NPR Reviews Provided by
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Vanessa S from: Walnut Creek, California
Published Date: Oct, 26, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 2
Terrible, but you have to stay here
There were four of us staying in the room, if you include the mouse that paid us a visit. The mouse was there to eat the Doritos left by the previous guests - they must have missed the garbage can and the chips were between the garbage can and the wall. We noticed it when we first arrived so not sure how the cleaner overlooked them. We had bunk beds in the room which seemed OK until you got in bed, there was a space between the mattress and the wood bed frame where I was going to place my book and reading glasses. It was full of grime, old coins and debris. Really gross. There were vents to the outside deck that didn't properly close and with temperatures getting down to the 20s at night, it got a bit chilly. They only provide one thin blanket for each bed. The deck had an amazing view but badly needed painting. They know, during Covid, that many people will be dining in their room, and there is (understandably) no daily maid service - so do they prepare for that? No, you get one tiny gallon sized trash can, towels and coffee enough for one morning. The line to get food was usually 20 minutes long. I will say that the employees were gracious.
But where else is there to stay other than The Ahwahnee? The location is fabulous! This place is a disgrace, they should do better.
- Value: 1
- Sleep Quality: 3
- Service: 4
Christy0712 from: New York City, New York
Published Date: Oct, 25, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 1
Terrible experience and an embarrassment to our national park system. Obviously, Yosemite is a beautiful park, but the hotel is no better than a very low quality motel. It was, however, clean.
1. Front desk staff was polite, but not overly pleasant or welcoming.
2. Check in is 5pm & check out is 10am which I have never seen before anywhere. There are no exceptions to check out & if you go over the time limit they have a payment schedule in place.
3. Room is bare bones - they do not even provide blankets unless you request them & even then they are old & very thin.
4. Food is one step up from prison food. Just awful. You cannot even get a decent cup of coffee - it tasted as though they had run water through with the same coffee grounds several times. The food is expensive and such low quality. We were so shocked that we looked up the company & discovered that Aramark provides ALL the food to many of our beautiful national parks. Since Aramark has a monopoly and a 15 year contract with Yosemite (nice), they obviously do not care about quality one iota. It is a publicly traded billion dollar corporation which oddly, also provides food to many of our nation's prisons. Disgraceful company & one that has been mired in numerous scandals. Even the workers seemed embarrassed to serve the slop we were forced to eat. Closest restaurant outside of Yosemite is one hour away. Surely our national parks which attract visitors from all over the world can do better than this!!!!
krawner from: Chicago, Illinois
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Oct, 20, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 3
Amazing location but run down and overpriced
If this hotel were not in Yosemite, it would probably be below average, especially at $315/ night after tax. Doesn’t even quite stand up to Motel 6 quality. The rooms are variable in quality (as a group we had several rooms). Overall, the carpets are worn and dirty (see photo below). The windows in multiple rooms were broken and didn’t close. There’s no air conditioning. The room in the Azalea building was at least a 5-7 minute walk from the parking lot. (There are multiple buildings for Yosemite Valley Lodge, all spread out.). Check in is late at 5PM and check out is early at 10AM. The Base Camp Eatery line reaches 50 people long at dinner.
Pros: it’s really convenient to stay in Yosemite Valley. The national park is quite large and just driving from the entrance to the valley can be 45 minutes. The rooms include shampoo, conditioner, lotion. There’s a mini fridge, Tv, and coffee maker (but don’t expect a microwave). There’s slow cell service (1 bar with Verizon) and slow WiFi (don’t expect to be able to do a Zoom meeting). The park isn’t as crowded since it has limited the number of visitors. It’s nice that you are guaranteed entrance with a lodge reservation (but expect to pay $35/ vehicle/ week, able to enter and exit). The lodge is walking distance to Yosemite Falls.
Tips: bring your own cooler and food to save time and money. Have a full tank of gas when entering the park. There is no gas in Yosemite Valley and you will use up gas driving to Glacier Point and other places with the park. Bring a re-usable water bottle. Don’t store food in your car (bear lockers are available at most parking lots). Bring a flashlight or headlamp (your hotel room could be down a dark path like ours was). Enjoy!
DesertblondAZ from: Phoenix, Arizona
Published Date: Oct, 19, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 4
Great place to stay for a short fall trip
We stayed October 9-11 (2 nights). The accommodation was nice and clean. The location was great. However, there is no air conditioning so I can not imagine staying in the warmer months. The room had 2 table fans provided and we kept the windows open. We stayed in the Tamarack building to be as close as possible to Yosemite Falls.
Also, I'm not sure if it was just the time of year that we visited, but be careful where you park as some trees literally were raining sap. We luckily noticed this quickly and moved our car.
As previously mentioned the lines at the Base Camp Eatery were insane. It wasn't necessarily the number of people, but how SLOW the line moved. I can't imagine what happens during actual full park capacity. We experienced the same at the Degnan's Kitchen at lunch time. On Saturday night, we dined in at the Mountain Lounge where we were able to order pizza which was delivered to our table.
The stores/gift shops/markets sell lots of food and alcohol at gas station prices and the hotel rooms have a mini fridge. Blow dryers available upon request.
- Value: 4
- Location: 5
- Service: 4
Published Date: Oct, 16, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 4
Perfect Location, amazing trip, okay accommodations, food service needs more staff
First, location is the best in the Valley. Biked everywhere, nearby hikes, etc. Great location, amazing family vacation. Great atmosphere. However, food lines (especially at the Base Camp Eatery) were AWFUL! One person serving food, one person as cashier, it was RIDICULOUSLY SLOW. Took nearly 50 minutes to get diner the first night, and the park was somewhat empty. I presume that means it was also understaffed, but just very frustrating. Also, bathroom shower/tub was very slow to drain. Called person on the first night, made it a little better, but drain was still very slow when wife and kids would shower. But can't beat the location. Overall, WILL stay here again, but certainly hope there will be more staff at the eateries.
- Rooms: 4
- Sleep Quality: 4
- Service: 4