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Travel Blogs from Yosemite National Park
Today was going to be our valley day. All of the famous views, waterfalls and meadows. But the winds shifted overnight and has blanketed the valley and very little can be seen. The Park Ranger said the smoke has only been this bad one other day. The winds are not expected to shift soon and the smoke my stay for several days. I included a brief …
My name is Yosemite Mule Deer, and I am a white tailed buck. You can find me in Yosemite National Park any time of the year. Usually I have antlers, however sometimes I loose them, but I always grow them back again every year, at least once a year.
Right now I am resting because it is the fall of the year and i am tired. They call this the …
The next day we picked up our hire car and navigated the city traffic, heading east over the bay to Yosemite National Park, about a four hour drive away. One thing that really stood out about driving on US roads is the number of SUVs! I'd estimate at least one in three cars was a gas-guzzling kiddie-killer. I shouldn't get started... The scenery …
... in this entry if you're interested.
We got to the top of North Dome at 3.15pm. We realised we'd been going for 2 hours without seeing anyone else on the trail. We were alone up there so we thought it would be a good idea not have any accidents.
We ran out of water all too quickly and were getting pretty thirsty while descending. We started hallucinating which ...
14/07/13 Yosemite Day 1
Left Mammoth Lakes and headed north to Mono Lake where I marvelled at the Tufa along the southern edge of the lake. These structures are created by a reaction between the water entering the lake via the water table and the lake water. Some of those we saw were up to 30ft tall. We got there too late to go canoeing so headed off to Yosemite.
We entered the park via the Tioga trail which ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews The Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
Like nothing else...
We booked late & were allocated the only room free for just one night (all we could afford at the time). We seem to have dropped very lucky, even though it was the most expensive room we had ever stayed in !!!! Reading the other reviews on this site, I get a sense it very much depends on the room you're allocated: they are very different. Furnishings are old fashioned but the room was very clean and spacious enough with a sofa and a huge outdoor deck shared with a couple of other rooms. Restaurant & lounge were dramatic and enormous. We would love to go back - with plenty of notice so we can book the same room !! Check in desk too small to cope but friendly enough staff who were overworked. A pity the shop wasn't relegated to the back, out of site - not exactly attractive !
Anyone that we told we were staying at the Ahwahnee made a big fuss.
Our feeling about the Ahwahnee was that while the location and restaurant are great, the accommodations would barely merit two stars. First off, we had requested a non-smoking room and were assured at check-in that was the case by the desk clerk. The room smelled like a combination of mildew and seventy years of accumulated smoke. The air conditioning blowing from the vent smelled so bad we had to turn it off for the evening and open the windows. After waking up feeling sick and with sore throats, we saw that the air vents were absolutely filthy and caked with grime and soot. Generally, we never have problems with smoke and are not that demanding but the air was just unbearable. We asked the hotel to send a maintenance person up to replace the filters and clean the vents. The person who came up was very nice and tried to accommodate us, even suggesting that we ask to change rooms since the vents were really bad.After the cleaning did not improve the situation, we requested a new room. We were informed that our original room was actually a smoking room and they apologized for the desk clerk having misinformed us. This was probably the thing that upset us the most a supposed four-star hotel misleading their guests about the accommodations. The excuse they gave was lame: the clerk was a trainee and simply made a mistake. Our experience with other four star hotels has been that staff do not do these things, experienced or not. Combine that with the general behavior of the staff (waiting over 10 minutes in line to check in while the clerk counts money and does not acknowledge the guests), lack of amenities typical of a four start hotel (asking for cappuccino instead of a regular coffee requires the restaurant manager to make it themselves since the restaurant staff replied they were too busy) and one wonders who rated this hotel. Dont be fooled into thinking the Ahwahnee offers some type of rustic charm we operate a tour company in Rome where many of the hotels are much older and do not come close to the spartan conditions and lack of professional service found at this hotel.In the end we were offered another room that was guaranteed to have better air. Unfortunately, this was not the case. At this point, not wanting to sleep there a second night, we checked out. Perhaps the most telling thing about our experience at the Ahwahnee was that after informing the desk clerk that we were checking out and the clerk relaying to the manager what was happening, the manager never came out from the back room to apologize or at a minimum find out what was wrong. What other four star hotel manager would do that?
Beautiful hope to stay for thanksgiving
Like every lodge should be.
We booked the Ahwahnee Hotel for a two nights stay in July to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We arrived at sunset having driven over the Tioga Pass and enjoying the view of the valley as the evening sun gave it a heavenly glow. To my surprise, when we arrived at the Ahwahnee, they didn't have a room for us. I had made the reservations six months in advanced and had paid for the first night as a deposit. Their policy states that if you don't cancel at least two days in advance, they keep your deposit. So I was under the impression that my reservations were guaranteed. Apparently, the Ahwahnee has a policy of over booking their rooms, in the hopes that some of their clients don't show up, and they can collect the deposit and still rent the room. Looking over all of the information they gave me, they never mentioned that if you don't show up early you may lose your room.The options they offered me were to stay in a tent cabin or at the Wawona Hotel at their expense for the first night, and for the second night we could come back and pay to stay at the Ahwahnee. We opted to drive the 1 hour south to the Wawona, which is a nice historic hotel, but a bit hot in July, because they don't have any air conditioning.A forced Hotel change will ruined the best laid plans. We were planning to take the shuttle bus to the top of Glacier Point and Hike back down to the valley passing the Vernal and Nevada falls. Since we would be driving back from the Wawona to the Ahwahnee the next day, this wouldn't be possible.Our one night at the Ahwahnee was nice, and our room had a good view of Yosemite Falls. I would compare the room and the facilities to a good Best Western. You are paying the extra money for the great location and the spectacular views.If you are going to stay at the Ahwahnee, I would recommend that you call in advanced, to let them know that you are going to be using your reservations. You may want to call a week in advanced, the day before, and the morning of your reservation, just to play it save. The cost of the phone calls will be blown away by the cost of the room.
3-Star Hotel for 5-Star Price
Ahwahnee is in great location--but it is absolutely overpriced. Having said that, if you're looking for pseudo-luxury accomodations, then the Ahwahnee is all you've got---and they know it: Be ready to fork over those bills.
For a country so young, the Ahwahnee is a fabulous old building in a spectacular setting. However at £250/$400 a night, this hotel needs to pick up itself (not a criticism of the staff but of its management). The hotel is clearly trading on its reputation and location but is cutting costs at every corner possible and will lose repeat business (something I don't believe concerns them).When we arrived there was 1 valet and 1 bellboy who obviously could not cope with the numbers of guests arriving so we parked our car and went to check-in. This process was the longest of our 3 week tour of California and luckily our room was ready even though there were many guests left waiting.There is only 1 guest lift and 1 service lift - understandably they are trying to retain character but the service lift was broken so there was a very long wait for 5 floors. Our room was no better than average. I realise 1 reader thought they were classy but, coming from Scotland, you can do traditional and classy rather than shabby and in need of redecoration. This was the latter although we did have an amazing view of Yosemite Falls. Drinks in the bar were quite pleasant and the patio great for a cigarette. In addition dinner was also enjoyable. The chefs produce great food but the front of house service does not do all their hard work any justice. In conclusion, if you want to stay in a hotel in Yosemite Valley then there is this only one (although there is a lodge at much better prices) but enjoy the place for what it is rather than judging the hotel on what it promises to deliver.
We booked a two night stay to celebrate an anniversary in February. The hotel was charming, but at $400/night I felt the service should be MUCH better. The room was comfortasble enough; large bed with wonderful down bedding, which was a good thing because the heating in the room was minimal. Our "turn down service" arrived at around 6PM while we were in the middle of showering and changing for dinner after a great day hiking in the park..they never returned. We booked late dinner reservations knowing how busy the dining area was...we waited an hour for our "reservations". The wait was worth it, though as the food was delicious. The afternoon tea was a disappointment as we arrived from our hike about a half hour before it was over. we anticipated a relaxing time in the great hall by the fireside befroe retiring to our room to prepare for dinner. We were informed that they were out of cups and would not be providing anymore...I guess they were unable to count the number of guests they had that afternoon to prepare accordingly. dollar wise, in comparison, our stay at the Grand Californian ( the Awahnee mock-up at Disney) provided much friendlier and attentive service. The stay was an OK experience, that I do not regret, but shall not repeat. as with other Yosemite concessions, the service is poor...they know they've got you and your dollar, there is no competition, so they don't have to work too hard. We will not be giving much more of our $$$ in the future to any Yosemite Concession.
We cancelled a reservation at the Ahwahnee this winter on the basis of Fodor reviews (we read here on the TripAdvisor site) which called the hotel's rooms "shabby", "worn" and "spartan." Having second thoughts I went on the park's website to their real-time reservations, and rebooked for New Year's. (You can pick up rooms on a last minute basis if you are persistent about checking for cancellations -- and a little lucky.) I am very, very glad I did.
In 1989 I visited the USA and toured California with friends from Groveland. The day we spent at the Yosemite park was magic. we saw the half dome, diablo and other beautiful sights, had lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. I come from New Zealand.