We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ahwahnee-beware NOT a luxury hotel”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I've traveled the world and stayed at national sites in many countries. As an American, it's embarrassing that such a US national treasure as Yosemite considers the Ahwahnee hotel a luxury hotel. It is far from it. Service is very basic. Restaurant feels like a large dining hall. food is so so. Rooms need to be renovated and are equivalent to a motel 6 -no coffee pots in rooms, no gym in hotel, beautiful fireplaces but no fires, nothing is inviting including the staff. Staff is very disconnected and unhelpful and treat you as a nuisance. The hotel has such potential, but I would not recommend it at all. Go in for a drink if you feel the need to see the hotel, then carry on.
You are paying for location ONLY and at $500/night it is not THAT scenic. it's worth staying at a luxury hotel outside the park and driving in daily. When you pay your $20 entry fee, you are able to go and out for 7 days anyway. Don't waste your money!

Room Tip: Stay outside of the park!! Apparently all the hotels are overprices as this one.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Jmdressagerider
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 reviewResponded June 3, 2013

Good evening Jmdressagerider

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and I am sorry that we let you down. I can certainly appreciate the perception you must have of us, but he Ahwahnee is more historic elegance than luxurious opulence.

With that said, we expect our staff to be gracious and friendly. I am hoping you might be able to share with me some specific examples of what you found as "disconnected" as I will be able to take the opportunity to coach them on the finer points of hospitatlity.

It is true that we do not have a gym in the hotel. The Ahwahnee is a historic hotel owned by the National Park Service and the feeling is that Yosemite with it's extensive hiking trails and bike paths is one's work out space.

While we do not provide coffee makers in our guest rooms, we do offer complimentary coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate in the mornings on our Mezzanine as well as afternoon tea and cookies in our Great Lounge every afternoon. I do hope that you were able to enjoy these Ahwahnee traditions.

Our massive fireplaces are quite grand but we do not burn them during this time of year simply because it just gets too hot in the hotel. We do keep them blazing in the late fall, winter, and early spring.

Once again, I am very sorry that we were unable to live up to your expectations. I only hope that this doesn't discourage you from visiting Yosemite in the future.

Kind 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.
Write a Review
Reviews (2,623)
There are newer reviews for The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,711 - 1,717 of 2,623 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

THE AHWAHNEE

We had been told getting through the entrance to the park could take as much as 2 hours in tourist season. We arrived around 4pm and went right through, no line at all. There is a $20 fee per car for a one week pass. Though there are a number of different kinds of housing inside the park, i.e. tents, cabins, condos, hotels, many people stay in accommodations outside the park area and have to re-enter each day visiting. We chose to stay inside the park at the Ahwahnee.

The Ahwahnee is remarkable. The cornerstone was laid in 1926. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, restored in 1979, re-roofed in 2004 using slate from the same quarry that provided the original roofing and completely refurbished in 2011. The main floor has extremely high ceilings, massive fireplaces, large rooms and big square columns. The floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in. Native American design is everywhere; in the guest rooms, bathrooms, the Great Lounge. The dining room is huge with a 34 foot high ceiling and lit with candlelight for the evening meals. The food is excellent. We had breakfast and dinner there. An interesting note passed on by a Park expert ... although The Ahwahnee looks like it's constructed from wood and stone. It's actually made of concrete and stone, to reduce the damage that may be caused by a fire in the Valley.

We found the check-in and front desk service great. The gals who took care of us were relaxed, warm and looking to find the rooms that we would like. The price is high and many lower priced rooms can be found in the park and nearby but if you can manage the cost ... this is the place to stay. You are right in the center of everything.

The hotel is breathtakingly charming and ALL the help extremely courteous and anxious to make your stay perfect. We spent several nights and each day and evening were delightful.

Our first evening there, we decided to try one of the evening tours. We took their free shuttle to Glacier Point and joined with a Stargazing group. There was a small fee for this. A ranger led us, about 30 adults and children, to a large meadow. Tarps had been placed over the grassy area. There we all relaxed, flat on our backs, staring up at the magnificent sky above. The ranger began telling us stories, some fact and some fictional fairy-tales about the stars above us. It was fascinating, peaceful, inspirational and magical. Back in the big cities, with all the lights blazing, there is no way we could imagine a sight of our universe to equal this. Hint #3 ... do NOT miss the last shuttle back to the hotel. Most of the participants had arrived for the tour via their own cars and dispersed quickly in the darkness. We were the only ones left at the shuttle stop and it was DARK! We phoned for the late-night (past 10pm) car to take us back to the hotel but signals got mixed and we had to phone several times. Thirty minutes later the jitney car did arrive, with all apologies from the driver....her phone had been on the wrong channel and she did not get the messages. All's well that ends well and a lovely evening was shared.

We toured Yosemite for a couple of days and were always so pleased when we returned to this fantastic hotel to relax and enjoy their sumptuous meals. No formalities, comfortable clothes, great surroundings ... what could be better.

We cannot wait to return. Our only warning is to book early as the hotel fills quickly and can be fully booked. We had to wait for last minute reservations which, thankfully, finally came through. Now we would try to book a year ahead!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank AleseMort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

It's true, no other place is like this place BUT . . . the check-in situation and service do not match the splendor of this majestic crown jewel of our national park system. Nor does the service at the front desk match the price per night at $500+ for a classic room. We waited in line twice for our room (no check - in until 4PM) and we were snapped at once by a front desk supervisor without a name tag. No one told us about coffee or the tea service, we learned this from another couple who had been promised their room by noon and we just getting into it as we did after 4:30PM. And the room, once we got up to it at 4:40PM will still not ready. The housekeeping staff sorely need a cracker-jack supervisor to keep them moving along. Now, was the view of Yosemite Falls awesome from the room? YES! Was the dining room beautiful although a bit over-priced? YES! Are we glad we had this experience? YES! But the management team at this beautiful grand dame needs to take a hard look at service and delivery. With a little tweaking, no one would notice the big $500+/night if the service corps held up their end of the deal.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank HighwayPilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We hesitated to book a stay at the Ahwahnee because of the cost, but the Lodge at Yosemite Falls was booked. So we splurged. And it was worth every penny. The building is gorgeous. Decorative wall and ceiling borders, floor medallions, and stained glass windows inspired by Native American designs add color and interest to all public areas. Massive fireplaces, oriental carpets, wrought iron light fixtures, authentic Native American baskets, vintage furniture, awesome murals, live orchids and other plants create a stunning eclectic elegance. We especially enjoyed the daily afternoon tea in the great lounge. Our room was plain but very comfortable, and had a spectacular view of upper Yosemite Falls. The service was friendly and efficient.
Would not hesitate to stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank AuntCassie_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

I just booked our sixth stay at the Ahwahnee for next May and I want to tell you why. We've stayed at all the lodging in and near the Valley over the last 25 years. Curry Village is a great camp-like experience if you are traveling with younger kids. Yosemite Lodge is great for a family with older kids (you can eat at the Mountain Room while your teens eat in the self-service restaurant). The Wawona is a nostalgic old hotel with a good restaurant. But if you've got the money and can leave the kids at home, the quiet and romance of the great Ahwahnee is unbeatable. It is located away from the hustle and bustle (and crazy traffic) of the Village. In the early mornings and late at night, it is just you and the other guests. If the weather is bad or you are tired from hiking, sitting by the giant fireplace, or having tea and cookies in the late afternoon while reading a good book, is an un-guilty pleasure. There is outside seating near the bar with views of Half Dome. In spring, there are seasonal waterfalls right behind the hotel coming down the granite cliffs. Real estate is always about location location location. With that in mind, the Ahwahnee is actually a bargain.

A few tips: Book far in advance. Book on the phone--their staff is extremely professional and friendly. Ask for a balcony room, or a view room, or a high floor room, or all of the above. (In 1986 for our honeymoon they gave us the Tressider Suite.) Get to breakfast really early and ask for a spot in the alcove of the Dining Room. Make sure you look out for celebrities--the entire cast of Star Trek was eating dinner one night we were there--with everyone but Shatner wearing a dress jacket. It is not required anymore, but dress up a little for dinner. It may get you a better table.

Room Tip: Ask for balcony room or a room overlooking Half Dome or if you can afford it, go for one of the four...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jworks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

A cottage at the Ahwahnee for 3 days was a once in a life time experience. The room was dark, stuffy, had a big fireplace and facilities were okay. We were treated like royalty in the dining room.
The location was perfect for enjoying the valley attractions. I might pay that much again just for the convenience, but it was a one time worth while experience.

Room Tip: The cottage was quiet and private. It was a little old fashioned, but the bathrooms and beds were up...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

This will be a very praise-worthy review of an experience that exceeded our expectations, but I must start by recounting the frustrating beginning due to a very poor reservation system (that may have been - hopefully has been - revised since I started working on our trip a year in advance). Simply stated, the reservation system employed by the Ahwahnee Hotel was horrible. My goal was to assemble 5 rooms, including a significant suite, in close proximity for a family gathering. The reservation system is not designed to provide this sort of service, including not being able to adequately describe the suite options, not being able to provide a floor plan from which to work, etc. To make matters all the worse, their phone system was so bad that I could barely hear what little information they could provide.

At wits end and seriously reconsidering my choice of venue, I checked out what others had to say about the Ahwahnee on TripAdvisor. I was impressed that the manager of the hotel, Brett Archer, personally responded to someone’s complaint in a review. Wow! I was impressed; so much so that I contacted Mr. Archer directly and shared my frustrations. I cannot overstate how understanding, accommodating and helpful he was! Not only did he listen to my needs but he suggested the suite he thought I would want and he was spot-on (fyi, the Presidential Suite, though a bit tired in its period décor, has the most amazing terraces I’ve ever experienced in a hotel, with an unobstructed view of Glacier Peak!). As helpful as he was, even the manager of the hotel had to work through the reservation system but with his help, we got it done. Thank you Brett Archer!

As stated, the furnishings are a bit dated but it actually added to its charm for my wife and myself. Some of the other rooms were less appealing but let’s face it, you’re not there for the rooms; you’re there to experience one of nature’s true wonders: Yosemite Valley. The Ahwahnee’s location could not be any better for that purpose. The dining room and great rooms are magnificent! We found the on-site staff to be very helpful and courteous.

Room Tip: If you're looking for something special, ask about the Presidential Suite and Parlor. You won...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Don J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Yosemite National Park
1.3 mi away
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
#3 of 3 in Yosemite National Park
3,859 reviews
17.9 mi away
Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
17.4 mi away
Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge
#3 of 7 in Groveland
500 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
16.4 mi away
Yosemite Cedar Lodge
Yosemite Cedar Lodge
#2 of 2 in El Portal
2,148 reviews
18.8 mi away
White Chief Mountain Lodge
11.3 mi away
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
#1 of 2 in El Portal
3,991 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Majestic Yosemite Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: $591 - $952 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Cancelon, Orbitz, Hotwire, HotelsforEveryone, TravelUp, Cheap Tickets and getaroom.com so you can book your The Majestic Yosemite Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing