Earlier this year, when I first started looking at lodging for our Yosemite trip, I checked out "Yosemite Lodge at the Falls" in the park but found that their website stated that none of the rooms have air conditioning and the only available rooms were around $260 a night. Since my husband likes A/C and I don't like paying over $200 a night if I can help it, that scotched the place. I am glad it did because when we visited between June 2 - June 7, 2013 the temps some days were in the 90's and humid and A/C was essential.
So I decided to book at the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal, despite the negative reviews, at $189 a night. We requested a 3rd floor room to avoid noise from other guests. We got there too early for check-in but I asked if any renovated rooms were available. I was told that our "Mountain View - Two Queen" room was in the Maple building which was not recently renovated but for $220 a night we could get a room on the riverview side. I thanked them but declined.
We had room 3329 which was close to the elevator and entrance steps to the building so was a very convenient location. The exterior steps and elevator floor could stand to be cleaned. We were quite satsified with the room upon entry, it was fairly large, clean looking and did not have any off smells. It was a bit warm so we turned on the A/C. The style of bathroom and kitchen tile and wallpaper looked like it was last redecorated in the early 1990's. Later on we realized that there were old stains on the carpet. I never walk around with bare feet in hotel rooms anyway and I guess it is to be expected that there will be stains when you have a kitchen in your room.
The bath room was large, clean and with no hint of mildew and no mold. There was plenty of counter space. The towels were adequate. Since we had a double queen room there were four sets (bath, hand, washcloth). Dial brand complimentary toiletries were provided. Tissues and wastebaskets were provided in the bathroom and bedroom.
The kitchen is part of the main room. The counter top was white tile and clean, no mold. There was a coffee maker, toaster, minifrig, microwave, two burner electric range top, range hood, and bar size sink. In addition to the plates, glasses, eating/cooking utensils, pots/skillets, they provided, dish washing soap, a scrubbie for washing (not new), a dish rack, and a nice kitchen towel. I made a simple breakfast each day of scrambled eggs and toast to start us off and the little kitchen area was perfect for this. There is no disposal so don't put food down the sink. We brought paper plates and utensils to eliminate the need for washing a lot of dishes. The hood did a pretty good job of dispensing cooking smells.
Across the room there was a small table and two chairs which was perfect for two people to eat. On a large low cabinet sat a good size flat screen TV. The mattress was very springy. I have a bad back and had been so concerned about what I had read about the mattresses that I had brought a Thermarest camping pad just in case there was no support. I was pleasantly surprised that the mattress gave my back good support and I had no back pain in the mornings. The blanket, sheets and mattress pad were old and could stand to be replaced.
As mentioned in other reviews I had read, this building was right next to the highway so cars going by are easily heard if one does not have the air conditioner on. However, since it was so hot we always had the A/C on which was quite noisy. But we were so tired each night we were able to fall asleep.
Needed to be fixed: There were a few items that we reported on different days and they were fixed by the time we returned at the end of the day. Refrigerator tray broken. One of the two burners did not heat up on the stove. Tub/shower control could not be turned tight enough to keep it from dripping.
Internet access: There is a sign posted in the lobby that there is free WiFi in the lobby while they are are installing WiFi in the rooms. There are also desktop computers that can be rented ($5 for 60 mins up to $40 for 700 mins). The minutes may be used over multiple sessions. One note: As mentioned, the hotel is in the process of installing Wifi in the rooms and there there was a large ceiling access panel in our bathroom. Unknown to us, they accessed the panel during the day and apparently did not close it securely because when we came back that night and had the vent on the bathroom, the door fell open and could have caused us serious damage. I recommend if you have an access port in your room you verify that it it secure.
If we come back to Yosemite again, we would definitely stay here again. It is only 1 mile outside the park entrance and the drive into the valley is scenic. We also preferred it to the busy, crowded atmosphere in the valley.
While, Valley parking is at a premium, we found easy access to the park shuttle by parking in Lot A and taking the Visitor Center shuttle. Driving into Lot A, go around the circular drive til you reach the beige information tent, go right and drive around behind it. Park behind the green awning and restroom building. The parking lot shuttle picks up at the green awning and goes directly to the Visitor Center. The main park shuttle can be picked up from there.
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- Also Known As:
- Yosemite View Hotel El Portal
- Yosemite View Motel