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“Best option for Sequoia/Kings Canyon” 4 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
Stamford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Best option for Sequoia/Kings Canyon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

We went into this not knowing what to expect and were very pleasantly surprised. The lodge is new - built around 2000 and is still in very good condition. The lodge itself is set up away from Grant Village, but it is a very short walk. That is nice because it means the lodge is very quiet. The room we had was quite clean and had everything I needed. There was no AC or fridge, but I had no expectations. The Internet was not working at the time we were there, but we were there to unplug, so that wasn't a problem. If I were to return, I would absolutely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
travelizzy, thank you for taking the time to share your visit with us. We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. The lodge and restaurant facilities will be undergoing renovations this upcoming year and we are excited to invite our guests to come back and enjoy the improvements along with all the wonder and beauty that Kings Canyon National Park has to offer throughout the seasons.
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22 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Los Angeles Area
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

We spend two nights here and really enjoyed our stay. The room was comfortable and "felt" like a national park lodge. The furnishings were rustic but still comfortable; not "high end," but clean and more than sufficient. This is not a high end lodge, so there's no real "luxury," but the amenities were good. My husband said the in-room coffee was great! The lobby was magnificent; we sat by the fire for over an hour and read and surfed the net. Very peaceful and relaxing.

Jerry Hagen (?) who checked us in made us feel like honored guests and his best friends, all wrapped together. We felt so welcomed! Also, the two men who built the fire in the fireplace of the lobby and kept it burning brightly were friendly, genuinely concerned that we were having a good visit, and a pleasure to speak to.

Three places for improvement: 1. We were in room 202; if the lodge had been full, the noise from the stairs (next to the room) could have been bothersome. 2. The shower head was 5 1/2 feet high; we're both 6' tall, so taking a shower required some early-morning gymnastics. ;) 3. The sink was separate from the room with the toilet and bath/shower. It would have been good to have 2 bars of soap instead on just 1. But other that those somewhat picky things, everything was great and we plan to return to this lodge.

Room Tip: Avoid the room right by the stairs; if the lodge is crowded, it could be noisy (although there are a...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 3
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 Pamela B for your great response! We love letting our staff know that they made someone's stay special. Thank you for your stay and come see us again soon to enjoy our facilities as they will be renovated over the next 1-2 years.
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Harpursville, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013 via mobile

The lodge was beautiful and comfortable. Conducive to meeting fellow travelers with a beautiful common room where guests could meet, play games, read, etc in front of a beautiful fireplace. Be prepared for no tv, internet, phone in the rooms, but after all, isn't getting away from all that the point of a place like this?

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 12, 2014
Dear Julie W, we appreciate you taking the time to share your stay with us at John Muir Lodge. A lot of people really do enjoy taking a step away from technology and the fast pace of everyday life to enjoy what our beautiful National Parks have to offer. We are happy to hear that you had an enjoyable visit with us and we hope to see you again.
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Oakland, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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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Travelers are raving about these Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park hotels

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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
40 helpful votes 40 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
8 helpful votes 8 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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Additional Information about John Muir Lodge

Also Known As:
John Muir Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park
John Muir Hotel
Hotel John Muir
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 #4 of 5 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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