Just got back from 3 nights in Yosemite. Stayed at the Stoneman House in Curry Village. Let me first say the park and the sights are second to none (Yosemite = 5 Stars). Absolutely amazing. I visited Yosemite about 30 years ago and had no appreciation at the time for the truly stunning landscape. Here are some of the good/great things about Yosemite:
1. Views - Arguably some of the best views/ scenery perhaps in the world.
2. Ice Skating - This was a blast and located right next to our room in Stoneman House @ Curry Village.
3. Gift Store @ Curry Village - 75% OFF everything (due to renovation they are clearing out). We got some amazing gifts & souvenirs at blow out deals.
4. Shuttle Bus (to Badger Pass) - This was free (included with park admission of $20). Very nice bus, ran on-time and provided opportunity to enjoy the scenery.
5. Yosemite Village - Very neat area with museum and outdoor interpretive walk. The Yosemite Valley is pretty flat so it is really easy to explore the area.
6. Docent/ Ranger Walks - We did a (free) 90 minute walk with a park ranger/ naturalist. This was informative and offered a good mile or so loop.
NOT SO GOOD:
1. Rates - We paid almost $200/ night for Stoneman House. This facility is worth about $19/ night anywhere else in the United States. I understand Yosemite is not in close proximity to freeways. But this rate is totally without justification. I can only assume DNC is making obscene amounts of money or the National Park/ Dept of Interior is making obscene amounts of money. Somebody is ripping off the end user/ consumer.
2. Heat in Stoneman House - There are 2 options for heat, Sauna or meat locker. This made sleeping really uncomfortable as I was either getting up or down to turn the heater on or off. A thermostat is a novel idea that would also SAVE lots of money (and perhaps provide for lower rates).
Food - Prices, like the room, are way too high. Again, I understand location requires somewhat of a premium BUT 2, 3 or 4x grocery store prices does not make sense. DNC should contract with FedEx if they are unable to offer more reasonable pricing.
Badger Pass - Ran out of rental equipment for most common sizes so I was unable to ski. Signed up kids (8, 7) for a beginner lesson. Too many other kids in the lesson so virtually zero attention per child (except for the 1 kid that could not stand up on skis got 75% of the attention). The beginner/ rope tow hill is way to short and almost flat so it makes it really hard to learn when you are spending more time in line than skiing.
Tubing - I took 1 look at their excuse for a tubing hill and laughed. I thought I was missing something. The run was about 50 yards long. 1 tube at a time. Very gradual, almost flat. This tubing hill is for 2 year old at best.
I hope to get back to Yosemite ASAP. Next time will be spring or summer and will not stay in Stoneman House or any other facility. Camping will hopefully be a more economic option.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.