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Travel Blogs from Yosemite National Park
Didn't sleep too well, first night in a new bed. We got up at 7am had a shower and headed for breakfast. A queue had already started even though it doesn't start till 730 am. We were in by 740 and finished and on our way by 815am. We were double and triple layered. I had my t shirt, sweatshirt and hoodie! We drove up to Yosemite Valley, stopping at …
Breakfast was at 8am, long lie today. Our muscles were a bit achy but not bad, as soon as I put my boots on, my feet went "ouch, not again!" I worked out that we probably walked about 13 miles yesterday, not including extra for the 2 miles that were vertical! We got to the valley about 10am, stopping off at Tunnel View as the valley was clearer of …
We were up and packed and on the road by 9.30 am. El Pueblo was just over $600 for the 4 nights (as we were refunded for the first night, see previous entry). I still have reviews to do for all the paces we stayed and ate, probably won't get them done till we get home though. I double checked the UK Customs allowances online and found that we can …
Another even later start, had breakfast at 0830 with a 10 min wait. The kitchen seemed overwhelmed because whenever something ran out (such as waffles) it took 15-20 minutes before it was restocked. Overnight it had chucked it with rain so we didn't think conditions up Tioga would be very good. We changed plans and caught the 0930 free shuttle from …
We next headed out to the west coast to visit friends, travel to some of the parks and go to a wonderful birthday party. Out trip started out in San Francisco where we ate some great food and got together with our friend Andrea. We also were able to get together with Zach our nephew and Molly his finance - now his wife. While we were out there …
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TravelPod Member ReviewsWawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Sheer bliss. Luxurious without being pretentious. Great rooms, great food, excellent atmosphere and service. Will be back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Noisy, Cramped, and Rude
The Wawona Hotel is very old and historic; however, what that translates into for a guest is an unpleasant experience.
First of all, it was impossible to get to sleep because of all the vibrating racket made by the wooden floorboards. At first I thought someone must have been rough-housing outside (or in the room above me), jumping up and down. But I soon realized that was not the case. The mere act of someone walking by along the hallway/porch would literally shake my windows. It was very irritating. Needless to say, I seldom got to sleep until after midnight (when the last guests retired to their rooms).
Secondly, the rooms themselves are tiny. My wife and I couldn't even fit in the bed. I'm 6'3" and the bedframe boxed me in most uncomfortably; it was impossible to stretch out. We actually had to take our mattress off the bed and put it on the floor in order to get comfortable. Also, be forewarned about the bathrooms. You will need to share a bathroom with other guests, which is an inconvenience.
Finally, I was very disappointed in the dining experience. My wife and I dined the first night to the tune of about $50. For that cost, I expect to be waited upon professionally. Instead, what we experienced was an inept dining room staff. We had long finished looking at our menus, had set them down, and as I plaintively craned my neck trying to draw eye-contact with our unknown assigned server, all I received in reply was the downcast eyes of servers who apparently were not assigned to my table along with overhearing their bickering whisperings amongst themselves, "Have you seen their waiter?" "Does X know he's assigned to their table?" etc. I finally had to get up and walk to the front and ask the hostess if I could speak to the manager. Again, I waited and waited until finally the manager arrived, escorted me back to my table, and assigned me a server. How utterly ridiculous!
I did not peruse the reviews on this site prior to my visit but now wish I had. I only now stumbled upon this forum because I was so disappointed with my experience that I wished to somehow warn others.
This traveler gives two thumbs down to the Wawona Hotel.
Quiet old time elegance
We enjoyed the Wawona. The staff was very nice and helpful. It is very quiet, maybe a bit too quiet for some. The rooms are old fashioned and ours, with a bath, was fine for the two of us. We liked the food and atmosphere and would go back for a rest and relaxation type vacation, not a get up and go type vacation.
Expecting better accomidations
My wife and our three children stayed at the Wawona hotel for one night and that was enough. The hotel rooms were very small and the trips to the restrooms and showers were not very convenient. With three children 9 years and younger the room without a bathroom made it for a very poor experience. We tried to get a room with a bathroom but the demand was too great and the only rooms left were with no restrooms. The only asset to the park was the beauty of Yosemite and if you wanted to visit Yosemite valley the drive was 45 minutes from the hotel. We wanted to beat the crowds to the very limited showers so we woke up to shower at 5:OO am. The bad thing about that was that the hotel didn't start serving breakfast until 7:30am. The hotel didn't even have coffee out by 6:00am. We decided to check out and have breakfast at the lounge in Yosemite valley being that it was going to take a 45 min. to get there and by that time I was sure that they would be serving.
We loved it
My family and I stayed at the Wawona and had a wonderful time. Sure the rooms are not modern and you might have to go down the hall to use the potty, but hey that is part of the experience. It is in a beautiful place and the staff was wonderful.
Pricely, simple, clean. You're paying for the location in the park and the lovely turn of the century atmosphere. Food is decidedly average and rooms are basic, but more character than a Red Roof Inn although harsher on the wallet
Way overpriced. I look back on Yosemite as our least favorite park experience thanks to this awful hotel. We left as soon as daylight came as it was impossible to sleep on the cheap mattress. What a poorly run rip off!
We are going back....
Well it looks like our personal experience differs from others! We stayed a night at the Wawona last year and we loved it - maybe the rooms may not have been decorated since it was built in 1876, but that adds to it's charm - nice to se that the owners haven't jumped on the modernisation bandwagon. Maybe the other reviewers had a bad experience - our hairdryer worked OK, the towels were fine and the staff were polite and helpful - we were looked after in that old-fashioned, customer-comes-first-sort-of-way, which was wonderful. And the food - none of your pretentious nouvelle cuisine rubbish - freshly cooked, filling and absolutely delicious. OK, so we paid $25 each for two courses, but as we sat eating on the veranda, watching the sun go down over the acres of forest that surrounded us, we agreed that it was worth every cent. And the lack of creature comforts is more than made up for by the beautiful surroundings, the deer grazing in the grounds, and the olde worlde architecture of this beautiful hotel. And yes, it may be 30 mins from the main park, but its a scenic 30 minutes. And if you want to stay in Curry Village under a canvas roof, or at the Ahwahnee for $357 a night just to be closer (we paid $244 for two nights at the Wawona), then go right ahead! Yes, it does need a lick of paint, and no, isnt doesnt have the amenities of a more modern or highly priced hotel, but we are staying TWO nights this year, and we will be back
Pros and Cons
My husband and I just got back from a 4-night stay at the Wawona Hotel. Reading the other reviews makes it sound pretty negative, but here are the pros and cons from our point of view:Pros: It's an American historic hotel, with lots of memorabilia and great for those who are interested in the past. The grounds, hotel lounge, and dining room are beautifully kept. Our room was clean, with comfortable beds. The wraparound porches and Adirondack chairs are great for relaxing with a drink after a long day of hiking. The hotel staff was very welcoming, pleasant and efficient. The food and service in the dining room was good (not great, but good). There is a very nice golf course and great hiking trails around the hotel, and wildlife in abundance (blue jays, squirrels, deer, etc.). And, it's inside the park and very close to the awesome Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.CONS: Even though it's inside the park, it's at the southern end, and about a 40-minute drive to Yosemite Valley. The hotel is very old so it doesn't have modern amenities such as air conditioning, TV/radio, phones, hairdryers, or many electrical plugs. The walls have very little insulation so you can hear the folks next to you if they are talking loud. The whole place looks a bit run-down at the heels, e.g. paint chipping on railings and banisters, old light fixtures, etc... not dirty or seedy-looking; but sort of a genteel "past-its-prime" look. For those lucky enough to pay extra and get a room with a private bath, you will get a very tiny little sink and a clawfoot tub that is so high you bang your feet getting in and out, and towels that are not exactly plush. Guests in rooms without baths (the majority) have to use shared, dormitory-style bathrooms. We stayed in the Annex, and another problem there is the entire building is heated by boiler/radiator system, and you can't turn off the radiator in your room without the pipes clanking. We arrived on a warm afternoon and our room was sweltering because the boiler was programmedy/snowing). Fortunately a very nice staff person convinced the manager to turn off the boiler cycle for the rest of the week, and so with open windows we were fairly comfortable.Actually the boiler incident is an analogy for the whole experience: a great hotel staff trying to make up for the inadequacies of a just plain out-of-date facility. Yosemite Concession Services runs this hotel (as well as the Awahnee, Yosemite Lodge, etc.), and for the prices they charge, they should be able to do some upgrades to the facilities without losing the oldstyle charm. They only get the rates they do because of high demand due to the location.Bottom line: If you need a luxury hotel with all the amenities and room service, don't stay here! If location, natural beauty, and historic charm are more important to you, you might actually overlook the other drawbacks and enjoy yourself like we did!
Don't do it!
We stayed for one night at the Wawona after being wooed by photos and articles. It definitely was the low point of our Yosemite experience. The hotel in itself did have some charm in the lobby and dining room, but our room and the service from the staff was disappointing to say the least. The room was quite expensive considering the condition it was in and how tiny it was. We had an adjoining door to our another guest's room...so that we could hear anything above a whisper from our neighbors (zero privacy). The furnishings were worn, the bedding had holes in it and the overhead lamp had a large cobweb hanging from it. We had a room without a bath (or phone/TV) OR HEAT. When I walked down to the desk (no phone) to inquire about having someone come up and take a look at the heater and make sure I had it turned on correctly, the front desk employee barked that it was dinner hour and she would not be able to send anyone up. I politely asked her to send up someone later in the evening (when they weren't so busy) to check on it. She handed me a space heater to carry upstairs...and no one ever followed up with the heat issue. Disgruntled from my experience at the desk and also from the snootiness we observed all the way around, we decided against dining at the Wawona. I would say the crowd at the hotel was retirement age, so if you are under 55, you may feel a little out of place, as we did. We drove to Oakhurst and discovered an excellent sushi restaurant called Oka Japanese and Pacific Rim Cuisine, which I highly recommend. In the morning when we were about to take our walk to the showers (outdoors BTW in 30ish degree temps) we realized that they had given us only ONE bath towel (again NO phone to call the front desk) and that the robes that they provide are quite skimpy for tall folks. The shared showers and bathrooms were not so great either. You also should know that the Wawona is a good 25-30 minute drive from the main attractions of the park...something I didn't realize when I booked the reservat.
Overpriced and Over rated
The beauty of Yosemite was marred by the feeling having been ripped off by the Wawona. For $173(including tax) I got a room the size of a shoe box with inadequate electricity, marginal plumbing and no telephone. Just because it is an old hotel inside of the Yosemite grounds does should not give the Wawona the right to charge outrageous prices for a room that does not live up to even modest Motel 6 standards. Being a historic hotel is also no excuse -- I have stayed in other "historic hotels" and they have all had telephones in the room and electricity that could run a hair dryer.