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“disappointed”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Reviewed October 26, 2012

The Wawona Hotel was the only accomodation available for our recent trip to Yosemite National Park so we reluctantly booked a room without a private bath. It was 37 degrees when we arrived and our room had the window open. We were never able to get the room to warm up. We reported it to management--had to walk down to the office as there are no phones in the room. They said they would come and check but never did. We used a little electric heater trying to warm the room up enough to take off our coats. The restaurant was nice but pricey. The lack of bathroom facilities was a real problem for us as it was like leaving your room and going out in the cold to an outhouse. There were two toilets shared with the entire cottage. The shower was gross enough that I chose not to shower at the location. I will never stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ruth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 26, 2012

I am giving the Wawoma Hotel a four star rating because it is a historic hotel, with some charm, in a wonderful environment. If I ignore the historic aspect and the appeal of Yosemite I would only rate it a 3 star hotel. My wife and I stayed two nights in late October during the week. We had a special rate that was about $170 before taxes. This rate includes a room with a toilet and shower. When you book your room be sure to carefully note the type of room. Some come with tub, toilet and bed, or shower, toilet and bed, and others without tub/shower/toilet. Rooms can have queen beds, double beds, single bed so again, be careful in choosing your room type.

Check in time is 5 pm; however, if the room is available you can check in early. Near 5 p.m. and at check out lines can be somewhat long as we had only one person checking-in or checking-out. However, the staff are very friendly, helpful and do their best within the environment.

Our room was number 90 in Moore Cottage, which is in back of the main building. This complex has five rooms, two of which have bath. The other three have to share a shower and water closet at the back of the building. Our bedroom was reasonably large, the furniture was adequate, the bed was comfortable and lighting adequate. Heating of the bedroom is by an older, floor radiant heating unit. The control know was on the left, next to a wall and difficult to control. The first night we had it too high and I had to get out of bed and turn it down. It is challenging to set it to a temperature that you desire. The bathroom was very large, with older fixtures, and modern toilet. The shower is large but the controls for hot and cold water were difficult. If you found the right mix of both for your temperature and then slightly moved either hot or cold know, the water went real hot or cold. Typical of older buildings with older fixtures. We had chairs outside our room and could sit and watch a deer or whatever. Parking is available behind Moore Cottage.

A continental breakfast was included in our price. It consists of juice, coffee,tea, cold cereal, hot oatmeal, toast, sweet rolls, fruit, milk, coffee, tea, yogurt, hard boiled egg and a few other items. It was quite good and you ate it in the dining room with a server providing the coffee and juice. You go to another room to pick up the other food items. Or you could order regular breakfast food.

Wamona Hotel is about a 50 minute drive from Yosemite Village, so keep this in mind when planning your visit. The road to Yosemite floor is two lane, with twists and bends and rises to 6000 feet elevation and then drops on your way to Yosemite floor, which is about 4000 feet elevation. We encountered the first winter storm and snow was slightly on the road near 6000 feet.

Yosemite in late October is quite different than in late May or early summer. There are some limited fall colors. The water flows are minimal if non-existent in some cases. Roads are less crowded and parking is available at most sites. Several activities and food facilities are not available in late October. If you want to see the falls in their full glory, come in May or June.

I have been to Yosemite many times but generally prefer to stay in Yosemite Valley. This was the first time we had stayed at Wamona Hotel. It is a perfect location if you plan to visit attractions in this area. However, if you prefer to do the activities an hiking around the valley of Yosemite I recommend you stay at either Yosemite Lodge or Ahwanee Hotel for convenience and less driving.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank travelnice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We were just in town for an overnight. This hotel is so adorable! You feel as though you're back in time with its plantation, country feel. The staff were so nice, breakfast downstairs was delicious and included! A very pleasant surprise for a couple on a budget. You do have to share a restroom, but I think that only adds to its fun, campy, quaint style.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank smcrawford38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

This hotel is in the traditional style from when staying at a hotel was in the age where you are encouraged to use the common area facilities. I love this style of hotel. It was set amongst a great back drop of nature. The golf course adds to the ambience - their claim to fame is that it is in the only golf course in a National Park.

From the time we checked in at reception, knew this would be a wonderful time. This is not a five star hotel. This is more in the tradition of the English B&B experience, and the rate included breakfast. Our rooms were in the main building and up the flight of stairs. I had a wonderful corner room, so windows on two walls and my friend had a room next door, around the corner.

My room had an ensuite with a claw foot bath. Had a bath after a long hike on the Saturday - wonderful soak. If you have a headrest for a bath, bring it with you. The shower was okay, but my friend, who did not have an ensuite said the shared facilitates were great for water pressure.

The bed was quite comfortable. The drawers in the room have the extra pillows, blankets and the towels, washcloths and hand towel. The maid service leaves chocolate mints and ear plugs - could not work out what the ear plugs were for.

We played board games downstairs in front of the open fire and on the verandah each evening.

The breakfasts, as I said it was part of the rate, was plentiful, but they really should invest in putting out two working toasters as always a line up for the toaster and sometimes one side did not work - not a huge issue. It is holiday time - right?

Not sure why people make adverse comments on the parking - always able to find a spot.

Location between Mariposa Grove and the turn off to Glacier Point is great. Yes, it is a fair way into the Village but as,ing as you are okay with curves, it is the best place to be.

There are no televisions or phones in the bedrooms - this was a plus in my book. Get back to nature and conversing with people.

We were able to make it to a documentary on Ansell Adams on the Friday night in the Village and thoroughly enjoyed it. The manager of the gallery answered questions - very informative.

The location, as I said was superb, and the hikes in the area are great.

Would have no hesitation in recommending this place, and would return again.

Room Tip: I had room 223 - corner room with an ensuite, upstairs in the main building - perfect!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AussieNarelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We were so excited about staying here. However, the experience was much less than anticipated. The bed was uncomfortable, the linens worse. The floor was not level - a decided slope to the interior of the building. If the price had been 2/3 less it may have been acceptable.
The restaurant was an embarrassment - there certainly was not a cook in the kitchen, much less a chef, only someone(s) opening packages of frozen food and heating them. And the charge was outrageous - almost $30 per inedible entree!
I would have to advise staying outside the park if you are not camping.
I'm really disturbed that so many foreign visitors stay here and wonder what they think of our national park system. Sad.

Room Tip: We had one of the rooms with a private bath - though more expensive I'm sure it is more desirabl...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank nombres02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

I'am so glad we chose this hotel, rather than ones in Yosemite Village, even though it was a good 45 minutes drive away from the Yosemite Village, this hotel was so old fashioned and charming. The food was excellent and the pianist in the bar in the evenings was a lovely touch. Plenty of parking and the location was so tranquil. If you want to stay in Yosemite at a reasonable price in very civilised location, book here. But make sure you get a room with a bathroom!!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank scrapyardnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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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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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: $308 - $391 (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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