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Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 El Portal B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Thank you to Ron and Liz for helping to make our visit to Yosemite the highlight of our ten-day vacation to California. There isn't much to add to Hannah's recent review. What a delight to share Liz's wonderful breakfast on the deck with guests from Germany, England, New Jersey, Virginia, ... it's amazing how the positive reputation of the Blue Butterfly has spread! How easy to make our way into Yosemite equipped with our hosts' hints and advice apropos to our particular needs, and how much we looked forward to returning to the Inn at the end of each day to sit on the deck and wait for the full moon to rise over the Merced River. It's true, this probably isn't the place for anyone allergic to cats, but I for one was happy when at my request Liz brought the friendliest of the three resident cats out for me to cuddle.

Some hints: I was glad I'd talked with Liz the day before our arrival and followed her advice about the better route to take from SFO to their B&B. I wish I'd paid more attention to her information about the last place to buy any groceries, wine, etc. being in Merced. There is a little convenience store near the B&B and we also shopped at the General Store in Yosemite Village for a few incidentals. There is only one restaurant near the Blue Butterfly, which we found overpriced and not very good. We ate there our first night because we arrived late. Liz's breakfast was generous. One day we had a light lunch at the food court at Yosemite Lodge and then brought wonderful sandwiches from the Deli at Yosemite Village back with us to enjoy on the deck. The following day we ate dinner at the Mountain Room at Yosemite Lodge.

Finally, as for HGKCFP's review ... harangue ... why vacation to a place like Yosemite when you can't be separated from your electronic toys to appreciate the splendor of nature?

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cmw2117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 - 284 of 571 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2012

This B&B is in a GREAT location. It is just outside the park and honestly you couldn’t ask for a better location unless you want to camp inside the park itself. The house is nice and on the river just as it shows in the pictures. We were able to have breakfast on the patio which was great. Please know if you are wanting to get up early, this may not be the best option to wait on breakfast. I don’t think we were able to get out of the house before 9:30ish.

We stayed in the Meadow Lily Suite. It was very spacious with a private attached bathroom. BUT there were basically no curtains in the room. The sunlight woke us up early, we had to be careful not to be in front of windows as the B&B is surrounded by a Lodge. There are windows behind the bed. Blackout curtains would make a huge difference.

My other item is if you are allergic to cats, don’t stay here. I’m quite allergic and woke up quite uncomfortable. There was cat hair all over my suitcase. Don’t get me wrong…. I felt the place was clean but it is difficult to keep cat hair under control.

The couple that manages this B&B is fantastic. They are very knowledgeable and helpful. We had several great suggestions on items to do while there. They do tell you that your cell phones may not work in the valley and will need to directions to get to the B&B—listen to them!! They know what they are talking about.

Lastly, don't count on internet here. We were in one of the rooms that was supposed to have better internet connection and we were not able to connect on Dell or Apple products.

Room Tip: Don't choose Meadow Lily as the Sun IS BRIGHT
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jenn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yosemiteblue, Owner at Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2012

We have a rather large photo of our cat just by the spot on the web page where one needs to 'click' to make a reservation...we put the photo of the cat there just so those who are allergic to cats would see it. We have found the presence of our cats to be a 'plus' rather than a problem...many people love their cats and miss them a lot while traveling. We don't let the cats in the guests' rooms...any cat hair on the luggage must have been picked up elsewhere. As for the curtains...there is a window over the bed with a set of dark green, velvet curtains on it...no one can see in there...the sliding glass doors onto the deck also have the same dark green velvet curtains...only the 'bay' window in the corner has no curtains and a beautiful river view...we checked it from outside before purchasing curtains for the room,...you can't see in from outside or from the adjacent lodge which does not 'surround' our B&B, but is set back 30 feet to the downriver side of that room, and set back far enough so that you couldn't see in our room unless one is standing directly next to the glass, with the light on at night (the windows are double glazed and slightly tinted). Most guests love the views from our rooms and the cats.

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Reviewed September 6, 2012

Stayed two nights at the Blue Butterfly and was very pleased with the stay. Too tired to do much the first day but the ability to wake up early go onto the deck overlooking the Merced River was amazing. You really don't know you are surrounded by the Yosemite View; glad I was in the house instead.The room was lovely; stayed in the Glasgow Room.

The Blue Butterfly is literally 5 minutes to entrance to the park; a fact I truly appreciated after driving from one end of the valley to the other. It saved a large portion of my day enjoying the valley instead of having to drive in. I'm re-thinking a planned stay in Mariposa in June.

I only had two partial and one full day to enjoy the park so I decided to try the Grand Tour and was very pleased. It is a bus tour so there is that limitation but several stops for great pictures and really enjoyed the stories from the driver who explained the history and stories about the park. Only thing missing was a bear sighting.

The Grand Tour was 8 1/2 hours so it was nice to only have short drive back to the B&B and a lovely evening visiting with the other guests and Liz. Finally had a chance at breakfast to meet her husband also the next morning and they could not be more delightful.

As for the review complaining about being connected. Do pay attention if it is that importat to you; but I can't even imagine being in a place like Yosemite and having being connected being that important; My phone didn't work from the moment I hit the valley; sometimes it is nice to leave everything behind. I hardly think a B&B should be responsible for anyone's work life.

B&B are not for everyone; it is a much more intimate family style way of travelling but if you want a friendly and beautiful environment I can't think of a better place to stay. Even travelling solo it was wonderful. I could be in my room if I wanted solitude but there was always the option of visiting if I chose and met some great people.

This was the perfect touch to a vacation that could have felt rushed. I was up at 5:30 every morning. plugged in the coffee and kicked my feet up watching the sun come up and hummingbirds gather for their breakfast.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Thanks Liz and Ron; hope to see you on a future stay

By the way I had no problem getting a key for a late night back (though I didn't have to use it) and a cold breakfast when I had to leave early. I just let them know by email and they were great to accomodate me. And the tea and cookies really are that great :)

Room Tip: It was a fluke on my part since I was travellingi solo but the Glasgow has the king bed if that is...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Nanb919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We had the best two-night stay here while visiting Yosemite National Park - this is a unique and wonderful place with the nicest B'n'B owners in the world! An absolute gem, would give it 6 stars out of 5 if I could!

Firstly - to set a few things straight from the previous review (below) - I see Liz's comment that Internet in the area went down while that guest was staying there - I can confirm that during our stay the wi-fi was working fine and in fact was a better connection than any place we have stayed at since on this trip (we stayed at a Hilton where the wi-fi only worked in one corner of the room, a Best Western whose Internet was sooooo slow and a Ritz Carlton where they charged you $10/ day for the privilege!). So no issues there. As for cell phone coverage and doing work - well, that wasn't what I went to Yosemite for, but each to their own! Finally, we found the owners to be far from clueless - rather, they had a wealth of information about the park and surrounding area and are fortunate enough to be well-travelled so could provide many stories and experiences which were well worth sharing.

The B'n'B is tucked in amongst the sprawling Yosemite View Lodge Complex about 1/4 mile from Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite park (literally 2 minutes and you're back inside the park) alongside the Merced River. If you weren't looking for this place, you'd never know it was there! The directions provided are very good and we found the place no problem. There was enough parking for 6 cars I think (we had no issues and I think all 5 rooms were full during our stay). The owners, Ron & Liz are incredibly nice, very welcoming and eager to help any way they can. They are full of useful information about the park and will help you plan your time there, where to go, which trails to hike etc. And they have so many stories! A wealth of experience - through their time in Yosemite, travels around the world and countless talks with all their many guests over the years. We had cookies and a fresh pot of tea with them and some other guests in their main room on our arrival which was a nice extra!

We stayed in the Glasgow Rose room both nights - the room was tastefully decorated and spacious, very clean and the bathroom was modern and immaculate. Shower was great - consistent hot water and decent power to wash off that Yosemite dirt! Room was cleaned/tidied while we were out (much to my husband's chagrin as he left his underwear and socks on the floor the first day, he he!) - that'll teach him!

Breakfast was superb - Liz cooks up something special each morning - one morning when there were mainly British guests we had a Mexican frittata - something we wouldn't get at home, which was a nice touch! There was an ample selection of fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee/tea of course. The highlight of breakfast is that it is served on their glorious deck overlooking the Merced River. Absolutely perfect. They also have hummingbird feeders on the deck - the two days we were there we saw so many hummingbirds feeding - it was beautiful! We could have stayed on that deck all day, but Yosemite beckoned.....

It took about 20 minutes to get from the B'n'B to Yosemite Valley - could not be more convenient and it took 45 min - an hour to get to Tuolumne Meadows from the B'n'B. Ideal for the exploring we wanted to do!

I'd have no problem recommending this place to anyone (without kids/pets - their policy is that their home is not suitable for children due to the furnishings etc) which makes it a really lovely place for adults! I'm only hesitant to recommend it as I want to make sure there's a room for us whenever we come back!!

Now I'm going to go into some detail about how we chose this place as I found other people's 'planning tips' on TripAdvisor invaluable as we were trying to plan our Yosemite visit! We knew we would be coming in from the south (hwy 41) and returning the same way 3 days later, so we had 3 nights to spend. After looking at a few places in Oakhurst/Fish Camp we decided it was a waste of time commuting into Yosemite each day (1hr+ each way to the Valley). We did spend our last night in Oakhurst - as we were driving down to L.A. the next day for a wedding we wanted to be out of the park and at least on the way on hwy 41! We aren't big on camping so ruled out Curry, White Wolf etc right away. We did look at accommodation in the park (the big 3: Wawoma, Yosemite Lodge and the Ahwahnee) as we wanted to maximise our time exploring the park) but felt they were all very over-priced for what they were - you're only really paying to stay inside Yosemite Valley. Had we only been there for one night, we might have bitten the bullet and stayed there, but then we would have never discovered the Blue Butterfly! We were also considering alternative accommodation within the park boundaries but couldn't find anything we liked for a reasonable price in Yosemite West. A couple of cabins in Foresta were our second choice as their location was good both for Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, but they were available the last two nights of our stay, and we wanted the first two nights. In hindsight, El Portal was just as convenient and it was nice coming back to modern amenities each night and the friendly welcome of Ron&Liz. We also looked at Yosemite View Lodge but there were really mixed reviews on TripAdvisor - it really seemed very hit-or-miss and we didn't want to risk it being a 'miss'!
While in the park we spent a day or two in and around the Valley and one day in Tuolumne - would highly recommend Tenaya Lake and the Cathedral Lakes hike. We ate at each of the Yosemite hotels - one each night. We had a meat/cheese antipasto platter at the Ahwahnee lounge which was very nice, bowls of chilli at Yosemite Lodge (that was after our 8-mile hike and boy did that chilli taste good!) and we stopped at Wawona on our way out of the park on our last day - we had pink lemonade on the porch and would recommend their delicious artichoke-parmesan dip!

Room Tip: The Glasgow Room has the only King bed in the place (all the others are Queens) but the Sunflower Su...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Hannah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

With reference to the previous review when the guest had a problem with the Internet connectivity, I can only say that while technology cannot be guaranteed at times (even in the heart of Silicon Valley where we live) and cell phone service hasn't reached every part of the world yet you can certainly be guaranteed of the following at the Blue Butterfly Inn - a very warm welcome with afternoon tea, some very entertaining conversation from both Liz and Ron, a most welcoming, spacious and charming room, a very comfortable bed with soft pillows, the ability to sleep with the windows open to hear the river rushing by and then a bountiful home cooked breakfast in the morning. Far beats and exceeds the pricey and noisy hotel next door. We know – we’ve stayed at both but will only be coming back to the Blue Butterfly Inn again.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Meadow Lily which had a shared patio overlooking the river.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CaliforniaMuppet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We stayed two nights here recently. No cell coverage (AT&T)! No Internet (owners are clueless) Free Wifi- NOT!!! Way overpriced for what you get and the female owner...is out there!!! Plan ahead & stay in the Awahine Lodge in Yosemite. Historical, in the perfect location & 5* dinning in the Lodge's restaurant! Would never return!! Our room cost $350 a night - value = $175 tops!

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank HGKCFP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yosemiteblue, Owner at Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 31, 2012

Our internet server went down unexpectedly the evening this guest arrived. He was very upset about not being able to conduct business on the internet that evening. We called our server and it was fixed by about noon the following day...the whole area was out. Our business depends upon internet, too. We do have free WI-FI in all our rooms on guests' own computers, as we state on our web pages. Cell phones, on the other hand, often do not work in this area (as we state on our reservation form)...the only ones that do are Verizon. Other cell phone services work in Yosemite Valley itself. We always offer our telephone 'land line' to guests if urgently needed. It is unfortunate that a guest would evaluate his entire experience here based on a temporary failure of technology...which was remedied the next day.

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Reviewed August 28, 2012

We had a magical short stay in this wonderful bed and breakfast establishment on the edge of the Yosemite park. It is a large modern house on 3 floors overlooking the river and the wooded hillside behind. The hosts Ron and Liz are most welcoming and have designed the house themselves with attention to every detail. We arrived late afternoon and received a warm welcome with the offer of tea and home made cookies. There is a decent restaurant and pizzeria just next door for dining in the evenings and we ate well and heartily in the restaurant on both nights that we stayed.
The interior of the Blue Butterfly has been decorated by Liz who has an artistic background and our room was one of the most beautiful I have seen anywhere–enormous in size with large windows and a verandah looking out onto the river below. There are wooden floors with beautiful rugs, original art work, stunning wall hangings, a hand made quilt and lovely antique furniture all blending to give a very cool relaxed feel. The bathroom is very comfortable and to reduce wastage shampoo etc is provided in large reusable bottles. It was wonderful going to sleep to the sound of the river outside.
Breakfast is served on an open verandah, weather permitting, which overlooks the river and hill beyond. It is probably the most beautiful place that I have ever eaten breakfast! Liz cooks a different breakfast each day which can include Mexican Tortilla, muesli and fresh fruit with fresh orange juice and generous quantities of coffee or English tea! They are both extremely knowledgeable about the area – Ron has been a mountain rescue volunteer and ambulance worker and has detailed knowledge for serious climbers too. For us, with a very limited amount of time, they were able to give specific advice about seeing the most important areas of the park and getting the most out of our visit. Although they do all the work themselves they managed to appear unhurried and spent time with all the guests, chatting at breakfast and getting to know everyone. The meal was a social event and we sat and talked with other guests from California and much further afield.
We have not stayed in B+B establishments before and I think this one would be an impossible act to follow! The care and thought that has gone into making this Inn and the care and hard work by Ron and Liz that goes into making your stay a special one is quite exceptional and gives the place an individuality that larger hotels never have.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 5hampshirehogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn

Address: 11132 Highway 140, El Portal, CA 95318
Location: United States > California > El Portal
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in El Portal
Price Range: $200 - $345 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn is a new, family owned and operated Bed and Breakfast - the closest to Yosemite Valley. The inn is on the banks of the Merced River, in sight of the cliffs at the entry to Yosemite National Park, on the Highway 140 entrance. All rooms have en-suite facilities with hair dryers, and Wireless Internet access on guests' computers. A full,cooked breakfast is included. Owners have lived in the yosemite area for 40 years and are happy to help guests plan their days in the park and their itinerary. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yosemite Blue Butterfly Hotel El Portal

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