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All reviews river view park entrance merced river pizza parlor small kitchenette spa bath double shower closest hotel stove top convenience store indoor pool gas fireplace view room mini kitchen kitchen area minute drive general store
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Reviewed May 23, 2009

We stayed for two nights in May 2009. The location is excellent (only a couple of miles from the west (Arch Rock ) entrance) and the setting is lovely between two mountains. This more than compensates for the slightly dated motel itself, although the rooms were spacious and clean. The on-site restaurants are average but reasonably priced and the pool area is great for relaxing after a hard day in the park. Overall, i was pleased with the hotel and would stay here again as a cheaper alternative to staying within Yosemite Park itself.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank peteandjonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2009

Having just returned from a two week trip to California and Las Vegas with my girlfriend, I have to say that of 6 hotels we stayed in, this was by far the most disappointing and I am somewhat bemused by all of the positive reviews this hotel tends to receive. However, having just checked some of the other reviews on Trip Advisor I can only assume (I would hope) that we were staying in one of the older rooms as ours certainly wasn’t modern by any stretch of the imagination.

I appreciate that when staying in or close to Yosemite National Park this will result in paying a premium for a hotel room (much in the same way as the Lake District here in the UK). However, for that additional cost I expect a certain level of quality and service to go with it, not the mindset of staff or facilities which are clearly stuck somewhere in the 1980’s.

Whilst there was nothing significantly wrong with the accommodation as such, for a £160 per night room my main causes of dissatisfaction would be:

- Less than welcoming staff, just grim faced personnel that didn’t seem care that we were paying customers. This extended to other personnel who manned the adjoining shop (which charged the obligatory premium for any items).

- Dated room in terms of fixtures, fittings, beds and linen and a musty, dank feel throughout. It was clear that the décor, with the exception of the TV, hadn’t been updated for at least 10 years (and that’s a conservative estimate) and the solitary, tacky, plastic wreath on the wall had a thick layer of dust on it. The outdated décor extended to the lobby and the strangely situated antiques shop that adjoined it which contained some bizarre artefacts such as dolls and felt completely out of place for a hotel. To me the entire lobby area felt almost creepy.

- We had paid the upgrade fee for a riverside room when we booked back in late 2008. The view from the balcony of the Merced river was lovely, however, it didn’t have the romantic, tranquil feel I had anticipated due to the thundering noise of the river. Although it should be noted that the door did block a lot of the noise and it is true to say that we stayed in what is the peak-flow season of the river and so by mid-summer I guess the river would be a lot quieter.

- The spa tub by the Merced river was at first glance a welcome sight. However, once we’d been in the spa tub and were back in our room we realised that the chlorine had literally damaged my girlfriend's silver jewellery. If this is what it did to metal, I dread to think of the affect it had on our skin. As a result we didn’t dare risk paying another visit to the spa. Obviously there was a hotel ‘no liability’ sign by the spa so we didn’t even mention the problem to the front desk. Besides, I got the impression that they wouldn’t have cared anyway.

- The staff in the adjoining restaurant tried their best, but the atmosphere in the old gloomy room felt depressing and my food (tuna steak) was edible although not of a good quality and certainly didn’t warrant the price. My girlfriend hardly touched the stodgy pasty dish she received. Again, this was probably the least enjoyable meal of our entire trip (including fast food outlets). The food, service and atmosphere in the restaurant and café at Yosemite Lodge in the park itself were far superior.

To summarise, I left with the impression that this hotel must be making an awful lot of money based purely on its location (which it has to be said was extremely convenient to the park) whilst resting on its laurels and not being willing to reinvest in any of the facilities. Compared to the Yosemite Lodge facilities in the park itself this hotel leaves a lot to be desired. I realise that staying in the confines of the park itself would cost even more and so people may be left in a catch 22 situation. But I can say with certainty that if hotels in more populous areas charged these rates whilst offering similar facilities and service, then they would soon find themselves out of business.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Buzz78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2009

My husband and I stayed 3 days and 2 nights in this lodge. The experience couldn't have been better. I had previously read some reviews that were good and others scared me somewhat, but the place could not have been better.
First, the location is so PERFECT! We did not drive but instead took the train to Merced and then a bus to Yosemite. Because we did not have the car we were concerned about getting around. We should not have worried since this lodge certainly was the right place to stay. The people at the front desk could not have been nicer, the room was very confortable and more than met our expectations. We even had a small patio attached to our room for our own use. Room included, in case you needed it, an iron and ironboard (which I did not need), a hair dryer, and in case you are wondering, a TV. The shower head was wonderful, the bathtub quite large. Our room had two queen beds and the place is so very near to the Yosemite Falls that you could hear the falls from inside the room. At night, the sound could be heard so much better and louder, and it was awesome - if you love Mother Nature.
Room was very clean, and the cleaning lady very nice. Always had plenty of towels and clean sheets. We were "out in the woods", but felt pampered.
The Lodge has a few places to eat. We had breakfast and one dinner at the Food Court. There are several different stations were you can order your food (many differenct choices of food). We found that prices, considering it is Yosemite, were quite good. Maybe one of two dollars more than what we pay in our hometown.
Even though check in time is 5:00pm, we got our rooms at 4:00PM so that was good. But, regardless, if you get there before check in time or you leave after check out time you can leave your bags at the hotel and they will be held for you (of course, free of charge). You do not feel you are imposing - they are all really very nice.
The lodge has a shop where you can buy drinks, chips, cookies, ice cream, and other food stuff - and souveniers.
There is also a lounge where you can drink - and some food is also served there. In addition, there is a nice restaurant somewhat pricey. We did not go to either of these places. Mainly we packed our lunch and had it while hiking.
Yosemite Village and the Ahwahnee Hotel are within walking distance. We walked to the Yosemite Village and back a couple of times. To the Ahwahnee, we took a free shuttle that leaves every two minutes and stops at 21 different places, the Yosemite Lodge being one of them. So, how is that for convenience?!
Yosemite Falls is very close, you can seem them from the lodge's parking lot. Lots of wonderful trails around. The scenery is fabulous!
We can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank CAqbn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2009

This hotel was recommended to me by two people. I was unimpressed with the website, but decided to take their recommendation - I'm so glad we did! We were in the "new" building, so I can't speak to the rooms in the older section. The rooms were clear, nicely decorated, the kitchen and bathrooms appear new. The whole facility is SO much nicer than it looks on the site. It's worth the extra money for the river view, particularly in the spring when the river is running high. Our balcony was comfortable and we spent a lot of time on it. We used the outdoor pool (heated) and hot tub. It is very close to the entrance to Yosemite and has plenty of parking. Although we ate dinner at one of the nice resorts in the Park, I would still choose to stay here again. The only thing I thought was missing in the kitchen was papertowels or napkins. I stopped at a grocery store on the way there and didn't think to buy that.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jenxteen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Queensland
2022
Reviewed May 10, 2009

We stayed in this hotel on a 6 week trip to the US. Great Option and would stay there again.

Breakfast was fantastic and the hotel is quite large but spread out. Rooms are spacious and clean. Plenty of activities / options
The views were lovely!

Great option for families.

The food in the restaurant was great and there were plenty of options!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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