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“Good value comfortable place for Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks”

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Montecito Sequoia Lodge & Summer Family Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Good value comfortable place for Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks”
Reviewed September 19, 2007

We spent 4 days at this place whilst visiting Kings Canyon/Sequoia national parks.
We loved this place, though I have to warn that it is not a conventional hotel. If you expect to be waited on at meal times, not to have to clear away your own dishes, expect to have your room made up every day etc then this is not the place for you.

The lodging comes fully inclusive of three meals and at the rate I was paying I didn't expect anything fancy at all. Turns out the food was much better than I expected. It's served buffet style, with plenty of variety and lots of it available. Even if you a vegetarian like me, there is still plenty of choice, and they will cook stuff for you if there is nothing out that you can eat. My husband is a carnivore and found the meat and fish on offer to be good quality and well cooked. As we spent the days out and about hiking, we weren't in for lunch. They do a packed lunch for you, you just need to order the night before. Best of all there is free access to the kitchen so if you get peckish in the night you can get a snack. Tea coffee and soft drinks are always available from the dining room. The place has a small bar as well. You eat at tables which sit 8-10 people so its a good chance to meet other people. I really liked this aspect. Coming form the Uk on holiday to California it's easy to only have contact with hotel and restaurant staff. It was interesting to talk to ordinary Americans. We met people from Texas and Louisiana as well as Californians, people from all sorts of backgrounds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their stay.
The staff were very friendly, always seemed to be busy but happy to talk to you and answer your questions.
As this is a resort lodging, it offers activities like Archery and Horse riding. We came for the hiking, so didn't try any of those.
The Lodge is really convenient on Generals Highway between Kings canyon and Sequoia national parks, and is in a beautiful setting itself. Next to a lake in the middle of the forest, with views of the mountains. It has a swimming pool and hot tub and you can go canoeing on the lake.
We booked a double room with a bathroom, though the lodge also offers more basic cabin accommodation as well. The room was clean comfortable and well stocked with toiletries. There is no TV in the room, but you don't need that at a place like this.

  • Liked — Sitting in the hot tub watching the setting sun light up the mountians beyond the forest.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank LesleyO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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los angeles
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2007

Just got back from a week of family camp. It was my husband, myself, and our two boys (6 and 5). We went with about 4 other families with young children. One family had a special needs child - the counselors were exceptional with her.

The good:
-The staff and counselors were amazing. They were all friendly and knowledgeable. I can't say enough about the staff. The skits, the pow wows, and other fun activities that they led. The group leaders all had so much personality and were so accomodating.
-There were a huge variety of activities. They ranged from arts and crafts room to guided mountain bike tours to water skiing.

The less good:
-we stayed in a cabin with no running water. I would not do that again. Especially, when I realized they have rooms that have bathrooms in the lodge. The cabins were not very clean (lots of dust and bugs).
-the price. I feel that it was overly expensive. A lot of activities are included, but a quite a few are not. Waterskiing, horseback riding, mountain biking (if you use one of their bikes), some arts and crafts, and others I may not know about. I was offended that they put an ice cream freezer right next to the buffett line. It became a battle with my kids when they wanted an ice cream and I said no. I belive the ice cream ranged from $2-$5 - definitely full price. Why? You are already paying a lot, build in an extra $20 for ice cream. The other thing I was surprised about, but paid, was the gratuity. They suggested an average of $100/person in your family. I did tip $400 because I heard that the majority of the counselors and staffs pay comes from tips.

I felt like the price (If I remember correctly, we paid around $4,000 for the family, without tips and the extra activities), reflects a nice resort. The grounds needed some improvements. To their credit, it sounds like the new owners are fixing it up (new boat, new beds in the lodge, new horses, etc.), but I felt the price I paid subsidized some of the improvements in the future. All of this being said, I would recommend the Montecito Sequoia and I would go back. It is a unique experience to share with your family. We enjoyed talking about what we did during the day, singing songs around the campfire, catching fish, and strengthening our bond as a family. The family time is much more important than luxury anyway!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank jambo6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2007

While the lodge may be an entertaining place for families, it is not suitable for couples interested in visiting the Sequoia National Forests. The prices are ridiculously high and the rooms are in disrepair. Our room was full of insects and the towels in the bathroom had not been changed from the previous guests. There were friendly members of the staff. However, by and large, these young people were unable to solve simple problems (such as getting clean towels for their guests) without calling in the manager (who always seems to be far, far away from the main lodge).

If you have kids and a week off, this may be the place for you. If you are looking for a place to spend one or two nights stay elsewhere.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Condition of room and price.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Austin_Cavalier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2007

This is not a luxury lodge, so please book somewhere else if that is what you are looking for. This is a place for families with kids in tow (like us!). This is a blue collar experience, not the Ritz.

We stayed here during the early summer, and the hotel was gearing up for the "Family Camp". So there were alot of young folks around doing training, however they were all courteous and followed the quiet time rules (10 PM to 8 AM).

First let me discuss the positives and then the negatives:

The rooms are large compared to a standard hotel. We had a king bed and two bunk beds and still had room to move around. Beware that the bathroom (at least in our room) was tiny. We had a room in the main lodge, and I would definitely recommend staying in one of the cabins if you can get it.

The beds were comfortable and looked like that had been recently replaced. The only problem with the bunk beds is that there was no safety bar. Maid service only replaced towels during our stay and did not make the beds. Not a big deal for us.

The biggest problem we had with the rooms was the location and the lack of air conditioning. It gets warm up there in the summer months and none of the rooms have AC. We had the windows open all night and the fan going full speed with little relief until late into the night. If you are going to stay at any of the parks resorts, make sure to inquire about AC.

So with the windows open came alot of noise and full sunrise too early for us! There were several porch lights that beamed right into our room, and the back door to lodge was used all night long. Unfortunately it was right below our window and also very load when every person let it slam behind them. We did not sleep well any night and the kids were exhausted when we left.

We also had a terrible view from our room. It overloooked two large garbage cans and the counselors housing. I tried to include a photo of that with this posting.

Meals are included with your stay, and we found them to be acceptable. We are not talking about gourmet cooking, but the adults and the children all found something to eat every day at every meal. The first night we arrived about 6:30 to the buffet and several main items were already gone. And when they are gone, they are gone!

The eating area ia large enough to accomodate everyone, however if it is crowded you could wind up sitting with another family. If you don't want to socialize, go to the outside tables! During our stay, we did not have any trouble getting a large table to ourselves. Beer and wine can be purchased as well.

The biggest problem with the food are the flies and the so-called 24 hour snacks. Given that the food is served buffet style and sits out for awhile, flies do land on everything. It was a bit disgusting to be honest, but we managed. The kids liked serving themselves and loved getting hot chocolate whenever they wanted.

Forget the 24 hours snacks. It is a row of cereal dispensers that you can help yourself to whenver you want. There are no real "snacks" like chips or cookies or crackers. Bring your own. There is an ice cream selection, but you do have to pay extra for these. Coffe and tea are available anytime.

There are alot of things to do at the camp. We spent our days touring the park and then did a few activities when we returned after dinner. We most enjoyed canoeing on the small lake and catching the small fish with the provided nets. We were going to play tennis but never got around to it!

This is one of the areas where the place has potential. There is horseback riding, water skiing, canoeing, hitting golf balls, tennis, archery, firing range, fitness course, hosershoes, volleyball. But be forewarned that these activities are not included in your stay unless you do Family Camp. You will pay extra.

To be honest the facilities are run down and need work. Our kids had a great time while we were there, but we did not pay for any of the extra activities either. I have no idea how good the camp counselors would be with the activities. They all seemed pretty young and maybe need more training?

The lake is pretty small and there was no swimming when we were there (no lifegaurds on duty). The kids were very disappointed. We thought we would have the pool as a backup, but it is very small and was filled with alot of debris. The kids did not want to go in it. THe hot tub looked nice, but we never got in.

Oh, and if you go in the summer months bring alot of bug spray with you. The mosquitos are pretty bad, especially at dusk.

There was a nice walking path around the lake, maybe about 1/2 mile long. I did it a few times in the morning and never saw a sole out there. It was very peaceful and well maintained.

There is a shelf with alot of kids books on it, they all looked well used. THere are also some board games, but not a whole lot. I saw many puzzles in the game cabinet as well, although we never put one together. I expect they would be missing alot of pieces.

The web site does not really show you much of the facility with photos, so it is a bit of a guess when you book where you will be. We booked online and did not have any issues. The hotel was recently purchased by new owners and I believe being renovated.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No Air Conditioning and the noise at night with windows open
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank Traveller_From_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salinas, CA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2007

We just returned from a week of family camp at Montecito in Sequoia, so our advice is pretty recent. Be prepared for as much or as little activity as you want! Our kids went full-blast, up early to meet up with their new "best friends" and we all went off to archery, tie-dye, horseback riding, guitar lessons, fencing, trampoline, water skiing---and too many more activities to list. The kids were supervised all day by amazing counselors who all seemed to be specialists at their activity, and had fun personalities. The dinners were always incredible, gourmet really, but in a buffet, relaxed style. It seemed a little odd eating these fancy meals at a casual table dressed in camp shorts & tee & flip flops, but we got used to it right away. breakfast and lunch were more basic but with lots of choices. Water pressure in the shower was low in the morning before breakfast, so I'd advise taking your shower when everyone else isn't. There was an early morning yoga class that everyone was raving about, but I don't do "early" when I'm on vacation. Evening activities were a blast! Our last night the counselors and some of the kids performed songs & skits and they ranged from sentimental to hysterically funny. Our lodge room was clean and nicely furnished and comfortable and kid-friendly. You can't beat the backdrop either, the mountain range is gorgeous, and the naturalists kept us up on the flora and fauna. Astronomer set up powerful telescopes one evening--impressive! We are definitely back next year!

  • Liked — The activities and the scenery and the comfortable bedding.
  • Disliked — Camp situation, so dirt got tracked into room.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank letshike
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
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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