The Ahwahnee at Yosemite-Worth It?

Old Sep 2nd, 2002, 06:33 AM
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The Ahwahnee at Yosemite-Worth It?

Is this place worth the money that they charge for a night's stay? I am looking for someplace to stay in Yosemite next April, but after paying over $300 a night for a suite at El Tovar at the Grand Canyon, I just don't know if it is worth it. The room was nice, but actually not as nice as some of the other places we stayed at on our trip. What we actually were paying for was the view from the deck, and being cloudy most of the time, never got a good sunrise or sunset. So what is it that makes it so special as to be worth the amount they charge? Or is there someplace else I can stay, in a really nice setting, that would be a lot better value?
Old Sep 2nd, 2002, 06:51 AM
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The reasons it's so expensive are the remote location, the fact that there's no local competition, and that it's a government-sponsored operation.

Don't try comparing what $300 gets you there versus downtown San Francisco. You WILL be disappointed then.

The Ahwahnee is not a luxury hotel. Don't go in expecting that. It's nice enough, but more rustic than nice. The draw is, of course, the location. Ahwahnee would be a $90 a night hotel if it were in Sacramento.
Old Sep 2nd, 2002, 10:26 AM
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The Ahwahnee was built in 1927 and is a historical building. Although they have recently done some refurbishing of the rooms, the building itself is little changed from when it was first built. Thus, it is an older style of constuction and architecture. There are only about 100 rooms in the hotel itself (there are also 24 cabins, but they don't have a/c). The demand for the Ahwahnee, especially during the tourist season is quite high so early reservations are a must. It is the nicest place to stay in the park, with the best location. The dining room is interesting to look at, but the food is only slightly better than average, although better than anything else you can find in the park. Given that, the location, and the limited number of rooms, the Ahwahnee is also by far the most expensive place to stay in the park. The views from many of the rooms are fantastic which makes part of the price worthwhile. However, if you are looking for a Starwood or a Hyatt, the Ahwahnee is not that. Perhaps it is the rustic charm, the history, or just the location, but we have enjoyed staying there many times over the years and will continue to do so in the future.
Old Sep 2nd, 2002, 10:43 AM
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Probably not, if you are asking the question. If money is no object, then sure. The best thing about the Ahwahnee is that it's in Yosemite. And you get the best of Yosemite by being outside! The things you might enjoy about the hotel you can enjoy while staying in cheaper accommodations (and the range goes from tent cabins to luxury). You can hang out in the common areas, enjoy the views from the great rooms, eat in the dining rooms.
Old Sep 2nd, 2002, 10:56 AM
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Its location. If you are staying and hiking it is nice to be right there. I have also stayed at the Wawona which was pleasant enough, but even more charmingly rustic-- it is just the price you pay to sleep on a bed vs. in a tent and not worry about bears.
Old Sep 3rd, 2002, 03:46 AM
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I've been wondering about the Ahwahnee as well. I've seen the PBS series featuring this hotel and been to the web site--neither of which gave me a very clear description of the actual guest rooms. I gather that, apart from the fabulous view, they're nothing special. Are they at least well-maintained (clean, facilities in good repair, not too shabby, tastefully decorated)? I also know that specific rooms are not assigned until arrival. Does this mean that you may end up in one of the cabins as opposed to being given a room in the hotel itself? Has anyone ever stayed in one of the suites?
Old Sep 3rd, 2002, 07:12 AM
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Yes, the Ahwahnee is worth it. We have stayed there in the Spring and again this last Winter. The rooms are not large, but they are nice and have beautiful views. The lodge is gorgeous. If you plan to stay, make your reservations soon.
Old Sep 3rd, 2002, 11:08 AM
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If you can afford it, it is worth it. If you can't, then stay somewhere else in the park. The real beauty is Yosemite itself and you can enjoy that staying anywhere in the park.
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