Yosemite National Park Hotels

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Fodor's 2012 Hotel Award Winner

Ahwahnee Hotel

Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

At a Glance

    Pros

  • best lodge in Yosemite
  • helpful concierge

    Cons

  • expensive rates
  • some reports that service has slipped in recent years

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Ahwahnee Hotel Review

A National Historic Landmark, the hotel is constructed of sugar-pine logs and features Native American design motifs; public spaces are enlivened with art deco flourishes, oriental rugs, and elaborate iron- and woodwork. Luxury hotel amenities, including turndown service and guest bathrobes, are standard here. The impressive dining room is one of the most beautiful rooms in California. The lounge, with its tiered ceiling, has big, comfortable chairs and a quiet, contemplative air. Even if you cannot afford to stay here, take the time to stroll about the public spaces and have a drink on the patio shortly before sunset, when the view of Half Dome is spectacular. Reservations are made through Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts.

    Hotel Details

  • 99 lodge rooms, 4 suites, 24 cottage rooms.
  • Rate includes no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 10-22-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Perfection

    Everyone's idea of "perfection" is different. Those who love historical hotels, with all of its idiocyncracies, will get my description. They will understand what a perfect historical property is all about. Those, who find perfection in having a luxurious suite with Frette linen, and the room at exactly the right temperature, are not going to find it here.

    How is it possible, one asks, for a hotel to command such a high price? Well, look at the setting; do a little research on how the Ahwahnee was designed and built, how it is maintained, and how much it must cost to be maintained. The Ahwahnee is the jewel of the National Park Service. It blends almost seemlessly with its surroundings. It takes one back to an era without cell phones, wifi, or t.v. -- even though the Ahwahnee does have all of these features, and in the main building (not the cottages)the rooms do have the really needed air conditioning. Each room (and I have been, one time or another, in most of them) is unique. Some have balconies; some overlook the pool, or the meadow, or Yosemite Falls.

    Like Disney designed Disneyland, this building was designed to capture the beauty of the Valley, and constructed in such a manner that in the event of a fire, it would not burn down! Yes, if one studied the wooden beams and siding, it's hard to tell that it's cement that is patterned and stained to resemble wood.

    Other interesting outdoor features are the pond out front, and if you look very hard in the valet parking lot area, you will find grooves in the flat granite stones that were used by the Miwok indians as a morter to grind acorns.

    The rooms themselves are curiously charming, and have the quirkiness of historic original bathroom flooring and built in cabinets, while the beds are comfy, and yes, CNN can be found on the cable t.v.

    The small round pool is a delight to relax in following a hot day of hiking the cliffs or biking the trails.

    Although most people are enchanted with the dining room, where there remains a certain dress code (although in recent years that code has been relaxed to the point of almost non-existence), I prefer the bar that, of course, was not added until after the end of the Prohibition Era in the early 30's. The bar food is delightful and varied. The soups that change daily -- especially the potato and leek soup, are fresh and flavorful.

    The Ahwahnee is one of those places where, if you hae the good fortune even to spend one night, you really "get" why people keep coming back.

    by Surfergirl, 9/13/12

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