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Yosemite Cedar Lodge
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Reviewed July 19, 2014

Finding a lodging place close to Yosemite is always a tough ask.Cedar lodge is a good value for money place close to archstone entrance near Yosemite.Initially there was some hesitation staying at this place but I dont regret staying here.The room was nice and clean.It overlooked merced river across the road.The room has a jacuzzi which was a pleasant surprise!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank amitpatil8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Great place, very close to the park and very nice rooms. Only problem is no wifi unless you are a US resident and have an existing plan. $9.95 for 24 hours. Pools outside look very nice, great restaurants and bar on site - 2. Gift shop, of course! Friendly staff and good service. Loads of rooms but you have to walk up to the 2nd floor, if you have a lot of baggage maybe not so good for older folks?

Really enjoyed our stay there in July 2014

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Sparky2572
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2014

Cedar Lodge Review: Something for Nothing

They say you cannot get something for nothing, which is why we paid $150+tax for a queen sized bed in a twin sized room, a few miles down the canyon from Yosemite. We felt fortunate that we were able to make a reservation for one night, but decided to move on to our next destination since the motel was not worth the value of the services it provided.

At the reservation desk, the clerk was courteous and yet after we signed in, he let us know that if we wanted to use wi-fi, there would be an additional cost of $10.00. And he was also kind enough to let us know that if we wanted breakfast, the cost would be extra. Please, after we had driven nearly ten hours to arrive at our destination, we are told all of these conveniences that come standard with most upscale motels will cost us extra?

So, when we found our room up the stairs all the way in the back in the dark, we were pleased to find a clean room with a small fridge and coffee maker. While getting ready to sleep, we laughed to ourselves… wait don’t turn on the television, “that will cost you extra.” Wait don’t use any ice, “that will cost you extra.” Wait, don’t flush the toilet, “that will cost you extra.” You get the idea!?!

The next morning when we were loading our luggage in the car a work crew pulled right up behind our car. The commenced unloading some carpentry when I asked them to move. The foreman was rude, spit on the ground before me and said, “you will have to wait, they will only take a minute.” I was concerned that if I was not able to leave as soon as possible, that waiting any longer than necessary might cost us extra.

No we did not stop in for breakfast, nor did we try the pool or get any souvenirs; we learned quickly that if you want any kind of service or common courtesy at this place, that will cost you extra. Certainly the location is convenient, but all that you are paying for at this Lodge is the convenience of location. Certainly the owners understand that, which is why their business model is borderline at best and nickel and dime you for all the rest. So remember, you cannot get something for nothing, but anything else… that will cost you extra.

And no I will not stay here again, even if I choose to revisit Yosemite. This was the very worst lodging value for our entire week long vacation. Too bad they got you over a barrel, a good way to ruin a great destination with a bad motel.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Lance F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2014

Stayed 3 nights. We had room 103, which was a junior suite--it had a kitchenette--stove (electric stove top, but no oven), sink, microwave, and refrigerator. In the living room, a sofa bed and a full size murphy bed. Lots of room for the 8 of us--I went with hubby, my parents (seniors, but able to move around without much difficulty), and 4 kids (12, 9, 6, and 3 years). The murphy bed was fun for the kids... a bit on the firm side to me, but not uncomfortable. We played musical beds, as each of the kids needed to have a turn on the "wall bed." The room itself seemed dark, even though there was a window in the living room and one in the bedroom. It could use some modernization, as others have mentioned. I got the AAA rate in summer for $199/night, which is still a bit steep, but cheaper than Yosemite View Lodge, which is much closer to the park entrance. I guess you pay for the proximity to Yosemite, which is about a 10 minute drive (scenic) to the park entrance, and another 20 minutes to the Yosemite Visitor Parking Lot. For the rate I'm paying, I would think wifi would be included, but you had to pay an additional $25 for it. It wasn't even available in the lobby. Our cell phones didn't work here. Upon checkout, I asked for a rate adjustment because 1) $199 for our digs was unreasonable, 2) there were bugs in our room, 3) the shower curtain was tattered, and 4) there seemed to be mold on the shower ceiling. The service was great, though. Everyone was friendly and helpful. They brought us bug spray when we requested it, and the reception staff took off $50 upon my request, so it never hurts to ask.

There were 2 pools... we used the indoor pool, which was right by a small arcade. The water was great and the hot tub soothed my tired muscles at the end of a full day of exploring Yosemite. There were towels available at that pool. We didn't go to the outdoor pool, mostly because it was busier than the indoor one. Across the highway was the Merced River, and there was a trail that led to a small beach area...great spot for a picnic. There were also picnic tables with a barbecue grill, though not sure if we could use it, since fire danger was high.

The YART bus was also right on the property, pretty convenient if you don't want to drive in to the park. I don't know the cost of it, as we drove our own vehicle in. Also, they have tours to the park that pick up at the lobby. We didn't partake in that either but it is available.

If you forget anything, like we did, the lobby has a small grocery store. If not, you can drive up about 5 miles to the El Portal Market, which is up the street, but be warned, everything is expensive! $4 for bread and $8 for hot dogs. Ridiculous! You could also go to the Yosemite Village Store, which has a much larger selection of provisions, but also expensive. I'm not surprised, but it's still a shock.

We were lucky to have been in town on a Thursday when the taco truck came to El Portal. The tacos were alright and it was nice to meet the locals--$7 for combo plate with 2 tacos, rice & beans. $2 a la carte. They serve it on El Portal Road right by the post office. We didn't try the restaurants or the breakfast buffet on the property.

In summary, this was a good home base for us for exploring Yosemite. The bears around the property amused the kids, the pool was good, and the river across the street kept my kids entertained while they were unplugged. Yosemite National Park was amazing!

Room Tip: Ask for room 103 and park right outside your room. I didn't think it was noisy.
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank tessrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2014

The Cedar Lodge is not a 4-star hotel. It's a 2-3 star hotel. But as a 2-3 star hotel, it gets a 4-star rating from us. Yes, it's older, and yes it's a little tired, but it was also very nostalgic for my wife and I. This is the kind of place we would have stayed at when we were kids 30-35 years ago. It's not fancy, but it's comfortable. The rooms are large (we easily fit 2 adults and 3 kids) and clean. There is a decent sized refrigerator to keep milk, OJ, lunch meats, etc. in. There are 2 pools, 1 indoor and 1 outdoor. There is a game room with some coin operated games for the kids and a jukebox for us oldies. Yeah, it's not the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, or even a Hyatt. Truthfully, I'm glad it wasn't. We like our kids staying in places like the Cedar Lodge and learning to have fun no matter where they are or how nice the hotel. And as such, it was plenty nice and comfortable. If you set your expectations accordingly, this is a great place to stay.

The main restaurant was pretty good, and reasonable. We tried most of the entrees and liked them all. Our girls loved the soup and salad bar and ate more vegetables than they ever do a home (that alone made the Cedar Lodge worthwhile).

Pros:
1. Excellent location relative to the Yosemite valley floor. It's 30-35 minutes door-to-door, which is about as close as you can get without being in Yosemite valley.
2. Lots to do for kids. Our girls couldn't wait to go to the pool and the arcade every day after hiking and biking.
3. Decent restaurant, although limited options for longer stays or more than 4 days. We also tried the restaurant at the Yosemite View lodge, which was very similar but with a few more entree options. They have a pizza parlor that we didn't try, but it looked pretty good.
4. Large room to fit the difficult family of 5. They had 2 queen beds and a foldout couch. The couch was a little lumpy and bumpy, so we used a blowup mattress with our own sleeping bag and pillow for our youngest. She thought it was awesome having her own little bed.
5. Very reasonable price
6. Staff was very friendly and helpful
7. The rooms were relatively quiet. We could not hear anyone next to us, and the footsteps above us were pretty muted.

Cons and suggestions:
1. The rooms could use some updating and definitely more lighting in the bedroom area.
2. The lights in the bathroom are blinding if you have to go in the middle of the night. We borrowed a portable nightlight from the front desk, which worked great. You may want to bring own if you think about it.
3. There is no real place to hang out. If you want somewhere to spend the day as opposed to just come back to after your Yosemite day trips, try the Wawona hotel, which has porches with chairs to sit on, a tennis court, a golf course and a pool. It's 45 minutes outside Yosemite, but looks very nice (we had lunch there one day).
4. A few more entree choices in the restaurant would be nice
5. No, and I mean absolutely no, cell service (at least on Verizon and AT&T). This isn't the hotel's fault, but it's something to know before you go. Verizon picks up some signal in El Portal, and AT&T gets good signal at the valley floor.
6. Slow, slow, slow Internet. Again, this isn't really the hotel's fault, but it made doing any work difficult. If you are looking to get disconnected from all of your cellular and wifi devices, Yosemite is the place to be.

The Cedar Lodge was as much an experience for our kids as the park was, and we would all go back without hesitation. Was it phenomenal and amazing? No. Could it be freshened up some? Definitely. If you're a hotel snob, this place is definitely not for you. I've stayed at some of the nicest hotels in the world, and I like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Montage, St. Regis, etc. as well as the next person, but I can be happy with a clean bed and a warm shower in a 3-star Chinese hotel in a third tier Chinese city (and yes, I have). It's all about what you make of it. And we enjoyed the Cedar Lodge for what it was.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank sdfamilyof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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