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“You are a captive audience!” 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
San Francisco, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“You are a captive audience!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

If the Awhannee were anywhere but at the crown jewel of national parks it would be just ok. It is wildly overpriced. It is a fine old hotel, ragged around the edges, needs updating and upgrading and anywhere else it would be a weak 3 star hotel. The halls are dirty, the food is awful and very over priced, with amateur waitstaff. The lobby is pretty with old uncomfortable furniture, and the service over all is not very good. We had to ask them to light the fire in their flagship fireplace..and they did, but it took about an hour. This is where they advertise "cocktails by the roaring fire." All in all an ok hotel that is so expensive that it has to lead to exorbitant expectations.
That being said, it is in the most magnificent setting ever! There are other overnight locations in the park but most are booked months in advance. We booked here quite late and it was available due to the hefty price tag no doubt.
So, start saving, and lower your expectations and enjoy the most spectacular park in the USA !

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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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New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

The Ahwahnee remains the nicest hotel in Yosemite Valley - but being the only first class game in town means they don't feel the need to keep the rooms up, or to provide the best value for your travel dollar. The positive: the public areas, the hotel's architecture, and of course the setting are all fantastic. It's a pleasure to sit in one of the great rooms off the lobby, by the fire, or sipping tea, or reading, or whatever. The hikes you can take right outside the property are world class. And the shuttle bus allows you to keep your car parked while you take in the many charms of the Valley. The not so positive: rooms need to be updated - bathrooms have old fixtures, the ventilation is not great, there is one elevator for the entire hotel and while we were there the service elevator broke down. The high price you pay for the room entitles you to absolutely no food, only coffee and tea. If you want to eat in the Restuarant, the Hotel warns you to make reservations well in advance. As for that Restaurant, while the room itself is grand, the food is not. The food in the lounge did not look much better. We were advised to eat dinner at the Mountain Room at the Yosemite Lodge if we wanted decent food, so we did. The staff at the front desk were nice, and the bell staff and parking crew did work at being friendly. But overall the price here is high for what you get.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Fountain Valley, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We have camped for years in Yosemite with our kids, but this was the first time my husband and I went alone. For our anniversary we booked a long weekend at the Ahwahnee and had the best vacation/anniversary we could imagine. The staff was extremely accomodating and went out of their way to make our stay memorable. We had a corner room with a view of Yosemite Falls out one window and Half Dome out the other. The room was clean, bed was large and comfortable and we slept well. We had dinner in the dining room on two of the nights and were treated to the most romantic piano music and excellent service by Dave, our waiter, who surprised us with a "Happy Anniversary" dessert. Dinner is pricey and the dress code is strict but SO worth it! Chef Bob is a genius! Be sure and do the historic hotel tour while you are there. It's free and very interesting. Faith was our tourguide and she was great. Also, you must have afternoon tea at least once, it is served free with homemade cookies every afternoon. There is a free shuttle bus service right outside the front door to most places in the Valley, but we found the Ahwhanee location to be very walkable and chose to walk most of the time. There were deer grazing and we even saw a bobcat one morning. Picturesque, peaceful, perfect for a relaxing get-away. It is expensive, but both my husband and I felt it was definitely worth the price for this little bit of heaven!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We just came back from two nights at the Ahwahnee and I couldn't say enough great things about this beautiful hotel. We took our two kids who enjoyed the pool, tea time at 4pm, hiking and hanging out. What a spectacular setting!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

All I have to say is, why would anyway stay anywhere else!!!!!!!
I stayed here in March with my husband and 2 teenage sons and where very welcomed by the staff at the Ahwahnee. This hotel has the most amazing views of Yosemite, and the building is just beautiful with its high ceilings, large meeting areas and cosy fireplaces.
Absolutely loved this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
GnrlMgr, General Manager at The Ahwahnee, responded to this review, April 1, 2013
Good afternoon Tiana72,

I am so happy to read that you wouldn't stay anywhere else when in Yosemite. The Ahwahnee was indeed constructed in just the right spot to to afford views of Yosemite's most iconic sights. This location was the home of the old Kennyville Stables. You see, stable operations are a big part of Yosemite's past as the valley was used as grazing grounds for livestock for many years. Now guests staying with us can see Half Dome, Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls, or the Royal Arches depending on the room they might be occupying. I am also happy to hear that you felt very welcomed by the staff. We are very honored to be able to carry on that tradition set nearly 86 years ago.

Warm regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, cA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We just got back from the Ahwahnee where we found a wonderful, well run, nicely maintained hotel with a friendly staff. The hotel lives up to its spectacular location in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The Ahwahnee sits in the park surrounded by forest between Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. We’d dreamed for many years of enjoying the luxury of the Ahwahnee and when we got there it turned out to be even better than we had imagined. I was put off by some of the negative reviews found on this site, but we had wanted to go to the Ahwahnee for many years, so we went anyway. I’m sure glad we did. Now, I’m kind of suspicious that some of these negative reviewers might be trying to keep this awesome place to themselves. Giant fireplaces that you could stand up inside of if they didn’t keep them lit. Huge rooms, high ceilings in the public areas with comfortable furniture. Rooms off to the side and up the stairs and around corners that are quiet and cozy. I’ve visited castles and mansions turned into museums where I wished I could spend the night. Staying at the Ahwahnee is like living that fantasy. The staff was kind and helpful and responded to my every request. The front desk, the bell hops, the housekeeping, room service and the store clerks could not have been more accommodating. Making sure I was taken care of and happy was their goal. Our room was comfortable. Everything was clean. Spotless. The view from our balcony was breathtaking. The Ahwahnee is a rare jewel in a vintage setting. People who prefer cookie-cutter hotels with shiny glass and chrome might not appreciate this hotel’s unique ambiance, but I sure did. Thank you Brett Archer for keeping this national treasure up to such high standards.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
GnrlMgr, General Manager at The Ahwahnee, responded to this review, April 1, 2013
Good afternon INFJ,

Thank you for your very kind review. I am so happy that you had such a great time with us. You are correct in saying that The Ahwahnee is not a "cookie-cutter" hotel; they don't build them like this anymore. I will be sure to share all your kudos with the staff; they are truly the ones that make everything happen. I have been associated with The Ahwahnee since 1993 when I started as the Rooms Manager and take great ownership and pride in taking care of this special place. Thank you for recognizing that. I hope we get the change to take care of you the next time you are in Yosemite.

Warm regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
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Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013 via mobile

Ever since walking through this hotel in 1962, when I was 13, I had this place on my bucket list.
Glad I finally stayed. The public rooms are delightful. Fireplaces are amazing in winter. End of March is a nice time to visit Yosemite, as the crowds are smaller.
Our room was nice but no desk and limited luggage/closet space. We moved to Yosemite Lodge for rest of our stay due to high cost of Ahwahnee - About double Yosemite Lodge.
Perhaps useful to list a few issues: 1. No AT&T wireless signal. 2. Walls are fairly thin, so hope for quite neighbors. 3. Shower heads are less than six feet tall, so hope you are shorter than me. 4. Make brunch or dinner reservations as soon as you arrive. Perhaps a challenge to make time to enjoy this beautiful hotel when you likely came to see Yosemite.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Ahwahnee

Also Known As:
The Ahwahnee Hotel
The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Hotel
Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
Address: 9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service 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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