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“Don't come for the service”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We were lucky to get 4 nights on short notice during the busy summer season thanks to last minute cancellations. The check in process was not exactly smooth. We had to consolidate 2 reservations into one so that we wouldn't have to change rooms. The clerk we got could not figure it out so we stood there for a half an hour waiting for someone to help her do it. We finally got our keys and headed up to the room on the second floor. We lugged our stuff up the stairs and settled in. Only to get a knock on the door from another family who had the keys to the same room. They had the room next door too so we packed up our stuff, called the front desk and went down for keys to another room. In another building, on the second floor. So once again, we lugged our stuff up the stairs to our room.

Room- surprisingly clean considering the amount of dirt hikers trek in. The double beds were quite small for 2 people in each. But comfortable mattresses. No AC and it was HOT while we were there. Hard to fall asleep but it cooled off throughout the night.

Food- the cafeteria was okay. Breakfast got very crowded. Do not come to the park for the food because you will be very disappointed. If you like pizza, this is the place for you. Pizza is served everywhere in the park!

Service- lacking in all areas. It seemed like the staff at the front desk of the lodge and the restaurant were not really trained. They didn't seem to know what to do and always had to ask for a manager to help them. The food service people seemed very overwhelmed in the morning breakfast rush.

The Park-spectacular. Especially the hike to Vernal Falls, Glacier Point, and Mariposa Grove. All 3 not to be missed.

Unfortunately, there is not really an alternative to this hotel if you want the amazing location. Just keep your expectations for service very low and you should be fine.

Enjoy the park!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank KerryM22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

As most reviewers note, this is basic lodging in a stunning location. We spent as little time as possible in the room, taking full advantage of being centrally located in the heart of Yosemite Valley. Only steps away from Yosemite Falls, this is the perfect location to see it all. The shuttle bus stop is right at the lodge, so getting around is easy

Make sure to check with the main desk to learn about park ranger programs, and dining options. The cafe at the lodge was fine, about what you'd expect. Portions are large, if not inspired. Highly recommend the star gazing tours available for $5 and led by a park ranger - outstanding views far away from the city lights - so very rare these days. Even our two teenage sons were blown away by the night sky.

Overall, you can't beat the location. If this hotel is booked, keep trying the online booking tool and you may find that cancellations open up - that's how we found a room. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Timothy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We stayed June 9-11, 2013 at 3515 Maple at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.

RESERVATIONS: We had made reservations about three weeks beforehand looking at the yosemitepark internet site, when the calendar indicated an opening for those days. Guests and tour companies usually book April, May, June and July solid a year in advance. However there are often openings due to last minute cancellations by this time.

The Lodge and the Ahwahnee do not accept AAA as a discount, despite what the AAA tour book says

WHAT TO PACK: I packed the nonperishable items that did not need refrigerating: a case of 6.25 ounce juices (they must fit in the mini refrigerator) , fruit cups, trail mix, steak nuggets. Other items include: swim suit, two 6' extension cords, a stand up fan, waterproof jacket, and sturdy hiking boots. To ward off mosquitoes, I bring a hat covering the neck, mosquito repellent, long sleeve lightweight collared shirts, neck scarves, and long lightweight pants -my wife prefers the zip off pants that you can buy at most sporting stores.

GLACIER POINT: Stop by Glacier Point , as it is only open in the summer, and skip Bridalveil falls, which was now only a trickle.

PARKING: The Lodge parking lot was virtually full, with thousands of daytime weekend visitors visiting Yosemite Falls about half a mile away. Once we park we stay parked, for the duration of our stay.

COFFEE VOUCHERS Registration gave us four vouchers for the Food Court: one for each adult for each day of the stay.

RENOVATED ROOMS: Maple is one of the renovated buildings, with a brand new bathroom, new carpets, newly painted inside and out, new mattresses, and new furniture (e.g. flat screen TVs instead of CRT tube TVs) . Other renovated buildings include: Laurel, Juniper ,Maple, Aspen, Dogwood, Tamarack, Elderberry and Birch. Buildings scheduled to be renovated January-March 2014 include: Hemlock (new furniture now) , Alder, Cedar, Willow, Cottonwood (new furniture now), Manzanita and Azalia. I would advise people making reservations for March and April to avoid staying at newly renovated rooms until the paint fumes disappear by late April, based on my experiences this year.

BLISTERING TEMPERATURES: According to Accuweather it was 95 degrees at Yosemite village one mile away, and 104 degrees the day before. The first 15 days of July had temperatures above 94 degrees!

NO SCREENS: All of the rooms in Maple had screens on the side windows and doors leading to the back balcony and patio, except ours and the other ADA room 3516 across the hallway. Laurel, Juniper, Maple, Alder, and Hemlock have the older style shudders covering screened windows and doors. Aspen, Dogwood, Tamarack, Elderberry, Birch, Willow, Cottonwood, Manzanita and Azalia have sliding doors with no screens on their balconies. Cedar, the only building without balconies, has screens on all their windows. .

NO AC: We left both the front door and back door and back window open, with a Lodge fan on a chair near the back.. The 39" cord of the 18" Lodge fan is too short to reach the rear doorway from the nearest outlet, requiring an extension cord. Someone opened up the exit doors in the shared interior corridor creating cross ventilation. Since we had a ground floor room, we could not leave these open at night, both for security reasons, and preventing mice or squirrels from entering. Our neighbors upstairs left the balcony windows and doors open the entire night, but then their second floor rooms were much hotter than our first floor rooms.

3515 MAPLE: Our room was a renovated room, beautifully repainted, with new wall decor, and spotlessly clean with one exception. . The new carpets had dirt marks from wheeled luggage/wheelchairs and foot print tracks next to the back door. And the carpets were replaced only 3 months earlier!

AMENITIES: There is a 36" diagonal flat screen cable TV, and a 16" tall micro refrigerator, but no microwave. Much of the refrigerator bottom is taken up by the motor. We filled it with 6.25 oz juice cartons, and 32 ounce bottles of fruit juice. You may have difficulty fitting anything larger than a 32 ounce container in the refrigerator. There is an ice machine, as we are right next to it, and can hear it at all hours through the large crack beneath the front door leading to the interior hallway. Early arrivals and non guests can't fill up their coolers, as the ice machine operates with a room key.

ROOM SAFE: the key to the built in safe that comes with the room does not turn the safe bolt, and is broken. The safe is too small to fit a 14" laptop, but will just fit an 11" notebook.

NO PATIO LIGHT: There is a light switch but no light for the back patio, so I can't read my paperback book, nor type on my black keyed notebook outside on this hot night. Apparently renovated rooms means removing certain features, like the balcony light.

POOL: The Lodge has an Olympic size swimming pool open from 11am to 6pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. The hours are such that you can't use the pool unless you are staying more than one night, as check in is 5pm and checkout is 11am, with adult lap swimming often from 5pm to 6pm. The pool is closed when there are afternoon thunderstorms, as happened during our stay..

SLEEPING: By 830pm it is dark, we've finished our meal, and the mosquitoes are looking for their meal! I close all the doors and windows, and close the blackout curtains -there are no sheer curtains, and leave the mobile fan aimed at the bed, and the overhead ceiling fan running all night. The queen size bed mattress is firm and new, and the four pillows fluffy and comfortable. The fans drown out any noise from the neighbors. I sleep like a rock, tired from two nights of no sleep at Tioga Pass Resort.

EATING: There's the cafeteria style Food court , the Mountain Lounge with TV sports, and the Mountain Room for those willing to spend more. Wherever you eat, go there early for best selection, and avoiding the horrendous lines, swamping the cashiers and clean up crew.

WHAT TO DO. We spend our only full day here walking to shrinking Mirror Lake, now showing large clumps of weeds, and over to the Mist trail leading to Vernal and Nevada Falls. Now that's the place to be on a hot day! Wear heavy duty hiking boots so you don't slip on the 700+ falls soaked stairs of the Mist Trail.

BUS: We take the free bus shuttle from Mirror Lake back to the Lodge. The bus is packed, and it takes 29 minutes to travel the 2.5 miles and 10 bus stops back to the Lodge. But it is free.

MEADOWS: After dinner, we walk around the meadows behind our building , over the river, and the swinging bridge, deer ambling around, with the falls cascading endlessly in the twilight. Very soothing, relaxing and romantic. We return via the lighted pedestrian paths around the front of the buildings. Fortunately we arrived a few weeks before the mosquitoes larvae hatched -which was late June last year..

CONSTRUCTION: On our check out day, heavy equipment resurfaces the road in front our patio. Lots of noise and dust. This is a very common occurrence in the Yosemite Valley in the summer, as it is the only time of the year they can do such work.

FALLS GONE BY MID JULY: We had talked to a ranger, and he said that Yosemite Falls would usually be gone by mid July, perhaps as early as the start of July in this dry year. So by the time you read this review, there will be little or no falls running.The Falls are magnificent both in sight and sound, and bring back fond memories of past visits to the Park and the Lodge. We will come back to the Lodge, but probably not in the summer!.

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated room. Be prepared for blistering heat during the summer. Guests will need to o...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We had the 2nd floor so it was nice to have a balcony. Nice cabin like touch in a modern setting. I would definitely stay there again. We stayed in a Lodge Room so I cannot comment on the other rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank J R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank TravelingDeuce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Aussieholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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1  Thank Shannon D
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: $273 - $458 (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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