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“Cedar Lodge has its ups and downs but basically a good find” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cedar Lodge

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Cedar Lodge
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in El Portal
SF_California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Cedar Lodge has its ups and downs but basically a good find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2012

I read most of these reviews before booking the Cedar Lodge for 2 nights during our recent stay in May 2012. I have to say it was very convenient considering there wasn't any other place to stay in the area that was any closer to the park, everything was booked. Yes it is pricey, but you are very close to Yosemite and it's not as expensive as that other hotel that's closer and got worse reviews! We enjoyed the things the Cedar Lodge provided and missed the things that it didn't have but those things like clocks and coffee makers weren't essential to our stay. The small beach by the river was actually a great place to hang out after a day in the park. The two pools were very convenient. The staff of the Cedar Lodge was great, letting us check in early when our room was ready. Yes, they are short on keys, not good for a hotel of this size.

We enjoyed a cool beer from the bar our first afternoon there, and a cool beer from the store on site (they have a sort of general store and gift shop on site) our second afternoon there (much cheaper!) The cigar smoker in our group found plenty of places to sit quietly and smoke his cigars without bothering anyone which was a real plus. The room was quiet, no noise from neighbors, another real plus. Our tv was a flat screen model and worked fine, despite some screen noise on certain channels.

The food at the Cedar Lodge was pretty good, all things considered. We ate once at the grill and twice at the restaurant. The grill has hot dogs and hamburgers, that type of thing, and the restaurant fancier and more expensive items. Try the pork chop dinner at the restaurant, it's delicious! Comes with full soup and salad bar which we also liked. The restaurant was good for breakfast, convenient with a buffet selection. No, you couldn't order anything you wanted, but it was fast and convenient and the food was decent all for an ok price, considering where we were dining, outside of Yosemite. Our servers were all gracious and went out of their way to make sure we were happy with our dining experience in both the grill and the restaurant.

All things considered I have to give this hotel higher marks than most I guess because we were so happy to have reservations at a location so close to the park for a price that was on the high side but still reasonable considering where we were located. Don't be afraid to stay here given some of the reviews. I guess it depends on what you are looking for, what your budget is and what you are used to. But we had a very good time at the Cedar Lodge and really appreciated its pluses and tried to minimize its minuses. If you want to stay outside of the park, close but not in that "other hotel", this is your choice. It's not a bad one, really. You can have fun here!

Room Tip: Rooms on the first floor are very convenient, if you can get one.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank donna_d173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (187)
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2012

We stayed this hotel and the Yosemite View Lodge (7 miles up road) -- both hotels were good. We had a king room with the biggest jetted tub I've ever seen. I was perfect after a long day of hiking. The bed was comfortable and the room was very clean and quiet. We ate dinner at the bar & grill. The atmosphere wasn't anything special, but the food was surprisingly good. The staff at the front desk was very friendly and helpful. There is a great little market about 6 miles up the road (towards the park) where you can pick up coffee and breakfast items. The lack of phone/internet service was mildly annoying, but you can get free wi-fi once you get into the park. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank raymac812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenelg, Maryland
Level Contributor
250 reviews
158 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

This place hasn't improved much since our last stay in 2010. Our room was on the second floor, up 2 and a half flights of steps, but at least the room looked like it had been recently remodeled and had new furniture and bedding and a remodeled bath and large vanity. You do get a fridge, hairdryer, and an old tube-type TV that gets maybe 12 channels. You DON"T get a MW, coffeemaker, or even a clock. Wi-fi costs $9.00 for 24 hours and is only available in the lobby. Coffee is available in the lobby, but it's only open from 7am - 11 pm. Who wants to carry 2 cups of coffee across the parking lot and up 2 1/2 flights of stairs? Oh, and only 1 key - they're short on keys. No free breakfast but there is an overpriced restaurant on site and a gift shop next to the lobby. There's no cell phone service here, but you'll get great coverage at Yosemite Village.

This place really annoys me. They provide the absolute minimum and charge a lot, knowing that this and Yosemite View (its sister hotel) are the only hotels close to the park. So as long as they fill the rooms, they have no reason to improve. Granted, lodging in the park is even more expensive, but this place could be so much better. A coffeemaker and wi-fi would be easy additions - amenities that are standard in even basic hotels nowadays. There are better lodging choices in Mariposa, but it's a good 30+ minute drive to the park from there.

Oh - one note. The gas station at El Portal is no more. They were digging up the underground tanks when we drove by. The mini market is still there so you can pick up supplies if you need them.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank snapngo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cedar002, General Manager at Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, May 24, 2012
Yes we have remodeled quite a few rooms, and have been also working on the outside.
We have several different types of rooms. Some have flat screen TV and microwaves & coffee
makers. We have some with full kitchens. The Wi-fi is thru an different company and yes there is a charge. We do monitor the keys and if a guest wants more than 1 key it is not a problem. Most guests who only have 2 people are happy with 1 key. We do worry about how our guest feel and think about their stay with us. We have hundreds of guests who return to stay with us year after year. We also work with travel agencies from all around the world. We work very hard to maintain
a good reputation and have a good relationship with our guest.

Thanks
Colleen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these El Portal hotels

Dublin
Level Contributor
54 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

This "hotel" is very "motel" style, what with parking outside your front door and the room with the bathroom way at the back.

The rooms are pretty basic and a bit dark (you have to pull the curtains because people can see you otherwise) but really have everything you need, with coffee maker and empty fridge (useful for food for day out in Yosemite) and Air Conditioning.

It takes about 20 minutes to drive to Yosemite and once you are in Yosemite there's a fair bit more driving to get anywhere in the park. i would imagine that in the height of summer, having to join the queue to get in every day is pretty horrendous.

Having stayed both in and outside the parks, I think it makes more sense to stay inside them. However, with Yosemite, the big hotel in the park (the Ahwanee) looked pretty expensive!

There are two restaurants - the bar which does fairly fast-food type options and the restaurant. The two share the same kitchen, but the restaurant is good. The menu seems expensive but you get all this unlimited salad and soup and bread so it works out ok.

The only thing that was weird (and you never know in the US if people are looking for you to slip them money to sort out the problem) was that we arrived at 1.30 and we were told our room was ready, but check in was a 3.00. So we had to sit looking at them for an hour and a half until we could check in. If our room was ready why couldn't we check in?

The pools (indoor and outdoor) are nice after a day's walking in the park.

Oh and when we were there the petrol station in El Portal was being dug up, so no petrol there!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GromitDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimberley
Level Contributor
166 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2012

Lodge is located more like 30 minutes from the park than 10 as some people are saying ( possible speeding, which many people do there). It is the second lodge on the road from Yosemite. Closer one is Yosemite View Lodge. Cedar Lodge is a huge complex of rooms, with pools and river access, small store within and restaurant. We were there in May to be close to park since we did not get lodging in park ( according to park reservation people there was no openings). We were spending our whole days in park and coming to hotel in the evenings. The pros were room was big ( but for that price it should), had refrigerator and coffee maker ( which was broken, so first morning we had to go to lobby to get hot water, then they gave us a new maker, worked well). Room had a spa tub, which also was not working, so for 2 days they were fixing it and still didn't work, one day we came to room and the motor was running non stop, poor communication from the front desk resulted in guy showing up on our steps, not really understanding what was happing. To sum it up, nice room, reasonably close to park, high price for poor service and lot of broken equipment. The biggest thing also was there is NO cell reception in the area, there is NO WIFI in rooms, you can only buy access in the lobby $9 for 24 hrs. Which again I say for the hotel price it should be free for guests!!!!!

Room Tip: There are no elevators so if you can not carry your luggage upstairs ask for 1 floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bozenaclay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2012 via mobile

This hotel is located close to the yosemite national park. It is priced accordingly. On an absolute scale it is poor value for money, but relative to other yosemite hotels it is similarly priced, and you are unlikely to find anything much cheaper. The facilities are ok, the rooms feel dark, dated , and faded, but they do the job. There is no free wifi, and breakfast (which is good) costs extra. There is a bar and restaurant, both of which are ok. So staying at a place like this is a necessity in order to appreciate the beauty of yosemite. Take my advice and make your stay as short as possible (you can find much cheaper and better accommodation further away so spend your first and last nights in the area in such accommodation whilst travelling to and from the area).

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jonnpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at the Cedar Lodge and I feel for the location and as close as it is to the park it was a very good deal. The only negative I could find was that the room did not have a clock and I didn't bring my travel clock. The room was clean and the beds very comfortable. The towels are long bath sheet type towels maybe not the most plush but then again this isn't the Ritz either. We did have breakfast here and one dinner. We were very satisfied with the breakfast buffet and it would have been nice to have a regular menu choice as well but I think this works to get people in and out quickly since our main goal was to spend the bulk of our time in the park. I would stay here again for sure.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CAgirl209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cedar Lodge

Property: Cedar Lodge
Address: 9966 Highway 140, PO Box C, El Portal, CA 95318
Location: United States > California > El Portal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in El Portal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Cedar Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 211
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cedar Hotel El Portal
Cedar Lodge Yosemite
Cedar Lodge El Portal
Cedar El Portal

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