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“The Ahwahnee is about Yosemite Park not the Room”

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The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“The Ahwahnee is about Yosemite Park not the Room”
Reviewed April 25, 2014

The Ahwahnee is the best place to stay in Yosemite Park, but it is not a resort hotel. It is charming (and expensive) because of its location in one of the best, if not the best, National Park. The rooms are small and worn as other contributors have noted, but where else can you wake up and walk outside to a view of Half Dome and El Captain? The restaurant food is very good, especially given the fact that the kitchen staff and servers generally live in the Park and all food in trucked in - the chef is not going to the local farmers markets to get inspired! Those who visit with an understanding of what the Ahwahnee is - and is not - will not be disappointed. If you want a less expensive option, go to Yosemite Lodge. But there you are not staying in a piece of history.

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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank vanwinkle7562
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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essex
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We were only booked in for lunch on a day trip to Yosemite national park so was not expecting much, how wrong can you be, the hotel is in the most amazing setting , and blends in with the surroundings, what we saw of the hotel only made you wish you were staying (if you could afford it) The queen plus a couple of presidents have stayed here. The service was what you would expect from a hotel of this calabour excellent . the food was great .

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank poppie65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014

This is the premier hotel in Yosemite. The building is beautiful the service is exceptional and the food was amazing. I view this as a hotel that is not for young families. There is a heated pool and large lawn, however, it is not close to all of the kid friendly activities. The Ahwahnee is very expensive and should be considered the perfect place for adults, teens and grandparents wanting to experience the grandeur of a past era.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MegR5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augusta, GA
Level Contributor
1,311 reviews
215 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 496 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

All we heard was what a great place this was before we arrived at Yosemite. The drive to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe was very long, especially after we found out we had driven a few hours toward 120W just to find out that it was closed. (Do NOT trust the Yosemite travel hotline, a number that was provided to me by our innkeeper in Tahoe.). We were tired by the time we got there but anxious to see this great place that everyone had raved about. The drive up was not impressive at all. The valet could not have been more friendly and welcoming. The front desk greeter was equally friendly and welcoming. She told us that we had been upgraded from a standard room to a classic room, but I would hate to see the standard room for $470.00 PLUS resort fees and taxes, so about $540.00 for a pretty standard room a la DoubleTree. We did have a view of one of the beautiful waterfalls. There was no water, no coffee maker, no desk. Unfortunately my husband has to work everywhere we go as do other people, and he had to sit in one of the chairs with two pillows in his lap propping up his laptop. We headed down to dinner in their impressive dining room. It was a stunning room, especially at night. The architecture in that room was amazing, including the tall windows and beams in the ceiling. Each table had a tall single candle on it, and there was a piano player. It was very nice ambiance; however, the wait was about one hour and 15 minutes after we were told 20-25 minutes. The menu was unimpressive; I had trouble finding something that I truly wanted. I ended up getting the prime rib for $40. It was mostly fat and very rare more medium rare. The Yorkshire pudding was terrible, and there was one small stalk of broccolini that had been overwhelmed by herbes de Provence. My husband ordered three starters, and the smoked cheese grits with the scallops were the best thing all night. The next morning we were hunting down coffee since we had not been told there was a coffee stand on the mezzanine level. When I asked at the front desk if there was any coffee, the woman working at the front desk taking dinner reservations pointed very rudely in the direction of the mezzanine on the next level. We were generally unimpressed with this hotel for the amount we paid.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kay M
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, April 18, 2014
Dear Kay M,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how we did during your visit. I am so very sorry that we failed you.

I am disapponted that you found your room to be similar to a Double Tree. You are correct, our rooms are not outfitted with desks. However, there are many desks and tables in our public spaces, The Great Lounge, Mural Room, Winter Club Room, and Solarium. With that said, I can appreciate that it may not provide the privacy one might need when working. I am happy to report that we will be undetaking a remodel of our 24 cottages this year and our main building guest rooms next. I will share this with our designers to see if they would be able to keep this in mind during the design phase.

When one pays $40 for prime rib, one should not expect to receive a cut with mostly fat, a terrible Yorkshire pudding, and one lone broccolini. Know that I have forwarded this feedback to our culinary team.

One of our service standards that we expect all of our associates to practice is graciousa nd friendly service. I am so very sorry that the Dining Room Reservation agent let both you and I down. I have asked Dining Room management to conduct impromptu observations and validations and coach to any gaps there may be with our standards.

I only hope that this doesn't discourage you from visiiting Yosemite in the future. Please feel free to reach out to me at barcher@dncinc.com should you again be in "our neck of the woods" and would be happy to assist in any way I can.

Kind regards,

Brett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shute, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

This hotel is living off it's past reputation and totally ignores the constructive criticism listed by the dozen in these reviews. My husband and I paid $7.56 for 'tea'. We were presented with two 'cafe latte' mugs filled with tepid water; offered a tea bag each to dunk into it and a small jug of milk. It was the most revolting experience. It is the equivalent of an American going into the Savoy in London , asking for coffee and given a tepid glass of water and a jar of instant coffee to mix themselves and charged for the experience. The decor is comparible to a run down and slightly sad country pub and certainly not to be compared with any hotel of distinction. Go into Yosemite village for better service, better food and better value.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
14 Thank mafalda604
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, April 18, 2014
Dear mafalda604

Thank you for your very frank review and feedback. It is obvious that we failed miserably in meeting your expectations. I am sorry to read that you feel that we are living off it's past reputation and ignoring the constructive feedback we receive.

It sounds like you ordered tea in The Ahwahnee Bar, our quick casual dining venue here at the hotel. While the water should defintely have been piping hot and not tepid, the clear tall glass mug is the vessel in which we serve our tea. With that said, tea in our Main Dining Room is brought to the table in an Ahwahnee logo'd tea pot along with proper cups and saucers.

I am so sorry that we let you down and hope that this doesn't discourage you from visiting Yosemite in the future.

Kind regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
202 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2014

Clear is that the location and the setting from this hotel building is stunning. It shows a grandeur and castle feeling. At the same time it is a hotel which is assured of a constant inflow of new tourists arriving in this hotel. This hotel is kind of generating a personnel attitude which makes them untouchable. And this attitide degrades the service level. A pitty. However, still to be advised.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lialis
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, April 18, 2014
Good afternoon Lialis,

While The Ahwahnee is very grand and our location stunning, if the people who are responsible for taking care of it's guests do not provide the service that rivals this magnificence, then we have not done our job. For that, I am truly sorry.

I am pleased to report that we have just begun to roll out a new guest service training module that all guest facing associates will be required to attend.

I am hoping that you might be willing to provide additional details about your experience. You can reach out to me at barcher@dncinc.com.

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and once again offer my apologies for letting you down.

Kind regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crown Point, Indiana
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2014

My husband and I, and our two teenaged sons just got back from a stay at the Ahwahnee. I recommend the Ahwahnee with the caveat that you must adjust your expectations. First of all,I want to say that we fell in love with this (built in 1927), historic hotel. It is grand, the setting in awesome, surrounded by natural beauty that is incredible. I loved the old lodge vibe, stately, comfortable, the public spaces perfect for relaxing, drinking a cup of tea and soaking in the views. I found the staff to be very friendly, always saying hello, willing to help. The front desk was a bit understaffed with usually only one person working, and if they are tied up you may have to wait a while. It is VERY expensive (around $500/nt) , and the hotel is not a modern, sleek, city hotel. You won't find lovely bedding and fancy toiletries here. Is it overpriced? maybe, but it is also such a wonderful experience to go hiking right from the grounds, then come back and enjoy the beautiful setting and have a nice (though also overpriced) dinner in the spectacular dining room. We were on the 4th floor in a classic double with a view of half dome. I was pleasantly surprised that the room was bigger than i expected, and the four of us ( 2 adults with 2 adult-sized teenaged boys) were comfortable. The loveseat was a pullout bed, and we used this so our sons didn't have to share. The TV is updated, large flat screen with satellite. At night we never had problems with noise, during the day you might hear people in the hallway. I found the room to be clean, as well as the public areas.

At check-in, the front desk lady apparently sized up my sons and changed our rate to 4 adults, but didn't mention the change. When I was presented with the bill they at first couldn't explain what happened, but then noted that children over 12 are considered adults and therefore an extra charge. This policy wasn't noted on the website or explained via phone conversations. Not a huge deal but when you're already paying $500/nt it seems a bit nitpicky. (and those kids cost much more when eating in the dining room!!)

Every morning there is free coffee set up on the first floor, or you can go to the coffee shop and theyll give you coffee there. they also have muffins, danish etc. or you can go to the dining room and have the breakfast buffet (sausage, bacon, eggs benedict, pancakes,etc.) ($25pp except sunday) or order off the menu. Average prices for meals in the dining room for four (no alcohol): breakfast $100, lunch $125, dinner $200. I found the food to be very good, the service friendly if a bit slow. I found many of the dining room employees have worked there for decades! There is a piano player at dinner, and a dress code (just long pants, collared shirts) that didn't seem to be universally enforced. There are tours of the hotel that tell all the historical facts a few times a week...Would I stay here again? Absolutely! Is it perfect? No, but it is unique, historic, in a perfect location.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank hoosierrph
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, April 18, 2014
Greetings hoosierrph,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your very detailed review. I am glad to hear that you had an overall good visit. I am very sorry that we failed to mention that we changed your two sons listed on the reservation to two adults with out informing you. I am sharing your comments with our Front Desk Management team and asked them to speak to this in their daily pre-shift meetings. I will also follow to make sure that there is clarification on our website regarding the children vs. adults.

I am also glad to read that you will back. Please feel free to reach out to me at barcher@dncinc.com if you need any assistajce getting back to our "neck of the woods."

Warm regards,

Brett Archer, General Manager
The Ahwahnee
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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