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“A Lovely Setting for a Wedding”

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The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Henderson, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“A Lovely Setting for a Wedding”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

My wife and I were able to slip into the Yosemite Valley and stay at the famous Ahwahnee Hotel in the brief interval between the end of the terrible Rim Fire north of the Valley and the government shutdown that closed the park. We felt extremely fortunate to be there as we had held our reservations at the Ahwahnee for more than a year.

The Ahwahnee is one of those national park hotels that evoke warm memories and keep individuals and families returning for a lifetime. This was our first visit to the hotel but it was obvious from overhead conversations that many people were returning for the umpteenth time, including one gentleman who had married at the hotel several decades ago. We can understand the loyalty. The Ahwahnee is a beautiful wood and stone building situated at the base of the famous Half Dome. Ringed by pleasant meadows (one of which serves as a “wedding meadow”) and towering pines, the hotel is an oasis of calm in the bustling Yosemite Valley.

Valet parking is free at the hotel and we recommend using the service as the hotel’s small public parking lot fills quickly. You can leave your car for the duration of your stay if you are not planning to leave the valley because a convenient shuttle bus service stops at the front of the hotel and will take you to virtually every scenic vista and attraction in the valley. The hotel is about a half-mile from Yosemite Village, which is a pleasant walk along both paved and unpaved hiking trails. The hotel is also the jumping off point for many hikes and walks.

We reserved a Classic room (one step up from a Standard room) and were rewarded with a striking view of Half Dome from our room window (no balcony, however). Our room also overlooked a meadow where deer came to graze during the early morning and late afternoon hours (and also to be fed by guests, a big no-no that the hotel cautions against). The room was large enough for a bed, sofa, coffee table, small desk and chair. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom, however, was tiny (to be expected in old hotels) and exhibited several patchwork repairs of tile and fixtures; it badly needed an overhaul. The hotel room walls were very thin (or perhaps a connecting door to the next room allowed more than usual noise to get through). Doors are very heavy and slam loudly, so take earplugs or download a white noise smartphone app to avoid late night and early morning noise.

The hotel provides guests with free Wi-Fi but the service is so slow as to be barely usable. It was also impossible to access any of the television networks on the flat screen television. A call to the front desk about the television resulted in the “we’re working on it” response, but the channels never appeared during our four-day stay. Cell phone service is also spotty as would be expected in a Valley ringed by mountains. The slow Wi-Fi and the cell phone service is probably not a concern to most people while staying in the Ahwahnee, but guests planning to conduct business or work on projects will find those tasks difficult.

Food and food service was excellent. We had a couple of lunches and one dinner in the Ahwahnee Bar, where you can sit outside under the pines. We also had one lunch in the huge main dining room that was very good (and worth a meal or two just to take it all in). Room service breakfasts arrived promptly and the food was also good.

The Ahwahnee is expensive, but the location and the service provided is excellent. And, of course, it is a lovely place for a wedding.

Room Tip: Pay for a Classic room. Our Classic room had a spectacular view of Half Dome.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mrmull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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California
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Everyone we met, from the staff to the guests, during our stay were amazing - the very nice manager helped us with our reservations so we don't have to camp while we were there. Normally we love camping, but difficult logistically since we were getting married in the valley. When we arrived we were surprised with a hand-written welcome note and chocolates, plus snacks to keep us fueled for our hikes. The restaurant opened a little late for us so we can eat dinner after the pictures, and even the shuttle bus driver stopped to say congrats. A number of other guests came up to us and told us they were on their honeymoon or anniversary trips. What an amazing place to come back to year after year. We couldn't have picked a better place. We loved the kind service, easy access to the meadows and hiking trails, and felt lucky to just step outside and look up. Yosemite has a special kind of magic and what you experience at the Ahwahnee is a spirit of appreciation and preservation that brings you into the heart of the park.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Hwy1Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

This hotel is very expensive to stay in, but you are paying for the glorious position of this hotel and the fantastic views from your bedroom. It is an old hotel and it seems management are trying to maintain an authentic feeling within the rooms. This means the decor isn't modern, it's more in keeping to the age of the building. So if you like the modern decor of a Hampton Inn, this will not be for you. Our bathroom was clean and well maintained, but small. The room itself was a good size but doesn't have a balcony (not thought of in those days). Wi-Fi worked most of the time, but was slower in the evening. There was a safe and fridge in the room, but strangely no tea or coffee machine/kettle. This is a real pain, so you can't make a hot drink when you want one. They do serve tea and cookies in a large room near the lifts between 4pm and 5pm, but if you miss this, hard luck. You can get a grab and go continental style breakfast in the bar (yogurt parfait, fruit, granola, muffins, tea, coffee etc). We ate in the restaurant in the evening. The food was OK, but they need to remove the 'Yorkshire pudding' from the menu....as a Yorkshire woman, I can confirm that what they are serving is most definitely NOT a proper Yorkshire pudding. The one served tasted like and had the consistency of cardboard! For the price, I would have expected a better standard of cuisine....but you are a 'captive audience,' there are few alternatives close by.
If you enjoy star gazing you will enjoy the dark skies with amazing views of the milky Way, although to get the best view you need to walk a short distance from the hotel grounds. You can self park here, or valet park. I would recommend using the park shuttles to get you to the hikes and tourist sights, there was a lot of traffic when we were there, so the bus shuttles make sense.

Room Tip: Pay for a view, and ask for a high floor so you can see half dome etc.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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2 Thank the_flying_goose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Umatilla, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

beautiful drive ! worth the visit. We ate at the ahwahnee hotel resturant for our anniversary. It was a wonderful experience. top notch. we sat at the queens table. (the table queen elizabeth supposedly sat) the hotel is lovely at the bottom of half dome. worth the drive to see.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tweal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
253 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

This legendary hotel was built during the Great Depression in rustic yet grand style. It has been well maintained and the public rooms are special.
Guest rooms have nice views, ours looking up at "Glacier Point" formation. The bathrooms are small as would be expected in a 1929 era hotel, but they were modernized.
The location could not be better to avail oneself of everything this magnificent park offers.

Room Tip: Suggest a view facing Glacier Point. Best time of year will be early spring when the snows are melt...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank Frank P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I love the historical oldness of this hotel, and its charm. However it was the most expensive hotel we stayed at from July to Aug (Phx, Mammoth Lakes, SF, Cambria, Redondo Beach). Not value for money. We paid for a 'view' which was roof and service driveway. We had a lot of night and early morning noise from the service driveway. Okay we could see granite rock formations too.

As beautiful as Yosemite it, I would recommend off peak time as it was elbow to elbow on some of the trails. Incredibly, unbelievably crowded.

Room Tip: make sure it is facing across the south valley and not north
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank KLJinSyd2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New London, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We absolutely loved The Ahwahnee!! The hotel is beautiful, the history is so special and the view is breathtaking! We were only fortunate enough to obtain a room there due to a cancellation and the only room available was one with 2 double beds. So I sent an e-mail to Brett Archer, the General Manager, to see if he could help us with an upgrade to a queen size bed or larger since we would be celebrating our anniversary there :) He and his staff could not have been more accommodating! We acquired the larger bed as well as a welcome tray of goodies and a handwritten note from Mr. Archer! They accommodated our request for a window seat in the dining room and the service and every meal there was also amazing!. Everyone from the front desk to the dining room staff made us feel like royalty - always wishing us Happy Anniversary and offering to help in any way they could :) I called the front desk about my lost earring somewhere in the dining room or hotel and they called back within minutes to say they had it! We have traveled all around the US, as well as abroad, and this was by far, the best stay we have had - anywhere! Many thanks to Mr. Archer and his staff for making our anniversary stay at The Ahwahnee so special :) Bob & Sue Bass

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sue B
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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