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“Ahwahnee experience almost ruined” 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
Shenandoah Valley
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Ahwahnee experience almost ruined”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We spent three nights at the Ahwahnee. It has its charm if not value, and hiking down the Panorama Trail was memorable. The Ahwahnee was supposed to be the highlight of our trip to California to celebrate 30 years of employment and a birthday. However, our stay in Yosemite was almost ruined by the old school condescending maitre d’ staff in the dining room. We called to complain to higher management and this led to the matter being resolved. Let higher management know if you get treated poorly or experience a lack of hospitality, for dining operations appear to be under scrutiny. We stayed in many hotels throughout California and would like to give shoutouts to the Omni in San Francisco (exceptional professionalism) and the Spanish Garden Inn in Santa Barbara (handsdown our favourite). Dining worth mentioning were Redd in Napa (superb), the Edgewater in South Lake Tahoe (gorgeous sunsets), and for the more adventurous the Golden Era in San Francisco which is in the Tenderloin, so keep the bling at home.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 2 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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1,241 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 (305)
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English first
Germantown, Tennessee
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
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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England
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
33 helpful votes 33 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
6 reviews 6 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
53 helpful votes 53 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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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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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