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“Not the Ritz, but adequate for a National Park” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yosemite Valley Lodge

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Groveland, California
Level Contributor
113 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Not the Ritz, but adequate for a National Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

We go and stay at the Yosemite Lodge frequently. For prior visits we have stayed in the Azalea building, but this time we asked to stay in Birch, one of the updated rooms that had a king bed. The room was very nice, clean and comfortable for the first night. It was difficult to get the temperature to be "right", so we had a warm night in the room. The second night, several people were in the room next door (probably part of a wedding party), and we could hear every word they spoke. That ruined our experience, and we will go back to Azalea next month.
If your room has a problem, call the front desk. If it isn't fixed soon, call again. They will work to make it right.
We had meals in the Food Court, sandwiches at Degnans, and went over to the Ahwahnee for lunch one day, and for breakfast one day. One learns what to order at which place. It isn't gourmet food, and isn't fast food prices, but still reasonable.
The rooms have TV and telephones, which is unusual for a National Park hotel. If you need more pillows or more blankets, call for them.
We have stayed at the Ahwahnee, but the price difference isn't worth it to us. We spend a fair amount of time at the Ahwahnee sitting in the lobby, shopping in the store, and eating. It is a nice walk from the Lodge to the Ahwahnee. We have found everyone to be helpful and friendly, if you are friendly with them. Check in when you arrive (although you probably won't get a room until 5 PM) and pick up beverage tickets and your parking pass. Do not move your car once there with a good spot. Spend the day enjoying Yosemite and head back after 5 to move into your room.
Staying outside the park, although perhaps in nicer accommodations, doesn't make up for being in the park 24 hours. However, if you are really picky about your room, maybe best to not come at all.

Room Tip: We have only stayed in Azalea and Birch- no special views, close to food, but stay out of your room...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Morgan_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (890)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

After reading mixed reviews here I booked this lodge because of its location. I had low expectations of everything else. Therefore was surprised that it turned out to be ok. Dated? Yes. Our room was clean. Shower was clean. We felt comfortable in the room.
Food was very average but we expected that. We had two 18 year olds and a 16 year old and they caught free shuttle to the hikes they wanted to do. Gave them independence.
I would stay again

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Heather B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

There are few choices at Yosemite for lodging. We have stayed in several places outside the park due to the cost factor.This trip we decided that we were going to stay inside the park. The "high rent" hotel is out of the question ($400 a night) so we tried the Lodge. My first impression of the lodge is the visual. It looks nice from the outside, the office/check-in area is attractive. That is where the fun ended. Two people in line ahead of us and we had to wait 20 minutes to check in. We asked about local internet (which is available) service, the cleck took about 3 minutes to write out the instructions for us. Not a major issue, unless you are #8 in line waiting. Their process needed to be streamlined.
The roons are decent size but look very tired. The carpet is very old, in one location covering a small trench in the concrete floor where the old radiator pipe use be. The curtains covering the door to the outside patio look as if they came from the goodwill store.
However not all was lost! The bed was very comfortable and the shower head made for a great shower. In a normal location this room might be an old Budget Inn. But, in the valley it is booked every night. Location,location,location. If you stay here do not expect to get a 4 star room. They may have them, but not in our section...

Room Tip: Unless you want to "grunt" your bags make sure your room is close to the parking lot. Some...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pcoffey4980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We headed up to Yosemite looking forward to a quiet,restful vacation. We chose the Lodge at The Falls knowing that it was not the most luxurious of accommodations, but we were going to Yosemite and hiking,bike riding were the most important activity for us.
Checking in was a breeze,and we were offered to check the room out before committing,did not like the first room as it faced the construction,but the second room was amazing. King size bed,small fridge,deck nice bathroom and a breathtaking view. The Lodge has been upgraded in the past years and it was very comfortable,clean and well equipped. Try the Mariposa building,top floor,it will not disappoint you. If you are expecting glamour and glitz,go to Vegas,this is a national park,enjoy the outdoors!
Sign up for a photo walk at Ansel Adams Gallery,it's free,go own the many Ranger and Naturalists Tours, they are free and magnificent.
Go for a hike,beer at the bar,sit around the roaring fireplace,have the smoked trout and great soups. Relax and enjoy, Yosemite in the winter is jaw dropping and if you focus on the surrounding beauty instead of complaining about carrying your bags to your room,you might actually appreciate nature and take the focus off of your expected services.
We travel with our own bedding,sheets,quilt,towels no complaints.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Wallaceneff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
140 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

The lodge is right across the street from Yosemite Falls and a short walk to the meadow and Swinging Bridge picnic area with access to the Merced River/Beach and great views of the falls and Half Dome.

Just went back for the 3rd time and was surprised at some of the amenities in the Cottonwood units. Flat screen TVs. ipad/ipod dociking stations, heat lamps in the bathrooms, patio (there's only one floor at Cottonwood so no balcony) with peeks of Yosemite Falls, free coffee/tea at the restaurant. The swimming pool, ice cream store and bike rentals were closed for the winter.

The rooms are not luxurious and would really be a nice motel. The location is what makes it special. It's the only "motel" type property in the park and the valley shuttle bus stops right in front.

Service was friendly and they have a kids "check-in" counter which younger kids love. There are 3 restaurants (a upscale mountain room, a cafeteria style option and a bar/grill option with a fireplace that is very inviting). Food prices were reasonable for what you get.

The main drawback is no firepits for smores at night. You have to go to Housekeeping Camp to do that or camp. If they put a fire-pit in, that would bump my rating up to 5 stars!

Room Tip: Cottonwood is only one floor so you won't have anyone above you yet don't have to mess with...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ALTippet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gig Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

It's in the park. That means you go to sleep to the sound of Yosemite Falls, which is outside your window. You wake up and walk 50 feet to breakfast. In the evenings, after a day of hiking or touring, you can choose from the cafeteria, the restaurant or the great lodge bar. We tried them all and loved them each for different reasons. The restaurant had good American bistro fare. The cafeteria was great for breakfast and lunch and snacks, but the bar had the best food! Great chili and salads that were perfect after a long day's hike.

The hotel itself is a national park hotel, so you're not looking for the Ritz. But many of the rooms, including ours, have been recently renovated and have a nice, new shower and comfortable beds. I love the raw wood furniture and the little deck as well.

We might stay somewhere else for a little more luxury - but for convenience, location and price, this is an unbeatable deal. Book early (like months in advance).

Room Tip: Ask for a second floor room with a view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WAMcCary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

I went back and forth whether to rate the lodge "poor" or "average" but finally decided on the latter just due to location. Check in was at 5 (kind of late) but that went off without a hitch. However, when I went to park, there was not a space to be found anywhere close to our room. I ended up having to double park while we unloaded, and then find a space several parking lots away (only about a 10 minute walk, so wasn't terrible, but it was raining at the time). As described elsewhere, the rooms are simple and plain, our met our needs for the night, nothing more. Staff was friendly and helpful. Food court was packed for dinner, there was about a 20 minute wait for the grill, fortunately there were other options that only had about a 5 minute wait. We considered the restaurant, but it was far over our budget so we passed. Breakfast at the food court was fine with much shorter lines.

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing away from the parking areas and toward the meadows.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FluvialMan
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)
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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