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“Right on the Merced River”

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Yosemite View Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Portal
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We had a Groupon for 2 nights with a $10 dining credit and were pleased to have adjoining rooms with our family. This motel is just a few minutes outside the gate into Yosemite National Park. It is nice to stay inside the Park, but this location on the river and a year-round heated pool is great for families. The front desk was very helpful and a couple of minor problems were dealt with immediately.
The restaurant was very good, but a little overpriced. I think a hamburger was $12 or 15, but the kid's menu was more reasonable. Unless you bring your own food, there isn't anywhere else to eat except in the Park. The office does have a few food items for sale.The motel is pet-friendly and because we didn't want to leave our new puppy alone in the room, we opted for take-out from the restaurant. They did an excellent job even with the soup and salad bar.

Request a ground floor room with a river-view and you will have a fenced patio on the river that is about 1/2 the size of your large room. Upstairs rooms have only a small balcony. Our room had a kitchenette with 2 burner stovetop, fridge and microwave. Oh, I almost forgot about the huge jetted jacuzzi - accommodated 4 kids and a gas fireplace that added ambience to our cold winter stay.

Room Tip: Ground floor river-view rooms might cost slightly more but worth it.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Carolyn19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 10, 2013

This is a very nice hotel situated just outside the park and along the Merced River. The river actually runs right beside the hotel. The hotel room is spacious and mine had a spa and a view of the Merced River. I enjoyed the room. It also had an electric fireplace. I didn't think much of the staff as they seemed bored and disinterested in guests which was quite a departure from how I was treated at other hotels. I stayed in the winter so there wasn't much open during the day. You had to get the bus to the park in order to get something to eat. They do have a general store with souvenirs and snacks. The bus stop is right outside the hotel so it's very convenient..

Room Tip: Pay a little extra for the river view with spa.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Ali34xxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Our room was VERY comfortable, with a huge bathroom & exquisite views from the balcony. I guess it's a balcony; although we were on the first level, we were still above the Merced River which runs through Yosemite National Park & behind Yosemite View Lodge.

The very best feature is that this hotel is located just about 10 minutes from the park entrance. We've stayed in Oakhurst before, which is on the south side of Yosemite, and it took About 45 minutes to reach the park entrance.

Back to Yosemite View Lodge. It's a pretty large hotel, with the majority of the rooms having a view of the Merced River. They have an outdoor jacuzzi; but more importantly, there's an indoor pool & jacuzzi. We didn't use it, but did to check it out as we've seen some pretty shady-looking indoor pool facilities. These looked extremely clean & well-cared for.

There's a restaurant on site, the River Restaurant, at which we ate breakfast once & dinner once during this stay. We had eaten at the restaurant on a previous trip without having stayed at the hotel. Our breakfast experience was a disaster, of which I'll have to review separately. Dinner was great.

There are a few minor issues with Yosemite View Lodge. In the wall that separates the bathroom from the bedroom, there's a huge diamond-shaped window. On the bathroom side, this window is in the middle I'd the shower. The glass is made up of those art-deco era blocks of glass that you can't see clearly through. However, had this room been shared by anyone other than a couple or a single person, that would've been a problem. In addition to this window, there's a bathroom window that opens to the parking lot on the wall opposite the diamond window wall. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the light that enters the window off the parking lot also shines through the diamond window into the sleeping area. The lights are on in the parking lot all night. There is a solid shower curtain that can be closed to filter out some of that light, but it isn't completely blocked. So we had that light shining directly on us in bed all night. It did interfere with my husband's sleep.

Also, there were only three bath towels in the bathroom; no hand towels, no wash cloths. We made due, of course, & could have contacted housekeeping, but we spent very little time in the room & didn't want to wait for towels.

An awesome surprise we got was the "full" kitchen in the room. I put full in quotations because there isn't a full-size refrigerator or a stove, but there is a kitchen sink, small refrigerator, small microwave and a 2-burner stove. We made note of this for future trips so that we will remember to bring groceries. Ad of course, there is a full-size coffee maker.

Although the hotel is a little bit dated, we were very happy overall. I'll try to sdd some photos I took with my phone of the river view behind our room; it's not letting me do this from my iPad.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that is on the 2nd floor. Although I didn't see what they were like, I hope they...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Live2Travel0723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

In contrast with frighteningly terrible reviews, everything was fine for us! Clean, spacious room with raging river view, table & chairs inside and outside on the balcony, kitchenette, (fake) fireplace, jacuzzi, plenty of towels, courteous service ... It is over-priced, but well worth the half-price Groupon, less expensive than inside the park, and in better shape than Yosemite Lodge. Location near the Yosemite entrance is the main advantage.

Pizza was closed, but we cooked in the well-supplied kitchenette. Although they sell some groceries, we brought our own. One delicious dinner at the restaurant, served by a superb waitress. We didn't use the pool or spa.

Oh, no cell phone reception, but the phone worked intermittently in the park. And buy gasoline in Merced, because the price goes up a dollar near the park.

My only suggestion is to correct the design flaw in the bathroom: no heater or vent, so the wallpaper isn't going to last.

Room Tip: Rooms on the river have the view and no traffic. Upstairs is sunnier in the morning.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Virginia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

We had a nice room with a jacuzzi tub & fireplace. The hotel is just a few miles outside the entrance to Yosemite so it was very convenient for our day trips into the park. Everything in the area is relatively expensive, but this was a less-expensive alternative than staying at one of the hotels inside the park. The fact that they allow dogs was a big plus for us. They have indoor & outdoor pools & hot tubs, and a gift/convenience store on site. The selections in the store were limited & they were out of several things, so we were glad we had shopped for necessities before we got to the hotel. The staff were friendly & helpful. The restaurant was very convenient, with great service & good food. We really liked the pizza, but they have a variety on the menu, as well as a full bar. The bar tender, Travis, was great!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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5  Thank Lgo987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

On our family roadtrip through California we usually booked our motels and hotels only a few days i advance. Since we were not sure how long we want to stay in Yosemite however we called several lodges and hotels on the day of our stay which is not advisable in a busy time like late September. The Yosemite View Lodge gave us a decent deal however and an extra bed in the room since we were five. The location is indeed an half hour drive away from Yosemite Valley but on the other hand El Portal's scenic river and hills are nice for a good morning run and a swim in the pool after. There are two restaurants, cheaper pizza shop and more expensive restaurant. We chose the first one and were positively surprised by the size. In General everything tends to be more expensive so close to the National Park, so just keep that in mind. The further you get away, the cheaper it becomes, the more you have to drive the next day back.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Manuel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here for 2 nights in 2 river view rooms. Rooms both had 2 queen beds, fake fireplace, huge tub with 2 showerheads and kitchenette with microwave, small frig, 2 burner stove top, coffee maker, toaster and pots and dishes. Small table with 2 chairs, desk with 1 chair. Balconey had nice view of Merced River with 2 chairs and a small table.

Rooms were clean. Beds were mixed with one comfortable and one really hard. Interesting to me that both rooms had absolutely nothing about hotel services or information on Yosemite.

Front desk staff was friendly. No WiFi in rooms. Available for $9 for 24 hours only in small lobby area. We had no cell service from AT&T. Small convenience store next to lobby with high prices and small selection. Coffee was provided to make in room each day. Indoor pool available but we didn't use.

Best feature of this hotel is the location. It's about 5 minutes to the Arch Rock entrance of Yosemite and another 10 minutes to Bridalveil Fall and another 10 minutes to the Valley visitor center. This is the closest hotel to the Valley that isn't in the Valley. If you can't get reservations in the Valley this is the place to stay. Also better facilities than Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Overall ok location for bsse to visit Yosemite.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank Kenn_Bennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yosemite View Lodge

Address: 11136 Highway 140, PO Box D, El Portal, CA 95318
Location: United States > California > El Portal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Portal
Price Range: $119 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Yosemite View Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 335
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Also Known As:
Yosemite View Hotel El Portal
Yosemite View Motel

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