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“Nice location - No A/C - bad week for that”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
GreenLeadersSilver level
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Nice location - No A/C - bad week for that”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We stayed there over the 4th of July - When it is over 95 degrees, you would like air conditioning particularly when it is still 85 at dusk. The rsvp process should clarify this.... Bear policy a little over done, but do not leave stuff in your car - the bears will find it

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravelingDeuce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Australia
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

My husband, son (16yrs) and I had 2 nights at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls at the end on June 2013. I had been a little anxious about the accommodation based on reviews here but we ended up being most pleasantly surprised. The accommodation was basic but clean and tidy. There wasn’t any A/C but the ceiling fans coped well even given the hot weather we had during our stay. The Lodge is ideally located for a short stay in Yosemite as it is close to good walking trails, well serviced by the shuttle and has a café and restaurant. We dined at the ‘Mountain Room’ restaurant on our first night and had a great meal with good wine and nice views out to Yosemite Falls and for excellent dollar value. We enjoyed this meal so much that we cancelled our booking for the Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room the following night and dined at the Mountain Room again! We walked the ‘Mist Trail’ on the morning of our one full day and this was a great hike to take as the trail was in good shade (from vegetation) for much of the walk and this gave us some relief during the heat of the day. Our stay in Yosemite at the Lodge was a highlight of our 3 week trip through California and to Waikiki and I would highly recommend this Lodge to anyone planning a visit to Yosemite, especially if they are on a 'time' budget.

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated room.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Aussieholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chula Vista, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Decided to visit Yosemite at the last minute this summer and was surprised to book the YVL less than a month away, one night at a time. We were able to book 1 night and then kept trying to get another night so we could make it a 2 night stay. Persistency pays! Requested a 'green room' (recently remodeled) and got one. Our reservations were consolidated into 1 and we didn't have to move rooms. Lovely decor, very clean. No AC which made our nights a bit uncomfortable - a ceiling fan and table fan circulated the hot air. 2 kids and 2 adults in the double beds felt crowded so we used a roll away for 1 child. Staff at the activity desk were very friendly and helpful. Definitely take the Valley Floor tram tour. Kids enjoyed swimming in the pool and rafting down the river (right behind the lodging). We brought our own blow up raft from Kmart - GREAT tip from a friend because the charge for renting a raft is PER PERSON-approx. $50 per adult/$25 per kid. Bring your own bikes too! The location of the YVL is awesome! Right across the road from the falls (we had a view of the falls from our balcony). The best part is you park your car and take the free shuttle bus service to get around the park. We would stay here again for sure since the only other alternative would be the WAY TOO expensive Ahwanee. Another tip-eat at the Mountain Room restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised by the service and the food was excellent!

Room Tip: request a 'green room' (recently remodeled) when booking
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shannon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menomonie, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

My husband and I stay here for one night on June 23, 2013. I booked it in early July of 2012 and I was very lucky to get the room, two days later the lodge was completely booked for our time period. It was more than I like to pay for hotel rooms, but a lot less than the Awanhee. It was worth it though to not have a long drive at the end of the day. Parking was our biggest issue in the Valley and in the park, it was a Sunday so we did expect there to be a lot of people but there were so many it was like a natural Disneyland at times! We had to skip some stuff because we couldn't find parking, luckily we arrived at Mariposa Grove at 7:15 am so we got a good parking spot. My husband was actually very upset with the parking at the lodge, it does seem like they could reserve spots for number of rooms they have for guests.
Once we got our room we were able to find a spot fairly close and later after the herds left we got a spot right in front of our building. Besides parking our room was lovely, we must have gotten a remodeled room. We were able to check in early (there was actually a guy ahead of us asking about a room but didn't have reservations, hubby and I chuckled about that!), and the desk attendent was friendly and let us have our pick of rooms even though we were 3 1/2 hours before check in time. We chose Aspen and got Aspen 4104, it was tucked behind the building so only we walked back there and it was close to the ice machine (which in order to use you need to swipe your room key). We liked the rustic look of the decor and it didn't seem super dark to us. The bathroom sink area had a large shelf area, and there was a small refrigerator. The shower had great pressure and was best shower we took on our 15 day road trip. Best of all the room was CLEAN! Our room was located a short walk away from the falls and a shuttle bus stop, and a short walk (across the parking lot) from the pool and the food/shopping area. We did use the pool, it closes incredibly early though. There are some towel by the pool for you to use, but don't expect to wrap up in them. The pool was huge, olympic size, and a little chilly, but it had a great view of the falls. We were still in the pool, as were some other families when it switched to lap swim but since there were no lap swimmers the lifeguards told us we could stay in the pool. We decided to eat in the Mountain Room Lounge, and that was a mistake, we should have gone to the cafeteria. There isn't any hot food offered at the lounge, just sandwiches. Our turkey sandwiches were okay but the pasta salad had absolutely no flavor at all. I only ate one bite. The beer I had was $7, and the service was bad. It took awhile to get served, our waitress kept ignoring us and tidying up chairs. We also ordered chips and salsa but she never brought it but that was fine we weren't charged and based on our other food it wouldn't have been that good probably anyway. The atmosphere in the lounge is nice though. Oh my husband got carrot sticks with his sandwich and there was some hummus dip that came with them that I ended up eating and that was really good. We did get an ice cream snack from the general store and it was really good, a ice cream sandwich made in San Fransisco with oatmeal cookies covered in chocolate, it was wonderful! At check in they warn you about bears breaking into cars, so we were uber vigilant about it and didn't have a problem we didn't see any problems in the parking lot the next morning either. Check out was quick and easy. We must have lucked out with our room, but I don't really see why people complain about them. Ours was clean and had a good locale. It wasn't the fanciest room, but I wasn't expecting the Ritz either.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ajrwdwgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We were extremely happy with our room in the Elderberry building. After reading the reviews here before going, we requested the Elderberry building but were skeptical. We couldn't have been happier with our room. It had been renovated and our balcony was on the end and private. We enjoyed it so much we added an extra night to our stay. We hiked to the upper falls and were so happy when we got off the mountain to have just a short walk back to our room to collapse :) The food in the food court was decent and we received free Peet's coffee every morning.

Room Tip: Elderberry 4229 is what I will request again and again.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Donna85718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, VA
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We wanted to stay in the Park this time so we bit the bullet and reserved the Yosemite Lodge 11 months in advance. We steeled ourselves for a possible less-than-enjoyable lodge experience based on all the reviews. When we checked in, I asked the reservation person if we could have a room in a renovated building. She looked and said, 'Yes.' We were delighted and the 2-hour wait until 5 p.m. to get in the room was much more enjoyable. Our three days and nights in this lodge were excellent on all accounts. The renovated room was terrific - as someone else wrote, it is equivalent to one of the nicer hotel chains like La Quinta. We had a balcony and a view of the mountains and trees - fabulous actually.

We took most of our meals in the complex and they were by and large good and reasonably priced given the circumstances. What we will remember most aside from the scenery is the wonderful staff who work at the lodge. Everyone we encountered there from the front desk to the clean up crews were pleasant, helpful and good-natured. They helped make our stay a truly memorable one.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DonEnrique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

The range of reviews makes for fun reading. I didn’t even bother to check the reviews before making my reservation 365 days in advance; because, really, it’s not like you have a ton of options. You can stay in Camp Curry and walk to the bathrooms, pay a lot more for the Ahwanee, or waste time driving in and out of the park. However, I would advise you to keep your expectations low. This is a national park – they have to truck everything in, and are attempting to offer lodging in keeping with the mission and surroundings, not provide luxury accommodations. Despite the $200+/night rate, you should expect something on par with a Best Western. It’s supply and demand - plus location, location, location.

My husband and I were in Yosemite the entire 4th of July week and spent 6 nights in the Lodge and 1 night in Tuolomne Meadows in the middle. Therefore, we had 2 different rooms and I will comment on both:
The “Lodge” is actually a series of small brown mostly 2-story buildings, with the lobby, cafeteria, gift shops, and restaurant housed in a central area connected with a breezeway.

Elderberry building – After reading the reviews two weeks before our trip, I called and requested a renovated room on the second floor, away from the main building, with a view of the falls. Totally didn’t expect to get it. But I did – Elderberry definitely meets that criteria. However, it’s right next to the main road; since there is no AC, you have to sleep with the windows/door open, so it can be noisy when cars start going by early in the morning.

Manzanita – For our second stay, I requested this building as it’s in the same area - away from the shuttle drop off and main building - but a bit further back from the main road. It’s next to the pool, which may be seen as not desirable, but it actually wasn’t bad. The pool closes at 6, so there’s no noise in the evening. Unless people hang out at the tables downstairs along the sidewalk partying. This was the case one evening, but after I put in my earplugs, I couldn’t hear them, and I think they left soon after 9pm. The row of tables is actually nice, if you need to escape the heat from the room and wait for your spouse to get ready for dinner, you can just pop downstairs.

Heat advisory – We happened to go during a major heat wave that was impacting the entire central valley as well as Yosemite. Highs in Yosemite Valley were 100 degrees. Since the rooms don’t have AC, they really heat up during the day. The rooms have ceiling fans, and some have table-top oscillating fans, so going to sleep wasn’t a problem for me. However, if you need a cool room to sleep, you may have issues. Please understand that they amount of traffic puts a huge strain on the resources and air quality in the valley. A bunch of AC units humming away all day would make that even worse.

Room comparison – renovated vs. not:
I honestly don’t see the big deal in the renovated room. Here’s the difference:
Renovated room had new faucets, new bathtub, maybe a better floor in the bathroom. Upgraded counter. Did not have a towel bar at the sink area (!) Furniture was slightly different, but not better.

Non-renovated room had better towel bar placement in bathroom (not above toilet paper). Counter in sink area was old formica, but it did have a shelf, which was handy. TV was smaller, but we didn’t watch any TV. Carpeting was probably different, but not noticeably. With everyone tracking in dust and dirt from hikes, I would just assume it’s all fairly dirty in all rooms. Had a table-top fan as well as ceiling fan. Balcony furniture was the same.

Noise level: Due to the heat wave mentioned above, everyone had their windows open. This means you can hear people in the room next to you, especially if they’re on the balcony. There also may be noise from people walking by, or traffic noise. Take earplugs!!!

View of falls is overrated. You have to sit on the balcony and peer up under the trees. Nice, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it – you have a better view each time you go to the parking lot.

If you are local and are driving from home, you may want bring the following: coffee pot (if you’re picky or want coffee before 6:30), box fan and extension cord (to pull in cool air at night), pillow, drinks, breakfast and sandwich supplies, and snacks to keep in the fridge, and pool towels.

If you’re flying in, you should definitely consider stopping at a grocery store or Target before you pass Livermore. Taking a load of drinks and snacks will definitely help save money. For example, a pre-wrapped sandwich in the cafeteria is $7.50. Even if you can’t do that, take advantage of having a fridge and get breakfast and snack stuff from the Village Store – even though it’s expensive, it’s less outrageous than buying cereal in the cafeteria.

You get 1 coupon for a free hot coffee or tea per person per day. The coffee was quite acceptable – they serve Peet’s in the cafeteria. (You can also buy espresso drinks.)

Pool – Since it was so hot, I was thankful to have the pool to jump in after we finished our hike for the day. It’s a decent size and was surprisingly not crowded, although they could definitely use more lounge chairs. They provide towels, but they’re short and thin. Pool was closed one afternoon because of thunderstorms up in Tuolomne (which we had been caught in on top of a mountain!)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Victoria J
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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