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Montecito Sequoia Lodge & Summer Family Camp
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Savings alert! 13% below average rates

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Reviews (688)
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Reviewed June 20, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights while on a two week road trip through California. Unfortunately our room was located right next to the stairs so it was VERY loud, although I think all of the rooms would have been just as loud.
There are signs in the hallways to be quiet but they don’t work. You can hear everything in your room. One night as we were laying in the dark trying to fall asleep listening to babies cry, people stomping up the stairs, people running down the hallway, opening doors, etc. We thought to ourselves it would be pretty funny to video the dark to show the black screen & all the noise happening.

The grounds of the hotel are very nice/summer campy feeling. There is a nice pond out front with chairs to sit in & kayaks/boats to use. There is a pool (never saw anyone use it so I’m not sure if isn’t heated or if people just weren’t interested) and a very large patio to just sit & enjoy the view.

The food is ‘included’ (you’re paying for it in the price so I’m not sure you can consider it free/included) The breakfast was much better than the dinner. They had hot coffee on “tap” all day long which was nice.
One down side is you can’t get lunch the day you arrive or the day you leave (unless you want to pay $10/lunch), so for a two night stay you’re only allowed one lunch. You need to tell the front desk the night before that you want lunch so they will have it ready for you the next day.

After driving around the two parks I would guess this is one of the best places to stay!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BrussoDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Ok, so let me say at the outset, I wasn’t expecting much. The lodge is in a National Park, so I wasn’t looking for the comforts of a standard hotel room. I did, however, for the price we paid, expect that the room would be clean, which it wasn’t, and that the property would perhaps have been refurbished since the 1950’s, which it didn’t seem to have been.

Be careful if you book a “lodge” room – it doesn’t, as we expected, mean you have a cabin, but that you are in a room in the main lodge. The lodge is dark and dingy, our room was so small we couldn’t both open our suitcases at the same time, and couldn’t close the bathroom door without shuffling down the side of the loo. The bath and sink were grimy, and the bedsheets were stained. The furniture was dusty. It was a really dispiriting place to be.

Also, because it was right by the main stairwell, and the walls of the place were as thin as paper, we spent most of our night there listening to people pound up and down the stairs.

The food, all included in the price, is served buffet-style, and what we saw of it was very good – home-cooked food and plenty of it. The mealtimes are a little limited – we wanted to make an early start but breakfast wasn’t served until 8am, and dinner was served only between 6pm and 7pm. However, there is some food available around the clock in the main lodge.

The lodge is in a beautiful location, with a lovely lake in front of it, and views across to the mountains behind. It’s well-located for everything you can drive to within the park. If all you want is a place to lay your head so you can get out quickly to the trails, then it’s no doubt fine, but it came up short against our expectations. We had booked and prepaid two nights, but couldn’t bring ourselves to stay for the second night, so we left and moved on to another hotel, with great difficulty given it was Memorial Day weekend, but it was worth it to get out of there. The American family camp experience is not for us.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Janine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

It is a great place to come with families. The cabins are close to the lake, and you see many deers. The kids have play ground, art, and kayaking. the place is better for kids under 10. We had 2 teenagers with us. They were bored after 2 days. The lodge rooms are simple but nice. They have bathrooms and showers inside, the food is not that great. Dinner is bad, breakfast and lunch ok.

Room Tip: some cabins have inside bathrooms. choose either lake view or mountain view if staying in the lodge. It is a great place to stay in sequoia with kids close to nice hiking trails. Close to Lodge pole, our favorite trail, kids can do it too. It is leading to a waterfall.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank ilanag02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Travelers please keep in mind that this lodge is in the middle of Sequoia National Park and is therefore not a resort type setting. It is run by the park association. However the location is amazing. You can get anywhere in the park within the hour.

Its run like a summer camp, so expect active teenagers, but fairly well-behaved. Meals are served at certain times in a buffet setting where you eat with other travelers. The lodge rooms are clean, have reliable hot water, but the walls can be thin depending on which room you get, so be aware.

There is a beautiful lake on the premises that you can take canoes out for free. Rooms don't have tv or phone so bring your Kindle or some books, but the main lodge has Internet, a television and a phone so you can head there if you are going through withdrawals. There are many activities to take part in if you so choose such as archery, astronomy, or hiking and they change daily.

For the price and location within the park this place cant be beat, just know what to expect ahead of time. It is not your typical hotel.

Room Tip: Try to book an upper floor close to the main lodge.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Superb location with great access to the National Parks. You can even do the hiking trails right from the property and leave the car for the day. The meals are buffet style with a fairly conservative selection that will appeal to all, including kids. It was such a convenience to not have to worry about eating and they'll make a pack lunch for you as well.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank bradgatepark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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