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“Historical Hotel Experience” 5 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
Oceanside, California, United States
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Historical Hotel Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

The Wawona is an old historical hotel with a lot of style and character. It is in the unique setting of Yosemite National Park, about an hour away from the famous Yosemite Valley. The hotel is maintained in a historical fashion, without TV or phones. Your cell phone may very likely not work, or be unreliable. There is one lounge for WIFI connectivity. You enjoy a simpler way of life by visiting with others, or playing games, or reading by the fire, or listening to live vintage music. The room have old style decor to fit the exterior design. Rooms were cozy and comfortable, and from the past. Staff members were all very nice and seemed proud of their hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,210 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (308)
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

When I walked up to this hotel I was instantly in love.
The property was adorable, our room was fantastic and the overall hotel and staff amazing.

HOWEVER:
Please note, our room was affordable (off season $80-included breakfast) because it did not have a private bath, the bathroom was instead a communal bath outside down the veranda, the room also did not have a TV or phone.

The communal bathrooms were spotless and glowing white, they give you big bathrobes to walk to the bathrooms in, so that's no problem. The bathrooms were also super heated so you weren't cold when you got out of the shower. They also have gone "green" and just put giant dispensers of soap/shampoo/conditioner in the showers to reduce waste. The bedroom was pretty small but adorable, had a very comfortable bed (though we did fold the antique looking comforter onto the chair) and the room was heated perfectly even though it had gotten rather cold outside. Only real con was in the main building the walls are pretty thin so you can hear everyone pretty easily, but they did have earplugs available on the nightstand if you were interested, after all the hiking I didn't even mind still hearing the piano downstairs and was out cold.

The lobby in the main building was like stepping back in time, we were by far the youngest people there (25/26) but I really enjoyed the roaring fire, the live piano and the fun chatter about history and stories of vacations and anniversaries past and cocktail service in the lobby, a change from the usual hiding in your hotel room flipping through channels with nothing on. Maybe isn't for everyone, but playing borrowed games and sipping wine by the fire was a perfect evening for me after a day of amazing natural beauty and hiking.

Dinner was also fantastic, a little on the pricy side (ended up being $100 for 2 for entrees, wine and dessert) but the portions were large (perfect for post-strenuous hiking) and fresh cooked. The staff was amazing in the restaurant too!

A wonderful place to visit, meet new people and relax, just make sure you're expecting the historic amazingness and not a modern luxury suite.

Room Tip: Don't worry about not having a bathroom in suite, its not a problem at all to walk around the co...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Stayed here on a whim after spending the day in Yosemite. Planned on going out of the park to one of the towns on the outskirts, but ended up leaving Glacier Point late. While en route to Oakhurst, stumbled upon the Wawona. It looked pricey, but we decided to check just in case. The woman at the front desk was quite possibly the most friendly hotel receptionist I have ever met! She explained the different prices, and had a suggestion for all of my concerns. We ended up booking a shared bathroom room in the Annex building for a fraction ($80) of what I thought it would cost to stay in the park last minute. The building felt historic and magical, and it was beautiful waking up in the middle of the park. We also enjoyed dinner at the restaurant, which was decent, but slightly overpriced (ok ribeye was $30, pasta was $22 and slightly dry, blue cheese wedge salad was very, very good and worth $8, decent bottle of wine $26). The service was fantastic though, making it well worth it to not have to leave the property after being in the car all day! After dinner we took what was left of our wine and lounged by the fireplace, which was constantly stocked with wood by the front desk woman (wish I knew her name). In the morning continental breakfast was included, or you could upgrade to a hot breakfast for around $8.00. We did one of each, and both were good, even for the extra money. I would absolutely stay here again, especially with such a caring and accommodating staff. On a side note, the shared bathroom was about three doors down from our room, a brisk walk on the outside porch. It did not bother me in the least bit, but might deter others. An en suite bathroom was around double the price.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erskine, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

My sister and I ended up needing a night's accommodation (after sharing an RV in Yosemite with our other sister and her hubby)..we had to share a wee bed and never got any sleep..so both woke up in the am saying ''Wawona'!! lol...(though it was the most perfect spot near the river :)
anyway, it is expensive but very beautiful :)...very clean and huge room...with huge bed :)...we had to share bathroom facilities..which isn't a problem...though it was a bit of a walk..and we always ended up running into guys in the corridor!!!..that gave them quite a fright, i can tell you!!! lol
The separate toilets and showers were very clean and warm
We actually had dinner with our sister and hubby...it was delicious...though pricey
The inclusive continental breakfast was lovely :)..lots lovely coffee too!...staff were all lovely too! :)
We really enjoyed our cocktails in front of the big log fire..really cosy :)

all in all it is a fab place...if you can stretch to the ensuite rooms, id go for that :)

oh and the Pioneer Village 5 mins away is brilliant!!...beautiful covered bridge! :)

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

This review is like no other I have done before. It appears from many of the other reviews that people either love this hotel or hate it. Well we loved it. Do not consider this hotel if you like your conveniences and comforts. The hotel does not pretend to provide them, so if you want them go elsewhere!

So why did we like it. This was our first visit to the Yosemite National Park and we were blown away with the beauty and grandeur. Frankly the last thing in the world I wanted to do was communicate by phone or surf the internet. This hotel transported me to another time, with walls covered in history and stories of the park. It was exactly what I was looking for. I passed a number of hotels on the way in to the park that would have been perfect BUT not for our Yosemite trip..for that we needed something different which is exactly what we got.
The staff were very helpful and provided excellent service. We found the restaurant food and service to be very good and better than we had expected. We did have a room with an en suite bath but as other reviews have stated that is not always the case.

When visiting the valley (with all the other tourists) it can spoil the serenity of the location but returning to the tranquility of the hotel brings you back to where you want to be. Silence and stars ...lots of them!

So it’s simple:

Silence , stars, history, something different or

wi-fi, fridge, comfy beds, AC, equipped bathrooms

Make your choice!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

The management of this facility mistakenly equate a historic and rustic hotel with a historic and unmaintained hotel! You CAN have a historic hotel which is kept clean and adequately maintained for comfort and convenience of its guests. Yes sir, you certainly can! It might mean a little less profit in your pocket in the short run, but returning guests and their positive ratings and recommendations used by others will make up for that initial loss (if at all) in the long run. We ain't coming back that's for sure! Yes, the setting is nice and the buildings look quaintly historic from the outside, but this is where the pleasantries end. For $250/night (in off season time) we checked into a depressing room for 3 days and 2 nights, with outdated, torn, and overused bed spreads which nobody uses anymore except maybe Motel 6! The radiator hissed loudly (and I mean loudly) all night long generating uneven room temperatures. It was either so hot that we had to toss the sheets aside, or cold enough that we had to pull the blanket back on while trying to avoid touching the dinosaur bedspreads (which we know are not washed every time guests check out). And to top it off, several times throughout the night we woke up to the startling, loud noise of banging pipes (most likely the radiator's). And the bathroom was a different story all by itself! The dim light bulb on the high ceiling barely lit the space. The once-white tiles were grungy. The claw-feet bathtub with its old-fashioned cloth curtains wrapping all around it was just gross! Frankly I didn't shower during my stay there, I just couldn't ! It is very unpleasant to be constantly touched by the wet and cold god-knows-when-it-was-last-washed shower curtain! Also, there was no place I could put my toiletries while in the bathroom washing up at night time or in the morning. I finally thought about wearing my fanny pack to hold my toiletries every time I was at the sink brushing teeth and doing whatever it is one does to get ready for the bed or the day.

The sun room with wifi access was a nice space, but often overcrowded and loud, while the empty lobby was yawning from boredom. Why don't you provide wifi in the lobby area as well?

I am not a spoiled city girl. I love to camp out, and I have stayed in not-so-great places in central and south america and the middle east, but not at $250/night price tag in off-season time!

I strongly suggest for the owner/manager to spend a few nights in various rooms of the hotel (preferably paying $250/night each time) to see it for themselves.

Food was decent, staff were great!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Insch, Scotland, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

Stayed two nights here. You need to go understanding you are going to stay in an old building. Lovely setting and the staff were helpful. Having to go outside for the bathrooms is novel. It is best to go with your own stock of drink and snacks. There are no facilities to make tea/coffee. Went to the restaurant on the first night but found the food overpriced for what it was, okay if you like tepid mashed potato, Next night drove into local town for a great meal at the italian restaurant but it is a fare distance. The continental breakfast included in price was interesting but very sweet. Fruit bowl, sweet yoghurt, muffin and their "character" bread which was on first morning sticky cake. When asked for plain toast was told would be an extra 3dollars. Next morning two of our party upgraded to cooked breakfast 8dollars each and I got toast substituted for banana bread. The pancake breakfast was huge. The positive side to this hotel is its peaceful location and restful ambience you just have to be prepared to step back in history to how hotels used to be a few decades ago. Went in October and the heating works really well and the radiators are burning hot.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Amenities:
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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