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“Could be great - sadly it is not.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Wawona Hotel

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Wawona Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Could be great - sadly it is not.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

This is a sad story. It could be a wonderful story if the Wawona Hotel were managed properly.
The setting is wonderful, the activities and sights absolutely great, the history interesting and best of all – the Wawona is a much better destination then the overrun and ugly Yosemite Village.
Now comes the sad part. Whilst one is prepared to accept some limitations due to the age and history of the hotel – the management has completely failed to keep in touch with providing guest comfort (like for instance Xanterra does in many National Parks).
At Wawona there is NO:
*Parking for guest checking
*No internet in the room.
*No hairdryer in the room
*No newspaper provided anywhere
*No coffee maker in the room
*No refrigerator in the room
*No air-conditioning in the room,
* No iron nor ironing board in the room
Worst of all – rooms are not clean and housekeeping service is below any standards. Cover from a plaster I needed, which fell on the floor – remained there throughout the stay, my empty shampoo bottle left in the bathtube was left there by the room maid.
We have to compliment however the restaurant service – in particular Mrs. Kathy who rendered excellent service. Food quality is of acceptable standard – if not great.
We recommend that this hotel is managed by Xanterra – they do a much better job.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Lake Arrowhead, California
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Where do I begin to explain the countless disappoints this hotel provided. As a California native I have been to Yosemite many times and looked forward to one day staying at the Wawona Hotel. I finally did so in celebration of my husband's birthday when I surprised him with a trip to Yosemite. What was supposed to be a wonderful family get-away turned into a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT which we cut short because of the terrible hotel experience at the Wawona. What is billed as a "National Treasure" and "Historic Landmark" is nothing more than a historic nightmare of epic proportions. Truly, this hotel (which is nothing more than a glorified, old, run down motel) is a historic shame for which our nation should be ashamed. It is completely lacking the most basic of comforts, cleanliness, with total lack of maintenance. Where is the management? Are they not paying any attention?? And for this we paid $251.00 a night!!

Our room #102 was located in one of the buildings adjacent to the main lodge and contained a bath. It opened up onto a covered walkway that overlooked a water boiler and the busy main highway through Yosemite Valley. What we thought at first to be mints on the night stand were actually ear plugs, ostensibly to be used to block out the boiler and traffic noise. This was our first clue to things really going south. Next we noticed the filthy Adirondack Chairs outside our door which we had to clean before using (see photo).

Our room contained two beds, one Full (really, for a couple!?) and one Twim, and was no bigger than a postage stamp. The beds proved to be unbearably uncomfortable with worn out sheets and old, faded blankets written on with a black marker pen.

While our room was one of the few offering an ensuite bathroom, the claw-foot tub/shower was filthy and covered with rust and soap scum. When attempting to shower the shower curtain, covered in red and black mold, enveloped your body making it impossible to shower. The tiny corner sink was tilting awkwardly off the wall and you had to lean in to see yourself in the tiny corner mirror. The old and worn towels which at one time were white were now stained and drab.

The carpet was stained and dirty.

Take a look at the photos we posted and you won't believe your eyes!

The electrical is so outdated we could not charge our computer due to the old, 2-prong plugs. When asked for an adaptor we were told they had all been given out to other guests with the same problem. Oh well, there was no internet or cell service in the hotel anyway!

After one sleepless night we went to the front desk to see if we could get out of our 3 day reservation without penalty. Robyn at the front desk seemed surprised that we were disappointed with the accommodations, saying that the hotel had a loyal following of guests that understood that because it was a Historic Landmark it could not be renovated. That is preposterous! There is a huge distinction between the need for renovation of the existing features of the hotel, basic maintenance and cleanliness and remodeling or modernizing the hotel which would not be allowed. I am not suggesting that this hotel needs modernization, it just needs management that understand the need to maintain the hotel. Making silly excuses such as were made by Robyn are why the hotel is so very lacking in the simplest expectations of guests paying a pretty penny for their stay.

The good news was that Robyn gave us a 15% discount for our one night stay and let us out of the remaining 2 days without penalty. Honestly, had she not i would have gone home anyway, forfeting the money for my own home-sweet-home. Sadly we did not even make it into Yosemite Valley but returned home to So Cal very disappointed.

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Sacramento, California
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Never have I had such a bad experience at any national park. The Wawona
Hotel was such a disappointment. It is a stunningly attractive structure with
several historic buildings nestled in a serene woodsy hillside about an hour south of the Yosemite Valley floor. We knew what we were getting, a small room, with community restroom & showers..that wasn't the problem.
The problem began when the sun went down. The hotel claims to maintain quiet hours after 10 PM, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are two major
issues at the Wawona in the summer---- no AC in the rooms and no enforcement of "quiet hours".

After a long day of hiking in the valley, we arrived at the Wawona Hotel, checked in,
and had dinner at the hotel. Dinner was wonderful, the service & staff were top notch.
We have a 7 year old son, and we were all worn out, so we crashed around 9 PM...that's when the nightmare began. The weather is hot in the summer, so every room has no choice but to sleep with the windows open. The Wawona is an old structure with verandas, which means there is a large continuous deck that encompasses the perimeter of the hotel on both floors. Those decks are made of slats of wood. Imagine the sound of wheeled luggage on that deck..hour after hour, and the nearby open windows. That's how it began. The tourists
arrived in droves late that night, and every 10 minutes, luggage came thundering past our bedroom. OK, this is the physical feature of the building, but it could be addressed, the hotel simply chooses not to. Compounding the problem is the fact that visitors, coordinating in large groups, began to assemble the chairs on the veranda into small circles outside their rooms. Obviously families, and friends are there in large groups to make the most of their visit. Throughout the entire hotel, the vast majority of guests appeared to share the same sentiment---the rooms are too warm to sleep, so lets sit out on the veranda with bottles of wine, and live it up. Laughing, screaming, and the sound of furniture being dragged across the veranda, filled the air....for hours. Quiet time? The room next to ours had what sounded like a revolving door. The door open and closed every 5 minutes, all the while, people were laughing and talking loudly, with utter disregard for "quiet hours". At 11 PM I went to the office and complained about the noise to the desk clerk. She appeared to inform a person in charge of security, so I waited outside my room hoping to hear things quiet down. After 30 minutes....nothing, the hotel was still a wild party. I took action and knocked on the neighbors door. "It is 11:30, people are trying to sleep, this noise
needs to end." The woman who answered the door looked at me in utter shock. I walked away and returned back to the office to complain again.
This time the manager went out the office door headed in the direction of our room. When I returned to my room, the neighbor was waiting for me and wanted to argue. With a French accent she said, "you tell us to shut up"?, I replied, "no, I did not say that". "We have family here, we are having a holiday", she explained. Realizing this would not end well, I turned away and entered my room, collapsed on my bed,
praying this noise would end. By midnight things had silenced enough to get some sleep.....that was the first night.

The second night unfolded much like the previous night, all was well until sunset. Again, groups of people gathered in clusters on the veranda, the alcohol, and boom boxes began blasting music. Again, having a full day of horseback riding and hiking,
we crashed around 9 PM. We had no choice but to open our windows to cool the room, which meant we had to endure the party that was taking place outside. This time it was the room directly above us, kids screaming and laughing. At 10 PM I got
up, got dressed, and left my room to see what exactly was going on outside. The veranda had 3 large groups of people, all sitting in circles, drinking and laughing with reckless abandon. I walked past the room above ours to see what was going on.
Through the open windows I saw 8-12 kids ranging in ages from 10-17..no adults..playing a board game with a boom box blasting away. The rooms on either side were both empty, so I have to assume they were all friends, and the adults were living it up somewhere else. I made my way to the office, demanded to speak to the manager. His response to my complaint, "this stuff never happens". Again he went out the office door, headed in the direction of our room and again I waited outside my room for 30 minutes, hoping it would quiet down----nothing.
Again, I took action. I knocked on the door of the room above ours. When the door opened the kids inside clearly understood the expression on my face. "It is time for things to quiet down", I stated. They apologized and I returned to my room. Within minutes another cluster of voices made their presence known, these were adults. Yet AGAIN, I set off to the office. The manager quelled the voices and asked me for my room number, which I provided. By midnight things were fairly peaceful and we managed to get some sleep.

I do not mind the fact that the Wawona is a known party haven for tourists. Clearly that is the case, as countless dozens of people gathered on their own to have their own parties, while hotel management did almost nothing to prevent it. What bothers me is the Wawona does not make this known to guests. Had we known the hotel had this reputation, we would not have booked a single night there. What's even more disturbing is the fact that the Wawona does nothing to maintain quiet time, putting guests in the awkward position of confronting the problem themselves. This will almost certainly lead to a brawl between guests, and a hefty lawsuit against the Wawona, if there aren't several already. The manager cut our bill by 25%. I'd much rather have paid the full price and enjoyed two nights of rest. We will not be going back to the Wawona any time soon. I suppose in cooler weather there's a chance it could be a pleasant stay, but I'm not about to gamble $200 a night on such a long shot. It is a shame that such a beautiful and historic building turns into a frat party at night. If you're a party animal, and looking for a somewhere to really let loose, here's your chance.

Room Tip: There are some smaller buildings, those are most likely very expensive, but they are your best chanc...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

The property is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. There is a large porch where you can just sit and enjoy the quiet. In the lobby, there's plenty of seating. The restaurant was incredible for dinner. You can expect to spend about $100 per couple but the food was outstanding. You get a free continental breakfast which includes a hot beverage, juice, yogurt, banana bread, muffin, granola and fruit salad. You can get a hot breakfast for an additional charge of $8. There is a pool on the property which never seems to be crowded. There is also horseback riding for $65 for a two-hour ride. My husband went on the ride and thought it was really nice. Now for the rooms - the only reason why I gave this hotel four stars instead of five is because the rooms are very small. Also, there is no air conditioning which is fine because it's cool in the evenings but you will want to keep your windows open which means you can hear people outside. I thought this would ruin my sleep but I slept like a log. There is a large fountain outside the hotel and the sound of the water is very soothing and it put me right to sleep. On a final note, there is no cell phone service in the park. The hotel has a nice seating area where there is Wifi. I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lugano, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We stayed there for our anniversary last week. We booked three nights but stayed only one. We expected old hotel but were disappointed that the room and porch in front it was not clean. We stayed in a separate houses behind the main hotel. Room did not have bathroom and that was a major problem as we had to share it with others. Porch has not been cleaned in months so every time you go to the bathroom you bring all dirt in the room.Later we discovered that the best showers are the public ones next to the Golf shop, but it is a distance from the rooms. There is no WI-FI except close to the Golf shop. #g is sporadic and not very good. All together be prepared for camping like experience here. The price they charge per room cannot be justified at all. That is what monopoly does to quality and pricing. And BTW, breakfast matches the rest. Bring your own food unless you like cheap fatty food.

Room Tip: Choose rooms with shower and check it out before you move in.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Albany, New York
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

The Wawona hotel is located in Yosemite National Park near the Mariposa Grove where the giant Sequoia trees are and there is a shuttle bus that runs many times a day that takes you to that part of the park. However, there is only a once a day shuttle that takes you to Yosemite Valley. This is an old hotel and only about half the rooms have baths which I understand you have to book a year in advance to get. Since I did not, I got a room with a shared bath, but did not find the experience that bad. They provide you with nice robes to make the journey to the bathroom more comfortable. The are also hiking trails near the hotel and it is much more peaceful staying here than in Yosemite Valley.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Wawona Hotel is one hour away from the Yosemite Valley, and is quaint. However, when we booked we were not told that the shared bath room would be two floors down. although the bathrooms are modern and clean, it was very inconvenient to have the bathrooms on a different floor.

It is nice that the hotel is only a 20 minute drive to the road that leads to Glacier Point -- very convenient to drive up to glacier point before heading up to Yosemite valley.

Room Tip: If you are taking a room with shared bath - make sure you know how far away you are from the bath! W...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Wawona Hotel

Address: 8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Wawona Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 104
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Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

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