You're staying at Yosemite River Lodge because either:
1. You could not afford the Ahwahnee hotel.
2. You did not book in time for any of the other places within Yosemite.
So you're now at the closest lodging to the entrance of Yosemite. So as everyone always says, it's all about Location, Location, Location. You pay > $200/night in Manhattan, do you not? Even for the "decent" places? So why would you expect to pay dirt for a place within minutes of the entrance??? Yes, the rooms are not 4 star, but you're not paying for the luxurious rooms, you're paying for the fact that your day won't start with a 2 hour drive just to get into Yosemite!
Our room was a little dusty under the beds/floors, but it was clean in the sense that I've seen MUCH worse in much higher end hotel rooms. I've seen mold/mildew in bathrooms of high end places, but didn't in our room at the YRL. After getting used to modern bed spreads where they are freshly laundered like sheets, the old coverlet on the beds make you cringe a little when you see them (and wonder what is on them that you can't see).
The kitchenette was a nice touch, especially planning the trip into Yosemite for the day. They had IKEA dishes, and provided dishwashing detergent. My only complaint was that there were no paper towels, but luckily we had some in the car.
At the check-in, there is a small convenience store with almost anything you will need in a pinch.
There are pools every other building (there are multiple with most river-facing), with a hot tub next to ours.
Parking is free, and you can find a spot relatively close to your building.
As everyone has said, internet is $9/device, and is set up independently, not through the front desk.
Our check-in person was lovely, but our check-out person needed more training in customer service. She (woman with long white hair) kept insisting that I made a phone call during our 1 night there. I told her I did not, but she told me, "Maybe you made a phone call to your relatives. I need to check it out." Ummm....wouldn't I KNOW if I made a phone call to MY relatives??? Perhaps she should have said, "I'm sorry, but it's protocol to cross check this call with our records. Do you mind waiting while I check?" But NOOOOO. She kept insisting that I was lying and made a phone call. And lo and behold, when she checked the records, NO CALL. And for that, I dock 1 on the rating.
The restaurant next to the lodge was decent. Food was okay. Entrees and pastas come with an all-you-can eat salad and soup bar. The staff though could use a little training as well since the host clearly doesn't know how to make sure customers leave happy (a waiter showed him 2 entrees from people who decided to leave because the food was so inedible that the waiter agreed and the chef told him to take the entree off the specials, but the host made the waiter charge the diners the cost of the salad bar since they ate food while waiting for their entrees...REALLY???)
Overall, I would stay here again. It really is all about the location. But just be warned not to have high expectations, and you'll be just fine.
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- Also Known As:
- Yosemite View Hotel El Portal
- Yosemite View Motel