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“Over rated and over priced” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Ahwahnee

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The Ahwahnee
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389   |  
Hotel amenities
Southern California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
“Over rated and over priced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Wife, daughter and I stayed three nights in The Ahwahnee in the course of an October Yosemite visit. The public areas are beautiful, the rooms are small and worn. The restaurant is fine for one dinner but the menu is not extensive and nothing changes from night to night. The breakfast buffet is very good and it is impressive how they succeed in mass producing high quality Eggs Benedict. The hotel staff is typical Yosemite -- good people who know their stuff. The dining room staff is a bit of an anomaly as I am seldom served anymore by folks who are older than I am ... but no contest here! Maybe my expectations were too high but I just was not impressed by The Ahwahnee. Yosemite Lodge is a better choice for in-park accommodations. As an aside, the park was lovely in October, the weather was great and some of the falls were still running.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Santa Maria, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

My wife and I decided to spend a few days in the fall at Yosemite and signed up for the Vintners' Holiday. This was a welcome experience. Arrived Sunday the 4th of Nov and attended the welcome reception, where we could taste four different wines from the four wineries participating in the event. A very nice crowd in a great mood and everybody seemed to be there to have a pleasant time. The wineries participating in our event where Wild Horse, Simi, Halleck and Louis M. Martini. It was a time to learn about wine making, tasting and mingling with the winemakers at a beautiful setting. The fall in Yosemite showed lots of colors of reds and yellows, but little water. There was no water in Yosemite Falls and a trickle in the Merced river, but that created a peace and quiet in the valley. My wife and I walked all over the valley and enjoyed the wonderful weather (72F) and scenery and took a lot of pictures. If you have never been to Yosemite in the fall, try it. No crowds and peace and quiet. Of course we were fortunate with the weather, because a storm was coming in that weekend. No chains for us required. We enjoyed the Vintners' Holidays and if you like tasting wine and mingled with a great group of people you should definitely try it. By the way we stayed at Yosemite Lodge and used the shuttle bus service available free in the valley.

Room Tip: Staying at Yosemite Lodge is more "rustic", but clean and a lot less expensive, then stayi...
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Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Los Alamitos, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

I have been visiting Yosemite Valley nearly every year since 1955. Most of those visits have been camping in Lower Pines Campgrounds and enjoying every minute. A couple years ago we decided to splurge and stay at the Ahwahnee right after a snow storm. What a treat! The grand lobby with the massive fireplaces, the iconic restaurant with the tall raw timbers and views make this spot unforgettable. Take a quiet, evening walk in the snow and listen to the stillness and view the beauty.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

I've lived in California all my life (not saying how long that is but it's past the real point you don't like!) but just went to Yosemite for the first time. My parents debate whether we went when I was a kid but if we did I don't remember. Anyway, what an awesome trip. Late October of this year (2012). Roads up there had been recently resurfaced. Drove the BMW which really shows why they call it the Ultimate Driving Experience! Beautiful, fun mountain drive and then you hit the valley and it's jaw dropping. Stayed at the Ahwahnee. Majestic lodge. First, let's get real. It was built in the 1920s and they haven't done the "multi-million renovation". I think that's a good thing -- it adds the charm. Room was quite comfortable with a good bed, small sitting area, view of Half Dome, a fine, functioning bathroom, and a big walk-in closet. Great hot water and water pressure. Nothing bad about this at all. I loved that to get ice, you walked down to the elevators and opened a rustic chest and inside was an ice chest of ice!

We went to attend a wedding held at the Ahwahnee. Breathtaking. And the dinner was probably one of the best banquet meals I have ever had. Also had several meals in the Dining Room. It's a grand dining hall with beautiful huge windows with views of the towering cliffs outside and the woods around the hotel. I'd give the food a 3.5. A little overpriced for the quality. The banquet was actually better food (go figure). I will say that for one dinner we had prime rib and it was very good. The accompaniments didn't match the quality though. Also had the Sunday brunch which is quite the production. As buffets go, I was pretty happy. Tons of selections. Be patient with the service though. This is in the sticks, not Manhattan! They were all very nice.

If a stay at the Ahwahnee is on your list (I hate bucket list!), I would highly encourage you to go. October was terrific. The weather was great and crowds very manageable. Only downside is that there's very little water in the falls. I hear May is incredible but can still be quite cold. We had high 70s and on the last night, it rained so there was snow on the mountains as we drove out. What could be better than that!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

During a full week of holidays in California, we experienced no other accommodation as dreadful as this one. I had booked it with the impression that this was the ultimate experience. It turned out to be ultimate with a more literal meaning: never ever again!
Apart from its ideal location, the perfect spot in Yosemite, it deserves no positive comment, at least from our standpoint:
- the room was old fashioned, with amenities that do not match the standards to be expected in such a hotel;
- the personnel at the reception desk was doing their job, no specific personalised attention, very "I-am-paid-to-do-this-don't-ask-me-more" behavior;
- the restaurant looked great, but again, we were very disappointed by the service level, and the cuisine was closer to basic cooked food than anything else.
We had booked the room for 2 nights, we flew out after one night only. One positive comment though: they let us leave without arguing for the second night which should have paid, according to our booking. So nice of them!

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the backyard are also overlooking staff and garbage: to be avoided at all cost...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dana Point, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I've been to Yosemite several times over the years but never in the Fall and especially late Oct/early Nov. but now I know what I've been missing. We stayed in cabin 719, which was old world charm extraordinaire. The wood burning fireplace in the cabin and unlimited wood, kindling, paper and fireplace cleaning service offering by the hotel was pampering to a new level!!! The cabin was extremely comfortable, spacious and light with so many large glass doors that opened to an expansive patio. If you do rent this cabin, be aware that there are two adjacent cabins on both sides that are only separted by doors that aren't sound proof:] The cabin is a short walk to the hotel and was such a treat to go back to every day to relax and get away from the crowds in the hotel. We were introduced to the rooms on the 6th floor of the hotel that sound extremely nice and luxurious, which we noted for future visits (The library room sounds perfect!). The food in the great dining hall was average at best and over priced but the experience and grandeur of the room was worth the price. The bar area off the main lobby of the hotel was not so cozy inside but sitting outside for lunch on the days we were there was spectacular. The great room in the hotel is a must see and experience with fireplaces big enough to walk in and comfy chairs and sofa's. There's plenty of sitting areas all around the room to enjoy how enormous the room is as well as the fireplace. Outside, the valley was filled with so much color from the leaves before they fall that it was a photographer's paradise. The Ahwahnee should be on anyone's bucket list. This is a special special place for all.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Germany
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I stayed with my family for one night at the Ahwahnee. Being this central in Yosemite is amazing and a fantastic experience. The Ahwahnee is also quite impressive. Less impressive were the rooms which are very dated, it feels like they haven't been updated for at least 30 years, beds are small, carpets are really old, facilities are old, etc. Old can be charming, but not like this. The Service was an odd experience as well, we felt like being at an old east european establishment with staff being more focused on what their job is than on servicing customers, i.e. you somehow feel like disturbing them at their work. Dinner was quite nice. Overall, the Ahwahnee is highly overpriced and a great example of what lack of competition can lead to. I would recommend considering alternatives, I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about The Ahwahnee

Address: 9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Ahwahnee 4*
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:
The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park

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