NPR Reviews Provided by
johnnnita from: Napa, California, United States
Published Date: Sep, 9, 2020 Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2020 Rating: 2
SAD THAT IT'S STILL THE SAME!
Let me explain. We've visited The Ahwahnee a number of years ago, maybe a few decades. Then, it was considered a special place to dine, stay or experience. Our dining experience was somewhat special and certainly for the first time, it was a "bucket list" type of experience. Both the food and service was pleasant as I recall. Afterwards, we walked around inside and outside to take in all the history and feel. It was special then.
This visit was to return and check out what has or has not changed due to the coronavirus. So, we did take that in to consideration. Certainly, the physical adjustments the property and staff had to make have impacted the guest perception. So, walking inside was certainly strange to say the least. Very few services and outlets were open/available. Those that were reflected mandated restrictions. I do feel somewhat bad about how the staff must feel. At least, they are working and open.
Factoring out the pandemic issues, inside the decor and set up was pretty much just like it was decades ago. Some may say that's how it should be. For us, it seemed they could have added or moved some things around to reflect positive changes. It didn't appear that way anything had been added/modified/redone, etc.
For example, as you are about to enter the mens' lobby restroom area, there is a framed sketch/painting of the Ahwahnee during Christmas holidays. When I saw it the first time decades ago, I thought it was a little treasure that should have been placed in a more prominent location. It was still there. In fact, I took a photo of it (attached).
Now, thank goodness nothing has changed outside of the Ahwahnee. It still looks splendid from the grounds level with the valley nature in the background. That still leaves hope that management/ownership will make physical changes internally that will keep guests returning.
While we are just one reviewer, you can review the ratings here on TripAdvisor and even Google Maps. The ratings sadly speak for themselves.
- Rooms: 3
- Cleanliness: 3
- Service: 3
Boraxo from: Danville, California
Published Date: Sep, 6, 2020 Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2020 Rating: 5
A real treat with amazing service
This is a top notch hotel - right up there with Ritz Carlton, St. Regis and other top brands. The service was much better than any other hotel in the state - most of which only provide a bed due to COVID. The Ahwahnee kitchen is open for all meals and the food is tremendous. You can eat at one of the many patio tables or even in the great room. The hotel rooms are very nicely appointed - a bit tight for a family of four but it worked for us. The pool is still open though chairs are limited. Parking is easy and just a few steps from the hotel. Very happy we stayed here as it is the only hotel in the park with air conditioning. The only minus was the broken wifi. Will definitely return.
- Rooms: 5
- Sleep Quality: 5
- Service: 5
LakeTahoeTravelers from: Lake Tahoe (California), California
Published Date: Sep, 2, 2020 Travel Date: Dec, 1, 2019 Rating: 5
Christmas at The Ahwahnee!
Sorry it's taken awhile to get to this review. It's been a crazy year!
Yosemite National Park is one of our favorite destinations, and it's where we go to "reconnect" with nature. While we had always wanted to stay at The Ahwahnee, spending Christmas there was on our Bucket List.
So we made reservations early in 2019 for December, and were lucky to get one of the LAST rooms available (about nine months in advance)! We booked two nights - December 24th & 25th - and got a king-size bed room with views of the surrounding peaks. We also made dinner reservations (a must) as soon as they were available, and are so glad we did!
We drove down from our home at Lake Tahoe early Christmas Eve, and crossed Tioga Pass in the snow! Talk about magical! We arrived at the hotel around 4:00 pm and got checked in without any problem. The hotel was sold out for the holiday, and the energy was FESTIVE.
All of the rooms at the hotel were recently upgraded, before it reverted back to The Ahwahnee name (a long story in its own right). Our room was huge, and comfortable. It maintained a lot of its original charm while being a bit more up-to-date. Like most national park lodges, there is no television (who needs it?) And the WiFi service is excruciatingly slow. But that's part of "getting away" from everyday life. The bathroom was small, but clean and well laid-out.
We unpacked and dressed for Christmas Eve dinner. We went down to the Ahwahnee Bar and enjoyed cocktails before dinner, and were seated immediately when we checked in for our dinner reservation.
The Ahwahnee Dining Room is spectacular, especially decorated for the holidays. We've stayed - and dined - at MANY national park lodges, so didn't have great expectations for our meal (sorry, but it's true). Fortunately, the hotel surpassed our low expectations. The service, and the meal, were outstanding.
The next morning was Christmas and we were told when we checked in that they were offering a special Christmas brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. Fortunately, we were able to get a last-minute reservation as it was almost entirely sold out! Again, the brunch was BEYOND excellent - we were seated at around 10:30 am and mostly breakfast items were on offer. So we gorged on Eggs Benedict, delicious housemade scones, and champagne, etc. Then at around Noon they started to switch the breakfast items for lunch and we continued feasting!
The only negative we encountered was our last dinner on Christmas Day. Apparently, there had been some "staffing" challenges and we had to wait almost 45 minutes to be seated after our reservation. It took 30 minutes just to get something to drink and to place our meal order. Our appetizer didn't arrive for almost an hour, and when it did we cancelled the rest of the meal, as we really weren't that hungry anyway (after their amazing Christmas brunch!) You can't win them all.
All of our encounters with staff at the hotel were excellent, and we had no problems (other than the last dinner in the dining room). We ended up eating breakfast and lunch in The Ahwahnee Bar, and have nothing but good things to say about the food and service.
Yes, the rooms are expensive. But that is the norm for national park lodges, especially The Ahwahnee, one of the crown jewels of the national park service, and at Christmas as well! We've stayed at many national park lodges and eaten at their restaurants and can truly say that - for once - we didn't feel like we overpaid for what we got. And the service was among the best we've had in years.
- Location: 5
- Cleanliness: 5
- Service: 5
MLehmanEsq from: West Hollywood, California
Published Date: Aug, 27, 2020 Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2020 Rating: 3
A Remarkable Landmark but Ultimately Disappointing
I view the Ahwahnee as a totally mismanaged but potentially superb property. This lodge is a national gem that seriously needs upgrading. The hotel is poorly maintained and is in serious need of refurbishment, redesign and improved hospitality management. Throughout the hotel there is paint chipping and wood that needs repainting and refinishing, old light fixtures, some of which didn't work - shameful for such a landmark! A musty smell pervades the hotel hallways and some rooms. The design of the rooms and facilities is what you'd expect from a 3 star motel, not an exceptional property demanding $600/night for a room. The hotel is a remarkable architectural landmark with great bones in an unparalleled location but it was so sad to see how much tender loving care it really needs.
We totally understand the challenges of running a hotel during COVID; however it is pitiful that outdoor dining was NOT offered at the Ahwahnee Dining Room as is being offered by top notch hotels and restaurants all across California. There are numerous gorgeous outdoor areas on the hotel grounds with existing seating (and new seating and lighting could easily have been added) that could beautifully accommodate outdoor dining with full service, yet management chose the easy route of only offering "to go" and take away dining services in a box. After months during which the dining room could have converted to full service outdoor dining, there is no excuse that the excellent food at the Ahwahnee dining room was not available as an outdoor dining experience.
I understand the challenges of providing internet service in a remote mountain setting; however the wi fi service was really poor and I could not conduct business online while at the property. Again, there is no excuse for this. There are many new internet platforms that would allow improved wi fi even in this remote valley location and management must invest in its wifi and services if it wants to satisfy the demands of today's travelers.
There is no reason why the Ahwahnee should not be a gem with design and service like you so often find in European mountain resorts or in top notch US venues. It's high time that management invest the money and attention that this superb landmark deserves
- Rooms: 3
- Sleep Quality: 4
- Service: 4
Mirabel R from: Marina del Rey, California
Published Date: Aug, 26, 2020 Travel Date: Jun, 1, 2020 Rating: 3
Historic & Overpriced
I came here in June about ten days after the re-opened the property. I heard this property was amazing before the new management group took it over, so I hope it will go back to what it once was. The only reason they can charge so much is because it's in the middle of the park . We stayed in a double room and it was honestly nothing special. They had been closed for months and you think they would have thoroughly cleaned the rooms, well they didn't! We went through that room with our Clorox wipes and the amount of dirt that was on them was shocking, we found cobwebs in the light fixtures and the bathtub was not scrubbed clean so we just wore flip flops while showering. The only changes the really made were removing bedding that couldn't be washed and not having housekeeping services while you are there. Our trash was overfilling so we left it in the hallway, as that was the only way to have it emptied.
The front desk staff was nice and knowledgeable. Covid and social distancing measures were taken. Most of the guests were wearing masks and all of the staff wore masks. nThe bar and pool were open with social distancing measures in place. The restaurant was turned into a buffet, where you point to the food you want behind a barrier, and the food was decent considering what they had to do.
- Rooms: 2
- Location: 5
- Service: 3