Dinner with Santa for our nine-year old initially lured us to Tenaya Lodge as first-time visitors; yet, the entire experience amazed from planning to check-out. I booked our stay through the Tenaya Lodge website weeks in advance.
Stand-out memories of personalized, warm, and attentive service mark several high points of the visit: friendly, unrushed phone calls to our home clarifying our itinerary and inviting questions; unexpected help parking our Mazda near our cottage upon arrival, through icy slush, up the slightest grade, in the dark; encouragement to participate in the gingerbread house contest (raised our family's stakes!), along with interesting back-stories of entries past; humorous reassurance that the horses pulling the sleighs through falling snow were 'ole pros and didn't need snow boots like we did (not to mention the video memories of our kid feeding snowballs to Rocky); and understanding nods through dinner at Embers (with reservations made just hours before, and seated early), nestled as we were in the high-back crimson seats plain exhausted, that holding hands near a fireplace child-free for two hours was as romantic as we could get after a long, cold day. :-)
We felt absolutely welcomed!
We were gladly and easily loaned a sledding disc with extended time when archery cancelled due to falling snow, which made for wonderful sledding memories the next morning before check out on Christmas Eve. We found out by chance that shuttles were provided between the cottages and the lodge the night of Dinner with Santa, and easily made arrangements within the hour for on-time pick-up. Although room service to the cottage was late that first full-packed day, the delicious breakfast was delivered apologetically yet cheerfully. The delay did not ultimately affect our plans, if not cause some worry.
The cottage itself was a dream, with towering trees all around us: balcony of snow (for impromptu lone snow play or snowball fights with kids/teens in our cottage), fireplace (for ambience and practicality, such as drying wet clothes), bathroom with a small window for outdoor air, and cozy beds and sheets. The high ceilings expanded the room, and the country chic decor was unpretentiously tasteful. I personally knew that the cottages held three rooms with separate entries and balconies, but it took some investigating to realize and accept that, because I was caught by surprise. No, not the quietest with kids/teens upstairs; but for us, the staircase noise leading to a single cottage above us ended at a decent early hour the first night - with no noise at all the next night. Lucky for us, perhaps, to have relatively quiet cottage neighbors, versus shared hallways to several rooms, with the usual noise (as in any conventional hotel or lodge.)
We also brought our terrier with us, and it was notably far, far quieter in the cottage for his nerves at this time of year. He doesn't like the snow, too, poor thing! To us, the lodge was bustling with activity, crowds, conversations, and other pets, that we were glad for the relative seclusion for our dog. And to think at check-out on Christmas Eve it was getting even busier!
In addition to the meals already mentioned, we ate our arrival meal at Timberloft for their namesake pizza (the crust was good!), hearty pasta bowl (fed our kid with left-overs the next day), and salad bar. The football games on TV, the cool jukebox, and the pot-belly stove kept a light, fun, and casual atmosphere. Service genuinely friendly. Our last meal was at the breakfast buffet. Seated again by a lovely, huge fireplace (at Jackalopes, which was opened for the breakfast buffet crowd) the meal was made extra special. The selections of comfort buffet fare pleased everyone, and included the surprise quiche and specialty breads.
In all, our visit to Tenaya Lodge in anticipation of the Christmas Season was an inspiration! Photos and videos are now cherished family memories. Thanks!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on 48 acres in the southern High Sierra and just 2 miles from Yosemite, the Four-Diamond Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite offers easy access to all of Yosemite’s most alluring attractions and all the amenities expected from a luxury resort property. Tenaya boasts comfortable and spacious accommodations, Ascent – a luxurious 10,000 sq.foot spa, steam room, sauna, fitness room, three pools, five dining options, all-season recreation and a full-service concierge to help you plan your getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite Hotel Fish Camp
- Tenaya Hotel Fish Camp
- Tenaya Hotel At Yosemite
- Tenaya Lodge Yosemite
- Yosemite Tenaya Lodge