Given the recent rave reviews of this establishment, perhaps our experience was atypical. But with such high marks from other guests, we really wanted to like this establishment. However, we were underwhelmed. The issues we encountered during our weekend stay prevented us from getting any semblance of restful sleep & will prevent us from staying at or recommending this establishment in future visits to the Yosemite region.
Historic hotel with that "old-timey" feel (exterior & interior). There are comfortable chairs lining the porches where you can just hang out & watch the cars go by on Main St./CA-120 (you may run into a neighborhood cat stopping by for a bite to eat). The staff was friendly & helpful. They were ready to give us suggestions with regards to the park (although we did not need them since we've been to the region a few times prior).
The staff put us in Room 118, The O’Shaughnessy (http://www.groveland.com/lodging/oshaughnessy). This room is in the building adjacent to the lobby/main building, towards the back of the property. Our room was small, but clean with plenty of light. The room was close enough to the rear entrance to make getting to & from the parking lot easier.
Easy access to parking from the street & the hotel. You might even see a couple of beagles hanging out on a porch in the lot.
The location of the hotel & relative proximity to the park is nice. There is also a nice tea shop (Dori's Tea Cottage) & a Mexican restaurant (Cocina Michoacana) across the street, & a market about 5 minutes east on Main St. in case you needed some supplies. Between the hotel & the market (past the fire station) is a nice community park.
The outdoor rear patio area looked inviting. However, it was still a little too cold outside to fully take advantage of it.
The free breakfast every morning was delightful. A continental-style spread offering bagles & english muffins. Cold cereals, coffee, juice, & milk. Fresh fruit & a hand juicer where you can squeeze some fresh orange juice. Plus a small hot menu where you can get eggs, omlets, waffles, etc..
We came here via the LivingSocial deal that they offered. When my wife tried to redeem the voucher & book a room, the staff told her that the only rooms they had left for the weekend we wanted to visit were singles (e.g. the O'Shaughnessy room). Not a huge deal except that the hotel had multiple vacancies during the weekend according to their online booking system. Granted, this is not Las Vegas, but an "upgrade" to a room with a queen bed would have been nice, especially if that room happened to be vacant during the weekend.
The shower head is one of those adjustable stream ones. Apparently the previous guest had turned the head sufficiently to loosen the head from the pipe threads. The water pressure backed up a bit & caused water to spray from the back of the shower head into the bathroom. I managed to tighten the head so this was not a problem during the remainder of the stay. In addition, the water temperature would fluctuate randomly. Sometimes it would get too hot, other times too cold. Adjusting the hot-cold water flow seemingly did nothing to help.
Given that this is an old building, the floors are creaky & the walls are relatively thin. Late at night, you can hear water flowing through the pipes if someone flushes a toilet/uses a sink/takes a shower. The shower pipes for the neighboring room were particularly loud. This normally wouldn't be an issue except the neighboring occupants decided to take 30-40 minute showers around midnight on both nights we stayed there.
The Iron Door Saloon is adjacent to the property. One of the only establishments open late at night in the immediate area. And a source of annoyance for someone trying to sleep late at night due to the noise level coming from the driveway that the saloon & hotel share. Perhaps the noise level doesn't affect other sections of the building, but there weren't any structures separating our room from the noise (& it seemed like noise travels pretty well through the back courtyard). It seemed that the noise level from the saloon died down after 12:30 am, but this is not conducive to an early morning trek into Yosemite.
Since the O'Shaughnessy room only had twin beds, I offered to take the bed next to the window (my wife gets cold easily). Good thing I did, as the window was 4 inches from the bed & drafty.
In regards to the beds, they were WAY too soft & "plushy" for my tastes (I have chronic back problems, so a firm mattress is definitely preferred). I felt that the only support from the mattress was directly in the middle... move a bit towards the edge & I felt like I was going to fall off the bed. Because this was a twin bed, I felt like I was going to fall off quite often. They were also very creaky. Turning over or getting up/into the bed & the bed would creak. I also ended up using the decoarative pillows as bed pillows as they provided more support than the sole (feather?) pillow that was provided.
As part of the LivingSocial voucher, we were offered $35 off a dinner at the Cellar Door restaurant. We decided to use the voucher on the first night rather than search for a local dinner spot. We arrived around 6:15 pm & although the dining room was completely empty, the hostess apparently needed to scramble to find a table for us (she ended up seating us at a window table which was supposed to be reserved for a later guest, although when we were finished a little before 7 pm the dining room still did not appear to be half full). Our server was also unable to tell us with confidence what menu items were unavailable, so she went to check with the chef (who had unfortunately "stepped out"). We were hungry & wanted to get back to our rooms quickly so we could rest after the long drive, so we only ordered a couple of starter & entrees. The caesar salad was tasty as was the grilled prawns (though at $9 for 3 prawns, it wasn't a great value). However our entrees were rather bad. My wife got the seafood pasta. The overall dish was under-seasoned (my wife suspected that the pasta was cooked in unsalted water) & the pasta itself was cooked past al-dente (when we asked for salt, our server forgot to bring us any). My 12 oz ribeye however was over-done (I asked for medium, it was almost well-done) & overly salty. My side of wild rice was WAY over cooked & had the consistency of oatmeal. And my "seasonal vegetables" consisted of broccoli & carrots, & was waterlogged. We skipped any dessert & got out of there. For us, the mexican restaurant across the street had much better food at a much better value.
The establishment promotes free Wi-fi service in all rooms. Given that we were at the far end/rear of the hotel, we barely got any signal whatsoever on a laptop. The hotspot didn't even register on our smartphones. The signal was strongest in the lobby & restaurant. This is where we had to travel to if we needed to check email or look up directions.
My wife thought that the chocolate used for the "chocolate-covered" strawberries were terrible. Given that she used to own her own high-end chocolate shop & she continues to work in the chocolate & food industry, I trusted her opinion & passed on the strawberries.
- Also Known As:
- The Hotel Groveland
- Groveland The Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cellar Door Restaurant (formerly The Victorian Room) at The Groveland Hotel, underwent a major renovation. A feel of casual elegance exists, with chocolate brown leather chairs, oak tables, white tablecloths, alabaster style lighting, candles and fresh flowers. The Courtyard is open in warm weather. We create memorable cuisine, using the freshest, organic products available, and accommodate special diets and most food requirements. Our award-winning wine list contains almost 600 labels from around the globe. ... more less
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