We stayed here twice in 2 different months last fall/winter. Total nights : 7. Our wedding reception was planned for December and we came up in October for a tasting, explore the property and see what our guests would be experiencing. I am basically going to lump everything together in one review except where noted. During both stays there were convention meeting groups scheduled so it's not like the property was empty or anything. One weekend the property was booked full with a classic car convention, the other with the western regional Sierra Nevada beverage distributors. Overall I thought everything ran pretty smooth for being booked as such.
Front desk service was impeccable. Great communication, informed and efficient. A manager corrected a room rate for us with little affair. It printed to more than were quoted, Appreciated that. Our guests' checkins and gift bag distribution was also flawless.
Bellman/Bell-ladies always performed great, especially when we needed 4 carts and 2 of the large flatbed carts to haul in all the wedding decorations and luggage. A very nice tip was in order for the delivery to our rooms. They are also pretty speedy with affixing the tire chains for us and all the guests on wedding day. I guess this is a provided service but we made sure they were taken care of :) The snow was cleared from the time it began falling at 8am until the lots on the property were cleared - and the snow stopped. It must have snowed 8-10" on our special day. When a car happened to leave they were on the spot clearing in-between the cars also. I was impressed.
The only glitch was when we wanted to have some pizza and asked a bellman where the pizzaria was. After we walked over there we saw the sign: closed for the season. Guess he didn't get that memo...No biggie.
We had several communications with our wedding coordinator, Charlene Kelly over 8-10 months. She always returned emails and calls. We made a gazillion changes and she the reception room turned out FANTASTIC. She made sure every last detail was carried out and even stopped by that evening to say hi and ask if there was anything we needed. The food, wait staff service, bar service and everyone else involved did a fantastic job. We were sooo pleased. Not to mention that we received a great deal for the rooms, being this is a "low season" event. The 3 rooms included as many dinner tables as we needed, belly-ups, both inside and outside, patio heaters for the smokers and much much more. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the Christmas tree in the room also! What a nice touch. Five stars for Charlene and her event planning staff!!!
As far as the rest of the hotel service we had no complaints. Being on the VIP list (surprise!!) also entitled us to Bed-turn down service with truffels. How nice :-) not once, not twice, but every night!
Room Value ★★★
I can't say poor or excellent. I have to say the overall value was fair for us. Seeing this is a major National Park resort by DNC I expect the rates to be on the higher end - especially in high season. Everyone will have a different opinion on price so I am sticking with the rating of average.
Sleep Quality ★★★★
We always slept good, beds are comfortable with extra blankets and pillows available in the rooms. Noise at a minimum. You are able to hear peeps upstairs if they are walking heavily.
Our junior suit was next to the elevator and never could hear it.
No issues here. Was impressed with the housekeeping service. They got creative with the little folded things they leave around the room. One time they cleaned the bar area and washed & dried all the wine glasses from welcome party the night before. Darn!
I could drive to the valley in about 30-40 minutes but I they also call me Mario Andretti. Hey it is 28 miles of curvy mountain road with no guard rails in many areas. During chain requirements, well that is another story. It is close enough for me to make the R/T drive, every day if I need to - and have.
Not sure why reviewers rate the location poorly. Yeah, it is not in the valley. I get that. It is also fairly close to town in case you need to make the trip.
We had to change the reservation when we realized how far the cottages were after the first stay in October. We didn't want our guests to have to walk the distance in December cold and snow. It is not far - maybe 4-6 minutes. We felt it was better to keep everyone close in the main building.
A week before the wedding we were advised that the West wing we had the spa suite and guest rooms in was going to be closed for a water pipe repair for the week. Charlene our wedding coordinator had everything moved to the other, East wing. We ended up with a Jr Suite and an pass-through door to a deluxe room. On our special day, having the extra space worked out for the Bride/Groom preparations, the photographers and the bridal party, all milling about in the confusion. I think it was something like 650 sq feet, all combined. We were really appreciative for this after freaking out when we were notified of the change... Getting to the east wing was a little convoluted -as noted in previous reviews- from the main lobby, but after a couple of trips it was a piece a'cake. There is some spectacular photography on the way so walking distance is really negligible.
All of our guests' rooms (deluxe rooms) were adequate and I heard no complaints. Far as I noticed the rooms have refrigerators, all condiments, dryers, ironing, bathrobes, easy to use safes and so on. But, NO Microwaves.
I thought that strange, but as a DNC property they want you to eat in their restaurants, etc, etc. and not bring in your own food.
But how would you warm baby formula, hot water for tea and possibly dinner leftovers? Kind of tacky for the corporate policy. They put tea bags in the coffee/creamer basket? Minus ½★ for no micro. Be nice to warm up the coffee a little also.
One complaint I do have is that Hot water does take a long time. I noted this in both wings of the property. I also took notice that there was no special time that this occurred. Once, in the morning at like about 4AM I had hot water in seconds. Seemed unthinkable that no one else in the area would have been awake at that hour to move the hot water close to our room. On another occasion I timed it to over 3 minutes waiting to brush my teeth in the A.M. Not sure what gives here, but hence the pipe repair I mentioned earlier. The hot water delivery time is all over the board - I knocked a star for this.
We spa'ed on a couple occasions. Some of our guests lived down there nightly. Convenient, functioned well, seemed clean with plenty of towels handy. Great place to have an adult beverage and relax the tensions away after a long day.
We had breakfast here once. Was adequate. Price was commensurate with a DNC property.
Food was fine. Personally we do like eating breakfast in town because we can get Starbucks there.