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“You're paying for the Name” 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
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“You're paying for the Name”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Amazing building, design/decor, history, setting and the perfect location for exploring the park. I love the Kubrick connection as well and this alone made the visit worth it for me.

BUT, those things aside, there is plenty that is average about the hotel and if it didn't have its history and setting then no way in months of sundays would it get awayw ith the sorts of prices that it does. I can stay in Claridges in London for the same money I paid and the service, food etc. will be utterly fault free, the best you can find anywhere on the globe.

A couple of major points. When we arrived, the lady at the front desk did not warn us that evening dinner gets very busy/would be close to fully booked/closes its booking system at a certain time. Clearly the Ahwahnee has a problem with dining and could do with another restuarant (we noticed and interacted with other guests having the same problem and also not being warned about the diffuclty or competition to secure a reservation) but until that is resolved I feel that guests should be warned and prompted to book for dinner ASAP. We would have done had we known how busy it gets and we probably would have got a table. So if you're reading this, remember to book for dinner the moment you arrive. If you're stuck then book into the Mountain View at the lodge a few minutes away (which might actually be better food).

The Breakfast Buffet was also very disappointing and certainly not befitting of a $550/night stay. Poor choice, a tiny plate of fruit that was depleted, cold temperatures and generally dissapointing at any price, let alone $26+ per person. To give you an idea, the $11 buffet we had at the budget Yosemite View hotel was noticeably better with a lot more choice to boot. Service was also a little slow which never helps.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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1,674 reviews from our community

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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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são paulo
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

The Ahwahnne is a National Landmark located inside the Yosemite National Park, Sierra nevada, CA.
It was built in 1927 and has been mantained in flawless condition, keeping its classic style but with all amenities of a contemporary hotel.
The hotel is surrounded by huge rock mountains and a natural forest where guests can spot squirrels, deer, bobcats and even black bears!
The staff is very kind and supportive, the rooms are comfortable and spacious and the food is excellent.
The dining room is an iconic chapter of this fairy tale called "The Ahwahnee" - dining there is an experience of a lifetime.
If you ever have the chance, do as I fortunately did and book a room at The Ahwahnee to celebrate a special occasion.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Stayed in 6th floor, most expensive suite ($1,000 plus/night). The sheets had holes in them. The ice "machine" was an ice bucket next to the elevator where I saw guests use their hands to retrieve the ice. (does the health dept. know about this?) Took 13 hours for housekeeping to pick up a discarded tray of food next to the elevator. The waiter in the grand restaurant was at best socially awkward and at worst, just snarky. Would have ordered more drinks and dessert, but literally could not find wait staff. Internet only available if you stand next to your window or leave the hotel. I even tried to contact the Ahwahnee management several times on their own facebook page to address my issues before posting on tripadvisor, but never heard back.
I know this is a world famous hotel with copious history, awards, etc, etc., but it is run down and the staff is indifferent. From their point of view, why work hard if your hotel has a monopoly?

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 22, 2013
Dear Melia F,
Thank you for your frank review; I appreciate your honesty. I am so very sorry and embarrassed to read that you had holes in your bed sheets, we didn't pick up your dirty room service tray for 13 hours, and the service in the Dining Room was not up to our standards. I can understand why you would think that we don't work hard for our guests because we have a "monopoly," but please know this is certainly not the case; I can assure you that my management team and I are passionate about creating special experiences for each of our guests, and I was accordingly very disappointed to read that we failed you on so many levels.

I'll be the first to admit that The Ahwahnee isn't perfect. We make mistakes like all hotels do, but what sets one hotel apart from another is their ability to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one. I only wish that you would have called or stopped by the Front Desk sometime during your four-day stay to let us know that you weren't satisfied. We would have jumped at the opportunity to turn your stay around. I did note in your review that you posted a comment on The Ahwahnee's Facebook page while waiting for your tray to be picked up, but as I'm sure you'll understand, we simply can't be on Facebook all the time. We use our Facebook page primarily for updates on the happenings and special events of the hotel, and though it's updated regularly, it's not an effective means of contacting the hotel for immediate service. As such, I regret that your message didn't get to us until it was too late, and that we didn't have the opportunity to change your perception of The Ahwahnee.

I do hope that your experience won't discourage you from visiting Yosemite in the future. Should you return, we would love to have another chance at showing you the true Ahwahnee experience.

Best 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.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
148 helpful votes 148 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 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 8
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.
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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
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Ski-In / Ski-Out 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*
Number of rooms: 123
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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