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“It's the location...”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
156 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“It's the location...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Well, comparatively speaking this is a bargain. It's pretty average for hotels, but for the Yosemite Valley, if you're not camping, want to be in the park, and don't want the $$$$$ cost of the Ahwahne, well this is sort of it.

They have lots of activities, though after Labor Day their lovely looking pool is closed. Given an unusually hot September, this was a real bummer! You can also swim in the river at this time of year as it is very quiet and quite low. Other activities: tours of all sorts, hiking, bicycle rentals, talks, movies (free), and just the incredible scenery are the highlights.

The rooms are not air conditioned, and again, in a very hot September, this was a real downer. There is a ceiling fan, and the doors are louvered, so these help, but if you're used to sleeping at cooler temperatures you probably won't have a good night's sleep. Furnishings are adequate, they have wi fi, and the lighting is better than average for a motel situation. TV will let you keep up with the news, but watching wasn't big on our list.

It's just a stone's throw from Yosemite Falls, so you can walk there early or late and avoid the daytime crowds. Wild life abounds and one of our tour group saw a bear early in the morning behind her room. Ground floor rooms have small terraces w/ chairs, and this is a nice place to relax.

Room Tip: No elevators, but only two stories. Specify ground floor if that's what you want.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Soars37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,662 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Oxfordshire, UK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

Stayed for two nights at this hotel in September 2012. We travelled around California for three weeks and this was by far the worst hotel we stayed in and the most expensive. To be frank, it was dirty and grubby. I know you are paying for the scenery but I am surprised they get away with what they are charging and the rooms they are offering. Most of the staff are grumpy and there were no feedback forms available, very telling.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank JoCool3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
74 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

Our family stayed at Yosemite Lodge for 3 nights in early October. The lodge was completely booked for the weekend. The lodge is located in the heart of Yosemite Valley right below Yosemite Falls. The location can't be beat. We have stayed at the lodge several times over the past 20 years. It really shouldn't be called a lodge, it is really a motel. A very expensive motel. We paid $220 a night for a room with two queen beds. Based on other reviews, we asked for a remodeled room when we checked in. The person at the front desk was very accomodating and located one for us. Once we got to the room, the only thing that looked remodeled was it appeared they had installed new carpet (which was ugly) and they had repainted the walls. Other than that, everything looked very dated. Anywhere else, this would be an $80 room. Where is all the money going? I'd hate to see what the unremodeled rooms look like. Other than that, the room was clean and the lodge staff were mostly friendly. The food at the food court is subpar and overpriced. The dining room food was much better but expensive.

Room Tip: Ask for a 2nd floor remodeled room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank Sacramento_CADave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

This place is beautiful and the staff are very helpful. When we arrived (early) the check in staff spent about 20 mins trying to make sure we had the perfect room even offering to upgrade us to the newly refurbished rooms as soon as one was available, however once we had got to our 'old' room we decided to stay put as the views were breath taking. There was plenty of space and a lovely private balcony area for us to sit and watch out for wildlife. The rooms were slightly tatty for the price but the view made up for it so this did not matter. The only noise at night came from crickets and the occasional bird. Great location and free shuttle provided to all park amenities, fantastic views from the top of the falls but take plenty of water!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank shrewsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

We booked a 'Deluxe Room' in February and booked for 5. The room was only made up for 4 and when we returned to reception to request the roll away bed we were told it would be delivered after 5pm. It arrived at 7:30pm, which was rather annoying with young children.

We had a ground floor room which was brilliant. There is no elevator to the second floor and as it is expected every single item is removed from cars because bears have been known to break in hunting for food, we were relieved we didn't have to carry our stuff too far.

The room was a little dark, it was stuffy and hot and the decor very very old. My husband pointed out my filthy feet one night and I had already showered, so I can only put it down to the carpet being so dirty due to its age as I was walking round barefoot. The bed was uncomfortable it actually sagged in the middle when two of us were in bed and we are average sized adults. Towels were old, we had some that looked brand new and some looked like they were there when the first pioneers arrived.

There is a small fridge in the room, but no tea or coffee facitlites. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room really and this is the general idea of any great holiday.

Very expensive for the state of accommodation, but their is little choice at reasonable prices unless you want to stay outside the park. It is all about location location location.

Room Tip: If you have lots of luggage, request a ground floor room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Woodys5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
57 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

We just stayed at the lodge for 4 nights. The price of about $250/night for 2 people was ok. The staff is very friendly. We had no problems of any sort.

It is a sort of older place and heavily used, but not too run down. They are doing some updating. Our room had new carpet tiles and was very clean, but the lights are all CFLs and are pretty dim.

You stay here and pay the price because you are in the valley and at the base of Yosemite falls. you can park your car and take the shuttle everywhere or walk. If you want to pay 1/2 as much, try the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal, but it is 15 miles away.

The Mountain Room restaurant was good. A nice room, fairly quiet, food was reasonable quality with resort prices, ie at least $50/person for dinner. If you want good food and are willing to pay for it ($75+ per person), go to the Ahwanee Dining room (make reservations).

The food court is basic stuff for breakfast & lunch. It can get quite crowded and noisy and is the opposite of what you want from a Yosemite experience. Spend as little time there as possible.

Room Tip: We were in room 4529 in the Manzanita building. It was the best room we have ever had. Upstairs on...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank woodsy_al
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

The lodge is in an incredible location - right at the base of the waterfall (approx 5 minutes easy walk away) and in the middle of the valley floor, so within easy reach of all the trail start points and the amenities of the little village in the centre. It doesn't offer the luxury of the Ahwahnee (rated no.1), but its a fraction of the price, and we found the Wawona (rated no.2 in Yosemite) to be around a 45 minute drive from the valley (and so not very convenient for visiting the main attractions).

We stayed in the Birch lodge, which had been recently renovated and was a single story lodge with only 6 rooms. The room was far more luxurious and comfortable than the reviews suggest. Big double bed, nice bathroom and even a TV with a decent selection of channels - considering you are quite literally in the middle of a national park it's beyond what we expected to find. The only slight downside to the rooms were that they were a little bit dark, especially when the curtains and shutters were closed (which was occasionally necessary given the number of people wandering around at times). It also seems like they're in the process of revamping the rooms one lodge at a time, so it's worth asking at the front desk when you arrive for check-in if you can get a recently re-done room.

The Lodge also has some good facilities, including a pool and a couple of different bars and restaurants. We had a night in the Mountain Room restaurant, and while it was quite expensive, the quality of the food was good and the place had a nice atmosphere. In general, the food wasn't of the greatest quality, and this is the biggest downside by far. The food is served in a cafeteria/dining hall set-up and queues can be long at peak-times. While the food was edible it certainly isn't fine dining. There are a couple of other options though - there's a good pizza place in the village and there is a fairly decent sized supermarket if you wanted to picnic.

Definitely a better option than camping, and by far the most reasonable way to get a hotel within the Yosemite Valley (and to be able to stay in the heart of the National Park overnight when everyone else has left makes it worth the money in itself). Just don't expect the same level of service and luxury as you would get for the same money in a big city - you're paying for the location!

Room Tip: Go for a newly renovated room - not sure if you can specify in advance but otherwise worth being nic...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank 2012ra
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 #2 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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