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“Good Trade off”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Northeast Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Good Trade off”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

If you are going to spend time at the Mariposa Grove or are coming to Yosemite via the south entrance, this interesting hotel might make a good stop. We spent one night in October, and with all its quirks & foibles (which we anticipated from reading tripadvisor reviews) it worked out fine for us. Front Desk staff were friendly & helpful & informal: our room (there are several multi-room stand-alone buildings in addition to the main hotel building) was old and funky but fine for a night. Yep, walls seem thin. The heat came on in the evening - but no controls in the room. We opened windows to the common porch and used a fan for a few hours; we arrived in late afternoon, by the time we thought about dinner there was a wait (with pagers); the lobby & side piano room filled quickly with folks waiting for dinner, having a drink. The single drink server was very busy, but did take orders for take-out food from the restaurant. Everything was very nice and quiet by 10pm or so; the "sunroom" which offered wifi was quietly occupied into the evening by those who needed internet. It does take an hour or so from the Valley, but is charming in its way and not a bad deal. Don't expect either Ahwahnee quality/service/price nor chain motel sameness; it s unique and worth a visit. Oh yes - there is a tennis court, pool and golf too.

Room Tip: We were on first floor of one of the buildings, and shared a veranda. People walking right by your...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank NEHSailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City
Level Contributor
51 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

This is a terrific location alternative in the park without the crowds of Yosemite Valley. The downside? It's a long, albeit scenic, drive to the valley. The staff is friendly and helpful, but housekeeping could be a bit more thorough in vacuuming. The restaurant menu is tempting but the meals are sometimes overseasoned and not of the gourmet quality the menu would suggest.

The rooms are neat and comfortable, but there's not enough shelf space in the bathroom to put toiletries, the walls are thin, and some room layouts are awkward (although the latter can be forgiven considering the historic nature of the buildings). Handicap parking (if needed) is inexplicably located a good walk away from the hotel instead of being logically designated at the closest parking spaces on the circular drive out front.

Also, they occasionally rent out part of the Annex for evening receptions and other events. These can be noisy, particularly if you had intended to get up early the following morning.

These comments aside, staying here is cheaper than at the hotels with the big crowds in the Valley. And when we return to Yosemite, yes, we'd probably stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank bb_mccaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Each room has a really nice veranda where you can have a drink. We really enjoyed our stay here. The staff of this hotel could be more friendly and more helpful. But overall we were really satisfied and we will definitely come back to this place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Josmarcel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pottsville, PA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 18, 2012

room was large and clean. The restaurant had excellent food, property has a heated swimming "tank" and golf course. Beautiful views.. would definitely stay here again. A good choice for couples and families

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jmjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
62 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

My husband and two young children stayed for three nights in a room without a bathroom. Remember no tvs, no phones, no frig, no microwave, very limited internet and phone service in this location. At least the gas and small grocery store are right here. Plus the grocery store has a microwave which you can use when it is open (8am to 6pm when we were there). I think this is a great stop for people arriving from the south. About 30 min. to Yosemite Valley and 4 hours to the best Ghost Town I've ever seen in Bodie. Despite events every night we were there, never heard anything to keep us awake.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FloridaMomOrlando_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

Wanting to stay in the park and the no1 hotel being out of our budget and the no3 being fully booked we decided to give the Wanawa a go, as the pictures of the hotel do sell it don't they?
Unfortunately when you arrive reality hits, the phrase faded granduer spring to mind, looks good from a distance but close up not so great.
First impressions weren't helped when we were told we had to wait for 2 hrs to check in (check in isn't till 5pm) and werent even offered help moving our cases into reception (large number of stairs upto porch) or offered a drink (no bar service till 5.30pm)
We had booked a room with a shared bath as at time of booking this was all that was available, we didn't realise however that the bathroom was outside!
After lugging our cases up a hill to the cottage another 10 steps to the porch and then 20 stairs to the 1st floor again without any offer of help, my husband refused to stay in the room. It was tiny, dark had staining on the carpet and black condensation mold all around the windows, the staircase was also in dire need of a vacuum and stank of the toilets at the bottom of the stairs. So we returned to the reception and asked and had to pay for an upgrade. the second room was better (again no help moving cases) on first floor and had own bathroom but the standard of the room bathroom cleanliness was still poor, closet carpet was covered in dust, litter under bed and mold in bathroom around plug/tiles/ mastic.
However that night we both shivered in bed (only a thin blanket and throw provided) we couldn't get the heating to work and the plug in heater in the cupboard didn't work either. The next day we asked for 3 extra blankets. (also no hair dryer you have to ask at reception) However the cold in your room is nothing compared to the cold in the dining room, most guests ate breakfast in full outdoor wear, hats, gloves the lot. DONT sit by the windows you'll freeze.
There are no facilities as such at the hotel, no tv, radio, phones and wifi is limited to one room in the annexe. There are 2 scrabble boards (the rest of the games have bits missing- we checked) and they are like gold dust, as are the only warm seats in the place the 3 sofas in front of the fire by reception, get in there at 5.30 and stay there all night if you can. Even the toilets in the main house are outside be warned!
It's also worth noting that the hotel is about 50 mins drive from Yosemite valley down some very bendy roads, you don't want to drive these roads in the dark or in bad weather, this does somewhat restrict you, as we had to cancel reservations at another hotel for dinner because we couldn't get back before dark.
I do how ever have one good thing to say we thought the breakfast was very good and we ate at the hotel one night and thought whilst homecooking the food was good (though expensive but
they do have a captive audience)
Most people ate in the valley and bought snacks and wine back to have in the evening, we ended up doing similar as the shops in yosemite do have a good selection.
I'd class this hotel as a 2/3 star at best it's on the verge of a hostel one step up from camping, but then at least the camp sites in the valley are allot cheaper and in the valley!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank sarahstevensonjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

If you are planning on spending the majority of time in your room, you may be sorely disappointed. We reserved a room that had a bathroom ( which I highly suggest). We were placed in the Washburn cottage on the bottom floor (which I also suggest - otherwise you must cart your luggage upstairs). The room is small, but clean and adequate. You wont find any amenities such as television or telephone in the rooms. The veranda was wonderful for sitting outside & taking in the awesome scenery.

After spending the day exploring the giant sequoias and other flora and fauna, we enjoyed a delicious meal at the hotel. We spent some time on our veranda sharing a glass of wine with our neighbors and reflecting on the glorius day in the park. We had no problems falling asleep. or sleeping through the night. I must say that the bed is one of the most comfortable I have slept on in any hotel. The historical hotel is only part of the Yosemite experience. You need to leave your anxiety & stress at the door of the park, and enjoy sights you will not see anywhere else!

Room Tip: Rooms with their own bathrooms are more expensive, but worth it. Downstairs rooms are also a +. Th...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Zuzza
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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