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“Review Of Just About Everything But The Accommodations” 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
SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Review Of Just About Everything But The Accommodations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

The Ahwahnee Hotel is well known for its historical presence and beautiful location. It's also known for its high rates, which is why I never stay there. What I love about the Ahwahnee though is that despite the fact that I am not I guest, every time I go I am treated well and able to enjoy the Ahwahnee experience.

This visit kicked off with the Sunday brunch. As part of a very large group, we were unable to get a reservation for 19 but had to break into two groups with reservations one hour apart. Not a terrible situation, but highly annoying to find that large tables sat empty during both reservation time slots. The brunch was fabulous, as always, and the dining time of 10am allowed my party to enjoy both the breakfast fare as well as the lunch fare, a changeover that occurs at about 11am. The piano player was quite lively, the waitstaff extremely friendly and the food delicious. It's expensive to be sure, but well worth the money to enjoy such a wonderful dining experience.

I also dined in the small casual hotel bistro. This dining experience is nothing spectacular, even if you are able to snag an outside table. The food is overpriced and the menu hasn't changed in years. This component of the Ahwahnee needs some freshening up. Also, the wait staff seem less attentive here. Friendly, to be sure, but they always seem to be running a skeleton crew.

As a non-guest I always enjoy lounging around in the hotel's great room. I've spent many hours there, in all seasons, reading or just enjoying the comfortable furniture and wonderful ambience and views out the windows. Outside is also open to anyone who cares to enjoy it. There are lounge chairs for resting, an inviting lawn to stroll or become a soft napping spot and umbrella tables from where you can order drinks. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these options, as well as the cold water dispenser on the patio (perfect after a long walk).

One day I may decide to splurge and pay the price for a proper Ahwahnee experience but for now I'm quite satisfied enjoying all it has to offer otherwise.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,263 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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Odder, Denmark
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

If you want the best place to stay in Yosemite, the Ahwanee is the place to stay. You are in the middle of everything and can e.g. do an early morning trip, relax at the pool, when the crowd arrives and then do a late afternoon trip, when the crowd has left. Finish of your day with a dinner in the Ahwanne's great dining room is not chesp, but highly recommeded. Good pick despite of the high price. Would do it again.

Room Tip: Stayed in one of the hotel cabins which was absolutely fine. Wifi is VERY poor, but it is working
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

The Ahwhanee is the best hotel in Yosemite. The staff are very friendly, they always anticipate guests needs. The location is perfect, which complements the old world charm of the hotel. The lawns of the hotel are lovely and the Naturalist walk and the hot chocolate served in the morning is wonderful. The Sunday brunch is the perfect setting in the dining room. This hotel is a gem, you have to stay here.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chandlers Ford
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014 via mobile

An amazing hotel and full of history, you need to read up on before you travel. Well worth the extra expense compared to the other yosemite accommodation. The dining room is definitely a must for dinner, I wasn't going to book and thought we would just eat in the bar which also had a great menu, but so glad we did it was a great experience, very formal and wonderful silver service. The rooms were in keeping to the hotel, traditional but the bathroom was modern and the beds were super comfy. You can walk to most of the sites on the valley floor including yosemite falls and mirror lake, both about a 2 mile wold. Would definitely return.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin TX
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

You hear about the Ahwahnee all the time. "Going to Yosemite? You HAVE to stay at the Ahwahnee." I am not a huge fan of hotels, especially big ones, so I was less than excited but we were booked there through Backroads (fabulous by the way). Wow was I wrong. Set somewhere in the middle of Yosemite. I truly felt I had stepped back in time. I don't think there are a ton of rooms but maybe 100? Our room was 2nd floor, corner. Fabulous. Worth the $$. Comfortable and crazy morning view of the mountain. We could hear the giggles of kids in the pool and watch people play made up games on the lawn. The restaurant is truly a wow. Incredible food and great service. Even the lobby was cozy, historic, beautiful. Don't miss an inch of the hotel. Take the tour, it's worth it. You'll learn so much about the history, the art, etc. I rarely see unique or good gift shops that aren't kitschy, but this one I needed help getting out of. All of this, then there was Yosemite itself....my heart is still there.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Reigate, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

A wonderful step back in time!
In amongst the park it is ideal, but Yosemite valley has far less to offer than staying up in the north to access places such as Tuolome Meadows.
A must to visit for the grandeur and experience of dining in the wonderful dining room.
Beautiful garden to relax in.
Everything downstairs for public show is wonderful, behind the scenes the bedrooms are fine but bathrooms dated- perhaps that part of the experience!
Dinner was great, staff all very helpful.
A must for one night if you're visiting Yosemite.

Stayed August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
texasgirl-98
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

We stayed at the Ahwahnee back in April. It was a perfect time of year for the park! The hotel is old, but that's part of the experience. If I'd wanted something new, I wouldn't have stayed at a National Historic Landmark in an amazing National Park. There was also no way I would want to drive from outside the park somewhere. Yosemite is not really close to anything and you don't get the full feel of Yosemite if you don't stay inside it's borders. The Ahwahnee's location can't be beat!

During the spring, we had a wonderful view of Yosemite Falls from our room. You could actually hear it when you opened the window. We enjoyed walking around the outside of the property, afternoon tea, and both the bar (for lunch) and main dining room (breakfast and dinner) during our stay. The food was good, but it was the ambience I was after. A national park is about nature, wildlife, and the great outdoors. I honestly don't expect 5 star dining. The fact that there is a "fancy" restaurant at all is what surprises me. I think people have come to expect the same level of food, accommodations, etc anywhere they go vs appreciating the historical value of what is present already. You definitely don't get the same feel from a new, random Holliday Inn as you do from staying at the same place as Lucille Ball, Brad Pitt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and The Queen of England. Take a few minutes to stroll through this grand hotel and take in the details to truly understand what it's all about. We found the Mural room very lovely. And if cost is an important factor, stay somewhere else and just come tour the Ahwahnee. It's worth the visit!

Room Tip: During waterfall season, try to get a view of Yosemite Falls
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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*
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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