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“Historic hotel”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Historic hotel”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Dont be concerned about the fact that Wawona does not offer TV or Phones in the room or that cell phone reception is virtually non existent. You will so busy at Yosemite that you wont have time for modern conveniences. Joshua at the front desk was very helpful with maps of the entire park and info to help us with our busy day in the park. The grounds of the hotel are unique in the fact that they stay true to their roots as a historic site. Also, its well worth the extra travel to and from the Yosemite Village-about 1/2 hour each way. The drive through the park is magnificent. Enjoy the restaurant-great dinner menu....try the organic chicken!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Phpip30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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California
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

The Wawona gets one star for being in magnificent Yosemite National Park and one for being an extremely authentic and grand Victorian lodging. It gets no stars for service.

Sadly, Delaware North, the corporate hospitality concession that operates all food and lodging in the Park, has gone from mediocre to worse, and--since they have a monopoly in a Park that will always be popular--they really don't care. I like the Wawona, with its amazing porches, shaded balconies, and comfy chairs...with its fountain, its time warp Victorian authenticity, and its old-fashioned piano shows. I feel like I've truly stepped back in time. But, at the end of the day, it's just not good value for the money--and, as with all food and lodging in the Park, this is due primarily to the indifferent staff.

We paid $153.00 per night for two nights in a small upstairs room in the main building with shared bath (quite a walk) and free continental breakfast. The room itself was snug but adequate--clean, with everything in working order. The prior guest's used glassware was on our outdoor table on the balcony. I moved it to another table up there, and there it sat for the entire weekend. To eat breakfast--even if you don't intend to pay extra for the hot breakfast entrees on the menu--you have to put your name down and wait for a 'seating'. As with all the restaurants we went to in Yosemite, the seating protocol was inefficient and confused--although, thankfully, you do get a pager so you can walk away from the line. Coffee and tea service were supposed to be set up in the lobby so you can at least have a cup of something while you wait, but--on both mornings--the coffee urns were frequently empty, the hot water urn was empty, and the half-and-half pitchers were often empty. Getting staff to attend to these things was somewhat difficult, and they were flustered. After a long hike on Saturday, we returned to find that our room had not been made up. Staff was somewhat brusque about attending to the problem, although they did call housekeeping to return and make up the room. No discounts offered. Getting a hair dryer was also an ordeal, as there are none in the rooms or bathrooms and staff was similarly brusque and lacking in motivation when it came to remedying this problem as well. Shared bathrooms were clean, and the robes and towels were decent.

You'll notice throughout the Park that concession staff seem dispirited, frequently brusque, and none-too-happy to go through the motions of appearing cheerful for the throngs of tourists visiting the Park. Perhaps they are paid poorly; perhaps they are not treated well by their employer; perhaps they're just in it for the great outdoors--which their on-the-job hours are keeping them from. Many concession employees are older, rough around the edges, and visibly tired and dreary. Whatever the reason, the concession is just not working, and ultimately this is bad for the park. Food everywhere is bland, expensive, uninspired and old-fashioned. While meats are generally cooked to order and portions are ample, the whole play-it-safe, meat-and-potatoes, underspiced, institutionalized continental cuisine deal is dated, corporate, and boring. A National Park as glorious and beautiful as Yosemite deserves a much better concession than Delaware North. Yosemite, you need to dust out the cobwebs, find a new concession, and provide some training and incentive for better customer service!

Room Tip: 207 is a good choice (if you're choosing a shared bath room) since it's on a corner in the u...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank gcfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

I was lucky enough to have my rehearsal dinner at the Wawona Hotel.
The venue was absolutely beautiful, food was hot and beautifully presented..even in banquet form. The small staff was fun and made the event go so smoothly.
This location is truly a gem in the park. Well worth looking into not only for an event, but the great bbq and also the quite and relaxation.

Room Tip: Be mindful of construction on Park roads. As it is a bit of a drive into Yosemite Valley.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DaniAK_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasant Hill, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We have been to the Wawona a few times and fell in love with its charm and the feel of stepping back in time. And the pace is so relaxed. So when it came time to choose a place for our wedding, it was our hands down first choice. What an excellent decision that turned out to be. The planners and the staff were incredibly helpful and absolutely everybody on staff seemed to know who we were and what we needed. And the Sunroom is such a wonderfully intimate place for a group of 50 or so (which was our size). Please understand the Wawona for what it is. An elegant canvas with the beautiful forest (and lovely little golf course) as its backdrop. It is a mature facility (kind of like us) that will take you under its spell if you allow it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank William F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Spouse & I stayed here 2 nights with a nature tour group. As other reviewers state, it is old, had old furniture & bathroom fixtures, but is unique and interesting. Sure there is no (little) cell phone service and wireless is available in only one area of the hotel (and slow) – but, one is on vacation (holiday) so……… what’s the hurry! Despite the ‘oldness”, the room was clean, comfortable and adequate. We slept well. There were also lovely wooden chairs & table on the large wrap-around porch outside our door overlooking meadow and forest. We also had two evening meals, a take out lunch and 2 breakfasts while there and found the food to be very good. I had the best “rainbow trout” I have had in a long time fruits, cereals (2 hot ones), multiple bread choices – much more that I wanted and very tasty. It is not a new 5 star hotel, but a unique & historical place, well worth a stay and visit

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank scscientist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 6 Contributor
230 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

What a lovely experience
An olde worldie hotel - not en suite - but they provide bath robes to get to the communal showers and toilets - which were great
Lovely inclusive breakfast - but you can always order extra

Best tip we had from Susan the waitress
Get up early and visit Mariposa Grove before breakfast and before everyone else, then get back for breakfast that finishes at 10 am

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank UkGailJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

When we looked at the hotel's website it led us to believe we were "shuttle-close" to Yosemite's attractions. The only shuttle was to the sequoia park area. All the main attractions like El Capitan, the Vernon Falls and all the hiking were 30 miles (45 minutes) away by car.
The room we stayed in the Clark wing were last renovated in 1949 and were very small. Great view from the porch, which was nice.
Boiler stopped working on two of the four days so only cold showers. They did give us a 15% discount because of this, which at least showed they cared some.
Once into the main Yosemite area, we did appreciate that the Wawona was isolated as it was more peaceful.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Rick C
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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