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“Charming historic hotel with well-kept grounds” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
117 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
“Charming historic hotel with well-kept grounds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

We've been to Yosemite several times but always stayed in the valley. Coming from the south, this time we stayed one night at the Wawona. Busy place in the summer, although nothing the crowds in the valley. The highlights: We had the room for five people with two queens and a single and it was both quaint and spacious, which usually don't go together. The veranda at the hotel is very turn of the century (last century) and a great place to have a drink or just relax and enjoy the grounds. The outdoor pool is terrific. We didn't golf but there is a course here, unusual for a national park property. We didn't have dinner but did have breakfast and it was excellent. The rates are high for the summer but that's Yosemite. Location is good to visit the redwoods on the south end of the park (free park bus takes you there and back at regular intervals), which is a must see. It's about a 50 minute drive to Glacier Point, which we did in the early morning to avoid all the traffic. Recommended hike on the way to the point is Sentinel Dome -- easy a mile hike to the top of the dome, which has 360-degree views from El Cap to the west to Half Down to the east and beyond. Magnificent views and an easy hike from there to Glacier Point. go early!

Room Tip: Wifi is in a lounge area in the hotel (not the lobby but near the golf course). Get an upstairs room...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cgbroderick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (526)
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Chardon Ohio
Level Contributor
164 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We stayed at Wawona Hotel for 3 nights in Mid-May. This lodge is in the park, but is not in the Valley. They say to give yourself an hour to get down to the valley…in mid-May the traffic was light and it only took us 35 minutes to the valley floor and 20 to Glacier Point road. There are lots of twists and turns in the road so you steering wheel will always be in motion. The roads were all clear and even the Tioga Pass was open, although it closed for a couple of days a week later after a snow storm. They are fairly strict on the check in time so we had plenty of time to see the sites south of the lodge including Mariposa Grove before check in. We were also able to check out the Glacier Point road sites and watch sunset there after we checked in.

The check in process was pretty quick and the women that helped us was very friendly. She was knowledgeable about all aspects of Yosemite and many of the other National Parks. Parking is not close to the rooms so getting your luggage to you room can be an issue, but they may have people to help you. Keep in mind that you need to take everything out of your car that has a scent or has ever touched food, including empty coolers… every night!! The rooms are in buildings spread around the main check in / bar/ restaurant building.

Our room was in the Clark Cottage which is right next to the main building and is the closest to the available parking. The building is all wood with a long porch in front of the rooms with chairs for sitting outside. Ours was near the middle. We had a king bed, a writing desk and two chairs, night stand with alarm clock. Ceiling fan, windows that open, good heat…thermostat was a little quirky. They also provided a small oscillating fan and extra blankets. The bathroom had a heat lamp for getting out of the shower on cool mornings. Our room has a huge walk in closet nearly big enough to sleep in. The bed was comfortable with a bunch of pillows. We did not hear our neighbors at night. I wish there was at least one more outlet for charging stuff. The room would be a little small if you planned on spending much time in there.

In addition to check in, the main building houses a sitting area and library where they also serve drinks in the evening. You can also enjoy the beverage service on the large front porch. The dining area takes up half of the building. There are not any options close to Wawona to eat other than their dining room so there is usually a wait. The prices are expensive, but that is typical in any of the parks. Coffee is available by 6:00 am and a continental breakfast is included in the room. We had a special that upgraded us to the full breakfast. They have everything you could want to order and all was good. We headed out early one morning so they had a box breakfast ready for us at 6:00 am. We never ate lunch there and only one dinner. The dinners were very good, but there were no less expensive entrées on the menu. This was fine for one night for two of us, but would be very expensive for a family.

The grounds around the hotel are great. Remember you are at 7,000 ft. so there is a little less oxygen in the air and it will be a little cooler that the lower areas, especially in the evening. They had tennis courts and the golf course looked good with everything green and well groomed. There was a great trail that cuts through the golf course. We went on a night hike and went birding on it one morning. We saw over 20 species in about an hour. There was a small park next to the hotel that had a cover bridge over a stream and a historic village setting. There is no cell phone reception and there is only Wi-Fi in one small screened in sitting area on the second story of one the lodges. There is a pool but it was not opened yet during our stay. There is a gas station right next to the hotel too.

We stayed all three nights here when we were at Yosemite and the drive to the valley started to be too much. I would like to have stayed in the valley at least one night but they were all booked. Make sure you book early. Wawona was also full when we stayed. Overall glad we chose to stay here and we were able to see different birds than down in the valley.

Room Tip: Be close to parking. You will be emptying your car every night.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bobo185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

Just got back from a 4-day trip to the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite. If you are looking for a bit a character with excellent staff with access to all of Yosemite, come here. Stay in the Annex for a real taste of old western front porch. A dip in the pool is great after a long days hike.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wyandotte2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

Wish I could have spent more time here - it was so peaceful and quiet compared with the hotels in the valley.
Three of us stayed in one of the annex rooms which had a double bed and a single bed so not a lot of space but it was adequate. Old quirky bathroom but everything worked fine and it was quite charming really.
We were not bothered at all with noise from other rooms or outside and had a wonderful stay here.
The included breakfast was a little strange - carrot cake and muffins and yogurt (so much sugar) but the waitress offered some toast as an alternative to the cake when asked.
Would definitely recommend this hotel especially if you want to get away from the crowded valley and visit the southern side of Yosemite.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aprilscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

I loved staying here because it was quiet and near some good hiking trails (mariposa grove). It is far from the main Yosemite Valley, but that means fewer people. I had a room without a connected bathroom, but it was very close right outside the room. I think it is a good value, especially for staying in the park, and would recommend it!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HCal427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

My daughter and I enjoyed this historical hotel. It was nice to stay somewhere that's not the typical Sheraton. The Wawona has true charm. The food was great, hotel clean and a very nice relaxing piano bar in the evening.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicole L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

When we arrived for check-in we waited in a very short line for almost 45 minutes. Our room was intolerable, especially for $170/night. We went back to the front desk to request another room and were told the only other room available would be an "upgrade" for an additional $80+/night. This upgrade required almost an hour at the front desk! Just baffling... The upgraded room included prints that were blurry with decay; rock hard bed and pillows; mold on the ceiling in the bathroom; dust and cobwebs. They could have provided a little table in the bathroom as there wasn't even a shelf to place toiletries. Also, an extension cord would have been helpful since the only 2 outlets were over 5 feet up the wall near the bathroom. The bedside lights did not work and after reporting 2xs, we gave up. The maid took dirty towels off the floor and hung them for our reuse!!!! How about alerting people in advance that there is no cell phone service? We were meeting a large group and this caused some difficulty for all of us. Very uncomfortable trip...

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aissw
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)
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast 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 
Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

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