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“Kids loved it” 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
los angeles
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Kids loved it”
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
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360 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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English first
Austin, TX
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2007

While the lodge may be an entertaining place for families, it is not suitable for couples interested in visiting the Sequoia National Forests. The prices are ridiculously high and the rooms are in disrepair. Our room was full of insects and the towels in the bathroom had not been changed from the previous guests. There were friendly members of the staff. However, by and large, these young people were unable to solve simple problems (such as getting clean towels for their guests) without calling in the manager (who always seems to be far, far away from the main lodge).

If you have kids and a week off, this may be the place for you. If you are looking for a place to spend one or two nights stay elsewhere.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Condition of room and price.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Northern California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2007

This is not a luxury lodge, so please book somewhere else if that is what you are looking for. This is a place for families with kids in tow (like us!). This is a blue collar experience, not the Ritz.

We stayed here during the early summer, and the hotel was gearing up for the "Family Camp". So there were alot of young folks around doing training, however they were all courteous and followed the quiet time rules (10 PM to 8 AM).

First let me discuss the positives and then the negatives:

ROOMS:
The rooms are large compared to a standard hotel. We had a king bed and two bunk beds and still had room to move around. Beware that the bathroom (at least in our room) was tiny. We had a room in the main lodge, and I would definitely recommend staying in one of the cabins if you can get it.

The beds were comfortable and looked like that had been recently replaced. The only problem with the bunk beds is that there was no safety bar. Maid service only replaced towels during our stay and did not make the beds. Not a big deal for us.

The biggest problem we had with the rooms was the location and the lack of air conditioning. It gets warm up there in the summer months and none of the rooms have AC. We had the windows open all night and the fan going full speed with little relief until late into the night. If you are going to stay at any of the parks resorts, make sure to inquire about AC.

So with the windows open came alot of noise and full sunrise too early for us! There were several porch lights that beamed right into our room, and the back door to lodge was used all night long. Unfortunately it was right below our window and also very load when every person let it slam behind them. We did not sleep well any night and the kids were exhausted when we left.

We also had a terrible view from our room. It overloooked two large garbage cans and the counselors housing. I tried to include a photo of that with this posting.

FOOD:
Meals are included with your stay, and we found them to be acceptable. We are not talking about gourmet cooking, but the adults and the children all found something to eat every day at every meal. The first night we arrived about 6:30 to the buffet and several main items were already gone. And when they are gone, they are gone!

The eating area ia large enough to accomodate everyone, however if it is crowded you could wind up sitting with another family. If you don't want to socialize, go to the outside tables! During our stay, we did not have any trouble getting a large table to ourselves. Beer and wine can be purchased as well.

The biggest problem with the food are the flies and the so-called 24 hour snacks. Given that the food is served buffet style and sits out for awhile, flies do land on everything. It was a bit disgusting to be honest, but we managed. The kids liked serving themselves and loved getting hot chocolate whenever they wanted.

Forget the 24 hours snacks. It is a row of cereal dispensers that you can help yourself to whenver you want. There are no real "snacks" like chips or cookies or crackers. Bring your own. There is an ice cream selection, but you do have to pay extra for these. Coffe and tea are available anytime.

ACTIVITIES:
There are alot of things to do at the camp. We spent our days touring the park and then did a few activities when we returned after dinner. We most enjoyed canoeing on the small lake and catching the small fish with the provided nets. We were going to play tennis but never got around to it!

This is one of the areas where the place has potential. There is horseback riding, water skiing, canoeing, hitting golf balls, tennis, archery, firing range, fitness course, hosershoes, volleyball. But be forewarned that these activities are not included in your stay unless you do Family Camp. You will pay extra.

To be honest the facilities are run down and need work. Our kids had a great time while we were there, but we did not pay for any of the extra activities either. I have no idea how good the camp counselors would be with the activities. They all seemed pretty young and maybe need more training?

The lake is pretty small and there was no swimming when we were there (no lifegaurds on duty). The kids were very disappointed. We thought we would have the pool as a backup, but it is very small and was filled with alot of debris. The kids did not want to go in it. THe hot tub looked nice, but we never got in.

Oh, and if you go in the summer months bring alot of bug spray with you. The mosquitos are pretty bad, especially at dusk.

There was a nice walking path around the lake, maybe about 1/2 mile long. I did it a few times in the morning and never saw a sole out there. It was very peaceful and well maintained.

There is a shelf with alot of kids books on it, they all looked well used. THere are also some board games, but not a whole lot. I saw many puzzles in the game cabinet as well, although we never put one together. I expect they would be missing alot of pieces.

RESERVATIONS:
The web site does not really show you much of the facility with photos, so it is a bit of a guess when you book where you will be. We booked online and did not have any issues. The hotel was recently purchased by new owners and I believe being renovated.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No Air Conditioning and the noise at night with windows open
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Salinas, CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2007

We just returned from a week of family camp at Montecito in Sequoia, so our advice is pretty recent. Be prepared for as much or as little activity as you want! Our kids went full-blast, up early to meet up with their new "best friends" and we all went off to archery, tie-dye, horseback riding, guitar lessons, fencing, trampoline, water skiing---and too many more activities to list. The kids were supervised all day by amazing counselors who all seemed to be specialists at their activity, and had fun personalities. The dinners were always incredible, gourmet really, but in a buffet, relaxed style. It seemed a little odd eating these fancy meals at a casual table dressed in camp shorts & tee & flip flops, but we got used to it right away. breakfast and lunch were more basic but with lots of choices. Water pressure in the shower was low in the morning before breakfast, so I'd advise taking your shower when everyone else isn't. There was an early morning yoga class that everyone was raving about, but I don't do "early" when I'm on vacation. Evening activities were a blast! Our last night the counselors and some of the kids performed songs & skits and they ranged from sentimental to hysterically funny. Our lodge room was clean and nicely furnished and comfortable and kid-friendly. You can't beat the backdrop either, the mountain range is gorgeous, and the naturalists kept us up on the flora and fauna. Astronomer set up powerful telescopes one evening--impressive! We are definitely back next year!

  • Liked — The activities and the scenery and the comfortable bedding.
  • Disliked — Camp situation, so dirt got tracked into room.
  • Stayed June 2007, 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
    • 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.
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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 ) 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: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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. Buffet Meals and seasonal activities included in room rate. 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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