My boyfriend and I stayed at Tenaya Lodge for 2 nights over Veteran’s Day Weekend. We were both going in with low expectations given that we were using a Travelzoo discount (I am always weary of hotels that need to offer discounts for people to visit). That being said, nearly everything at Tenaya Lodge exceeded our expectations. Overall, I would say this a great place to stay if you’re visiting Yosemite. It is located about 10 minutes outside the Southern entrance to the Park, and about an hour from both Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point. A great base for exploring the southern part of the park. If you’re looking for something more historic or authentic, you would probably be better off at the Wawona Hotel or the Ahwahnee – but if you want something easy, clean, reasonably priced and seemingly great for families – I would recommend Tenaya!
We stayed in an upper level room in the "Cottages", which I would definitely recommend (versus the main hotel). The Cottages are about a 30 second drive from the main hotel and appear to have been recently updated. They are very spacious, clean and have a fireplace. I think there is also an indoor pool and hot tub in the Cottages complex, but it appeared to have been closed for the winter.
The restaurants were all reasonably good. The ambiance at Embers, the most formal restaurant, leaves a lot to be desired. It has an awkward layout and the lighting is too bright, which makes it feel stale and cold. That being said, the service was great and the foot was excellent – albeit very pricey. Jackelopes is the more casual lodge-type restaurant which was a little more lively and cozy, with flat screen TV’s for football watching, a good bar, and an outdoor fire pit. If they could somehow combine the food at Embers with the setting at Jackelopes, I think they’d be on to something….
Given the time of year, we mostly hiked and drove around the park. We hiked the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, only about a 20 minute drive from Tenaya. Do not miss this hike! There are something like 300 Giant Sequoias in this grove, which make the trees in Muir Woods look tiny.
We also drove to Glacier Point (1 hour, amazing view of Half Dome) and Yosemite Valley (1 hour, 15 minutes) where we did the hike to Mirror Lake (beautiful, although no water this time of year).
We both got massages at the Ascent Spa, which was much nicer than I expected. It appears to be recently built or recently updated – and very clean.
We were disappointed that there was no outdoor hot tub open at this time of the year.