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“Dissapointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Yosemite Lodge At The Falls

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Yosemite Lodge At The Falls
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389   |  
Hotel amenities
Rowhedge, Essex
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Dissapointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Luckily had only booked for one night at Yosemite Lodge, it is overpriced for sure. Our room was tired with poor lighting, the grills on the outside vents were broken which meant a draft that could cut your feet off in Jamuary. No denying the location is what sells the place being right opposite the Yosemite Falls. The quality of food in the food court was terrible but there are few alternative choices. If we did it again would stay in El Portal, it's only a 10 min drive to the park and there are about three motor inns there that could be booked at a far less price and I suspect they have to do better as there is more competition.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Palo Alto, California
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
342 helpful votes 342 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Hi, This is my 2nd review of this facility and much of what I said in 2012 still holds. Here is my review which I've updated with new information from this years trip..

We've been going to the "Lodge" for many years, most recently in early February, 2013 and find it's location perfect. We pretty much always go in the winter when you can see the park instead of hoards of tourists. It's the time of year when you can hear the water falls instead of screaming children, can be alone in a meadow on the valley floor, and have a picnic area all to yourself. Our son is a tour guide who winds up leading tours that visit the park in the summer and he tells of it taking 1.5 hours just to drive from tunnel view to Yosemite Village (this is a 10 minute drive in the winter). The winter is the peacful time. Virtually no traffic, you can get pictures of meadows and features with no tourists in them and you can find plenty of parking at all the best stopping spots. However, you can't get to the high country (Tuolomne) or Glacier Point (other than by snow shoe). But the majesty of the valley is laid out before you in all it's glory. During our Mon-Thu stay in the first week of Feb, 2013 it was downright empty. Even in the lodge food court at prime time we never found a line of more than 1 or 2 people.

The Lodge is at the trail head that leads to Yosemite Falls (about 1/4 mile walk with only a small hill to walk up right at the end (about 50 ft elevation gain) - the alternate path from the Yosemeite Falls bus stop is a bit longer but not as steep and more wheel chair accessible). It's also adjacent to the famous Cooks Meadow and is a short walk through the meadow to Sentinel bridge and the picturesque chapel. Yosemite falls can be seen from many parts of the lodge campus as can Half Dome, and many other features. But you can't see the falls from most rooms. This location is about a 15 minute walk from Yosemite Village and the free valley floor shuttle bus stops in front of the lobby. The free shuttle runs about every 15 to 30 minutes (more in the summer). You cannot beat this location.

The lodge is a series of 1950's-1960's era two story "motel" style buildings. While quite impressive in the 60's, it's somewhat dated now. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are good size. They now have in room phones, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. They are still in the process of fixing up the rooms. This year we noticed two full buildings under renovation.

To be honest, these room take a beating. They are filled virtually 365 days a year and during much of the year contain families with children who can be quite rough on the decor and the rooms show this wear and tear.

This year we wound up in a renovated room. This included: New carpet, fresh paint, removal of cieling fan (it must be stifling in the summer as there is no A/C), new art work that was quite pleasing and new lighting fixtures. Most of the work seems to have been in the bathroom area where there was new tile floor, new fiberglas tub/shower, new faucets, new shower head, new counter top by sink - all of which are great imrovements. According to their TV channel, the furniture is hand-me-down from the upscale Ahwahnee Hotel - somewhat rustic but seemed good.

HOWEVER - the mandate for the reno work seems to be "Speed over Quality". When painting they did not remove any hardware and did not mask very well or clean paint from window glass where it slopped over. The other thing is lighting. The DNC company (which runs the place) is very big on what they call "Green path" which is touted everywhere you look. While I am in accordance with this, I find it odd then that they deliberatly leave all the outside lighting on all day long. We turn off the patio light each day when we leave in the AM and find it on each day when we get back before dinner. They also have gone to all CFL lights in the room - which is good. However, they are all the slow warm up type and lower wattage than needed for the space. So, to get enough light we wind up turning on every light in the room. We also found ourselves leaving the light on in the bathroom all the time we're in the room due to the long warm up time till they come to full brightness.

But the weirdest thing of all, espeically considering all the effort they are putting into "Green", was that for some inexplicible reason they mounted the thermostat sideways which prevented it from accuratly controlling the temperature (see photos). When we moved in we set it to 67f. Came back later in the day to a room at over 95f. So after opening all the doors and windows, knocked the setting down to 55. Same thing. We finally got it to be somewhat ok after setting it to 48f. It's that lack of attention to detail that knocks my rating down from Very Good to just Good.

However, it is in the ideal portion of the park, and for the most part you should not be hanging around in your room when in a place like Yosemite.

In the winter, food is offered in a food court cafeteria, an upscale restaurant and to some extent in the Bar. The food in the food court was OK. Nothing to write home about but served the purpose. Minimal selection, but hot. We also had a dinner in the upscale Mountain good but waaaay expensive and also somewhat limited menu. We also had a breakfast in the famouse Awhahnee Hotel which is always fantasitc - but pricey. The bar has some limited food offerings which is typical bar food fare. The bar is quite nice with a big fireplace in the middle, TV's all around and big picture windows. A really nice place for after dark.

If you join the Yosemite Conservancy (I think at the $25 donation level or higher) you get 15% off various things in Yosemite. You also get a coupon book with one time disounts one of which (at least this year) is 20% off rooms at the lodge (off peak season, mid week) - this is a good deal and supports the park.

Room Tip: No elevators so choose floor accordingly. They have family suite units that may be of interest. So...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

The room wasn't bad and it was nothing special either. But the beds were fine and I slept well with is really what counts.

Cons:

• Shower temperature was very hard to control and one morning was jumping between scalding and freezing.
• Both the soap and shampoo were provided smelled awful and the smell was very strong.
• Walkways were icy (though most were at least sanded).
• Not much sound proofing between rooms.
• No air conditioning which can be a big problem in the summer.
• The "Food Court" is not cheap and the food isn't very good.

Pros:

• You're in Yosemite
• Nice view of Yosemite Falls just outside the room.
• Free WiFi (but slow in the evening and my login expired at inconvenient times).

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

As previous reviewers have pointed out, you cannot beat the location of the lodges. Every time we opened the door to our lodge, we were greeted with a breathtaking view of Yosemite Falls. There is a great (steep) walk - about 7 miles - up to the falls which can be done straight from the lodges. The staff were nice, there is plenty of choice when it comes to food and the accommodation isn't the Ritz, but it has everything you need and the room was nice and warm on a cold January day. Can't say fairer than that really.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sunnyvale, California
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Since you'll be spending most of your time outside the room, this seems to be sufficient. The shower was lame- water it spewed was either too hot or too cold, but other than that, it is located at a fantastic location - with a view of the Yosemite waterfall from the room and a 10 minute trek to the fall itself.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topeka KS
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The location is undeniable: right in the heart of Yosemite Valley and a short walk to the lower falls. My room was spacious and comfortable --- not glamorous, certainly, but after all, it's appropriately more "cabinesque" than Ritz. Getting to it across an icy parking lot and sidewalks can be tricky, so bring your "yax trax" or similar footwear device if you visit in winter.

The bed was comfy (a bit on the firm side), with good pillows and extra bedding in the room. The room was also equipped with a ceiling fan, space heater, ipod dock, and refrigerator -- and the wifi was reliable. My window looked out over woods, not the parking lot, and that was certainly a bonus. There is no security safe in the room, and the room door key is the basic issue with dead bolt -- no electronic locks. On the whole, I was quite content with my accommodation, and had no complaints.

It's other aspects of the Lodge that are sub-par: the food court is almost tragic, although the staff was pleasant enough. I was able to use up my included breakfast credit with safe choices, including yogurt, bananas, and decent coffee. But the coffee, I discovered, was only good in the morning. By afternoon, it had boiled into an undrinkable sludge, such that even a free cup was unworthy of consumption.

I had dinner at The Mountain Room restaurant, and it was lovely. The service was gracious, and the food was just short of excellent. Keep in mind, you're going to pay more for a meal here simply due to the location. Get over it and enjoy yourself, and you'll do fine.

Check-in upon arrival was hectic, and I thought the wait was longer than it should have been. To be fair, I'd arrived on the YARTS bus, and there were quite a few of us who arrived at the same time. But when employees sit behind the desk and avoid eye contact with guests who are waiting to check in, you lose points in my book. Most rooms are some distance from the front desk (a good thing), but be sure to ask for luggage assistance if you don't want to drag your bag through the slush.

My biggest disappointment with the Lodge experience was the staff at the Tours desk. They could hardly have been less helpful or more sullen. The unspoken but clearly communicated message was "I hate being here and you're an annoying tourist." I certainly got the message, and the inability to get questions answered from a pleasant human being kept me from booking anything other than the 2-hour Valley tour; just buying the ticket for that event was excruciating enough. Fortunately, the Valley tour was excellent; the driver/tour guide was refreshingly quirky and extremely knowledgeable.

Let's face it -- if you visit Yosemite any time of year, there are limited accommodation options inside the park. In winter, they are even more limited. And of course, the concession operator has an exclusive here. I did not want to pay the price for the Ahwahnee (although I recommend you visit it, and maybe grab lunch there), and I wanted to stay in the park. That pretty much left the Lodge. I enjoyed my stay despite the drawbacks, and the room itself was more than fine. To experience Yosemite Valley in winter.......... well, yes, I would do it again.

Room Tip: My room was a king, and I was told it was one that had been recently remodeled -- so you might ask a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apex, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The furnishings were adequate and clean overall.

The rating is average because the room rate is expensive. Stayed during the MLK weekend and the average night was 200+$/night. Having stayed @ Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and similar parks, I felt that Yosemite Lodge is way over priced.

The food court was ok but again priced 30% more than what I feel its worth to be. A cup of chili was 8$ + taxes.

Furnishings were sparse.

The reservation folks over phone (it felt that way) seem to offer the higher priced options. The room we stayed had a full sized bed and 4 bunk beds. The room was spacious and the shower was hot and powerful. Ask for this room (Room with 4 bunk beds) if you are in a large group to keep the costs under control. Not sure if this option is available if you book over the Internet.

Surprisingly, the room key is a old fashioned brass key. It is single and if you are not careful, you may loose it.

Room Tip: If you want to be frugal, take Cup O Noodles, get the hot water from the food court (it is outside o...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Yosemite Lodge At The Falls

Address: P.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Yosemite Lodge At The Falls 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tuesday August 27, 2013 With the exception of White Wolf Lodge, all lodging and services are available in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley and Wawona are largely unaffected by the Rim Fire and air quality is good. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yosemite Hotel National Park
Yosemite Lodge Falls
Yosemite Ca
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite Hotel At The Falls
Lodge Reservation Yosemite
Lodge Yosemite
Yosemite Lodge Hotel
Yosemite Falls Lodge

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