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“We return every year, recommend visiting in low season”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Francisco CA
Level Contributor
97 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“We return every year, recommend visiting in low season”
Reviewed November 10, 2011

I have been coming to Yosemite for 40 years now and for more than twenty of them have been returning to Yosemite Lodge. Its moderate (to moderately high) cost makes it much more affordable than the gorgeous Ahwahnee Hotel, where we always go to breakfast and often dine once as well. The deluxe rooms have refrigerators (very useful), no coffeemakers (very disappointing--this year we brought our own) and are pleasantly decorated. We prefer areas away from the commotion of the common buildings and we avoid the Valley entirely during summer months. For those of you not from California forced to visit in the summer, if you are well off, the Ahwahnee is a more tranquil splurge. Service is sometimes hurried, but they get thousands of visitors. The setting is among the most beautiful in the world.

Room Tip: We prefer the three small buildings at the end, also Hemlock is a good choice, less expensive than d...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Luca1932
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2011

Right in the heart of Yosemite, this is the home base. Restaurant, one formal and another cafeteria style, adjacent to the hotel. Bike rental place and tours start here. The rooms are typical hotel size, maybe a little smaller. But the one we stayed in had a little balcony. Very clean, somewhat rustic. Very good value for the money and great for kids. It makes a tremendous difference if you stay in the park because there is so much to do and hotels outside the park require driving. This is especially true in October and November when the sun goes down quickly. The payoff is the park is not crowded but in October most services are still available. Make sure to hike up to Mirror Lake. Very scenic. We saw a bear on the walk back. Like everyone else at Yosemite, the bear was very nice and gave us no hassle.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that has a view of the falls. The desk clerk moved our room because, after telling h...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank DadFamilyof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2011

we stayed in the Aspen building. it is on the opposite side of the street from the main buildings (lobby, restaurants, shops, shuttle bus) however it was a short walk. Also there is parking just outside the rooms which is convenient with young children (and lots of stuff).

the aspen dogwood and tamarack buildings are there together. on another visit I woud request cottonwood for potential views of the falls, but it is a longish walk from parking.

overall, pleasantly surprised - location is excellent, service at check in check out was a bit slow but fine. best was that the room stayed cozy warm with NO NOISE whatsover from heating unit. that meant 2 peaceful nights sleeping. there was an in room hair dryer AND a mini fridge. although dated everything worked in the room. food in the food court was good and reasonably priced for being in the middle of no where.

the housekeeping staff service was prompt, and took the care when making the beds to fix up the stuffed animals and blankets for our kids, a nicer touch than many upscale properties.

Room Tip: aspen, dogwood and tamarack bldgs have easy parking and are quiet
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank silvercreekmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California
Level Contributor
181 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2011

Visited Yosemite lodge on November 2, 2011. We were in a single story unit called Cottonwood. Initially thought that would be great as nobody over us to make noise but alas with the walls so thin we could hear our neighbors on both sides talking at normal voice range. This unit was recently refurbished and had the old furniture from the Ahwahnee Hotel which was nice. One major problem was the shower and that is it took me 15 min to shampoo and rinse my hair as the temperature went from icy to scalding every 2-3 seconds.
Very frustrating as I had to aim shower head against wall so the water did not constantly hit me. Other than that a nice time as always.

Room Tip: Always try and get a superior room as the standard rooms are really depressing as they are worn.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank margiesmemories
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2011

We read the reviews before heading up the Yosemite for an October experience - rather than an August experience - and the trip was genuinely fun and rewarding. Significantly less crowded and very crisp air.

You have to remember that when you go to Yosemite and you stay at the Lodge, you're cutting through middle ground. As others have said, if you're okay with $425 per night, go spend it at the The Ahwahnee Hotel. If you don't have the $225 per night for the Lodge, there's always the tent cabins over at Camp Curry for $90. But if you do want the middle ground, the Lodge is where it's at, and all things considered, it's worth it.

Here's what you can expect: The Lodge isn't really a lodge, in the sense that it's a big old centralized building that everyone stays in and congregates around, like The Ahwahnee Hotel.There IS a central set of buildings but the lodging part of The Lodge is a series of two-story motel-type buildings scattered around the property. The rooms are not dumps but they reflect the fact that a lot of outdoors types and their dirty boots have visited there so the room has a minimalist feel, a bit rugged. They appear to have been built in the '50's or the '60's and there has been little updating to the rooms, e.g., very few electrical outlets, carpet squares on the floor, marginal plumbing, odd lighting, etc. But they're kept up and our room was clean but it was kind of like an older but clean EconoLodge that goes for $59 or $69 a night.

A number of the reviewers have been incensed at the $240 price after having seen what the accommodations are like, and when you add in the cafeteria-style food court, it's easy to start teeth-grinding about the money. But, and this is a very big but, we stayed in room 4528 in the "Manzanita" building, and you know what we had outside our sliding glass door? A wonderful view of the 5th highest waterfall in the world, Yosemite Falls, and it does take your breath away. So, did we like paying all that money for an EconoLodge in the woods? No, but when you're at the Lodge, you are right smack in the middle of one of the most beautiful places on earth and you won't regret it.

Some specific notes:

1) Unlike some of the reviewers, we have nothing but good things to say about the staff. They were friendly, helpful, and even witty at times. Considering the Park gets 4 million visitors each year, we were very impressed with the positive energy from the the staff.

2) There's a big environmental-consciousness push by the Park Service and the concession-holder (Delaware North Group), which operates all the lodging, food service, etc. in the Park. A lot of it is window-dressing, frankly, because the lodging is anything but green - it's older construction, not energy efficient, etc. (This writer is a public works director and notices these kinds of things.) A lot of capital investment is going to be needed before the reality catches up with the concept.

3) There's NO gasoline for sale in the Park. No gas. No kidding. The closest gas is something like 15 miles away.

4) There is a big difference in distance between where you ENTER the Park and where Yosemite Valley is, which is what everyone thinks of when you say "Yosemite". The reason for this is that Yosemite is actually a very large park, and the south and north entrances are about an hour's drive from the Valley. Remember that if you're thinking about getting lodging "at the entrance to the Park" - it's not close to the Valley.

In closing, Yosemite's timelessness casts a magical spell on any visitor and the Lodge, with its family feel and friendly atmosphere, is a very good place to stay. The rooms are adequate and reasonably quiet where you can relax after spending the day looking at all the granite and water. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Get a room in one of the buildings that faces Yosemite Falls so you can look out your window and wat...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Route66er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2011

The first room we had was rustic but clean, as expected. First night was fine, but coming back to the room around 4PM next day we found the building surrounded by a construction crew that was re-tarring the roof among other things. The whole building was permeated with the smell of creosote. Turns out they vacated the entire upper floor, but left hapless guests like us on the first. When I griped the front desk hinted at a discount, but we insisted on moving, and I expressed our dismay that they guests weren't at least informed that this was going to happen and given the option. (My wife said the check-in clerk looked sheepish, thinks they knew from start what we were in for.) So I give the first room 1-star. The one they moved us to was appropriately rustic, clean and tar-free. Not a supremely comfortable room, but if you're expecting something ritzier you can stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel a mile down the trail for twice the price. So I give the latter room 3 stars. As we were checking out there was another couple at the desk looking to move; the front desk had tried to put them in our first room

Room Tip: Ask if there's any construction going on, and make sure you're at least two buildings away f...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Russell S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wales
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

ou wont be disappointed, these cabins are in the park so once you park your car you dont need it anymore everyone uses the comp shuttle bus.

A lovely log cabin

The woods smell so nice

Room Tip: ask for a king size bed, we ended up with 2 queen beds
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank swnyrawel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yosemite Valley Lodge

Property: Yosemite Valley Lodge
Address: 9006 Yosemite Lodge Dr, P.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly Yosemite Lodge At The Falls)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 245
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yosemite Valley Lodge is a favorite choice for families and large groups. Its close proximity to Yosemite Falls makes it the perfect base camp for exploring Yosemite National Park. Its glass and wood architecture work in unity with the surroundings and the ample windows allow in the bright mountain sunshine while providing remarkable views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yosemite Lodge At The Falls
Yosemite Hotel National Park
Yosemite Lodge Falls
Yosemite Ca
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite Hotel At The Falls
Lodge Reservation Yosemite
Lodge Yosemite
Yosemite Lodge Hotel
Yosemite Falls Lodge

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