

Delaware North companies is an expert in food and beverage service and hospitality. Your experience is painful to read about, and we agree you should have received exactly what you ordered. We've begun our GuestPath training programs for all the Kings Canyon staff, including the restaurants from servers to management. We're confident your next visit would provide a much better service and quality.

We are very sorry about your experience. Kings Canyon is such a special place, it's disappointing that these negative issues might overshadow the beauty of the park. We would like to speak with you in person if possible? We will send you a private note in hopes that you will do so.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Planet Earth
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

One should tamper expectation when staying at a national park lodging. Expect high prices given the location at similar level of comfort. No exception when it comes to this location. Downside particular to this building (main lodge) is you can hear the noise (shower, flushing toilet, heater in winter) from your neighbors and even possibly the whole building. It bothered my wife a lot and me to a limited extent. Also there were a lot of family with young kids and expect a lot of children noise. I was there with my own young children so that didnt bother me too much.


If you want to escape the cabin fever, lobby has lots of puzzles and rocking chairs with a small fireplace. Oh gotta mention the restaurant: slowest service and not-so-good but edible food. We ate there 3 times as choice is really limited and it was painfully slow. But again unless u wanna cook at the picnic area or want to settle for instant cuponoodle, what choice do u have?


Wuksachi lodge in sequoia is nicer but 40 min farther away from Grant Grove and this time we wanted to make GG a central location for our trip. Limit your expectation on food quality/service time/night time noise and you will enjoy your stay.

Stayed November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Dear EarthSpinner, we appreciate that you and your family chose to stay at John Muir Lodge for your families vacation. As the new concessionaire, DNC has many renovation and improvement plans over the next couple of years to make the Grant Grove area a very hospitable and enjoyable stay. Thank you for taking the time to communicate your experience, we have shared you review with our staff and are working to bring the levels of service and the facility up to the highest of standards. By using our Guestpath and Greenpath programs, we feel that this facility will thrive, and exceed our guests expectations. We hope that you and your family will join us again soon, to experience the joy and beauty that the Kings Canyon National Park has to offer.
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Tollhouse, Ca.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013 via mobile

It has been several years between our visits. While the locale, peace and quiet were great, nothing else was the same. Room was disappointing: door would remain ajar unless forcefully closed( we left several times with our door not locked), toilet not secure on floor(what a ride!), hair dryer didn't work( in 30 degree weather outside), bedding, although attractive, had holes and was torn in many places. The staff was very nice but in the only restaurant available for miles, they were poorly trained and inefficient. We were not in a hurry, but the 45 minute wait at breakfast was sad. The food in the restaurant was (breakfast) barely edible and (dinner) marginal. We sorely needed a break before the holidays. Next year, it won 't be at the John muir lodge.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Thank you gdr23, for taking the time to share your experience with us. We regret that your stay was below both your and our standards. DNC is the new concessionaire at John Muir Lodge and has many plans to renovate and improve on the whole property. We apologize that during your visit that you did not receive the standards of service that we strive to provide. Your review has been shared with our staff and will be used to train our employees for better service practices in the future. Thank you again and we hope that you will reconsider staying with us to enjoy our renovated lodging and restaurant facilities.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights, October 31 and November 1. Due to an "owner changeover" taking place on this night, despite booking 3-4 months in advance we had to book each night with a separate company, which was a bit of an annoyance as neither seemingly would acknowledge the other or do anything to make it easier. The change of management should not affect the paying customers, and annoyingly it did, throughout.

We arrived at 7pm and were told that all food had stopped for the night in the restaurant. It would have been good to know this beforehand, as we had to go hungry for the night, however the website (which is now down) didn't actually mention the restaurant times. Had we known, we'd have brought food or eaten earlier. When we got to the restaurant (breakfast & dinner the next day) the food was fine (you're in a national park, don't expect too much but it's OK) and service friendly, though again because of the "management changeover" there was a completely new menu, which none of the serving staff were familiar with (and apparently hadn't thought to read).

The room itself was great - huge, comfortable bed, spacious, the bathroom was clean and comfortable, no there wasn't a TV but you're in a national park, I wouldn't have wanted to watch it anyway. The common room is comfortable, sociable, has WiFi and is very snug and warm (when the fire is lit), and a good place for a glass of wine after a day's hiking.

As for the facilities nearby - the shop in the village was closed (though all the online stuff and leaflets etc said it should have been open), there's a post office and info desk.

Upon checkout, the staff under the new regime didn't actually know we were there and though they were pleasant and as helpful as they could be, it pretty much underlined for us that the handover had been managed very poorly.

In brief - the room and lodge are comfortable, and I'm sure in peak season when more is open (and the management actually knows what it's doing) it will be a great place to stay - the park is a great place to explore and the lodge is a great base. We'd stay in the lodge again but would be better prepared to be left to our own devices and take some of our own food & wine with us.

We went for lunch at Wuksachi Lodge and it seemed much better-run - if you're wanting more of a hotel experience I'd probably say go there.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Dear PippaDorset, we greatly appreciate you taking the time to share with us your experience during your stay at John Muir Lodge. We regret that the level of service was not at our best during the passing if ownership, and agree that the hours of operations and should have been more clearly communicated. DNC as the new concessionaire strives to offer the highest level of service to our guests through our successful Guestpath and Greenpath programs. Over the next couple of years, both the lodging and restaurant facilities will receive renovations and improvements, that we are positive will exceed our customers expectations. We hope to see you again at John Muir Lodge to enjoy the wonder and majesty that Kings Canyon National Park has to offer.
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Ohio
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

Sitting on the beautiful deck in the rockers at night, you can see a million stars from John Muir Lodge. What a wonderful, peaceful hotel in Sequoia/Kings Canyon Park. The rooms are cozy and kept very clean. There is no TV or telephone, although we did have cell phone service. There is a large room downstairs with a stone fireplace which was lit during our stay. The quilts on the bed were just perfect and we found our room on the second floor to be very comfortable. I had requested to be on the second floor with a room that faced the woods and my request was accomodated. I would highly recommend staying at John Muir Lodge.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the second floor if stairs are not a problem. There is no elevator.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
2travelOhio, DNC is the new concessionaire at Kings Canyon and we greatly appreciate that you enjoyed your experience at John Muir Lodge. Thank you for taking the time to share your visit with us and we hope to have you stay with us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clemson, South Carolina
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
90 hotel reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
204 helpful votes 204 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Located in the Grant Village area of Kings Canyon NP, this lodge is not a bad deal in the off season. It is the lodging in the park that, in late October, is closest to the main Kings Canyon area, located about 30 miles away in the Cedar Grove area. Cedar Grove has a lodge but it closes in early October. The off season rates started the week we stayed (Oct 20th) so, at $80+, the rate was over $100 less than it would have been a week earlier. The desk clerk at check-in was minimally helpful in that he assigned us a room and gave us a key. Other than that, he volunteered no additional info such as room location or restaurant, gift shop, or market location or hours of operation. He was rather surly and unkempt, needing a shave and a fresh uniform. I understand that the concessionaire for the lodging and other services for the Kings Canyon park area has changed, effective November 1, so, maybe he was losing his job and I should be more charitable. In any case, hopefully, this problem has been corrected. Given that this is a National Park Lodge, the rooms were very nice. The lodge appears relatively new with clean rooms, comfortable beds, coffee maker, and fluffy towels but, of course, no TV and no A/C, though we did not need it in late October. There was a radio in the room but we could not control the volume on the one in our room and it was cranked up way too loud. We asked for a replacement, got one, but it didn't work at all. We gave up on the radio. The hairdrier, which also did not work, was not in the bathroom but on the wall next to the dresser in the main room. The water-saving toilet, while environmentally sensitive (a good thing), was vacuum operated and sounded like a mini explosion each time it was operated. Housekeeping made the beds each day and replaced the coffee supplies but did not vacuum the room or clean the bathroom. Best rooms would be the even numbered ones since I believe they would look out into the forest, not the parking lot as ours (#109) did. There is WiFi available, advertised as in the lobby and other public areas, but we were able to get a weak but usable signal in our room. Given the lack of other options and the promise of better management, we'd stay here again.

Room Tip: Even # rooms have the best views. Rooms closer to lobby may pick up the wifi signal in the room.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at John Muir Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Dear NationalParkHiker, We appreciate you sharing your experience with us. DNC has renovation and improvement plans over the next 1-2 years that we believe will exceed our guests expectations for staying in a National Park. The Lodge, Cabins, and Restaurant facilities will be receiving these upgrades and remodeling that we are very excited to see happen. We apologize for any inconveniences during your stay and hope to see you again soon to enjoy our lodging and the beautiful Kings Canyon National Park.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about John Muir Lodge

Address: 86728 Highway 180, Grant Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 hotels in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — John Muir Lodge 2.5*
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Also Known As:
John Muir Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park
Hotel John Muir

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