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“Summer camp experience: not for everyone” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Montecito Sequoia Lodge

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Montecito Sequoia Lodge
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   63410 General's Hwy, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Woodbury, Minnesota
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Summer camp experience: not for everyone”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

After reading a few poor reviews of this place, I was a bit apprehensive about staying here. We were limited in our options for places to stay near the park, so we decided we would take our chances and prepare for the worse. After all, there were a number of reviews that were positive; maybe we would be one of the lucky ones.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a friendly staff person at the desk. She told us all the information we needed to know and informed us of the brown bag lunches they offered to guests that were going to be out and about during the day and wouldn’t be able to be back for lunch at the lodge.

Our room was in the main lodge on the top floor. There is no elevator, so you have to lug your bags upstairs. Our room was quite nice. There was a king sized bed and a bunk bed. We had our own bathroom, which was small, but clean and adequate. The view from the room was terrific, as it looked out east into the woods and mountains. We got a great view of the sunrise the next morning.

The meals are included in the room price, which is great, as there are no other restaurants close by. Having said that, the food is of the quality you would find in a buffet style restaurant. We had no problems with the food, but some people could have issues with it. I would suggest getting down there early to get through the line first, before all the kids with their dirty hands get the chance to handle all the utensils and stick their hands in the food.

They have flavored water, coffee and hot chocolate available at all times, as well as cereal and some snacks. The small bar does have some alcoholic beverages for sale during certain times, too.

There is a ping pong table and board games for kids and families to entertain themselves. There is a TV in one of the main rooms, but not in the individual rooms. No phones in the rooms, either, but one in the stairwell for guests to use, if needed. This was not an issue for us, but some people might find it a turnoff. Also, there is wi-fi in the main room, but we found that it worked in our room, too. It just depends on where you are and how good the signal is.

Now for some of the drawbacks: the carpeting in the hallway was pretty worn and in need of replacement. The walls are paper thin, so you will hear everything that goes on in the rooms next to you or above you (I would imagine). They ask you to be quiet in the hallway, but even doing that can’t disguise the fact that you are walking out there.

The room didn’t have air conditioning, but in mid-October, that wasn’t an issue. We had snow and blustery winds one night, so we actually had to turn on the heater, which worked fine. If you are staying in the summer, however, you may have an issue with trying to stay cool.

If you don’t have kids or don’t like kids, this is definitely not the place for you. There are many kids roaming and running throughout the lodge. This is can be off-putting if you are expecting to relax and unwind in front of the fire with a good book. If you have a family, then this probably doesn’t bother you.

I read one review that complained about mice. While we did see a rodent trap in the den area, we never saw any actual mice or rodents, so they must have things under control. What do you expect when you are staying that close to the woods?

All in all, the experience was much better than we had anticipated. Sometimes there is something to be said for low expectations!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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440 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Birmingham, Michigan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

The staff was friendly, however the room was outdated and not clean. There is no TV or internet connection in the rooms. The food served at night was not the best. If you want to relax and enjoy your room, keep on driving.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Oceanside
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Staff extremely friendly, food very good, hearty, with different menu each night, buffet style. 3 meals/day included in room rate! I don't see how they can do that. Also, they prepare bag lunches if you're on the road the next day. I took advantage of that several times.

Communal dining with big fireplace great for meeting people and enjoying conversation with fellow travelers from all over, families, singles, etc. Ping Pong, other games in game room, along with a very small wet bar, large flatscreen, addl dining tables.

Sun deck has great views of mountains, rest of compound's cabins, pool, etc. My main Lodge room was clean, private bathroom - walls are thin, so earplugs would be recommended which I always take on trips. Weren't too many guests in Oct, but I would imagine it could be a bit noisy with a lot of guests coming and going in the hallway. There is a landline available to all guests off lobby area. No phones in rooms.

It's in a good location near Kings Canyon and not too awfully far from Sequoia.

It's not luxurious, so don't expect that, rustic all the way! But, I would definitely return, it's a great deal and a very friendly experience.

Room Tip: If you choose a cabin, make sure to ask about heating - have to use firewood, wall heater, is bathro...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed at Montecito Lodge in late October this year. You could not ask for a better location for exploring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We had three generations in our group- grandparents, parents and four young children. Everything from check-in to food to activities was professional, friendly and accommodating. The breakfast and dinner buffets were excellent; the salad bar was fresh and varied. The staff packed lunch for us daily which really helped in caring for the children. The two-bedroom Lakeview cottage was perfect for the young family, while the grandparents stayed in the main lodge. The whole experience was wonderful. During our stay we had a sudden and unexpected snowstorm. We weren't prepared insofar as clothing was concerned, and had to leave early. Management could not have been nicer about the situation. I most heartily recommend Montecito Lodge for visitors to Sequoia.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
114 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We accidently found the Montecito Lodge as we were driving through Sequoia National Park. It was late in the evening and we saw the sign for the lodge. We were surprised, but pleased that they had a room available. The second surprise was the lodge itself. If you want a 5star resort, keep driving. The check-in is located in a corner of the main dining area. The person that checked us in was very welcoming and advised us to eat immediately since they would quit serving in a few minutes. The food is served buffet style with most tables accommodating 8 to 12 people, very much “family style. The food was OK and you could get a nice glass of wine and good coffee. After eating, we finished checking in and went to our room. The room was basic but the bath had been recently renovated. The room was clean and comfortable.
We awoke the next morning to a couple of inches of snow. The buffer breakfast had a good variety and was very good for a complimentary breakfast. The room and meals were a great value. This lodge seems like a great place to bring your family for a vacation. For us, two people and one night, it was still an enjoyable experience in a beautiful location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I only wish we could have stayed longer. If people have a problem with this lodge, it is because they were expecting a hotel. For what it is, it was perfect ( well almost). When we checked in, there was a surprise awaiting us in the toilet (which made my wife curious whether the bathroom had been cleaned at all). The room was nothing special, but it had comfortable beds, and enough room for our family of 5 (2 in the bunk, and our 5 year old with us in the huge king-sized bed). There is no TV in the room- if you need a TV in your room, you shouldn't be going to a national park. There were lots of opportunities for good family time- we had smores around the campfire and played games in the common room downstairs, as did several other families that we saw there. The food was very good, plentiful, and included in the room charge. My kids eat cereal between almost every meal, and there were 8 varieties available 24 hours. I thought the rooms were clean, although a little spartan, but again I didn't expect to spend too much time in the room anyway. We also received excellent service form Rufio and another gentleman on Saturday morning (I didn't catch his name) They were very helpful with hiking routes as well as general information. If we get the chance to go back to the park, we'll definitely stay here the entire time we're in the park. The location is great and the views are amazing!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Paris, France
Level Contributor
31 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We had a very bad experience at Montecito Sequoia Lodge last summer.
First, it is very very expensive ($200 per night) for a very very basic room. No decoration, no nice atmosphere, outdated furniture, no maintenance (e.g. a broken electrical outlet with wires hanging out of the wall).
The service is really bad too. The dinner, which was included in the price, is served from 5.30 to 7 pm. We arrived at 7.30pm because nobody had told us that it was only until 7 when we made our reservation… There is no shop and no restaurant around, you cannot buy food anywhere… So we ended up with no solution, eating some chips we had bought the day before… Seriously, in a national park’s resort, dinner is served until 7 pm only??? I suppose many European tourists stay in this resort and we do not have dinner before 8-8.30pm in Europe! Even the Americans I know (I live in the US) do not have dinner so early!!!
The staff was not even helpful… Besides, we could hear from our room somebody in the staff room making really weird noises (Was he throwing up? Or evacuating mucus? I do not want to know but it was disgusting!!!).
The atmosphere of the hotel is not very nice, basically a backpackers hostel feeling (and yet, I have stayed in many backpackers hostel that were far nicer than this lodge!)
Seriously, this is the worst experience I have ever had in the US. We were so upset about having spent so much money for this! It almost ruined our week-end in this beautiful national park…

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Montecito Sequoia Lodge

Address: 63410 General's Hwy, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Montecito Sequoia Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All Meals and seasonal activities included in the room rate: A Rustic Mountain Lodge & Summer Family Camp located in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California. Spectacular view of the Great Western Divide of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. All Lodge Rooms have private bath. Cabins have shared bathhouse. Open year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Montecito Sequoia Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park

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