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“Cute, retro, and a lovely garden”
Review of El Mono Motel

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El Mono Motel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Lee Vining
Reviewed October 21, 2012

I was looking for a less expensive, but comfortable, alternative to camping to attend an Autumn workshop that I love in the Eastern Sierras. A search popped up this old and very cute hotel just steps from where I needed to be to meet my group. It is a remodeled and very cute old road stop on HWY 395. The room I was in was very small, but had adequate lighting and a sink. The blankets were warm and the room was clean. My room was on the reclusive and lovely garden which was full of Fall flowers and birds filling up on sunflower seeds before the cold arrived. There was nice outdoor furniture available both on the walkways near the rooms and out in the garden for resting and reflection. An added plus was the "Latte Da" coffee stop in the small building that meets the street in front of the hotel. The staff was awesome and I received perfect directions to find a hot springs that I was hunting. There were only two drawbacks that I can mention - the electrical appliance issues and the bathroom. The lamps and the smoke detector were a bit difficult and going out to use the bathroom in the middle of the night was not great fun. One needs to be prepared - you will be sharing a bathroom with many other people and you must go out from your room, down the path, to reach it!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Artemisia76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 237 of 354 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2012

We were 3 people looking for an overnight stay in Lee Vining. Managed to get a two room/one bathroom 'family room' and were perfectly content with it.

No, it wasn't big (at all!) - I wouldn't want this to be my base for a week's holiday, but for one night it was just fine. Everything was clean, it was quiet, it was close to the lake and restaurants, and everyone we met was extremely friendly.

I'd definitely recommend it for a night or two.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Lara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

I chose this place from trip advisor review, but on our six week trip of the USA it is by far the worst we have stayed in, and its not the cheapest either!
To be fair the place is clean and tidy which is not always a given at motels, but the rooms are tiny, literally have to climb over your suitcase to get to the bathroom or out the door!
Smaller than the room we had in times square, NYC, which was hard to believe.
No TV, A/C, fridge or tea/coffee in room which is disappointing when you pay in excess of 100 per night for a room.
Seems flies are a problem in lee vining during the summer, couldn't get away from them, no matter where we went.
Only half a dozen lodgings to choose from here, but next time I'd look at one on the eastern side of the highway with a lake view, or tioga pass road lodgings.



Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank droughty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

This is a really charming motel with a pleasant exterior and some great places to sit outside and enjoy good weather. The rooms themselves are substandard but at $89 it's one of the better deals in Lee Vining. We had one of the rooms with a private bathroom, but there was no TV. There was a good oscillating fan that provided cool air as well. The bed was uncomfortable - pretty hard with threadbare sheets, and there was some sort of stain on the comforter. The bathroom door wouldn't close and there was no curtain over the bathroom window. There's also no light in the shower stall and the curtain completely covers the stall, so it can get quite dark in the shower even with the bathroom light on. Also the shower head was probably 5'8" or so off the ground.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank RainyDevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

My father and I chose El Mono based on Trip Advisor reviews, and after finding Murphy's was booked. Let me preface my review by saying that I am a huge fan of family owned/Mom and Pop motels. Give me a Ray's Den or Mt. Williamson any day over Best Western! I am not some fastidious weirdo that expects perfection in a small resort community. There are however some basic amenities that I expect from a motel that is rated four star in Trip Advisor. Our greeting from the front desk was perfunctory and relegated to the price of our room (103.00,excluding tax) and that they take Visa. Okay, I'm not ultra sensitive, but man if you're going to charge that much for a below average room you better make up for it in customer service, namely warmth. Upon entering the room my father walked back out and said, "This is really bad." My dad is a WW2 vet, and can pretty much lay his head anywhere. Here's what we found. In the first "room" was a double bed which encompassed most of the room. There was a radiator heater (kind of neat), small desk with old radio, fan cranking furiously, and small nightstand with lamp. The bedspread was nondescript, but did have a large stain at the foot. It was also ripped on the underside. The mattress was good. Sheets were clean.The carpet was stained and appeared dirty in areas. In the second room there was a twin bed, which was comfortable. We were fortunate to have a private bathroom, though it was extremely small and somewhat shabby. There is no air conditioning, and Lee Vining gets stinkin' hot and no, it does not always cool down at night. There was no nightstand or reading light in the second room. My dad and I are avid readers and with no tv looked forward to a quiet evening reading and pouring over our maps for the following days excursion. Here is the real rub...there are NO chairs in the rooms, and the overhead lights that each have two receptacles for light bulbs both had one light bulb removed so there is not even sufficient light to read by. Really, how cheap can you get? As far as the "charm" spoken of in other reviews...well I guess if a picture randomly hung on the wall is charm then the room is charming. I personally don't care about charm - I just don't like feeling totally ripped off. The best thing about this motel is sitting outside the room watching the hummingbirds duking it out over the feeders. We had dinner at Bodie Mikes. The food was great and service adequate. Upon awakening the following morning we blew out of there and had breakfast at the Silver Lake Diner in the June Lake Loop. It was one of the most delicious breakfasts that either of us had ever had on the road. We will check lodging in the June Lake area for future trips-it's only ten miles south of Lee Vining.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank luminaire1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Great little place, amiable and well run
great cafe, relax outside room on basket chairs and contemplate the day
great breakfast up the road at Nelly, lots to do around, hot springs to mountains
good bed and effort with choice of soap, freshly decorations,
youthful and friendly

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Ruairidh8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We booked here after reading the other tripadvisor reviews, after initially being given a room for two instead of three people, we were moved to a great room above the coffee shop. It is was a bit noisy being on the main road, but the friendly staff and nice mellow vibe of the place more than made up for it.

Room Tip: If you want peace and quite ask for a back room - more space, ask for a family room.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Keely P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Mono Motel

Address: 51 Highway 395, Lee Vining, CA 93541
Location: United States > California > Lee Vining
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Lee Vining
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
El Mono Hotel Lee Vining

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