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“Unique Forest Experience”

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Montecito Sequoia Lodge & Summer Family Camp
Certificate of Excellence
CA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Unique Forest Experience”
Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

MSL has something for everyone. Great family environment, fun couple's retreat, and not bad for single people if you can handle a trillion kids at meal times ;-) and no night life.
Inexpensive and all-inclusive makes this resort one of my faves for snow trips. The food ranges from delicious to mediocre. (May have been because the chef was just having a bad day. It happens to the best of us.)
Snow fun, for like $15 you get 24 hours of interchangeable snow boards, snow shoes, or boots, poles, & skis. The free tubing, variety of lessons, musical instruments & games for check out, and of course food keeps one busy all day. In the fall their was free canoing, instrument lessons, and fencing!! They even have a wee bar to purchase drinks (or BYOB). No night life per se unless ping pong, Foosball, and s'mores, by the fire are your idea of an exciting eve. All in all, I still love this cozy place with a "hearts of gold" staff.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank LJ4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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624 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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Denver, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2013

My room was very cozy and nice, exactly what I was looking for in the middle of the forest. I visited as a solo traveler, and didn't realize that this place is probably more geared towards families with children.

Your room includes dinner and breakfast, but these meals are buffet style at very specific hours (one hour windows). I believe dinner was 7-8pm, and breakfast was 8-9am. Most of the food was good -- dinner even had crab legs, and breakfast had an omelette station that cooked to order.

Overall, it seemed a little strange being there as a solo traveler amongst a bunch of couples with their kids, but I suppose I should have researched more to know what I was getting into. Really, though, there was nothing that made me feel uncomfortable...everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It just had a YMCA camp kind of feel to it, with all kinds of planned activities (S'Mores roasting, archery classes, etc).

I think this would be great for people with kids, but if you don't have kids you may feel more at home elsewhere. Overall, though, it was a great experience with beautiful scenery all around and a very friendly staff.

Room Tip: There are about a dozen rooms in the main lodge, and then there are separate cabins on site. I stay...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joshua H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 21, 2013

I stayed here for two nights and enjoyed some of the local scenery with the expert assistance of the staff. They were all friendly and able to solve my problems and had a wealth of local knowledge about what to see and how to see it. The food was excelent on the first night and good on the second night. Equally, it is worth pointing out that their website says they only provide breakfast, however, all meals were provided. Overall excellent.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

This is our family's second trip to Montecito Sequoia Lodge. It is located between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, making it very convenient to see both parks. We love this lodge because the setting is beautiful, surrounded by majestic trees, hills, rocks, mountains. And the staff is very friendly and helpful. While the lodging is a bit outdated, some of the rooms have been recently remodeled. We have always stayed in rooms with private baths, just makes it more convenient. They recently built 4-5 new self-standing cabins 2-stories which look very nice. We also really love the fact that there are 3 meals provided, with unlimited drink stations in the kitchen/dining area. They do provide bagged lunch for when you are planning to be away from the lodge. This lodge provides a lot of activities such as canoeing on the pond, archery, rock bouldering on a man made wall, trampoline, fooseball, ping pong, and camp fire in the evening with s'mores provided. One night, we played Bingo with all the lodgers there and had a blast. Beautiful scenary, friendly people, lots of activities, good meals--what more could you ask for?

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sabrina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

Montecito Sequoia Lodge staff welcomed us warmly and was very helpful. The meals were delicious and the views spectacular. The rooms are comfortable. The only drawback is the lack of handicap access (too many stairs for my 92-year-old mother).

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marlene V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mililani, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2013

The lodge is in a great location for exploring Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. It's about halfway between the Grant Grove and the General Sherman tree, an hour and a half drive out to Cedar Grove and about 2 1/2 hours to Mineral King. But the lodge is past it's prime and definitely showing it's age. The main building was a bit run down. The reception/main dining area was cozy but the adjacent game room was pretty much in disarray with boxes lining the walls. Also, while the area surrounding the main lodge is well lit at night, there was not ample lighting leading out to the Forest Cabins at the edge of the property which was concerning in bear country after dark.

My husband and I stayed in a Forest Cabin which are much newer then the other accommodations offered. The cabins are beautiful- with wood floors, huge windows, vaulted beamed ceiling and a deck perfect for enjoying your morning coffee. They are spacious and well appointed. Downstairs has a very comfortable king size bed, leather couch, kitchenette and full bath. The upstairs "loft" area has a small bedroom with bunk beds and a half bath. The cabins are situated at the far end of the property so they are nice and quiet. The only neighbors you will have will be those staying in the adjacent 3 cabins. The downside of the location is first- as I mentioned- there is not much lighting leading out that way. As we stayed towards the end of October it was quite dark when we walked back after dinner each night. Secondly, you are not able to park near the cabins. The main parking area is outside of the main lodge building so trekking our luggage all the way out there across the dirt was quite taxing. They do offer wheelbarrows to cart your luggage around the property but the staff gets around the property in a golf cart and it would've been nice if they took you and your belongings in that. My biggest complaint about the Forest Cabin is that it wasn't quite clean. We arrived 2 hours prior to check in so I'm not sure if that was a factor. Everything looked clean upon arrival but on closer inspection we saw that the trash had not been taken out, the area under the toilet seat had not been wiped down and there was soap scum all over the shower rack. Aside from these issues we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the cabins.

The Montecito Sequoia Lodge is listed as an all inclusive property which is something I haven't encountered in my National Park travels. As we visited during off peak season there were not too many activities being offered at the time. But we were there to see the parks so that was fine by us. I have read mixed reviews about the meals and was pleasantly surprised. They do not offer fine dining by any means. But the food was decent. And it was nice to know where we were going to eat each night. Many of the National Parks are off the beaten path and do not have a wealth of dining options- particularly during off season when many of the concessions are closed for the season. While I do not expect NY quality food while travelling to these locations, the cafeteria style burgers and fries often found in the areas around the visitors centers gets tiring. So it was nice to come back to the lodge for a home style meal each night. Some meals were better than others- the lasagna hit the spot but the fried chicken left something to be desired. But the best part was that upon request they packed us a lunch each day- sandwich, chips, fruit, granola bar and juice box. It was great to have with us as we hiked through the park each day. My biggest complaint about the meals were the limited times they were offered. As each meal was only available for an hour (dinner was between 6-7) we had to schedule our day around the meal schedule with little option for variation. I think a 2 hour window, at least for breakfast and dinner, would allow more freedom for guests to structure their day as they wish.

I would also like to note- my husband is in the military and just returned from a 9 month deployment. This trip was a 2nd honeymoon of sorts and was quite difficult to put together. Once our plans were finally in place, the government shutdown and the parks closed. When I called to Lodge to find out about possibly cancelling our trip, they allowed us the option of waiting until the last minute to see if the parks would reopen and would give us the option of cancelling the day prior if they didn't. While this seems like the obvious thing to do, we were not given the same option for the Yosemite leg of our vacation. So I appreciate their willingness to do the right thing by their customers even if that meant losing a reservation last minute for them.

Overall I struggled over whether to rate this a 3 or 4 star property. There are some significant shortcomings. But we had a great stay and loved the Forest Cabin so I am putting more weight on the positives offered here.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank shutterbug317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights in October. The lodge itself is a good location for exploring Sequoia, about a half hour drive from the General Sherman tree and all the walks nearby. The lodge has meals included in the price and we were really impressed with the choice. It's obviously not going to be fine dining but just what you need after long walks in the national park. They also give you a packed lunch if you're not going to be there at lunchtime. We stayed in a cabin and it met all our needs and had a wood burner too which made it cosy (although it did get quite chilly overnight). The lodge advertises wifi and although there is wifi available, we had problems and got kicked off it all the time. This was only a problem for us as we needed to use it to book the following nights accommodation. Overall a good value place to stay, with a cosy communal lounge and good meals.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank weejen21
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 & Summer Family Camp

Property: Montecito Sequoia Lodge & Summer Family Camp
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 & Summer Family Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ALL-INCLUSIVE RUSTIC MOUNTAIN LODGE INSIDE OF SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, CA - Buffet meals and seasonal activities included in the room rate! Spectacular view of the Great Western Divide of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Rooming options include newly-built Forest Cabins and Lake View Suites with private baths & decks, Vintage Lodge Rooms & Suites all with private baths. Rustic Cabins with a wood-burning stove and shared bathhouse. Property features an outdoor hot tub open year-round, and a seasonal pool, private lake, and hiking trails directly on property. Lodge is open year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Montecito Sequoia Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park
Montecito Sequoia Lodge

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