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“Historical charm but over priced” 4 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
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Historical charm but over priced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

The rooms are expensive, but you are staying in history, and right in the heart of Yosemite park.
The building is beautiful and full of charm. The fireplace had a person standing in it, to stoke the roaring fire in the grand living room.
Our room, 304, has an amazing view of waterfall. Staying here in Spring, there are waterfalls everywhere.
The room is small, but not cramped. The bed is big and comfortable and feels like I'm staying in Grandmas bed. The bathroom is cute and complete with original fittings. The bath is small but enough to soak in after walking the trails.
There is a connecting door to the next room, that remained locked, but from somewhere we could here loud creaking and groaning of floorboards or walls settling. Not disturbing, tho.
The bar has vreasonable priced meals. The restaurant is a bit more expensive but worth it for a splurge of glamour.
We ate out once at the village food court to save money but it wasn't that much cheaper. So the rest of our meals were here at the lodge.

Room Tip: I think most rooms should have excellent views. But try to get on the 3rd floor or more for quieter...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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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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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sacramento
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

The Ahwahnee is a destination unlike any other. Few places could match the grandeur of Yosemite, and here you are in one of the most beautiful places in the park. The prices are not for the faint of wallet, and you need to lower your expectations. The rooms are small, as are the bathrooms. We reserved a balcony room, and the fine print said shared. What we had was a very small balcony, with a view to die for, separated by our neighbor with a wooden screen. Unfortunately, our first night, the neighbors were a group of young men (lots of loud conversation, raucous laughter, dude this and dude that, you get the picture). Lucky for us, they were gone the next day, and the quiet couple who checked in- we never heard them. The public areas are beautiful. Except for the pool. i guess they needed to do it, but its a big round blemish,that takes away space from a beautiful peice of property, and attracts mostly kids. I've read complaints here about the staff, but we found just the opposite. Many have been there decades, love the place, and it shows. Cliff (from Muleshoe, TX, as it says on his badge) is a charming gent, probably near 70, who serves tea in the afternoon and seats folks in the dining room. Louie is one of the maintenance people who we struck up a conversation with while enjoying a pre dinner cocktail outside. We told him we were there for a special anniversary. A few minutes later he appears with a boxed bon-bon from the Sweet Shop. What a special surprise! We are well traveled and although this was a small gesture, it was so well meaning and so unexpected, it brought us to tears. The Dining Room- a beautiful place, with very good servers and a variable staff of assistants. A few were frankly bizarre. One night the soup was seafood chowder. i asked if it was cream based or red? Our waiters assistant was totally non-plussed. We never did find out. The food was good, not great. Pretty much standard hotel fare, although the prime rib was outstanding. The prices are high for what you get. The wine list is short, and expensive. The corkage- hold on to your hat- $30. The staff makes sure you know that before they pop your bottle as the mention of it is in fine print on the menu. They seem a bit embarrassed by it, and should not be. But management sure should. This is California after all, one of the great places in the world for wine, where many collect and save special bottles for occasions like visiting the Ahwahnee. There is simply no excuse for this excessive charge. Breakfast buffet is $25. Save your money and order a-la-carte. You'll spend half of that and have plenty to eat. We will return as we love Yosemite and the charm of the Ahwahnee, and if you can afford it, you should stay at least once. But it's not perfect, so come expecting that, enjoy the architecture, the people, the quirks, the beauty and spirit that is Yosemite.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
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.
New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
52 helpful votes 52 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fountain Valley, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 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
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 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.

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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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