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“Creature comforts” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Housekeeping Camp

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Housekeeping Camp
Certificate of Excellence
The Beautiful Island of Jersey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Creature comforts”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Only having spent one night here and it being my first experience of 'camping' in North America, I can only compare to the many European campsites I have stayed at.
Firstly, Yosemite is an absolutely stunning place and I cannot think of anywhere better to be under canvas.
Staff at check-in were curteous and thorough.
We easily found our 'tent'; which is actually concrete walls on three sides and a canvas front, with a walled in seating area and a fire-pit.
The tents have a double bed and bunk beds with a metal shelving unit and a pole for hanging clothes from; as well as a fixed electric light inside and out, and socket for charging etc.
Also there is a picnic bench and bear-proof food locker (which MUST be used to store all items of food, drink and toiletries to prevent nosey bears from entering your tent area or car! We also placed everything into airtight Ziploc bags)
Toilet blocks were clean and close by, however the single shower block did get busy very early on.
In comparison to European sites costing a similar amount for fixed camping, this is very far behind on the standard of equipment and services provided; which are basic.
You do get the feeling that because they have the monopoly on this area it is very much take it or leave it. I am aware that being a national park they wish to keep it as untouched as possible, but it is expensive for what's provided.
That said, the setting is fabulous; tranquil and beautiful. Also met several interesting people on our short stay as we star gazed on the bridge. Fortunately, no bears.

Note:
One thing which was surprising was that with all the ongoing concern about the Hansa virus outbreak including being handed out information leaflets on arrival, the tents themselves were not clean at all. All surfaces were covered in dirt and dust an appeared not to have been wiped down for some time.

Room Tip: Get one next to the river.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank discosturules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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722 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 (204)
Date | Rating
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English first
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
213 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This "camp" site has a great location just outside of Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. The "tents" have three concrete sides and a canvas side which slides open.

Remember that it is camping, so mice, ringtails and other creatures can easily get into your tent in the night, knock your bags over and wake you up. Individual bear lockers (not mice proof - take hard plastic containers to keep food in - mice can eat through plastic bags and cardboard) are very close which makes preparing food convenient. The wood fire pit with grill makes for a great evening.

Each tent by the river is positioned carefully so when you're sat in your own deck area the view is of trees and river only. By necessity, the ones within the main camp ground cannot offer this luxury so you would feel more like you are camping with lots of people.

This is a dry area and the dust gets everywhere, every day. I recommend bringing an old cloth to wide down the chairs and tables each day. Unless of course you enjoy grit in your food.

There is one shower block, centrally located so it's quite a walk, if you're north American you might drive. The showers have unlimited hot water and clean, fresh, slightly threadbare towels whenever you want. Your shower pass also gets you entry to a pool in Curry Village.

The laundry facility is great. $1.25 to wash with plenty of washers and driers. The store is OK for snacks but not for buying food for dinner. The free local shuttle takes you in to Curry Village to the main store which is well stocked with proper food (meat, salad, fruit, vegetables, dairy) as well as all the usual junk.

There is a small beach alongside the river and plenty of wildlife if you are quiet for long enough. We saw squirrels, mice, ring tails, mule deer and a coyote.

Tents are not sound proof so if you happen to be with a few hundred metres of a small child you will be away whenever they are. In our experience, they don't stay long. Camping is quite hard work for parents with young children.

Toilets and wash basins are located repeatedly throughout the site so you're never far away if you need to go in the night. The tents have electricity supplied so you can charge your electrical devices. There are lights too. Bring a torch (flashlight) for night time expeditions and identifying critters.

Yes it's expensive for camping. Just remember you are in Yosemite National Park and enjoy every moment.

Room Tip: I recommend paying extra for the tents by the river.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Trekbud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We typically trailer camp but we decided to spend the night on the valley floor.

Housekeeping camp is barebones accommodations and not peaceful at all... The proximity of others is downright cramped. The facilities are more than basic. And the parking is limited.

Tip, bring bikes. Leave you car at camp and see the whole valley by bike.
Tip, bring inner tubes or rafts for the river.

I prefer the campgrounds off the valley floor and a trailer or tent. It's more peaceful and nature filled.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TradeshowMagician
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Just back from 2 days in Yosemite where we stayed at housekeeping camp. I have camped before and not unused to roughing it a bit but I really think that this was a disappointment. The place was quite dirty and didn't look at all like the pictures. The blankets had holes and the sheets had stains- bring your own if that is an option. The showers were good (powerful and hot) and I didn't queue. There is a shop onsite but no restaurant or bar and you should carry a torch with you at all times in case you are delayed back as there are no street lights in Yosemite. Other things that would be helpful would be chairs that would mean you could sit around the fire. There are picnic benches with every accommodation but they are anchored to the ground and not close to the fire, if you lit one. It is expensive for what you get but then so is everything in Yosemite.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gerrimac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed here in June and found the Yosemite area absolutely beautiful. This campsite however was not good and way overpriced!

The tents we stayed in were canvas and concrete and were very open and quite dirty. The toilets were not the cleanest but the showers were hot and did the job.

Overall Yosemite is beautiful but feel this campsite is ripping off people with how much they charge and for what you get. Would never stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RiccO12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

I was suprised how much I really enjoyed camping at this site since I'm more of primitive type camper. I was a skeptic at first but quickly fell in love with this location. Each campsite comes with a hut style tent which contains a full size bed, bunk beds, and one cot, a picnic table, fire ring, and a double food locker. You must lock up your food due to bears but we had no issues and the staff does a great job keeping the property safe. Each unit has a light in the hut and on the patio so there is no need to worry about lanterns. There is electricity so you can use an electric skillet or hot plate instead of propane. You can also rent many items directly at a very good price so it saves you having to travel with excess equipment. The campsite is surrounded by the river so its great to spend your day beachside and let the kids have fun. Yosemite is beautiful and has a trolly sytem disigned to take visitors to various hiking trails, waterfalls, and multiple villages; we spent one evening out in the Village for Pizza instead of cooking. Our family loved our time there and would definitely visit again and stay at Houskeeping Camp.

Room Tip: This property offers units along the River and tend to be larger spaces and offer more open space.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank AngjosCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

This was my first camping trip ever. I'm (or was) the boutique hotel with en-suite only type, but as we were visiting with friends who were hard core campers and my husband who loves outdoors, I relented and agreed to book to stay at Housekeeping Camp. (Imagine Bear Grylls and Monica from Friends). After all how bad could it be? I did however book a big enough car to sleep in as back up! BUT I have to say, having stayed for two nights at this place, I am a complete CONVERT to camping. We had the best time in Housekeeping. Yes, it's dusty (since when did a bit of dust hurt?) and yes, you have to share communal showers (no diff to using them at the gym), but the view was AWESOME and just truly stunning. We had accommodation numbers 507/508, which were river facing, with views of Half Dome and other rock faces (I think El Capitan). Seriously the phrase, View To Die For - totally fitting and appropriate. There is a fire pit for every unit, so every evening was BBQ by the fire with the best open view of Yosemite, just totally amazing. (If Carlsberg did camping views...you get the idea).

The units do not have doors, they have canvas covers which pull across. I did think this was totally inadequate at first (what about all our valuables?? or what about bears?) but you rely on camping etiquette, and we didn't have any problems with dodgy humans or hungry bears. Unit 507/508 had good comfortable clean mattresses which looked new, as did the bedframes. The walls looked newly painted too, so if you're looking for a good unit, I'd highly recommend these two. Do come prepared with all your camping equipment, if you're visting from overseas like we were, hit Walmart (other value supermarkets are available I'm sure) and buy all cheap camping cooking utensils and bedding ($2 for a nice new pillow!). You can hire gas cookers from the site, and there are electrical outlets in the outdoor eating area and in the sleeping area. Lots of reasonably priced everyday products in their shop on site by the reception, with even hot coffee available first thing in the morning. Overnight in May was cold, so you needed winter thickness sleeping bags. Headtorches recommended as open spaces from units to say the toilet block are unlit at night.

Now onto the bears - not sure whether it's right to say disappointly but we disappointly did not see any (surely not all bears are grizzly??! some look cute right?!) The wardens, who do a walkaround the units at night at about 10pm to make sure everyone has quieten down, assured us they do come through camp at night but the bears understand there are 'human' areas so will stay at a safe distance, BUT only if you lock EVERYTHING in the bear lockers outside each unit. When I say everything, I mean everything that could possibly have a scent, so all toiletries, medicine, suncream lotion, down to lip balm have to be stored away as well as every bit of food and drink. Even chewing gum and empty food wrappers/bottles have to removed from your vehicle as bears have stronger noses than bloodhounds (according to the constant replay intro video in reception) - so you've been warned (unless you want to share a room with a bear of course).

The other campers were all really friendly, the river seemed kid friendly, our friend's kids aged 7 and 4 played in the river (which was refridgerator cold despite the hot days) without any issues. There was a lovely bridge to the left of our unit which had a perfect view of higher Yosemite Falls.(yep another photo opportunity view, prepare to obliterate your memory card).

For things to do, you can hire bikes, or travel around using the free buses. Once you're parked up at the camp (parking only a short distance away from the units), you should really leave the car, you see so much more without it. We actually found walking around was the quickest, as opposed to waiting for a bus, which got full quite quick and were generally a five min wait. (also increases your chance to spot a bear!) We did a guided bus tour around the floor of the valley, a little expensive (as all landmark tours are) but very worthwhile.

I would say this was the highlight of our trip, we did a road trip of California, and I would not hesitate to go back - the view as you come out of the tunnel and into the valley, all I can say is get the camera ready! Go, stay and enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank FieryFish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Housekeeping Camp

Property: Housekeeping Camp
Address: 9005 Southside Dr., Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 266
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfect for those who love camping outdoors but don't want the hassle of setting up a tent, Housekeeping Camp is a Yosemite favorite. Perched alongside the Merced River in the middle of the Valley, the camp features three-sided concrete structures with a canvas roofs and privacy curtains. Nearby sandy beaches are perfect for relaxing in the sun by the river. From the Housekeeping Camp, you'll have unmatched views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome as you prepare your dinner on your campfire ring's grill. Enjoy your meal on your covered patio as you take in the sights and sounds of Yosemite.. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Housekeeping Camp Hotel Yosemite National Park

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