YOSEMITE LODGE OR AHWAHNEE

Old Sep 13th, 2002, 04:15 AM
  #1  
sami
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YOSEMITE LODGE OR AHWAHNEE

Checking out these two hotels in Yosemite, I see that the Ahwahnee cost almost $200 more a night. What is it about this hotel that warrants such a price difference? Is it that much nicer or the location that much better? I will be going to Yosemite in spring, does that give an advantage to one location over the other?
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 08:52 AM
  #2  
gail
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check out the web for pictures. I think you will see the difference. One is very basic in amenities and structure and one is of historical significance. The locations are pretty close. If you have never been and have the $, go for the Awahnee.It is especially beautiful in the winter with snow.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 09:08 AM
  #3  
Cathy
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Grab a room at the Ahwahnee first then ask questions later. The Lodge cannot even be compared to the Ahahwanee !!! I have stayed at both.We used to have to book a full year in advance for the Ahwahnee !!!Spring is the best if there is not a late snow..You will love it..Best place on earth.Ask for a room looking towards Half Dome..
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 10:41 AM
  #4  
kam
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We are going for the fourth time to the Ahwanhee. Make it a policy that if we can't stay there, we don't go to Yosemite. You can book online one year and one day ahead----get going quickly for spring. The Ahwanhee is historic, interesting, and just a great part of Yosemite. Yosemite Lodge is just a fairly good place to sleep.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #5  
lisa
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I think it depends.

First of all, I do think Yosemite Lodge has the best location in the park.

Without question, the Ahwahnee is much, much nicer. Whether it's $200 more a night nicer is in the eye of the beholder. If I were going on a honeymoon or for a romantic getaway, I would definitely choose the Ahwahnee over Yosemite Lodge, no question. However, I went to Yosemite by myself for three days this summer and had the choice of staying at the Ahwahnee or at Yosemite Lodge, and I chose Yosemite Lodge and was glad I did. First, I was hardly in the room except to sleep, so a room at the Ahwahnee would have been wasted on me -- during daylight hours I was out hiking, taking photographs, and seeing as much of the park as I could. Second, the location of Yosemite Lodge was perfect -- not only is it just a short walk from Yosemite Falls, but it has its own store, bike rental shop, pool, ice cream stand, cafeteria, an amphitheatre with films and lectures and presentations every evening, an excellent restaurant, tour desk, etc. Plus, some of the rooms have great views of the falls. The rooms are pretty spartan (like your basic Quality Inn or the like) and do not have TVs. However, I was not at Yosemite to watch TV so I didn't care. I did eat dinner at the Ahwahnee one night and enjoyed it very much, but I thought the restaurant behind Yosemite Lodge was very similar in quality. Both were overpriced, but the one at Yosemite Lodge was slightly less so. And it was nice to have the option of the cafeteria at Yosemite Lodge when you just wanted to grab a bagel and coffee in the morning.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 04:11 PM
  #6  
Patty
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I think lisa sums it up very well. For us, going to Yosemite is about hiking and being outdoors, so unless it was a special occasion, I could not justify spending the extra $200 a night. Do stop in for a meal or drinks though.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 04:28 PM
  #7  
mary
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I totally agree with Lisa's comments on Yosemite Lodge--it's convenient and, actually, pretty nice. Whether it's worth more to stay at the Ahwanee is a totally subjective decision. Either way, staying in the valley, I believe will make your visit to this beautiful place easier and more special. If you decide not to stay at the Ahwanee, make sure you visit and maybe enjoy a meal there--it's so beautiful!
 
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 03:16 PM
  #8  
lucille
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Personally I would have a hard time justifying a $200 difference, especially if it is more than one night, for a hotel in a national park that you are there for it's scenic value. I would say including the Ahwahnee as part of what you see in the park, maybe even having a meal there. I would rather stay at the Yosemite Lodge and spend an extra night if I had the time.
 
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 03:22 PM
  #9  
Grasshopper
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In my opinion, stay at Yosemite Lodge and vist the Ahwanee. Have dinner or lunch there, hang out in the common areas, wander the grounds, take lots of pictures. The rooms are not worth the money and the glory of Yosemite is all outside anyway.
 
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 07:48 PM
  #10  
jan
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If you judge exclusively by physical qualities, Ahwahnee may be the most overpriced hotel in America. It's just not THAT nice. It's certainly not a luxury hotel.
Its location and public areas are the big draws.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 10:24 AM
  #11  
don
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Though I have never been to Yosemite (though I am in the process of planning to go) I would choose the Yosemite Lodge. This past spring, I visited the Grand Canyon. After reading several people that posted here that said that El Tovar was the "only" place to stay in the park, I booked a suite, costing over $300 a night. What a disappointment! The room was nice, but by no means luxurious. The great view, which because it was cloudy, never was that great and could be seen ground level just outside the hotel. i really wished that I had stayed at one of the cheaper lodges and saved my money for somewhere else along the trip. When it comes down to it, you probably aren't going to Yosemite for a great place to stay, you are going there to see all the beauty that nature has to offer.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 05:18 PM
  #12  
Nancy
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Don makes an excellent point.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 05:33 PM
  #13  
Shannon
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My 2 cents: there's the difference of one being equivalent to a motel and the other to a hotel; then there's the historical hotel aspect -- one is, one isn't; finally there's the difference in amenities. The Ahwahnee has t.v., a/c, fluffy towels, nice beds, toiletries, hair dryers, and a feel like you were spending the night at a rich grandmother's house, where everything was kept in the original style (little mosaic tiled bathroom floors, panelled doors, and the like). It's like going back in time, very carefully preserved. Free coffee and tea in the morning. Small, round pool in a lovely setting.

On the other hand, the public areas of the Ahwahnee are accessible to non-guests, so you can have dinner there or a drink and food in the bar, etc.

Yosemite Lodge (and they are both in beautiful settings) has by far the better pool. Assuming it's warm enough to go in it. You also have the added attraction of getting a closer view from the property of Yosemite Falls, which in Spring will be just about hitting its peak.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 05:45 PM
  #14  
lucille
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Shannon, I think we all agree that the Ahwahnee is a nicer place, but $200 a night nicer? Especially when you are going for a great nature experience, not a great hotel experience. I guess it is all in what you are going there for.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 04:55 PM
  #15  
kam
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I disagree with Lucille. When we go to Yosemite we go for a fantastic nature experience and a great historic hotel experience. We are fortunate that Yosemite is fairly close by so that we don't have to make such decisions. Don't worry, whichever hotel you choose you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of Yosemite.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 06:17 PM
  #16  
Amy
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Last time we were in Yosemite (also springtime) we stayed at the Lodge. We couldn't get a room at the Ahwahnee because we booked on short notice, however, we did go and check out the hotel. A very nice staff member went through an album of room photos with us so we could get a sense of the accomodations. We thought they looked very nice and cozy, but not luxury level. I think really what you're paying for is the atmosphere and the history. Anywhere else, there's no way they could fill the hotel at those rates. Plus, we actually liked the location of The Lodge better because of the nearby amenities that others have mentioned.

I would suggest that if you decide not to stay at the Ahwahnee, you go for dinner in their dining room. We got there a bit early, enjoyed some drinks and spent some time in front of the fireplace, then sat down to a lovely meal. The dining room is really very beautiful at night, lit up by candlelight. After dinner, we walked around the hotel a bit and explored. I really enjoyed it.
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 01:25 PM
  #17  
Dan
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Seems to me that if you can afford it without making a big sacrifice, you will want to stay at the Ahwahnee. If you can't, stay at the Lodge.
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 04:47 PM
  #18  
Patty
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It's not even that Dan... I would pay that rate at a hotel if I planned to spend a great deal of time on the property or in the room. Or if I felt that the hotel's amenities & facilities or level of luxury warranted that price. As far as staying at the Ahwahnee, I don't feel that either is the case.
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 06:01 PM
  #19  
Tony
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I have to agree with Dan. In my youth, my family went tent camping in the park. In college, I backpacked throughout the park. With my own children, we generally stayed at the Lodge. Now, my wife and I always stay at the Ahwahnee on our annual visits. We do it because we can comfortably afford it and because after staying there several times, there is no question that both the amenities and ambiance of the Ahwahnee are (at least in our opinion) far superior to anything offered at the Lodge. The Ahwahnee is a very relaxing place to stay for a few days. It is true that you are paying a luxury resort price for something that is not a luxury resort. However, even at the Lodge, you are substantially overpaying for the quality of what you get. Its just a case of the prices of both being determined by a very limited supply and a great deal of demand. On the other hand, if I couldn't comfortably afford the Ahwanee I would stay in the Lodge in a second because, as others have said, the real beauty of the place is the park itself.
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 06:26 PM
  #20  
don
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As I said in an earlier post on this question, I am in the process of planning a trip to Yosemite. On their website I have a price of $356 for Ahwahnee and $138 for Yosemite Lodge. It's not so much a question of whether I can afford the difference, but considering my trip will also include Tahoe, Monterey and San Francisco, whether that money (aprox. $450 for two nights) couldn't find a better way of adding to the trip?
 

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