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Montecito Sequoia Lodge & Summer Family Camp
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Reviews (675)
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All reviewsping pongbunk bedsarts and craftsmountain bikingbuffet stylehot tubbeautiful lakebag lunchsalad bargreat place for familiesyear after yearfun activitiesincluded mealsnew forestwine and cheeseeach mealgroup activities
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Reviewed September 23, 2013

We spent one day/evening at the Montecito Lodge in beautiful Sequoia National Park. The lodge was not exactly what we expected. When I hear "lodge" I think of a very large building with guest rooms, dining facilities, shops (maybe), coffee shop. This is really none of that. It has a very large "lodge" building that is quite old and just plain out of date. I believe there may be some rooms on the 2nd floor but not sure. The furniture is old and outdated. Something out of the 60s. Kind of reminded us of the "Griswolds go to Montecito Lodge." When you arrive down a long dirt road (1/2 mile maybe) off the main park road, you drive up to within about 50-100 feet of the lodge. You then have to walk through dust/dirt to get to the reception area. No cars allowed. We stayed in a two-story "cabin" located about another 100 feet from the lodge. We were not allowed to drive to the cabin either so we had to drag/carry our luggage/cooler, etc. across dirt and dust to get to the room. Not good. We had to park our car about 300 feet away in a public parking area. The rooms were spartan, dated, uninviting to say the least. The pillows were hard as a rock and THICK! Our bed tilted slightly so we had to be careful not to fall out....seriously. Luckily the guests in the room next to ours were quiet. Had they been the least bit loud it would have been a miserable night. Paper thin walls. The views from the lodge were beautiful. They served three meals as part of their package. We ate dinner (buffet) and had chicken, fish, vegetables, noodles, salad bar so not too bad at all. They have a bar area with wine, beer and alcohol. The property has a swimming pool, hot tub, trampoline, patios with nice chairs. But rustic, very rustic and not well maintained. It's like a step up from camping. They also have a really beautiful large pond on property that has canoes, paddle boats, a floating platform in the middle. Sandy beach area too. So if you're into roughing it a little bit as far as the accommodations I mentioned you might enjoy this lodge. One thing to keep in mind is that it is located at the midpoint of the park so you can drive to the furthest parts of the park in maybe an hour or so. The driving is very windy, slow and beautiful. Average 30 MPH.

Room Tip: Someone we talked to while there said they were in the "new" rooms which were nice. Our room was renovated but still not to our level of acceptance. So maybe ask for the newest rooms.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dps_Sedona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Sorry to see the harsh review left by the European. Chelsea, in fact, was one of the nicest of the staff members we met. She was kind to us and was always hard at work - sweeping, vacuuming,cleaning tables and more. She helped us get something to eat even though we arrived after the dinner was served. In our opinion, a nice young lady. Our overall experience was good. The lodge offers three meals a day - included in your room rate. The meals were well-rounded and seemed to have something that could please everyone. Plenty of options for vegetarians too. The salad bar was always good, and the fruit was always fresh. The breakfast was varied as well. Guests have 24/7 access to the drink dispensers, and there is always fresh ice out for your glasses. The rooms are quaint and the overall atmosphere is one of family camps from the 1950's. Therein lies the charm of this lodge. They have so many activities for families. Ping pong, board games, planned hikes, a pool, a spa, a lake with free paddle boats, canoes, fishing, swimming, paddle boards and beach fun! At night, they let the kids roast marshmallows and make smores in the fireplace. The lodge is half way between the Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks. A perfect location to visit both parks, eat good meals and have a lot of good old fashioned family fun (a nice break from cell phones, gadgets and fast food). GREAT JOB CHELSEA AND ALL THE MONTECITO STAFF!!!!

Room Tip: Be sure to travel to the north entrance of the parks. Our GPS dragged us to the south end - a twisty-turny 1 1/2 hour drive to the lodge, ugh!
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mebtfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

I am in the room now Tell u this Review live from room 111 from 10.9.2013 ! I am European and have been often in the US but never slept in such a bad place. The Standard is more worst than in a youth Hostel paying 240 USD for One Night in rooms which seem Not renovate since the fifties . The Front desk Girl Chelsea is so unfriendly, she didnt or wont understand my complaint ! They dont let u cancel 48 hours before Ur stay, so i am sitting here now waiting until this Night is over !!!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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5  Thank Thamkrabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Stayed here with my family (pregnant wife, 14 month old son, and mother-in-law) for only one night (that's all they had available). As a first time visitor, this place sets the standard for a summer lodge - complete with quality sleeping arrangements, good buffet food, lots of socially oriented day and night activities, and other friendly families.

Brenda and Brandon at the front desk were very nice and friendly. We stayed in "Sugar Pine" which was about 50 yards away from the main lodge and had a nice view of the lake. Our room was large enough to fit a queen bed and a double bunk twin bed nearby (which was perfect for the 4 of us and could have easily fit 6). The bathroom was quite roomy with a shower tub and extra soft towels. The room was warm at night with a wall heater. The main lodge (which was the center of activity) was very comfortable with plenty of family oriented seating areas, several large leather couches, a fireplace, and a kitchen nearby. The food was very good, considering the location; the most variety in the entire park; breakfast buffet was mainly American traditional (mushroom spinach omlettes, french toast, waffles, fruit, yogurt, sausages, etc.); lunch (which is also included, despite the website that makes no mention of it) consisted of mainly sandwiches; and dinner was mixed Asian, American traditional, and Italian (again, very good for the national park, but do not expect Monterey Park / Alhambra quality Asian and do not expect Scarpetta quality Italian); as for the American traditional, I wouldn't expect Providence quality, but it's not too bad after a day of lake activities, hiking, archery, and enjoying the rest of the park. For dinner, we had some broiled whitefish, chicken curry, meat curry, and some rice/noodles (passed on the pasta dishes). The lodge has a bar that serves alcohol - great for a national park complete with cocktails and wine by the glass, but again, do not expect this to be The Standard (by the way, you have to pay for the drinks; up to this point all the previously mentioned food comes with your room charge, so you may just want to bring your own bottle of wine).

At night, the staff lights up the fireplace and invites everyone to roast smores. During the early hours of the night (before 8pm), it was very fun to hang out with the kids around the fireplace; after we put our son to sleep and came back (10pm), the crowd consisted of all the parents that were relieved to decompress without their kids. My wife and I along with the other parents all had fun just socializing with everyone else.

Bottom line, I would recommend this place and will likely come again making sure to stay longer and take advantage of the kids programs.

Room Tip: Rooms in Sugar Pine are comfortable and offer a nice view of the lake. If you are looking for a view of the forest mountains try staying at the individual cabins. Also, if you are a wino like me, bring your own bottle!
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mag W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

What do I get for 300 USD a night? An bed in the park? This "lodge"is not even in the park. It is 40 minutes far away form the General Sherman Tree.
Assuming the owner wants you to experience something more "rural" with basic and non clean rooms I would expect that at least the surroundings were clean and maintained. Well that is not even the case. It looks like a poor abandoned place in the middle of the forest built in the fifties and never cleaned nor refurbished.
Oh yes, for 300 USD you get a decent buffet meal, in a big warm smelly room while sharing the table with other guests.
I am really surprised that people are happy to come to this place which is much worst than a camping for which you would pay 10 times less. This is the worst place i have ever stayed in a NP in the US or abroad. Rooms are dirty, old, smelly...bed linen were not ironed...i really hope they where clean. Used napkins were found in the room as soon as we entered. iI am really wondering how could the owner accept this for that money and how can the park let this robbery happen.

Room Tip: Don't stay here
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MatteoSTefani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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