NPR Reviews Provided by
rogerbowman from: San Diego, California
Published Date: Dec, 20, 2020 Travel Date: Dec, 1, 2020 Rating: 4
beat the crowds and go offseason during a pandemic
You can’t beat staying in the Valley and being able to start hikes just by walking out the front door. Towering cliffs all around.
Built as a “grand hotel”, it is, well, grand. The lobbies, dining room and lounge areas are large with splendid architecture and well appointed. The trees around the hotel have grown since the hotel, so the view of Half Dome is mostly blocked. We watched a coyote meander across the hotel’s lawn, clearly more interested in finding morsels of left over lunches than fearful of humans.
The room met my wife’s primary criteria: (1) comfortable bed and pillows, (2) a window that opens (we had doors to a small balcony), (3) a makeup mirror. Because it’s an historic hotel, the rooms are modest and not large, but were nicely appointed. The view from the balcony was quite nice. There's a mini-fridge, but no coffee maker. Free coffee is served in the dining room, though.
Challenging times, and I give the Ahwanhee a 6 out of 10 for coping. The staff remained courteous behind their masks. Dining was restricted to take-out, which in practice meant placing your order at a counter, waiting for your name to be called to pick up your food in a paper bag, and then looking for a place to eat. Quite a few tables remained in the dining room, so, if available, you could carry your “take out” food 20-50 feet from the pickup point and eat out of cardboard containers using crummy plastic cutlery. You could also take it to your room, but ours, at least, had no table and only one chair, so not so appealing. I did not understand why management thought it was any safer to eat out of disposable containers rather than off of plates. Also, it was odd that hotel staff didn't clean up the food trash people put outside their rooms.
- Sleep Quality: 5
- Cleanliness: 4
- Service: 3
cariannemclellan from: Riviera Maya, Mexico
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Dec, 1, 2020 Travel Date: Nov, 1, 2020 Rating: 1
Once a Beautiful Dream
The dream of visiting this magical place began almost a decade ago. Which is a reminder to everyone not to let your expectations build up over things.
When I first arrived in Yosemite I was awestruck with its natural beauty and surroundings. The Ahwahnee lodge looked to be the perfect place to appreciate the spectacle of nature.
I was actually tingling with excitement when I walked through the lobby and began the check in process, however that is where the thrill ended.
Bubbling with energy we conveyed our reservation information to the front desk clerk who had an attitude similar to that of the finest French restaurant’s employees, impervious to her surroundings and overall looking at us as an undignified sub-species checking into her magnificent resort.
She was abrupt, condescending and extremely unhelpful and really took the wind out of our sails upon arrival to this supposed enchanted property.
But that didn’t stop us from having a great time, and later when we stopped by the front desk to inquire about the possibility of a one-hour late check out from their 10am time we were met with a gentleman who, using a very similar approach & complete lack of sincerity in conjunction with an almost boastful manner explain that such requests were impossible at this property.
We inquired at the front desk for the password for the internet was. We were told abruptly that we had already been given that information with our room key. We explained sheepishly that we were already set up in the bar downstairs with food and drinks and were hoping not to walk all the way back to the room to retrieve.
In the end it’s not that we were given communication which was improper or poor but rather the manner in which the staff conveyed their responses which left us feeling as if we were insignificant and extremely transitional.
Where you go is important. Who you meet makes the experience much richer. Sadly our takeaway of this great establishment is far from warm and welcoming and having experienced it once, that is enough.
(Mold in bathroom, severely aged TV with distorted pictures, large stain on white comforter, and very old musty smell)
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Nov, 27, 2020 Travel Date: Nov, 1, 2020 Rating: 2
The worst service I have ever experienced in my life
I have never written a Tripadvisor review before, but I felt I absolutely had to write one to keep others from having the experience I have had.
I was so looking forward to a stay at the Ahwanee -- I love these places with a sense of history, and the location is perfect. I have stayed in multiple national parks, and I am not expecting the Four Seasons. I have also seen how many places are handling COVID, and I don't expect things to be the same in the midst of a pandemic.
But I expect, if I am staying in a >$1000/night suite (one of a handful in the hotel), that I should be able to (1) use the hotel room phone without it being broken, (2) have the sofa bed made up if I asked for this in advance twice, (3) not be lied to about what clientele were allowed to use the dining room (I was explicitly told that given COVID only hotel guests would be served in the hotel dining room, which I then found out was not the case), (4) be able to obtain linens without having to hunt down a housekeeper, (5) have a coffee maker in the room, as promised in the amenities list and by the hotel staff when I called, and (6) be able to order takeout from the hotel restaurant (which does not offer room service) without waiting in a long, crowded, totally not socially-distanced line (see pic).
This last point is the most egregious. There is literally no way that having people line up and place orders, then wait 20-30min in person to pick their orders up, is efficient or safe in the midst of a pandemic. If the hotel thinks that room service and daily housekeeping increase risk and should be suspended, that is fine. But they should then do their best to offer alternative, safe ways to serve their guests. Orders should be placeable by phone or online. This is just poor planning, laziness/cutting corners on the hotel's part, or both. And it is hypocritical.
Also, the hotel needs a face-lift stat. The furnishings are on par with Howard Johnson, even in the >$1000 Sunporch Suite. The lamps are rickety and too dark. The electricity outlet covers are falling off. It's like staying in the Shining hotel (yes, I know there's that connection), on the off season, with everything breaking, and dark, with no service.
My advice: take photos of the hotel from the outside. That is the best part. Stay elsewhere until this hotel figures itself out. It's such a shame. There is so much potential.
SurfTwiceDaily from: Manhattan Beach, California
Published Date: Oct, 31, 2020 Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2020 Rating: 4
COVID Review: As Much As I Want To Give 5 Stars, Just Couldn't Do It
Booked the hotel a couple weeks after it just reopened from COVID. So there was no restaurant on site, but kitchen was available for room service and take out to their patio. Utilized the bar and complimentary coffee service in the morning.
Staff was excellent and very knowledgeable. Had piano player in the great room every night that was nice to enjoy.
Can't give it 5 stars due to the condition of our room. It is older furniture and just needs a little freshening up. Carpet in the hallways is lightly strained, other minor, visible maintenance issues everywhere. Paying $600+ a night didn't expect this.
Good to go one time and enjoy in the Summer, would like to go back once in the Winter when the three huge fireplaces are roaring.
Room Tip: Room 430 is the best non-suite room as its on the top floor and end corner with its own nice small balcony offering majestic views of the granite walls and trees.
- Value: 4
- Sleep Quality: 5
- Service: 5
38JohnD38 from: Powder Springs, Georgia
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Oct, 29, 2020 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2020 Rating: 1
Don’t Waste Your Money
Back in my younger days, I stayed at some less than impressive budget hotels but almost all were better than my 700.00 a night stay at the Ahwahnee. Rude service, horrible food, rooms that are more dated and more wear and tear than El Capitan.
It is obvious in my opinion that this hotel is using COVID as an excuse to cut costs with much reduced service and services while keeping their prices at pre-COVID prices or higher. I should have brought a tent to Yosemite. Please don’t make the same mistake as me.