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“Good thing this place is located here.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

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The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Germantown, TN
Level Contributor
80 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Good thing this place is located here.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

There were no rooms available in the main lodge, when we booked, so we opted for a cottage. We checked into the room. It was a warm spell and the room was very warm. We asked the bellman if he could instruct us to how the air conditioning operated. He could not get it to work and said he would let "maintenance" know that it was not working and would not turn on. An hour and half later we contacted the front desk and were told that the air to those units had not been activated yet. UGH! So I mentioned that sleeping warm was not my idea of fun at the Ahwahnee.

They did call and found a room in the main hotel.

Nicer and cool! Still this is just an ok hotel. Poor bathroom. Tiny toilet. Feels old and tired.

Tonight after a long day of shooting photos, we went into the lounge for an adult beverage. At $11 each, we ordered vodka on the rocks. Out came a double old fashioned glass, with ice, the glass is probably 3.5" tall. The vodka filled the bottom 3/4" of the glass, no joke!! This is the first time in my life that my husband went to the room and brought in a flask, so we could relax. The food in the lounge is only ok. For what we are spending, it should be awesome, and it is not.

This hotel and staff should thank their lucky stars for this hotel's location.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ellenski25
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
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
51 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

Just came back from a three day stay at the Ahwanee in late April 2013. Overall: yes, the hotel is expensive, but the location and service might be worth it to you. Staying outside the park might be less expensive, but it's also alot more inconvenient (min 30 min drive each way in/out of the valley, alot more in busy traffic).

Hotel: elegant and rustic at the same time, everything in tip top shape. All the employees, from the desk to the restaurant to the housekeeping people, are friendly, helpful, and professional. The restaurant and main hall are huge and elegant. The bar is a mite undersized and gets busy, and outdoor seating is scarce in nice weather. On the other hand, you don't need a reservation to eat, and it's slightly less pricey than the restaurant.

Rooms: slightly tired, but in decent shape. We had room 340, a standard room (the smallest category) and paid $499 per night excluding tax. Our room had a face-on view of Yosemite falls (we could watch it from bed in fact). Note: try and get a room on the 3rd floor or above so you get a view over the trees, although any room facing any way probably has remarkable views. Standard rooms are cozy but not too small, with a table and two chairs in a corner. Classic rooms are slightly larger with a small couch and table (and about $40-60 more). The bathroom, while cozy, was space-efficient, looked charming, and didn't feel too small to me. The room also had a large closet with a safe, and a large flat-screen TV. In-room Wifi was free and most of the time worked pretty well, though it was slower in the evening.

Restaurant: expensive, with very good service and food. The dining room is certainly the most dramatic room in the hotel. Note: you will want to pre-reserve your dinner reservations ahead of time, and probably also your breakfasts too (although you can also order room service too). They have a very elaborate breakfast buffet in Sunday for $45 per adult, which was also very good and definitely needs to be pre-reserved.

Bar: On the other side of the hotel from the restaurant, by the lobby. Nice, but nothing extravagant. Prices were fair, and they have a decent menu abbreviated from the restaurant. Can get busy at peak times, and sometimes a table might not be available.

Other: the hotel serves tea and cookies to guests between 4-6 daily on the mezzanine, and you can take your tea down into the ground-level great room and enjoy it there (which we did).
The hotel has free valet parking, and there is a limited amount of self-parking. Do take advantage of the park's free shuttle service, which get's you all around the valley for free, and runs about every 15 min or so, with a stop right near the Ahwanee entrance. Keep driving to a minimum, as traffic can be pretty bad at times and you might not be able to park where you intend to go anyway. In nice weather do take advantage of the bike rentals at Curry Village or the Lodge at the Falls. $31.50 all day, and the bike trails are paved and very scenic. Note: in warm weather there are alot of walkers in areas which might mean you have to walk your bike.

Side note: We also ate dinner the the Lodge at the Falls, which was excellent. The hotel itself, while less expensive and right near the village (and where all the tour buses leave from) looked depressingly tired, like an underfunded rural high-school. IMHO, spend a little extra and book at the Ahwahnee.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sfoartboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, CO
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2013

The hotel was built in two years for a price of $1.5 million,opening in 1927. It has a lovely synergy with the surrounding walls of granite and waterfalls, but our room was quite warm without air conditioning (in April!), and the bathroom very small. Historic has its charms, but you might not want to stay for an extended time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank apresvous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont, California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

OK, first off: You're in Yosemite. It's stunningly beautiful. Everywhere you look: gorgeous. Can't beat the Ahwahnee for location, as previous reviewers have said.

On to the hotel itself: It is not a modern luxury resort. Let me repeat: If you're expecting an ultra-premium resort -- as well you might, given the rates -- you will be disappointed. What the Ahwahnee is: a beautiful historic hotel. (Again with the beautiful.) Personally, I waaay prefer historic to modern, as long as "historic" is combined with "well maintained," and at the Ahwahnee that surely holds true.

My family visited in early April for the first time, so I can't compare the Ahwahnee before and after its recent renovation. All I can say is that as a property, the hotel is fantastic, maintaining its original (now historic) flavor while still seeming fresh. It's a Craftsman fan's dream! The public areas are fairy-tale pretty, and our room was great -- enough space around our bed and a pull-out sofa (not, mind you, extra space, but enough), clean, nice bathroom and, of course, a lovely view.

Downsides: Every hotel has 'em. At the Ahwahnee, they include: (1) Thin walls. Fortunately the guests tend to be early-to-bed and early-to-rise (not many nightclubs in Yosemite), so that wasn't a big problem, and I'm a light sleeper. (2) In our bathroom, the bathtub faucet was not affixed to the wall, which wasn't a problem (it still worked), just kinda off-putting. (3) The bar (try the chili -- it's pretty good) could use a little more atmosphere. It's the one public area I didn't find charming. (4) The service was fine, but some of the staff were _too_ friendly -- a trap I've noticed semi-pro service workers falling into more and more often. Note that other staff, especially those manning the daily afternoon tea station, were great.

Speaking of food, we tried the bar (good, albeit predictably overpriced; beer selection could be better), the dining room (overly friendly waitstaff, good food, but not really that much better than the other options) and room service (tasty). Actually, I'd say room service is the best option -- decent choices, fast delivery and quick tray pick-up. Tip: We brought our own food for breakfasts (supplemented with the free coffee available every morning) and hiking picnic lunches.

Bottom line: The Ahwahnee is a picture-perfect place to stay in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. What's better than a day of hiking, followed by complementary afternoon tea and relaxing outside or in one of the hotel's lovely rooms? Ahhh...

Disclaimer: During the busy season, your experience may be significantly degraded by all the crowds. In fact, forget everything I just said. Please don't visit Yosemite at all, and tell all your friends to stay away, too. Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JPF2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in 502, which had access to a huge deck shared with 507. The views from deck were fantastic (half dome and glacier were so close it was scary:))) for $551/night I expect everything to be included---not so. I had to ask for turndown and coffee maker in room, but both were delivered cheerfully. The big problem with our room was no window (just a screen door) which wouldn't stay shut when we were on the deck and it is quite dark in the room. USA today was delivered in the morning, there's free coffee from 6 am on Mezzanine and tea and cookies in the main lodge area from 4-5 pm with live piano music. The king bed was comfortable, wifi worked, huge tv screen, small bath with modern fixtures, small closet but deck made up for tight quarters. The concierge was very helpful, hotel staff pleasant and bar just wonderful for outdoor casual dining with views....

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ardy52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
106 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

No need to ramble on endlessly about this great hotel. It has charm, history and excellent service. Sure it is pricey, but paradise usually is! Besides, it is not like one visits there every month. Sure you can stay at The Lodge (which I have done), but why would you when you can basque in all that is The Ahwahnee. The food is good and better than most National Park dining we have experienced. When in Yosemite, we cannot imagine staying elsewhere!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CoffeeBuzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
143 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

The rooms are good. Clean rooms. The design is decent, but for $500 + a night it should be better. Grrr. heard I should have asked for a AAA discount to reduce it by $100 bucks. I didn't investigate so you have to check for yourself.

Bathroom is clean and mostly updated with average fittings - they made an effort with the design, with cheap materials. Service was fantastic. Everyone was gracious and welcoming. The outdoor space was divine. We sat there for breakfast and lunch. We had a balcony which was good, but very tall dividers for privacy that I get, but made you feel isolated from the nature.

If there was WiFi in the room, it didn't work well, but I found that a plus. I liked being disconnected from technology. For goodness sakes, you are in a beautiful space - enjoy every second away from your iPhone and technology!!!

While we were there they did not light the fires at night in the main room of the common spaces, because we were told it gets too hot certain times of the year. They did light it in the morning, which was odd, that is the time to get out and play in nature, not indoors! It is a shame because that is a wonderful part of the experience to enjoy the beautiful common space with gorgeous hand painted designs, hand loomed vintage rugs and Indian baskets, colorfully designed stained glass, wall frescos - it is the glory of the National Park 1920's design and you want to bask in it at night when it is dark outside, soak in the atmosphere. They had wedding each night, so they blocked off part of the main room, which made it less encouraging to be there. noise drifting out and lack of warm fireplace, just made the room uninviting. So, I am not so sure if staying there for lot's of extra $$$ over Yosemite Lodge made sense.

Last time, we stayed in Tent Cabins and came over to the lobby to read in front of the fire. It was a wonderful experience - we paid $30ish a night to do that instead of over $500 to not take advantage of the common space. Not sure it was worth it now to splurge on this hotel. The location doesn't make that much of a difference in the park. Everything is pretty close to each other and nature.

I do recommend bringing your bike for moderate bikers. They have an excellent biking trail, my only complaint is that it is too short. Only 8 miles. do it one way first day, the other the second.

we did eat at the hotel. At the main restaurant, it cost about $160 with a couple of glasses of wine and salad, side, entrée - course for 2. again, service was good. we are "foodies" so it didn't quite match the cost, but it was better than most NP restaurants, it was good. Wine offering were good, not great. You can eat a yogurt parfait, crossaint, oatmeal at the Bar in the morning. Free Peets Coffee until 10:30 am - perfectly awesome and yummy. We did go to the Yosemite lodge for the 2nd night and regretted it. It was practically inedible - super bleck. I'd just go to the Village Market and make a picnic - I am sure it would be best. by the way, they have a decent beer selection at the Village Market - if that is your thing.

If the price were less, I know my rating would be top notch But, I have stayed in hotels at 1/2 this price that were far more luxurious with much better amenities. It is the best place to stay in the park though and I doubt they will ever reduce the price, they don't need to do so since there is no competition.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelhappytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Property: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Address: 9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly The Ahwahnee)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Majestic Yosemite Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel shines as Yosemite National Park's distinctive AAA(R) Four-Diamond hotel. Known for its magnificent façade and architecture, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel was specially designed to highlight its natural surroundings, which include Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. The destination of queens and presidents alike, this distinctive Yosemite hotel offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality, and elegance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park

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