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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.