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“A destination within a destination” 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
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“A destination within a destination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Those who criticize The Ahwahnee for being old don't understand the historical importance of this place and worse, they don't enjoy the opportunity to experience the wonderful charm that is in every corner of this iconic property.

Visiting Yosemite National Park is an unique experience but staying at The Ahwahnee adds an extra layer of magic. The lobby and the common areas are kept like they were once this place opened in the 1920's. The rooms were updated and they have flat screen TV, nice amenities, wifi and beautiful views.

The service is outstanding. Every one we talked to was very helpful and pleasant.
The restaurant is pricey, but it is a memorable experience.

Overall, if you can afford it, this is the place to be when visiting Yosemite. Let yourself go back in time an experience an era long gone!

  • Stayed May 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
    • 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.
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1,311 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (334)
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English first
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

We have stayed at all the historic national park hotels but this one, so we decided to splurge this year and stay at the Ahwahnee. A standard room is about $500/night, so it was definitely a splurge. The hotel is full of history, the dining room food is fabulous, and the amenities are lovely (tea in Great Lounge in the afternoon, morning coffee available until 11 in the mezzanine), but the room was a disappointment. The view was gorgeous (we could see Upper Yosemite Falls from out window), but they were having trouble with their ventilation system and our room heated to 80 degrees each night, making it hard to sleep. Even with the windows open (it was in the 40s overnight) the room stayed hot. So next time we go to Yosemite we will eat at the Ahwahnee, but not stay there.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Columbia, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

The Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite National Park is a true gem, and one of a kind mountain lodge. I visited with my mom from Switzerland, and the lodge is very grand and impressive. We loved everything about it, and service was excellent. I have been a regular visitor to Yosemite National Park for 11 years, and always visit the Ahwahnee Lodge. Trails are easily accessible, The natural beauty and grandness of Yosemite National Park, seems to take my breath away each time I visit.

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in one of the cottages on the property-which was perfect since I had two little ones in tow. Comfortable king size bed seperate room with closet/changing area-bathroom had a sink outside of the tub/shower toilet room--it was an easy stroll to the main hotel. The service in the bar for breakfast as well as for lunch was terrible--the staff were not the least bit happy to be there--the rest of the staff including the main dining room service were great-something about the bar staff was off.
The pool isn't anything fancy-but you aren't going here for the pool-the scenery surrounding the hotel is beautiful, the hotel public rooms are lovely. Be sure to book your dining reservations for breakfast and dinner ASAP-preferably before you arrive.
Looking forward to our next visit!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

A charismatic hotel, retaining the charms of its 1920's construction. Could not be more perfectly suited to explore the wonders of Yosemite.
The rooms are not luxurious but you a paying to have the view of a waterfall from you room window! - it's worth it!
The walks are incredible - The mist trail up the side of a gushing waterfall is a real once in a lifetime moment, and its all within easy access.

Room Tip: If you can avoid travelling in high season, then do so. A lot of the waterfalls dry up in lat spring...
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  • Stayed May 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We arrived at the Hotel and asked for an upgrade and lucked into a room that is booked for life kind of a place. The guest had o cancel at the last moment and the grandest of surprises unfolded. Once into the bedroom you come to a glass peninsula. The King size bed sits in a giant room with windows on three sides and a wrap around wide party deck. Its in the middle of Yosemite Valley and we can see the whole end of the canyon from bed. Everything about this grand hotel is wonderful. Make your plans ahead of time.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade!
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, NC
Top Contributor
292 reviews 292 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

This was a bucket list stay for my wife and I. I had seen the Ahwanee in books and magazines, so when we planned a trip to Yosemite, this was our place! Upon arrival, we were awed by the beauty of the exterior. When we got to our $700 room, we were less awed. It was dated, not too clean and tiny. We expected dated, having stayed at The Grove Park Inn many times. However, this was way dated, with scarred furniture, old carpet, dirty bathroom, a tiny toilet that I won't go into the difficulty of using as a male, stained furniture and more.

The dining room, great hall etc., are truly amazing to see, but it's kind of like Main STreet USA at Disneyworld. The facade is beautiful, but there's no substance behind the facade.

We ate in the dining room our first night and when we asked for a window table, of which there were at least five available at 8:00 pm, the host acted like it was an imposition. The rules said that a jacket was required for men and that there was a dress code for men and women. When we arrived, we saw people in jeans. WHile not snobs, we were dismayed to see that the standards had been dropped, as we made the effort to dress nicely.

Our server was good but there were two tables who were seated after us who were approached first. While we were not in a hurry, it was irritating. The piano player was a nice touch. I ordered the pork chop special and my wife had prime rib. Both were good but not great. I ordered a bottle of nice wine. The meal was not worth the price. The food was about what I'd expect at a middle of the road restaurant, not a very expensive restaurant. Especially after eating at The French Laundry last week.

The next morning we wanted a quick bite following a birdwatching hike. When we got to the hike site, we found out it had been cancelled. This was after getting up at 6:00 am specifically for the hike. Upon walking back to the hotel we notified the concierge, a rather large black man, that they should not have cancelled the birdwatch without notifying people. He told us that he had no control of that. When I tried to tell him that if the flyers in his hotel were announcing the event, he had an obligation to have control, he blew me off. He obviously didn't give a s_ _ _ _.

We walked about one mile from The Ahwanee to Yosemite Village to get breakfast sandwich. Because we were hiking we didn't take a wallet. Upon ordering and receiving our food, we also ordered coffee and then were told we couldn't charge to our room. SO... we had to walk back to the hotel. We tried the casual venue but didn't want sweet rolls so we went to the dining room. When we asked the manager if we could just get a bagel and cream cheese, as we were not big buffet eaters, he couldn't answer our question and handed us a menu. I asked again, and he mumbled something. We asked to be seated and ordered our bagels. The server was nice and attentive.

Overall, this is a tired and old hotel that needs an infusion of cash and love. The employees were either very friendly or surly. They did not speak to you unless you spoke to them first. Not a first-class experience and certainly not worth the money this place commands. I've stayed at better Marriotts. I'm not sure who runs this place, but they need help. I guess they are living on their reputation. We like to stay in Westin, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton properties and price is not an issue. This was not in any way, shape or form, the same type of experience we receive when staying at the alternative hotels. I am in the hotel business and I know how hard it is to find good help. This hotel needs help!!

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, May 6, 2013
Good afternoon iamstoked22,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts in regards to your stay with us. Needless to say, I am very embarrassed and disappointed that this is what you experienced. I am so very sorry that we let you down.

As someone in the business yourself, you know the importance of constructive feedback. I would love the opportunity to get more details such as the room in which you stayed as as well as the description of the manager with whom you interacted the morning you simply wanted a bagel. With this information, I can do some homework and then coach and correct those responsible. You can reach out to me at barcher@dncinc.com.

I can certainly appreciate the perception you have of us "living off our reputation," but know that is not the case. We have just hired a new interior design firm and look forward to working with them to make some changes to the furnishings and fixtures. I hope your experience doesn't discourage you from returning to Yosemite in the future; if you do, I would love the opportunity to show the changes and improvements.

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*
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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