I love this place; it's quirky, friendly, funky...I would stay here again in a snap. However, I'm sure it's not for everyone --and that's okay--more room for me!
Good things: Very affordable rates. Fantastic location right near Mono Lake, Tioga Pass, Lundy Canyon--you can hike, kayak and swim in an incredible number of varied landscapes without having to drive more than 12 miles from the motel. The motel itself is lovely, with the gardens being an especially delightful place to just lounge for hours watching hummingbirds dive between the hollyhocks and sunflowers or chatting with other guests and drinking coffee. The staff is so great--friendly and really helpful in figuring out local attractions. The cafe and free wifi is also an added attraction. Rooms are cute--nice colors inside, nice views from the windows. Finally, if you are more of the liberal bent--this is the place for you--it attracts all kinds of hikers/bikers/photographers and environmentally-oriented sorts as well as international tourists.
Things I can imagine would upset some folks:
Rooms are teeny tiny--there is little room to stash all your gear and no closets--hence we kept a lot of our stuff in our car. They need more coat hooks or shelves or something to store clothes and gear in the room--but hey, it was really cheap!
If you get a room with a shared bath--you have to walk outside to the shower/toilet area--which might freak out some people, especially single women, at night--although I thought it seemed pretty mellow in Lee Vining.
There aren't a lot of places to eat, although the little market has some great deli food and we ate sitting at a table in the motel garden a lot.
Walls are paper thin--and although most people were pretty quiet the week we were there, I was not appreciative of the late-night guitar serenade emanating from a neighboring room at one point (but hey, they responded politely to requests to cease and desist until morning.)
Finally, if a person needed a spotless, super-private modern facility, or couldn't stand hanging out with wildlife photographers, German tourists accessing the shared baths in their underwear, hippy hikers, touring motorcyclers in leathers, etc. it might be a hard place to be, but I though it was pretty close to heaven on earth for a week.
- Also Known As:
- El Mono Hotel
- El Mono Hotel Lee Vining