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“Superb Lodge in the heart of Yosemite Valley” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

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The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly The Ahwahnee)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Columbia, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Superb Lodge in the heart of Yosemite Valley”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

The Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite National Park is a true gem, and one of a kind mountain lodge. I visited with my mom from Switzerland, and the lodge is very grand and impressive. We loved everything about it, and service was excellent. I have been a regular visitor to Yosemite National Park for 11 years, and always visit the Ahwahnee Lodge. Trails are easily accessible, The natural beauty and grandness of Yosemite National Park, seems to take my breath away each time I visit.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SwissGuy41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,244 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 (642)
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san francisco
Level Contributor
41 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in one of the cottages on the property-which was perfect since I had two little ones in tow. Comfortable king size bed seperate room with closet/changing area-bathroom had a sink outside of the tub/shower toilet room--it was an easy stroll to the main hotel. The service in the bar for breakfast as well as for lunch was terrible--the staff were not the least bit happy to be there--the rest of the staff including the main dining room service were great-something about the bar staff was off.
The pool isn't anything fancy-but you aren't going here for the pool-the scenery surrounding the hotel is beautiful, the hotel public rooms are lovely. Be sure to book your dining reservations for breakfast and dinner ASAP-preferably before you arrive.
Looking forward to our next visit!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kimbren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

A charismatic hotel, retaining the charms of its 1920's construction. Could not be more perfectly suited to explore the wonders of Yosemite.
The rooms are not luxurious but you a paying to have the view of a waterfall from you room window! - it's worth it!
The walks are incredible - The mist trail up the side of a gushing waterfall is a real once in a lifetime moment, and its all within easy access.

Room Tip: If you can avoid travelling in high season, then do so. A lot of the waterfalls dry up in lat spring...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank matthewshreeve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We arrived at the Hotel and asked for an upgrade and lucked into a room that is booked for life kind of a place. The guest had o cancel at the last moment and the grandest of surprises unfolded. Once into the bedroom you come to a glass peninsula. The King size bed sits in a giant room with windows on three sides and a wrap around wide party deck. Its in the middle of Yosemite Valley and we can see the whole end of the canyon from bed. Everything about this grand hotel is wonderful. Make your plans ahead of time.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kamron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, NC
Level Contributor
530 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

This was a bucket list stay for my wife and I. I had seen the Ahwanee in books and magazines, so when we planned a trip to Yosemite, this was our place! Upon arrival, we were awed by the beauty of the exterior. When we got to our $700 room, we were less awed. It was dated, not too clean and tiny. We expected dated, having stayed at The Grove Park Inn many times. However, this was way dated, with scarred furniture, old carpet, dirty bathroom, a tiny toilet that I won't go into the difficulty of using as a male, stained furniture and more.

The dining room, great hall etc., are truly amazing to see, but it's kind of like Main STreet USA at Disneyworld. The facade is beautiful, but there's no substance behind the facade.

We ate in the dining room our first night and when we asked for a window table, of which there were at least five available at 8:00 pm, the host acted like it was an imposition. The rules said that a jacket was required for men and that there was a dress code for men and women. When we arrived, we saw people in jeans. WHile not snobs, we were dismayed to see that the standards had been dropped, as we made the effort to dress nicely.

Our server was good but there were two tables who were seated after us who were approached first. While we were not in a hurry, it was irritating. The piano player was a nice touch. I ordered the pork chop special and my wife had prime rib. Both were good but not great. I ordered a bottle of nice wine. The meal was not worth the price. The food was about what I'd expect at a middle of the road restaurant, not a very expensive restaurant. Especially after eating at The French Laundry last week.

The next morning we wanted a quick bite following a birdwatching hike. When we got to the hike site, we found out it had been cancelled. This was after getting up at 6:00 am specifically for the hike. Upon walking back to the hotel we notified the concierge, a rather large black man, that they should not have cancelled the birdwatch without notifying people. He told us that he had no control of that. When I tried to tell him that if the flyers in his hotel were announcing the event, he had an obligation to have control, he blew me off. He obviously didn't give a s_ _ _ _.

We walked about one mile from The Ahwanee to Yosemite Village to get breakfast sandwich. Because we were hiking we didn't take a wallet. Upon ordering and receiving our food, we also ordered coffee and then were told we couldn't charge to our room. SO... we had to walk back to the hotel. We tried the casual venue but didn't want sweet rolls so we went to the dining room. When we asked the manager if we could just get a bagel and cream cheese, as we were not big buffet eaters, he couldn't answer our question and handed us a menu. I asked again, and he mumbled something. We asked to be seated and ordered our bagels. The server was nice and attentive.

Overall, this is a tired and old hotel that needs an infusion of cash and love. The employees were either very friendly or surly. They did not speak to you unless you spoke to them first. Not a first-class experience and certainly not worth the money this place commands. I've stayed at better Marriotts. I'm not sure who runs this place, but they need help. I guess they are living on their reputation. We like to stay in Westin, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton properties and price is not an issue. This was not in any way, shape or form, the same type of experience we receive when staying at the alternative hotels. I am in the hotel business and I know how hard it is to find good help. This hotel needs help!!

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank iamstoked22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GnrlMgr, General Manager at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Good afternoon iamstoked22,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts in regards to your stay with us. Needless to say, I am very embarrassed and disappointed that this is what you experienced. I am so very sorry that we let you down.

As someone in the business yourself, you know the importance of constructive feedback. I would love the opportunity to get more details such as the room in which you stayed as as well as the description of the manager with whom you interacted the morning you simply wanted a bagel. With this information, I can do some homework and then coach and correct those responsible. You can reach out to me at barcher@dncinc.com.

I can certainly appreciate the perception you have of us "living off our reputation," but know that is not the case. We have just hired a new interior design firm and look forward to working with them to make some changes to the furnishings and fixtures. I hope your experience doesn't discourage you from returning to Yosemite in the future; if you do, I would love the opportunity to show the changes and improvements.

Warm regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germantown, TN
Level Contributor
76 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars 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 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ellenski25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
51 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars 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 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sfoartboy
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)
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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