To put this in context we recently went on a three week road trip of California - during this time we made 10 stops in various cities and National Parks. The holiday was bought from a UK holiday company and part of a mix and match package.
As part of our planning we knew we wanted to visit Yosemite - and we are glad we did - it was fantastic. However the hotels on offer by the holiday company was limited and this one seemed to fit the bill in terms of location. We had read the Tripadvisor reviews and were worried by what we had read, but then there was one or two that made the place seem ok. We looked at the "official" National Park options, but by then they were either booked up or out of our price range.
And so it was with some trepidation we pulled into the car park of the Yosemite View Lodge, and our first impressions were poor at best. We got there at about 10am aware that check in was not until 3pm. We approached the lobby building and one of the first signs to greet you is "No Shirt No Shoes No Service" - this kind of sets the tone for the experience! We went in and was faced with a male behind the counter, no uniform, no badge, and explained that although I was early I wondered if I could check in. At every single one of the previous 7 hotels we have managed to do this with no problem - we don't expect it, and ask just in case. The man looked up and replied "Check in isn't until 3pm". No attempt to check the computers, no attempt to offer to take our luggage so we could enjoy a day in the park. We asked about storing luggage and the reply was that they couldn't do this. Annoyed by his attitute we headed back into the park, with our suitcase and all.
Upon our return we checked in and found we had been "upgraded" to a river view room which was great as we were not expecting it. The receptionist did say our room number out loud (again unlike any previous hotel) but we were too tired to argue.
We headed to our room and upon opening the door there was the worst damp, musty smell in the room so we went to open the patio door straight away and even resorted to spraying our own deorderant. The decor was outdated at best, with a lovely faux-wreath on the wall(!). Still is was nice to be so close to the river, and there was a really large (pink!) jet bath in the bathroom. We enjoyed the visit of the Racoons as well!
That night wanted to test out the bath and was pleasantly surprised it worked. Relatively relaxing bath (apart from the noisy extractor fan) and then dried myself with the old thin towels. By the time I walked to the bed the sole of my feet were dirty again. Looked to eat at the Pizza place - but could not help thinking - if my room is like this, what are the cafe kitchen's like! With this returned to park and ate pizza at Curry Village which was great.
There were plenty of pools at the hotel however they appeared dirty and I did not care to use them at all - and I did not see anyone else in there whilst I was there!
Again the only hotel without free wi-fi on our trip was this one - for $9 a day you can sit in the lobby and use the net! Sounds bad - wait until you see the lobby! This hotel has one of the worst gift shops I have ever seen (where do they find all that tat!) and the shop is overpriced - don't even think about asking for any help from staff. I saw an elderly women ask the guy behind the counter where an item is - he just grunted and pointed - made no effort to leave the counter despite there was no one else waiting. I'm not sure she ever found what she wanted.
The patio outside the room had badly stained and broken furniture, and there was a strange plastic circle in the ground with a wire coming out where something obviously had been removed - see photos
As other reviewers have said the location is fantastic. If you are going to Yosemite - do yourself a favour stay in the park, which has to be done direct through the Yosemite website. Our experience of all the food outlets, services and shops inside the park was universally good - its worth paying the extra!
Another classic example of their customer service is the warning on the back of the hotel door - stay one minute after the check out time and you will be charged for a full additional day at the price of $400!!!
I would never return to this hotel unless it had a change of management and a complete refurbishment. Their attitute sucks!
If you want to see how this kind of resort could be run, check out the fantastic Furnace Creek Ranch at Death Valley - the contrast could not be any more pronounced!
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- Also Known As:
- Yosemite View Hotel El Portal
- Yosemite View Motel