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“Exceeded our expectations” 5 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
Germantown, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Exceeded our expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

When we arrived, we learned that we were staying in one of the bungalows at the back of the property. At first I was disappointed that we were not staying in the hotel itself, but once we saw our bungalow, we were so pleased. The room was spacious, clean and had a reading area with chairs and a table. The bathroom and dressing area also were spacious. Also the bungalows have small patios in front of each with a couple of chairs and table. It was so quiet in the area that sleeping was wonderful. We couldn't have been more pleased and excited with our stay, especially when we were sitting in front of the bungalow reading and watched a bobcat walk directly down the paved path toward us and then stopping to look at us before making his/her way through the woods.

Room Tip: We really loved the bungalow.
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  • Stayed August 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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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 (278)
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England
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Staying at the Ahwahnee was going to be the highlight of our 20th wedding anniversary road trip of California. We pushed the boat out for a one night stay and I could not have looked forward to it more. Room booked 10 months in advance and all I asked for was a quiet room with a nice view (wasn't expecting vast views of Half Dome from a standard room, I just didn't want to look at the bins). I thought they would at least grant us that considering the notice we gave them.

On arrival we were given the key (yes, a key - nice to have a real key in this day and age when plastic cards are ubiquitous) to a tiny room with no view whatsoever - it looked out on an internal porch area. One of the curtains was half off the pole (the maintenance man came to fix it and actually stood on the armchair to do it, nearly toppling towards the window in the process) and the doors looked like someone had kicked them, the dents and cracks were worse than you would expect in a cheap motel. The wallpaper was patchy in places and the whole room had an unpleasant odour. The covers on the bed were also stained.

We knew in advance that the room was ADA accredited and would have no bath - not a problem, as we prefer showers anyway. Not this one, though - the dirty grouting in the pokey and downright shabby bathroom was appalling. The shower itself looked on its last legs and the small shelf was attached to the wall at only one end.

I do not particularly like making a fuss, but this was more than I was prepared to put up. Straight back to reception. The receptionist was very understanding, and I got the impression this was not the first time she had received complaints about the dark and shabby little room with no view. "We would concede that that room is view challenged", she said, which made me burst out laughing.

Even though we were told on check in that the hotel was full, they managed to magic another room out of thin air for us. This second room was exactly as I imagined a standard room at the Ahwahnee should be - in need of some attention in places, yes, but characterful and, above all, clean and not shabby. The bathroom was fine and the view was as I expected - some lovely cliffs and trees. Fabulous bathrobes and good wifi.

The waiting staff in the dining room were wonderful and the location is simply to die for - the view from the grounds of the hotel and its setting will stay with me for ever. And the grand hall/lobby is fantastic! Food good, nothing special but the dining room more than makes up for it.

With a little more attention to maintenance, this place could be one of the great hotels of the world. Our trip was saved by an understanding receptionist and a room change, but had we been forced to stay in the shabby "view challenged" apology of a room, I would be writing a completely different review.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Bolton
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here as part of an organised tour of California. The Ahwahnee is an old building (1927) but is well-maintained and full of character with very good facilities and levels of service. The dining room is very atmospheric but had vicious air conditioning, the food was very good, though not fine-dining; the Sunday brunch was however a whole new experience for us Brits - an extravagent spread including oyster and an ice statue. The bedrooms are lovely, especially if you are lucky enough to have the better views of the marvellous rock faces, forest and wildlife that surround the hotel. The obvious choice for exporing Yosemite.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We booked one year in advance and were accomodated in a very dark room with windows under the porch.
The room was spacius but the furniture was poor.
We asked for a room switch for the next days, but our request was declined:they said they were full booked and did not answer when i replied i was not asking for an additional room but just for a switch and therefore would vacate one.
We left some towels on the floor and found them in the same place in the evening.
Said that, the building is outstanding and the dining room is a masterpiece.
Overall you end up paying more than you get.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Ahwahnee is a historical hotel in Yosemite National Park.
The building is old but well maintained. Rooms are spacious and clean.
The hotel lobby and the restaurant are magnificent.
Service are very good, polite and attentive.
Breakfast and room service were good.
It is not cheap but worth.
Reservations must be made months before summer.

Room Tip: cabins are bigger and different but a little distant from the main building
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Beautiful hotel located in the heart of Yosemite Valley. Easy access to the rest of the park via shuttlebusses. Valet parking is complimentary.
The lobby, dining room and other rooms at the ground floor are breathtaking.
The hotel room is big, but sadly dated, and the price seems steep.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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.
Stamford CT
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

I guess location really is everything. Shocking that they can charge $500/night for a room. The entire hotel needs a renovation - it's old and it shows and it's insulting that just because Presidents have stayed there, management thinks the condition of the rooms is acceptable. The rooms are tiny and have not been renovated in years. The bathroom is really small and filthy, including the mold all over the shower tiles and the mildew on the shower curtain. I told a manager about this and she had it fixed and cleaned immediately - but why did I have to point that out? The air conditioning unit in the room is unbelievably loud and blows directly on the beds. For two days, housekeeping did not clean dirty glasses from our room. Every molding, wall, and visible surface through the hotel is chipped and dirty. Yes, the public spaces are grand and the view out back is impressive. That's just not enough. As for the service - everyone there is polite and sweet and is trying but they spend more time apologizing for what is wrong than being helpful. Bottom line is - I don't have a problem paying this kind of money if the product is good. It is just not very good. The issue really is that if you want a hotel in the park, there is no other choice as far as I know. You either have to camp or stay outside of the park. Since hotel lodging choices are limited, I can't say I would come back to Yosemite or recommend The Ahwahnee to anyone unless I was willing to camp. Too many other national parks to visit where the accommodations are not so disappointing. For $150/night, I'd say ok - but for what you get (including internet that barely works - I had to go to the lobby to use it) and for how tired this place is, you'd be better off going to another park. Sorry to be so negative in such a beautiful place but this is frustrating. Let me also say that I have traveled all over the world and stayed at outstanding and less than outstanding places - and have paid alot and paid a little so I do have the right perspective on this.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
GnrlMgr, General Manager at The Ahwahnee, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Good afternoon NaplesVisitor,

Thank you for taking the time to share your frank feedback; I appreciate your honesty. There are definitely challenges being a National Historic Landmark in a National Park. It is true, the rooms and bathrooms are smaller than one will find today in most other hotels. That isn't going to change. While the public spaces are kept within the "period of historical signficance" which is 1927 - 1942, they were renovated two years ago with the furniture either purhased new, refinished or reupholstered. And it is time for us to be begin to renovate the guest rooms. We will be working with our new interior design firm on an appropriate design. As with any change, we will also work closely with the National Park Service, who owns the building, in seeking their approval to move forward.

Being a National Historic Landmark, our doors are open to anyone wishing to come experience The Ahwahnee. A good portion fo the 4 million visitors coming to Yosemite walk our public spaces resulting in much more wear and tear that one would experience in other hotels. It does keep our fulltime staff of four engineers and painter busy taking care of her.

With all this said, mildew in the bathroom and glasses not cleaned or replaced is simply not acceptable. Knowing what room in which you stayed and for what dates would be helpful in ascertaining who was repsonsible for servicing your room. We would be able to coach and retrain the associate to our standards. If you would be so kind, you can email me at barcher@dncinc.com

I am glad to read that you found the staff polite and sweet.

Kind 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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