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“LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION with 20% discount”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 14, 2012

We've been going to the "Lodge" for many years, most recently in early February, 2012 and find it's location perfect. We pretty much always go in the winter when you can see the park instead of hoards of tourists. It's the time of year when you can hear the water falls instead of screaming children, can be alone in a meadow on the valley floor, and have a picnic area all to yourself. Our son is a tour guide who winds up leading tours that visit the park in the summer and he tells of it taking 1.5 to 2.0 hours just to drive from tunnel view to Yosemite Village (this is a 10 minute drive in the winter). The winter is the peacful time. Virtually no traffic, you can get pictures of meadows and features with no tourists in them and you can find plenty of parking at all the best stopping spots. However, you can't get to the high country (Tuolomne) or Glacier Point (other than by snow shoe). But the majesty of the valley is laid out before you in all it's glory.

The Lodge is at the trail head that leads to Yosemite Falls (about 1/4 mile walk with only a small hill to walk up right at the end (about 100ft elevation gain). It's also adjacent to the famous Cooks Meadow and is a short walk through the meadow to Sentinel bridge and the picturesque chapel. Yosemite falls can be seen from many parts of the lodge campus as can Half Dome, and many other features. But you can't see the falls from most rooms. This location is about a 15 minute walk from Yosemite Village and the free valley floor shuttle bus stops in front of the lobby. The free shuttle runs about every 15 minutes (maybe more in the summer). You cannot beat this location.

The lodge is a series of 1950's-1960's era two story "motel" style buildings. While quite impressive in the 60's, it's a somewhat dated style now. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are good size. They now have in room phones, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi (all being somewhat recent additions). It also seems that they are in the process of fixing up the rooms, one by one but it's not clear if this is an actual updating or just a quick paint job.

To be honest, these room take a beating. They are filled virtually 365 days a year and during much of the year contain families with children who can be quite rough on the decor and the rooms show this wear and tear. Our room looked like it had been recently painted but not with much care. I suppose they only take a room out of service for 1 day to do the paint job and as such must do it quickly. For example, the switch plates had paint on them, and the caulking around the base of the bathtub was not applied with care. Speed over Quality.

However, it is in the ideal portion of the park, and for the most part you should not be hanging around in your room when in a place like Yosemite.

In the winter, food is offered in a food court cafeteria, an upscale restaurant and to some extent in the Bar. This year we took all our breakfasts and dinners in the cafeteria. The food there was OK. Nothing to write home about but served the purpose. In prior years we've taken a meal in the upscale restaurant which was quite good but waaaay expensive. In one year, when the Superbowl was being played, we ate in the bar (at that time the only place with TV's) which was typical bar food fare. The bar is quite nice with a big fireplace in the middle, TV's all around and big picture windows.

If you join the Yosemite Conservancy at the $25 donation level or higher you get 15% off various things in Yosemite. You also get a coupon book with one time disounts one of which (at least this year) is 20% off rooms at the lodge (off peak, mid week). For our room we saved $26.20 per night.

Dan

Room Tip: Rooms facing toward Cooks Meadow tend to have nicer view than those facing parking lots. First floor...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Califdan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,710 - 2,716 of 3,857 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights Feb 11 and 12, 2012. We booked through national parks reservations - no affiliation with the property just a booking agent, and AVOID THEM at all costs. When we arrived one of our 2 rooms had been cancelled despite nat parks reservations confirming otherwise. Our experience, however, could not have been more pleasing. The girl who checked us in (I didn't take her name but want to say Rebecca) was SO accommodating despite someone else's screw-up. Found us the same room, LOWER rate, and next door to the friends we were travelling with. The check-in screw-up (and again, I stress, not the fault of the Lodge) quickly remedied something that in summer when the park's full may have been a disaster really made the trip a success.

The room was spacious; not flash but who cares in this pristine environment - you're not at Yosemite for the flashy bed and wasteful shampoo containers. That said, I am also not the tent type so that - whilst possibly cheaper - wasn't even a consideration. I'm sure the Ahwahnee rooms are lovely, but what the heck - at the end of the day, it's a bed. At Yosemite Lodge, we were absolutely in the middle of the valley - out the door and into the meadow, and what's more this morning we had stunning snowfall.

We ate at the Mountain Lodge restaurant - very good, and also at the Food Court - good value for what it is (and it doesn't pretend to be anything other than that).

Housekeeping staff were attentive and diligent; overall, an entirely satisfying stay. Winter is the time to come - we had fog, sunshine, snow and plenty of wildlife (though no bears..!)

Would definitely recommend this property if you're looking for the true Yosemite experience without losing your shirt or being in a tent.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Margyg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

We are keen hikers and photographers and visited Yosemite and The Lodge At The Falls in May 2010.We disagree with so many reviews that paint such a bad picture of this accomodation.Yes the rooms are rustic,what else would you expect in the middle of this natural and unspoilt beautiful place? The Food court has plenty of choice and there is also The Mountain Room for more formal dining.We travel alot and found the lodge had everything we needed.We are returning this year in June,can't wait!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MrBestest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

Our room at Yosemite Lodge was much better than some of the other reviewers suggested - yes it is pricey for what it is but you are paying for the location. We know we could have stayed outside Yosemite for a much lower price but we didn't want to have to drive into the park every day and for really experiencing Yosemite, the Lodge is the perfect base.

We had an upstairs room with balcony where we could sit and hear the sounds of Yosemite Falls. Although the rooms are a bit tired, they are more than adequate and have everything you need.

As part of our room rate we had free breakfast food vouchers which we could choose to use for other meals - we used ours in the evening each day and were impressed with the quality of food on offer.

We spent 3 weeks travelling around California and Yosemite was without doubt the highlight - it is an absolutely beautiful part of the world and I would love to come back and visit for an even longer stay in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Barbie1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2012

Reserved One King Bed- Lodge Room $132+taxes/night for a winter visit in Jan. The on-line reservation worked well and, additionally we received email weather advisories/road closures prior to our visit. Overall, for the price expected a few more luxuries in the room. The room was pretty average and showed sign of wear but, we were not here to spend time in the room. The location in the park is what you are paying for. You truly can leave your room and walk to Yosemite Falls. The room was warm (important in Jan), with hot water showers, comfortable bed and wireless internet. There was also a TV and a variety of channels. There were NO coffee makers or microwaves. If you want morning coffee, hike across the compound to the cafeteria (we did receive coffee/tea coupons for the cafeteria upon check in). We had a ground level room which in theory could be handicap accessible however there is a substantial threshold which would be a bit of a challenge for a wheelchair. See a couple pictures I posted showing the entry area. The landscaping around our room was frankly pathetic (see picture) however there were plenty of world-class natural areas nearby to take your breath away! Vehicle parking was convenient, near our room and free.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NatureHound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

Dirty Rooms, lake of service in name of conservation. High price because they can since there are no other choices to stay in the park.

Rooms are dusty and filthy. this was my second stay. Dining staff is very rude. Food is OK but again over priced. I cant justify the cost.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Gunjan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

No white Christmas in Yosemite Valley this year, but the Yosemite Lodge was a great place to gather with family for a few special days. Rooms were small but comfortable, especially sine we had all of the great outdoors beyond our door. Hard to call the rate "reasonable" but probably appropriate for a destination resort. We only ate in the cafeteria, as the dining room had limited choices and was quite pricey, especially for Christmas dinner.

Room Tip: You need to ask for quyeen size beds -- the two of us got one, the four in the next room had doubles...
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank northwesttraveler425
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

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: $277 - $478 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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