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“Rustic Retreat” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Montecito Sequoia Lodge

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Montecito Sequoia Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Rotorua, New Zealand
Level Contributor
58 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Rustic Retreat”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

Make sure to enter the lodge from the northern route 180, this way you miss the multiple switch backs that may cause you gastric distress! The lodge is rustic and they really mean it that there is no TVs or phone service. It can be a little scary if someone needs to get in touch with you! Buffet style meals are served at designated times, you can get tea & coffee @ any time. Breakfast was much better than dinner, so bring snacks to munch on! Do not plan on purchasing wine or beer,they do not sell any, so bring it with you.
This is really a family spot, so it can get very noisy, they do have quiet time starting @ 10PM. There are many activities for the family.
The staff were extremely helpful in getting out of the park with an impending snow storm! They were a saving grace in getting out as the brochure the park guards give you say the road could be closed for a long time due to snow storms!!! Did not know this when making a reservation.

Room Tip: ask for a room away from the steps.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanklein K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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539 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
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English first
Enfield, NH
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We spent two nights at the lodge recently and have two boys, 7 and 9. The lodge is VERY comfortable and easy to stay. Our boys felt right at home. Yes, there are a lot of kids and families if you stay in the main lodge and for meals, but that is the beauty of this place if you like families/kids. We struck up easy conversations with other parents and our boys joined in many games with other kids. There is a fooseball table and ping pong table, and two fireplaces. The views are incredible! The food is good, not gourmet, but excellent salads and decent variety. We rented snow shoes for a great hike up the hill and would have done cross-country skiing as well but the snow was hard and crusty. Programs (morning and afternoon) are posted for kids (5 and older) and were not the best organized when we were there, but our boys did one afternoon while we went snow shoeing. Rooms were comfortable and roomy enough. I guess I don't understand other reviews expecting well-appointed rooms--this is a lodge, not a four star hotel! We felt very comfortable reading in our room or hanging out in the main lodge room prior to meals. Overall, we felt an excellent value, with the incredible bonus of having two famous sequoia groves within 15 miles on either side. Don't miss it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kes43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davis, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed 2 nights and I thought from the website that the Family Camp was just in summer. So it was just my husband and me and then big families with lots of kids!!! We were the only couple. The rooms are okay; not very well appointed. Ours had the stairs right next to it and kids clomped up and down to the point of driving us crazy! There are also large signs posted in the hallway to "Please Whisper" and there was screaming in the hallway up until bedtime, between 9 and 10. The all inclusive, buffet turned out to be very good, and they let you bring all your own alcohol into the dining room. The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive but this wasn't our cup of tea. It's a little pricey as well for the quality of accommodation. But there's lot's of snow sports available! Um, yeah, perfect for families!

Room Tip: I guess all I can say is, don't stay in room 108!!!! The stairs next to it are a real problem...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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
Helpful?
1 Thank queenmolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
121 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

long way to go but it's worth it. Got lost, my sister rang and the staff was very helpful to give directions.Staffs are very helpful and very nice. We arrived in the afternoon,cold and hungry and there's a warm soup and fruits prepared all day. Dinner and breakfast were very nice. Room is a bit outdated.But the place and the views are amazing.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gildaqs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Carlos, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Staff gets 5 stars. They were friendly and excellent in every respect.
Location gets 5 stars, but follow the online directions for snow travel to the T and bring chains.
Rooms get 4 stars. Rooms were nicely furnished, beds comfy with snug woolen blankets and quilts, bathroom was updated, modest but clean. A few minor things were a bit worn, and the doors stuck sometimes, but it wasn't shabby or outdated. It is a family place, so expect lots of running around and the walls are not soundproof. However, everyone is really good about keeping the quiet time rules. Sleeping was not a problem.
Food was 4 stars given the remote location. There was an excellent variety at every meal. Yogurt and cottage cheese bar at breakfast in addition to pancakes, waffles or French toast, sausage or bacon, and eggs. Salad bars at lunch and dinner had a nice mix of options. There were always veggies, vegetarian options, and kid friendly foods available. At lunch you could make a sandwich or have a hot lunch. Soup was available all afternoon, and cereal, toast,oatmeal, coffee, tea, milk available all day. Fresh fruit was also available at every meal, and usually a basket of apples oranges and bananas in the afternoon. To my delight, there were no sodas in the drink dispensary, but flavored vitamin water, juice and ice tea. Soda was only available in a vending machine. Nobody in my family went hungry! Given the other reviews on food I was worried, but I really felt there was something for everyone, and they even let me keep a lunch plate in the fridge for when my youngest was napping through lunch service.
Recreation gets a 5 stars. The cross country ski trails ar gorgeous, the rental very reasonable, and the staff super friendly. The kids could go snow tubing, sledding, make snow forts, or do arts and crafts indoors with a counselor, no extra charge. They provide snow tubes and have some sleds, but Bring your own sled if you have it. They had a small slope for snowboarding which we didn't use, but looked nicely maintained. Indoors they had tons of games to check out, in addition to ping pong, air hockey, and two cozy fireplaces to hang out by. In the evening there was usually singing and marshmallow roasting inside. Don't expect much in the way of Internet service, it's only available in the main lodge and is pretty slow when everyone is using it. I didn't mind, as that was not the purpose of our trip, but i saw a few disgruntled teens.... Plus side is they found themselves doing other activities.

Overall, a lot of your experience depends on what you want. If you have a family, like meeting other families, love the casual atmosphere of having lots of kids running around having a great time, then this is the place for you. Not everyone supervises their children well, but nobody seems to mind if your kids aren't at their best either. If you are a couple or a group of adults only, you might find mealtimes and evenings a bit chaotic, but the rest of the time the lodge is a nice place to relax.

Room Tip: Big families should try for a suite. Get an upstairs room if you keep an early bedtime to minimize n...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Helpful?
10 Thank SabbieM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We arrived late but phoned ahead to tell them. They said they would keep us a dinner warm but we arrived in time to partake.

Look the food wasnt great hence 4 * but the staff, the room, the open fire,the ambience more than made up for it. We didn't have younger children and t would ave bee. Reflect for them but our older boys had fun reliving youth with fusball etc (aged 16 -53)

Would recommend in a heart beat

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Helpful?
4 Thank Heather B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, Minnesota
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

After reading a few poor reviews of this place, I was a bit apprehensive about staying here. We were limited in our options for places to stay near the park, so we decided we would take our chances and prepare for the worse. After all, there were a number of reviews that were positive; maybe we would be one of the lucky ones.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a friendly staff person at the desk. She told us all the information we needed to know and informed us of the brown bag lunches they offered to guests that were going to be out and about during the day and wouldn’t be able to be back for lunch at the lodge.

Our room was in the main lodge on the top floor. There is no elevator, so you have to lug your bags upstairs. Our room was quite nice. There was a king sized bed and a bunk bed. We had our own bathroom, which was small, but clean and adequate. The view from the room was terrific, as it looked out east into the woods and mountains. We got a great view of the sunrise the next morning.

The meals are included in the room price, which is great, as there are no other restaurants close by. Having said that, the food is of the quality you would find in a buffet style restaurant. We had no problems with the food, but some people could have issues with it. I would suggest getting down there early to get through the line first, before all the kids with their dirty hands get the chance to handle all the utensils and stick their hands in the food.

They have flavored water, coffee and hot chocolate available at all times, as well as cereal and some snacks. The small bar does have some alcoholic beverages for sale during certain times, too.

There is a ping pong table and board games for kids and families to entertain themselves. There is a TV in one of the main rooms, but not in the individual rooms. No phones in the rooms, either, but one in the stairwell for guests to use, if needed. This was not an issue for us, but some people might find it a turnoff. Also, there is wi-fi in the main room, but we found that it worked in our room, too. It just depends on where you are and how good the signal is.

Now for some of the drawbacks: the carpeting in the hallway was pretty worn and in need of replacement. The walls are paper thin, so you will hear everything that goes on in the rooms next to you or above you (I would imagine). They ask you to be quiet in the hallway, but even doing that can’t disguise the fact that you are walking out there.

The room didn’t have air conditioning, but in mid-October, that wasn’t an issue. We had snow and blustery winds one night, so we actually had to turn on the heater, which worked fine. If you are staying in the summer, however, you may have an issue with trying to stay cool.

If you don’t have kids or don’t like kids, this is definitely not the place for you. There are many kids roaming and running throughout the lodge. This is can be off-putting if you are expecting to relax and unwind in front of the fire with a good book. If you have a family, then this probably doesn’t bother you.

I read one review that complained about mice. While we did see a rodent trap in the den area, we never saw any actual mice or rodents, so they must have things under control. What do you expect when you are staying that close to the woods?

All in all, the experience was much better than we had anticipated. Sometimes there is something to be said for low expectations!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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
Helpful?
16 Thank DandVtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Montecito Sequoia Lodge

Property: Montecito Sequoia Lodge
Address: 63410 General's Hwy, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Montecito Sequoia Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All Meals and seasonal activities included in the room rate: A Rustic Mountain Lodge & Summer Family Camp located in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California. Spectacular view of the Great Western Divide of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. All Lodge Rooms have private bath. Cabins have shared bathhouse. Open year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Montecito Sequoia Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park

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