As a family of four, we decided to take a 3-day weekend and spend it in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I used Trip Advisor to help locate this place, and reviews from TA as well as other websites convinced me that it was a great place to stay. Conveniently located within the Park and less than 20-25 minutes from everything we wanted to see, it boasted a newly remodeled kitchen and new carpet and flooring, so we felt great about our selection.
We arrived after dark and were able to get the key from the office, though the office was closed. We found an envelope with our name on it and the key and directions/map inside, taped to the office door. Don't rely on your GPS to get you to the front door, and I would recommend having the owner or property manager email the map in advance because finding it in the dark was a little challenging. But we found the place, and didn't realize there were 63 steps to go down to get to the rental entry. It is located on the backside of the building, on the bottom floor, and the stairs have solar lighting, which barely works for an hour after sundown because of the tree canopy surrounding the property. So, make sure you have a working flashlight and anticipate stairs.
Upon first impression, the rental was exactly what we had hoped for -- a one-bedroom with new carpet, kitchen floors, beautiful granite countertops in the kitchen and bath, high-quality undercounter stainless deep sink with Kohler faucet, brand new stove/oven, and the bathroom complimented to kitchen with the same granite and a clear vessel sink with another high-quality faucet. Though the microwave and refrigerator were older, they were in great working condition. The kitchen was fully stocked with dishes, flatware, utensils, pots & pans, coffee maker & coffee, and assorted spices. The living area had a new sofa sleeper and a flat panel TV with VHS/DVD players. There was a good selection of movies to chose from, or you could check out movies from the office at no charge or bring your own. The amoire in the bedroom contained additional clean bedding, and we had brought a queensize blow-up bed w/bedding since our kids didn't want to share the sofa sleeper -- there was plenty of room to put it in the living room at night and we put it on the bed in the bedroom during the day. In fact, we never opened the sofa sleeper, just took the backpillows off and put the sheet and blankets over it.
In the light of morning is where the rental lost a star. We went to eat an early lunch on the patio and the table and chairs were dirty -- not just with dirt and pine needles, but with coffee spills and sticky stuff on the table and two of the four chairs. I did find cleaning spray under the sink, so I cleaned it. I went to put our grocery away, and due to the limited space, wanted to use the top of the fridge to put our cereal, bread, etc. It was covered in that gummy, oily residue you find in kitchens, so I cleaned that too. While cleaning I discovered the underside of the handles for the fridge and microwave were black with grime, so I cleaned that too. I went ahead and scraped out the goo in the corners of the microwave door too. We notified the office before we left for the day about tightening the handles on every pot & pan -- they were very loose and ready to fall off, too dangerous to use.
The office fixed the pans while we were out enjoying to gorgeous weather and views surrounding us. It was so easy to get to the Valley Floor, and so glad we opted to stay within the Park since traffic can get bad. It wasn't very crowded this time of year, and we reserved the 2-hour open-air tram ride around the Valley Floor so we could have a ranger tell us about the Park as we enjoyed the views. We had a relaxing day and returned to the rental to have dinner. We packed food as if we were camping since grocery stores are not close by, but don't stress too much because you can find food at the Yosemite Hotel and the museum at Glacier Point, but it's expensive. So after dinner, I started the dishwasher, only to find out it didn't work. So I had to wash all the dishes by hand and it was at that point I decided to write-up a punch list for the rental.
The next morning I gave the office the punch list of what needed repair or cleaning and all the things I had already cleaned -- the doors still had hand grime and dirt, the bathroom baseboards were filthy, cobwebs in the kitchen window, the wicker nightstand full of dust in the cracks and needs hosing down, and the bedside lamp and two lights in the kitchen entry were out. We left for the day and hoped the office would have everything fixed. When we returned, the lights were working but the dishwasher was not and the doors and baseboards had an oily residue on them. I had to clean the oil off the doors and floors so we wouldn’t fall and washed all the dishes by hand, again. The repair guy from the office showed up around 8 pm to try to fix it, but we were getting ready for bed and leaving in the morning, so I we told him to fix it after we checkout.
That night we read through some of the comments others had written in the guest book. The owners seem to listen to suggestions and act on them. You can tell they have invested in the property and want quality for themselves and their guests. It may be time for them to consider a new management company. The property is now clean, but I, the guest, should not have been doing the cleaning or writing up a punch list of repairs – the property management company should have been doing this. In addition, when I brought this to their attention and asked for a 10% reduction in our bill upon checkout, the property manager for Four Seasons Vacation Rentals argued with me for 10 minutes about how they tried to fix things but only one person knows how, that I should have told them sooner, etc., blah blah blah. I did receive the discount, but only after having to stand my ground. A good management company would have apologized for the inconvenience, thanked me for taking the time to let them know as well as the effort to improve the rental, and given me the check with no hassles.
With a better management company (and new dishwasher), this place would be 5 stars.
P.S. I should have known better when the office had given us the key in an envelope with my name written over white-out a previous guest and the crumpled directions that they asked for back so they could re-use for the next guest. Pennypinching on envelopes and directions was the first impression and clue to the level of service.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.