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“Montecito is a dump.” 1 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   |  
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central, nj
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Montecito is a dump.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2008

Walk into a giant hall, check in desk freestanding by the door. Ten or twelve oval, formica tables in the hall, scattered diners eating right where you checked in. Wierd. so, it 7:00pm, sorry, dinners been served and you are late so breakfast is served tommorrow. You are a long, long way from food, so when i objected, she told me to go into the kitchen and make myself a cold cut sandwich, it i'd like to do it myself. the confirm didn't say about being there by 7. so the gross experience of sticking my hands into the refrigerators holding food others would east the next day and eating in the giant hall with formica tables, running kids yelling the jumbo adjoining playroom didn't endear me.

but that was nothing compared with the room. this hotel's web sight showed only the window shaes and a drop or wall/headboard. but the picture was desinged to disguise the fact it's a dump. dresser standing in a closet with no door. walk up stairs, to then have to walk down stairs to get into the hotel.

so, after only a half - nights sleep in what felt like a dump, when i told the manager i didn't want to have to pay for a second night since the place wasn't anything like depicted on their web site, he replies "i took that picture". so, there was nothing more to be said. it's the national park screw that you forfeit the prepaid rent if cancelled withing 48 hours. they need it since who would stay. at least, they offered to let us stay at their reasonably nice logdge near the general grant entrance. I had a great prime rib dinner in that restaurant. but montecito is a DUMP. it always irritates me how the laws of supply and demand are trumped in national parks. I understand that it's to control development, and that's good, but why does the Park Service tolerate lousy park facilities.

Stayed April 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sierra_Cement, Lodge Manager at Montecito Sequoia Lodge, responded to this review, May 23, 2008
Whilst I apologize that our rooms didn't meet the authors standards I do have to point out that the pictures on the website are of the rooms at the lodge.

Our cancellation policy did prevent us from reimbursing the author but after listening to their comments and feeling we transferred their remaining reservation to John Muir Lodge free of charge and comped their meals for the remainder of their stay (Something that is not included in the Muir Lodge rate). Our rooms may not appeal to everyone but we will always do our best to accommodate an unhappy guest.
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451 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
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Near Stanford U.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2008

we stayed at The Montecito-Sequoia Lodge in the past (www.mslodge.com) but it was our 1st winter time, the place went thru a remodeling and the room and bathrooms in the main lodge are nicer now! we wanted to do some skiing but the resort is for cross-county skiing more than anything. We rented the skii bikes (it was fun) but since the resort does not have a lift to carry you up hill (it had old pretty quick) hauling the bike up hill. It would be nice if the had a tow rope lift or something to get you up hill....the bikes is not light to carry that many times up hill.

The food is good and even the price is worth it since the 3 meals area included. The equipment rental at $5 is a great deal.

Staff are very nice and friendly! We had a great snow hike with Kate and loved it! it was tiresome but well worth it!

I think we will stick with our spring or summer visit since the snow without the lifts is a pain!

Overall we will return in the spring or summer...very family oriente resort!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

We just returned from a 2 night stay at Montecito and had a wonderful time. It was our first visit to the snow with our chilren (1 1/2 & 3), and it was a blast.

Our son spent most of his snow time innertubing and sledding down the slopes. The lodge rents all snow equiptment for $5 per day, and you can interchange as much as you like. We never tried skiing or snowshoeing because we had so much fun tubing and sledding. Although the lodge does not rent sleds, you can bring your own (or borrow from another guest as we did).

When we tired of being in the snow, we came into the lodge to warm up in front of the fires and drink hot chocolate. The lodge is stocked with games (although pieces may be missing or mixed up). It also had a ping pong table and foozball (sp?). My children enjoyed interacting with the many children and made some friends in the two day we were there.

The food was delicious, and I think this is a great place for families. Especially during school holidays, it would not be a good fit for somebody looking for a quiet getaway. Children can be noisy and messy, and this lodge is filled with happy sounds. People spend a lot of time in the lodge common areas, so they are rarely clean.

The lodge also has included children's activities (5 and up) and guided ski tours and lessons. Although we did not take part in these activities, everyone we talked to enjoyed them. Kids were eager to follow their counselor for snowboarding lessons, snow cave building, treasure hunts, etc.

We look forward to returning each year. It was the most relaxing "ski" trip I have ever taken.

  • Liked — food, fires, sledding hills
  • Disliked — Noise in the hallways
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

We recently returned from a Christmas stay at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge. It was such a pleasure to spend the holidays there, among families and the generous staff. We stayed for 4 days and three nights and were blessed with perfect winter weather.

I first learned of the resort through an ad in OC Family magazine. We were thinking of getting away for Christmas, and their offer sounded just right. Our positive experience started from the first moment I called to make our reservation. The booking representative taking my call was friendly and patient and answered all of my questions (and I asked A LOT of them).

Fortunately, the roads were open when we arrived, however the lodge does have a vehicle escort service that will accompany you through the closed roads to the lodge. Snow chains are a MUST at this time of year.

Our first impression was of the gorgeous scenery around the Montecito resort. The snow scene was like a postcard. When we stepped into the Main Lodge to check in, we found the guests milling around the two huge fireplaces and seated at tables having a snack or playing games.

One drawback was that there was no help carrying our bags up to the second-floor rooms, a fact that should have been pointed out to me during one of my many calls. However, we managed and quickly settled into our room. Although not luxurious, I found it very clean and cozy. We learned from other guests who have visited before the new owners took over that the rooms and bathrooms have been renovated considerably. There were new mattresses, carpeting and towels. Also, despite the cold outside, we never once turned on the room heater, even at night while we slept! The rooms were extremely well insulated. Our view was not fantastic, however we spent very little time in the room so we hardly noticed.

Something that stood out to me was the warm family atmosphere. Most of the guests were there with children, ranging in age from 1 to 15, and they all seemed to be having a blast. My own 4-year-old made friends instantly. Kids played freely in the game room where there was a ping-pong table, foosball as well as a cupboard filled with games for people of all ages. The environment felt very safe. Many children played while parents read by the fire.

The resort also schedules various activities for children and adults throughout the day. I dropped my son off for two hours in the morning of snow play, sledding, skiing or tubing. Meanwhile, I was able to rent snowshoes or skis (a cheap $5 a day for guests of the lodge), and enjoy some "me" time, knowing my child was in good hands. The staff was amazing. They were always busy helping guests, cleaning or leading activities. Most of them were young (about in their 20s), and overseeing most details, was "Mama".

The ever-abundant food is served buffet style. There are set meal times when all the guests converge in the downstairs area. There is plenty to choose from, though my big complaint is that there are not enough healthy options at meal times, such as hard-boiled eggs, grilled meats and steamed or sautéed vegetables. Most everything had a sauce that was usually cream or cheese based. But it was all very yummy. I was impressed with the 24-hour snack bar, consisting of beverages of all kinds, cereals, soups and sandwich fixings.

I loved the all-inclusive aspect of the lodge. Only alcoholic drinks and ice-cream bars had an additional cost. It made my stay headache-free. I do think, however that the price was a bit steep. During special holidays, the price goes up, although the offerings seem to be the same (I questioned the staff and found out that everything they offer is pretty much the same all year). We paid $330 per night for a family room (king-size bed and bunk bed) plus 13% tax. During off-season, the same will only cost around $70 per night. So basically, you're paying for the holiday.

We were fortunate that during our visit the owner attended with a group of musician friends. They entertained us almost every night of our stay with performances of Christmas music and sing-alongs. And on Christmas eve even Santa made a special visit! They offered a special Christmas dinner and decorated the dining halls with balloons and streamers. The evening activity was a night of dancing with a DJ.

The overall experience was so good that we are seriously considering returning for the Family Summer Camp or perhaps in the spring.

It's an A+++ for families with young children who don't want a place packed with snowboarders and skiers!! Be prepared to interact with other families. You'll end up with a lot of email addresses to share photos!

  • Liked — The family atmosphere and helpful staff.
  • Disliked — The healthy food options.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
109 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2007

$80 double occupancy with all meals in the midst of a national forest!! Fantastic. The meals alone are worth a special trip as le Guide Michelen would say: Notable are the sausage gravy with biscuits we had one morning alone with the more than ample regular breakfast, the vegetarian meat loaf, and the filet mignon wrapped in bacon and covered with blue cheese we had on our return from a 7.5 mile hike (from 6000' to 7000') on Redwood Mountain along the Sugar Bowl trail. (Oh, and they'll pack a lunch, also included in the price, for you to take on the trail.)

The rooms are not overheated. The beds are exceptionally comfortable. The air (no charge) is pure and unpolluted. Ample pillows, blankets, and towels.

  • Liked — Food, location
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2007

We spent 4 days at this place whilst visiting Kings Canyon/Sequoia national parks.
We loved this place, though I have to warn that it is not a conventional hotel. If you expect to be waited on at meal times, not to have to clear away your own dishes, expect to have your room made up every day etc then this is not the place for you.

The lodging comes fully inclusive of three meals and at the rate I was paying I didn't expect anything fancy at all. Turns out the food was much better than I expected. It's served buffet style, with plenty of variety and lots of it available. Even if you a vegetarian like me, there is still plenty of choice, and they will cook stuff for you if there is nothing out that you can eat. My husband is a carnivore and found the meat and fish on offer to be good quality and well cooked. As we spent the days out and about hiking, we weren't in for lunch. They do a packed lunch for you, you just need to order the night before. Best of all there is free access to the kitchen so if you get peckish in the night you can get a snack. Tea coffee and soft drinks are always available from the dining room. The place has a small bar as well. You eat at tables which sit 8-10 people so its a good chance to meet other people. I really liked this aspect. Coming form the Uk on holiday to California it's easy to only have contact with hotel and restaurant staff. It was interesting to talk to ordinary Americans. We met people from Texas and Louisiana as well as Californians, people from all sorts of backgrounds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their stay.
The staff were very friendly, always seemed to be busy but happy to talk to you and answer your questions.
As this is a resort lodging, it offers activities like Archery and Horse riding. We came for the hiking, so didn't try any of those.
The Lodge is really convenient on Generals Highway between Kings canyon and Sequoia national parks, and is in a beautiful setting itself. Next to a lake in the middle of the forest, with views of the mountains. It has a swimming pool and hot tub and you can go canoeing on the lake.
We booked a double room with a bathroom, though the lodge also offers more basic cabin accommodation as well. The room was clean comfortable and well stocked with toiletries. There is no TV in the room, but you don't need that at a place like this.

  • Liked — Sitting in the hot tub watching the setting sun light up the mountians beyond the forest.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2007

Just got back from a week of family camp. It was my husband, myself, and our two boys (6 and 5). We went with about 4 other families with young children. One family had a special needs child - the counselors were exceptional with her.

The good:
-The staff and counselors were amazing. They were all friendly and knowledgeable. I can't say enough about the staff. The skits, the pow wows, and other fun activities that they led. The group leaders all had so much personality and were so accomodating.
-There were a huge variety of activities. They ranged from arts and crafts room to guided mountain bike tours to water skiing.

The less good:
-we stayed in a cabin with no running water. I would not do that again. Especially, when I realized they have rooms that have bathrooms in the lodge. The cabins were not very clean (lots of dust and bugs).
-the price. I feel that it was overly expensive. A lot of activities are included, but a quite a few are not. Waterskiing, horseback riding, mountain biking (if you use one of their bikes), some arts and crafts, and others I may not know about. I was offended that they put an ice cream freezer right next to the buffett line. It became a battle with my kids when they wanted an ice cream and I said no. I belive the ice cream ranged from $2-$5 - definitely full price. Why? You are already paying a lot, build in an extra $20 for ice cream. The other thing I was surprised about, but paid, was the gratuity. They suggested an average of $100/person in your family. I did tip $400 because I heard that the majority of the counselors and staffs pay comes from tips.

I felt like the price (If I remember correctly, we paid around $4,000 for the family, without tips and the extra activities), reflects a nice resort. The grounds needed some improvements. To their credit, it sounds like the new owners are fixing it up (new boat, new beds in the lodge, new horses, etc.), but I felt the price I paid subsidized some of the improvements in the future. All of this being said, I would recommend the Montecito Sequoia and I would go back. It is a unique experience to share with your family. We enjoyed talking about what we did during the day, singing songs around the campfire, catching fish, and strengthening our bond as a family. The family time is much more important than luxury anyway!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Montecito Sequoia Lodge

Address: 63410 General's Hwy, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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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