As I explored the mountains, valleys and forests of Yosemite over 2 days time, it was easy to imagine what it must have been like for our pioneer forefathers back in the 1800s. Sleeping under the stars. Building a fire to cook their evening meal. Falling asleep under a canopy of stars to the sounds of the forest animals. But after a full day in the company of Mother Nature, I yearn for the civilized comforts of the 21st Century which thankfully the Yosemite Gateway was able to provide (and at a reasonable rate). You know? Falling asleep on a comfortable bed to the sound of an air conditioner after enjoying an evening meal cooked for and served to you in a restaurant. I could not help but notice the mixed experiences of other Trip Advisor reviewers. Our room was comfortably spacious and the furnishings appeared to be relatively new. The hotel is comprised of separate buildings. We were in the uppermost one, on the upper floor. The day we checked out, we noticed that we had neighbors but we would not have noticed during our stay. We had a small balcony that looked out over the tree tops. Not exactly a "view" but a nice sense of rustic privacy. And when we felt the need to connect with the rest of civilization, there was the free WiFi.
We found the Gateway Inn to be ideally located. We were not familar at all with the area around Yosemite. So I started checking Trip Advisor for the various surrounding towns. That's how we decided on Oakhurst, a decison we found confirmed on our arrival. The hotel is right in the village which gave us access to a number of restaurants, a shopping center, a movie theater (had we wanted to do that) and even a chain drug store down the street with an ice cream "parlor"! The front desk staff was very helpful in not just describing the food in different places but in giving their personal recommendations as well, even after our describing our totally unsatisfying experience at the restaurant next door. Yes, as other reviewers have noted, it's about a 20 minute drive from Oakhurst to south gate of the park. But we found it to be an easy one. We also noticed that had we chosen a hotel closer to the park itself, if we had wanted any other choices for a place to eat we would have ended up getting in the car and driving down the highway anyway. It was nice to spend the whole day with Mother Nature. But just like a visit to your Mom, at the end of the day I was happy to get back to my own place....or at least The Gateway Inn's.