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“Historic hotel in charming location ... Cleanliness of room terrible.”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Reviewed October 12, 2012

This hotel is close to the South entrance and a good hours driving to the day parking at the Yosemite Village visitor centre so don't be fooled by the fact that it is one of only two hotels. The other Ahwahnee Hotel is much better situated. Our room, 103 , had a king bed and private bathroom and a lot of dust! Because of the recent outbreak of the hantavirus virus we expected this hotel to be squeaky clean. It couldn't have been further from the truth. The furniture was painted and shabby and behind the bedside table there was a lot of accumulated dust and dirt. We pulled the unit forward so as to be obvious to the cleaning staff that it wanted attention. All they did was to move it back and leave the dirt. We used a cloth and several disinfectant wipes and cleaned ourselves. The cloths were black with the dirt and dust. Every surface, ledge, picture frame etc was thick with dust and grime. The bathroom is old and grubby .. There is not even a shelf to put toiletries only the cistern lid! For some strange reason the staff removed our toothbrushes and their hard plastic travel cases. The mystery was never solved and we were given a token recompense but the inconvenience to replace them whilst travelling was the main issue. The bedding and towels were grey and poor quality ... the sheets ripped in places.
The hotel is run by Yosemite conservancy and not privately owned and we felt this was probably the main reason for the lack of management in dealing with housekeeping issues. This just isn't acceptable for the price paid. Our complaints had nothing to do with the age of the property ... Basic hygiene is to be expected and was not provided.
We could not recommend this hotel despite its historic charm. We would suggest you visit for lunch when visiting Wawona and the Mariposa Grove and have a look round .. The restaurant provides a good standard of meal but was freezing cold at breakfast time for the first two days of our stay ..someone found the heating switch for the last morning and we were able to eat without coats on. In the evening there is a pianist who has been playing at the hotel for the last 30 years .. Don't expect anything recent he is in a time warp ... But interesting. There is no bar .. Expect to wait for drinks ... Enjoy the log fire .. It's the best part of the stay!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank UKguests
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 10, 2012

This hotel is beautifully situated near the south entrance to Yosemite and close to the Mariposa Giant Sequoias. It is a historic hotel, with the ambiance of another time. The rooms are dated, but comfortable. One downer: there aren't many plugs, so even plugging in the fan (provided by the hotel) can be challenging. Many rooms are without bath, and where there is a bath, the tub is also "historic." The price is steep, but it's in the park.

The pool is nice -- and definitely reflects the ambient temperature both hot and cool!

The staff is super helpful, and patient with the multitude of repetitive tourist questions.

Room Tip: If you want a first floor room ask for one! No elevators.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Soars37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

This is a beautiful historic hotel with a nice ambience and decent food. Most historic hotels have one good building and a series of modern extensions, but all the Wawona buildings are attractive and in character. We liked the dining, the piano player and the whole feel of the place. On the downside, we stayed in a tiny upstairs room in Moore cottage. There was one outside shower and toilet and one other toilet for eight rooms. Not ideal for an elderly traveller with an uncertain bladder. We booked late and I thought the price was acceptable for the location. On balance, despite the journey to the toilet, the plus side wins for me. I would book again in preference to a hantavirus tent or a motel in Mariposa with an extra hour's drive each way.
You really need your own car, because there is only one shuttle a day to the valley.

Room Tip: If you can get en suite and can afford it, go for it, because everything else is lovely.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Westwinds3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

I thought the hotels location was convenient considering the vast acreage of this park.
It was the type of respite much welcome after a full day of YP sightseeing.
The Veranda is decorated in gingerbread trim typical for the era it was built.
Including soaring ceilings which captured cooling summer breezes while you sip your
evening refreshments. Certain nights piano revelrie is shared by a gentlemen that has played at this inn for years.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is charming as well and the specials well priced.
Look for prix-fixe deals for that special evening of your trip!

Room Tip: Sorry we only partook of the refreshments,did not stay overnight.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank lumenairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

The Wawona was a fun experience. We stayed for one night while visiting the park, and had a small room for three of us. The bathroom and shower were down the hall and down a flight, but we really didn't mind this, in part because we knew that was the available room, and my wife preferred that to camping out. We were surprised by the long drive from Yosemite Valley; it took at least 45 minutes of stressful, mountain pass driving. The dinner and continental breakfast were both quite good, although my wife's steak was a poor choice. the staff was friendly, and the old style porch was great. We took the shuttle, rather than the car, up to giant sequoia grove, which was quite close. That was an excellent 3.5 mile hike and and back from the shuttle drop off point.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank jimbocu70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

We stayed in one of the small first floor rooms with a shared bathroom. Room was a tight squeeze but clean and pleasant. The grounds and location were really nice and peaceful, but what made our stay was the brilliant service (especially at the restaurant when we had our evening meal). Would highly recommend!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank GRW1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Not many visitors know about the Wawona Hotel, at the south entrance to Yosemite National Park and about an hour's drive (or a shuttle bus ride) from the more popular Yosemite Valley. It's near the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees, boasts a golf course, piano player in the evenings, and looks like it belongs in the Antebellum South, with white wood and verandas.

We spent two nights at the Wawona as part of a meeting, and we were very disappointed with our stay. The room itself was in the Annex portion of the hotel, and although the bed was adequate, the bathroom was seriously lacking. The sink was child-sized, making it difficult to even wash your hands or face. The clawfoot tub, probably original to when this section of the hotel was built, was so high I could barely climb in, and we had a difficult time figuring out how to keep the curtain closed. Towels were rough and you were given only one, making it hard to take both an evening and then morning shower. We recognize the historic nature of the hotel, but the one place we could find an electrical outlet was on a wall that already had a small fan plugged into it. Who stays here? Golfers, it seems, and those coming to Yosemite from the southern route through Fresno.

Breakfast was included in our $250 a night room rate, but that meant a continental breakfast buffet that was being ravaged by hikers stuffing fruit, yogurt, and pastries into their packs. We chose to order off the menu in the dining room instead, and the pancakes and egg dishes were good. Service in the dining room varied--wait staff tended to be talking to one another rather than doing their job, but the evening meal was much better.

Good points: the rocking chairs and tables on the verandas for relaxing, green grass to sit on.

Bad points: the bathroom, price.

My recommendation: book early at Yosemite Lodge or take your chances on a last minute cancellation, stay in Oakhurst (the gateway community over an hour from the Valley) or plan on going on a different date rather than staying at the Wawona.

Room Tip: There are a variety of accomodations at the hotel, some farther from the lobby and not all are acces...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HelixGrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Trees Lodge

Address: 8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly Wawona Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range: $287 - $384 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Big Trees Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Big Trees Lodge is cherished as one of the most respected and most frequently visited Yosemite hotels. Its authentic Victorian architecture features beautiful white buildings, classic verandas and lush natural surroundings. At the Big Trees Lodge, there's something for everyone-including golf, tennis, horseback riding, or fishing. Evenings are spent gathered around the piano for musical performances in the lounge. Big Trees Lodge dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

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