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“It's Not About The Room....Get Outside!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yosemite Valley Lodge

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
ny
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“It's Not About The Room....Get Outside!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2006

Yosemite National Park is the most beautiful place I have ever been! Just returned from a four day stay at the Lodge. It is definitely not for those who are not comfortable with rustic accomodations...There is no AC and expect visitors if you leave the screens open with food in the room...raccoons broke into our room and enjoyed our snacks:)
When planning a trip to Yosemite, it is good to know that It is quite a treck to the Valley when you are not staying in the park. Make your reservations exactly one year and one day in advance, or you will miss the opportunity to sleep in a lodge in one of America's natural treasures.

I wish everyone would stop whining...It is not about the room!!!

Get out there and hike it, bike it or raft it. You will never be the same after experiencing the beauty of Yosemite.

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank michmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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East Anglia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2006

I'm not sure why so many people complain about Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Its a perfectly acceptable place to stay.
Firstly, the rooms themselves. We stayed in one of the block chalets (a group of four rooms, two upstairs, two downstairs). The block itself was painted brown - which is perhaps why some people talk about dingy - but it meant that it blended in with the trees and surroundings very nicely.

The room itself was very large - bigger than any room you'd find in most cities in the US - and contained two queen beds, a freestanding wooden unit with a tv and fridge in (the fridge was available for use, it wasn't a 'minibar') and a bedside cabinet with an alarm clock and phone. Then the room had a dividing wall which seperated off the bathroom, which had an old, but perfectly servicable, bath and shower and toilet. The sink, and a huge, very well lit mirror, were outside the bathroom (basically behind the dividing wall). There was also an open wardrobe.

So far so good. The decor was okay too, yes, it was carpet tiles rather than ankle deep pile, and the walls were magnolia coloured and painted, but it was all perfectly acceptable and clean.

There were bugs - flies and mosquitos - but these came in when you opened the door rather than through any windows (assuming you kept your windows shut). The housekeeping staff were very good - our room was always well cleaned. Likewise, we couldn't complain about the front desk or, indeed, any of the Yosemite staff. Yes, its annoying that you can't check in till 5pm, but there was certainly no attempt to hide this; its their policy and thats that.

Staying at the lodge means you are about 10 minutes from the shops (grocery store, restaurant) in Yosemite Village, and a couple of minutes from the Lodge with its canteen. To give another side to the canteen complaints - we went every other morning for breakfast, and we were then when it opened at 6.30AM. The staff were perfectly nice, and the food was very good - no 'fancy' cuisine, but things like pancakes, muffins, toast, eggs and so on. You could get a very hearty meal that kept you going all day for almost a pittance.

I would highly recommend the Lodge.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
23 Thank YosemiteV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, CA
Level Contributor
162 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 379 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2006

Yes, racoons, ground squirrels, and mosquitoes have all figured out how to enter your lodging. And yes, rooms are rarely ready for the 5:00 (!) check-in time. Yes, the furnishings are indeed "Ahwahnee hand-me down's." There is no air-conditioning (but ceiling fans are OK), and window louvers sometimes decide to remain closed. The food court is reminiscent of college dorm dining halls. A good can of Lysol (Professional) can help combat the odors in sometimes partially clean rooms.

BUT

The location is absolutely sensational. You are right there with full views of mountains and falls, the latter, which, after a wet winter, provide a breathtaking backdrop to the Lodge. The park's shuttle stops just steps from your lodging and will take you almost anywhere in the park. The desk personnel and concierge staff are particularly gracious, especially before and after check-in time. Despite their worn box springs, beds are comfortable and plenty of hot water guarantees rejuvenation. The complimentary coffee coupon entitles each member of your party a generous cup each day of your stay. And the Mountain Room restaurant is far better than that of the formal dining room of the Ahwahnee. So do a little spluging and plan accordingly.

After the invading racoons, the dining scene seems to generate the most controversy. Unless you are going to propose or celebrate a major birthday, consider dining at the Mt. Room of the Lodge. The servers are at the same level as at the Ahwanhee, and the food/choices provide the same quality for HALF the price. Think $32 for a dried ono (Hawaiian fish) at the Ahwahnee as opposed to $16 for superb fajitas dish. The pork chop at the Ahwahnee is just as dry as that of Mt. room ($28 vs $18). Lunch at the Ahwahnee is a much better option with many items from $8 to $14 (pastas, salads, even steaks). Reservations are not required for lunch or breakfast, but during peak times, they could ensure you a better table. (By the way: the pretentious dress code is a thing of the past--no more jackets and ties for men!).

But the best dining experience in the park is the $17.50 breakfast buffet at the Ahwahnee. Service was at the caliber of any large city venue and twice as friendly. Superb variety of fresh fruit (kiwi, pineapple, melon, papaya, mango). Excellent whole-grain breads and the usual array of croissants and danish. Excellent omelets made to order--not made in advance.

So you can eat well in the park. You are there for the falls, mountainsm and the countless walks and hikes. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent and use lots of common sense. And don't pollute the park by driving--let the shuttle transport you (even to the Ahwahnee!). You will enjoy yourselves immensely.

Our visit was June 27--30.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank M-man11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2006

I recently visited Yosemite Lodge At The Falls on my vacation to Yosemite National Park in California. The scenery was beautiful, and the location of the lodge had a breathtaking view of the Yosemite Falls; however, the wonderful experience of Yosemite National Park just about ended there. I was appalled at the condition and management of Yosemite Lodge At The Falls. With so many tourists visiting Yosemite National Park each year from around the globe, it is a disgrace to the United States’ name to have such a lodge in what is renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the United States.
To begin, the lodge could use a lick of paint. It looks as if it has not been pained since it was erected. Moreover, the heating unit in our room was broken. It would not turn off, which does not make for comfortable sleeping in 90 degree weather. When we phoned the main desk, they said that they would send up someone to fix it. However, when we returned to our room 3 ½ hours later, the heat was still coming out. When we phoned the main desk for a second time, they said that they had come to our room and fixed it at 5:40 pm, which isn’t even possible since that was the time we phoned the front desk and reported the heating problem the first time.
Not only was our experience in our room terrible, so was our experience at the Mountain Room Restaurant. Although the food was delicious and nicely prepared, the service ruined the meal. The servers at the restaurant were rude, incompetent, and most of all slow. Our server, for instance, was very slow with helping us; every table but ours was helped by him first, even the people who were seated after us. After we finished eating the main course of dinner, we waited around for twenty minutes for him to bring out the dessert menu, and by the time he came by to take our order, we lost interest in ordering dessert. Additionally, it took him forever to bring out our bill. One of the perks of eating dinner in a national park is that after dinner one can go outside and enjoy a nice sunset or the scenery. However, one cannot do that if you wait a half of an hour for the bill. When we finally became frustrated with waiting and asked him to bring out the bill, he was very rude about it and took his time as well.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Trip takker101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2006

We just returned from Yosemite and had a wonderful time, except for the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. We stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal for our first night, and it was great. Clean, well-managed and our room had a balcony patio over the Merced River. Our first room at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls was on the ground floor with people walking by, and a stairwell next to and slightly overhead. We heard every footstep, and loudly. The room was dark and dingy. The furniture in the bedroom area looked new, but the bathroom was very unappealing. We asked to be moved to another room, and they complied. The next room was worse! It smelled of dirty socks, was more dingy than the first one, and was right on the main road (noisy). We opened the screen door for some fresh air and the whole door fell off! We called and told them we could not stay here and were going back to El Portal. They offered to clean the room for us, but I explained it needed a complete overhaul to be acceptable. They apologized and offered to pay for our first night in El Portal, and we accepted. We had booked about five months in advance and for $170 a night expected a much better room than what they offered. We were very happy to be back in El Portal.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank PalmettoMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2006

We did two days in Yosemite and spent the night at the Yosemite Lodge for $170/night. Most of the Yosemite grounds are quite "used" and nothing is brand new. The "hotel" itself are several separate two story buildings. The rooms are very "motel-like", something you would see at a Best Western. The decor is old Western style stuff they took out of the Ahwannee hotel (the 5 star hotel in Yosemite-which by the way is not worth $700/night). The rooms are by no means new looking. The bathrooms are old and could use a touch up. There is a soap/shampoo dispenser in the bathroom so don't expect free bottles of soap or shampoo.

Through out the entire park, you are NOT suppose to have food in your vehicles. At night, there are people with flashlights who look in the windows of your car to make sure that food is not there because the bears are known to destroy cars to get the food.

The grounds are not well-lit at night so bring along a flashlight.

The swimming pool was large but nothing special about it.

The food court at Yosemite Lodge was surprisingly ok. They have an Italian station that has spaghetti and pasta, adult serving $7 which is not bad. They have a grill in which you can get burgers, hot dogs...and a healthy type station. Food was good and prices were very reasonable.

We ate at the Mountain Room one night because of all of the talk about the view of Yosemite Falls...well at 9:00 p.m., there was no view. So if you go, go early. Food is ok but overpriced.

I would recommend getting your meals at Curry Village (there is a pizza stand, a Mexican food stand, a buffet) all at reasonable prices and food was good.

Overall, if you want to stay in the park and want a great central location to everything and don't think $170/night is overpriced, by all means stay at Yosemite Lodge. But if I were to have planned this trip over again, I would stay in Fish Camp (about 30-45 minutes away from the valley) at a nice bed and breakfast and make the drive in.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BellaDonna2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2006

My fiance and I stayed one night at Yosemite Lodge in April 06 as part of a three week budget trip around California. As the lodge was slightly over our budget we ummed and ahhed over whether to stay or not but once we were there we were so glad we did.

The staff at the reception area were very organised even when there are soooo many people coming and going and we were even able to check into our room 2 hours early. The room was clean and big enough for us. The location of the hotel is brilliant too - walking distance to Yosemite Falls and the village.

We ate our meals at the cafeteria at the Lodge, it was a little pricey for what you got and if you are late eaters (like we are) make sure you check what time they the cafeteria closes. I can't remember the exact time it closes but remember we only just made it in there.

Would definately recomed staying at the Lodge and although it was over our budget slightly it was worth spending the extra to be in such a great location inside the park.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank davo292
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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