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“Inconsistent - Spa 5*, Location 4*/5*, Rooms 3/4*, Food/Service/WIFI 2*”

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fish Camp
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Minneapolis
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Inconsistent - Spa 5*, Location 4*/5*, Rooms 3/4*, Food/Service/WIFI 2*”
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We stayed at Tenaya Lodge for our Honeymoon at the end of October opting to stay outside of the park for the benefit of having the amenities of an on-site spa and dining options. As it was the end of October following the park shutdown, the park itself and therefore the hotel were relatively "empty" as compared to the normal tourist season. Given our experience in the "off-season" I can only imagine what the pressure of more guests must do to this location... I wanted to love this place, but this is a 5* rated property that really only deserves a 3* designation due mainly to inconsistency.

There is much to like at this property most of which revolves around the spa. We used the spa for both booked services as well as simply enjoying the steam/sauna area. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and our service providers were excellent. The facility is well maintained and the treatment rooms were spacious and quiet. Amenities (shampoo/conditioner etc...) are hotel branded and adequate. Services were excellent.

The hotel is located on the south end of the park with Mariposa Grove being the closest of the park attractions to visit. It's about a 20 minute drive to Wawona and a good 45 minutes or more to the Valley. We found plenty of less traveled, challenging hiking options that we enjoyed without going into the Valley, but if you want to wake up surrounded by the sights of the Yosemite in the pictures, you might opt to stay in the park. In late fall, chains are a good idea - you can buy them in Oakhurst prior to coming up the hill.

We stayed in one of the cottages - Elderberry. The layout is a bit odd with the stairs to the 2nd floor cutting the "room" in two halves. The front living room area had a fireplace, work area, coffee/refrigerator and the one closet for the room which was small and contained the in-room safe. The furniture was adequate in terms of comfort but is showing its age and could use a refresh. The bedroom contained one dresser - tight for two people - and a queen size bed. Linens were adequate - room was dark and quiet at night. The bathroom amenities were nice, towels were plentiful however there is little counter/shelf space or places to hang towels. In general storage spots for clothing, bags etc... is a bit on the non-existent side. Although the two cottage rooms in the building were also occupied, we heard little of our neighbors. WIFI was problematic in the cottage, often dropping entirely. Cell phone coverage was OK. Our cottage was close to the lodge, but some are a good walk away so if this is important to you in terms of getting to the restaurant or spa, you'll want to ask about location.

Now for the really disappointing - as many of the other reviewers have mentioned, the restaurants are very inconsistent. The bar was fine. We sat at the bar - service was prompt, friendly and knowedgeable. Prices were a bit on the high side, but what you'd expect at a resort like this. Food came relatively quickly and was tasty. Good variety. However the Sierra was a totally different story. We too found the Sierra lacking in almost every department. Although servers were friendly, the service was painfully slow, servers were uninformed about the menu and the food quality was abysmal. We waited one morning to be seated for about 5 minutes only to get into the restaurant to see NO ONE seated... ??? No need to be welcomed at a host stand - let people go in and sit down... Breakfast one day had no hot dishes because the propane had gone out. Toast had to be ordered separately IF you could find your server. Breakfast buffet had many options, but tasteless SYSCO variety everything. Dinner was even worse - with service almost non-existent, tasteless overpriced entrees and nothing to recommend it. Drive back into Oakhurst for better options.

Service overall could use a review. Housekeeping showed up at our cottage after 3pm every day we were there - just as we would be getting back from our hiking outings... Front desk was jammed at check in with a slow check in process and front desk staff who were visibly frustrated and unhappy at being there. At check out, it was a bit smoother, staff less harried. Restaurant processes/service needs a total rework so that the morning greeting is not the same rote, fake sentence uttered by servers who couldn't care less that you are there.

I'd recommend the hotel for a night, maybe two if you are interested in the spa services. I'm not sure I'd recommend it if visiting the park is the main reason for going - then I'd probably lean more to the mediocre lodgings in the heart of the park.

Room Tip: Choose a cottage close to the lodge. Upstairs rooms have separate living space - worth it if weathe...
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Green Features: Didn't really notice anything about the environmentally friendly practices of the hotel.
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sailorgirlmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Thank you for your feedback, sailorgirlmn. While it sounds as though there was a lot you and your husband found enjoyable about your stay, we are sorry to hear you felt disappointed with the speed of service and the food. We pride ourselves on being a AAA Four Diamond resort and providing an above-and-beyond experience for our guests. We’re in the process of upgrading the lodge’s Wi-Fi system, for example. Extending it to serve the cottages adequately has been challenging. And we’re delighted you had great experiences at our Ascent Spa. Congratulations on your marriage and thank you again for your comments!
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Houston, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We stayed in at one of the cottages, which is isolated from the main lodge. It is very close to the south entrance of the park. Very nice and quiet land each cottage has a nice private balcony. Wish we had stayed a bit more. We would certainly return if we are in the area.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Arniechaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Stayed here a couple of weeks ago while visiting Yosemite NP.

First the good:

The location is stellar - great access to some beautiful terrain (not a great location for visiting Yosemite Valley, but great for seeing the southern part of the park and the national forest outside the park boundary). The building harkens back to a time when only the rich could afford to travel - and the size/decor caters to this clientele. The spa room was remarkably spacious - and it is great to have an in-room spa.

Next the not so good:

While the area is beautiful, the views from the hotel are not great - had a spa room with a balcony - the balcony looked over the access road and a parking lot into a wall of trees - some hiking showed that beyond the trees was a great view, but unfortunately not one that could be enjoyed from the room.

The drain plug in the sink was broken - had to physically remove it to get the sink to drain.

The large flat-screen TV did not have a picture - not really a big deal since you don't go to Yosemite NP to watch TV - but sort of silly to have a big TV that only provides audio.

Finally the really bad:

The service and the food (both dinner and breakfast) at the Sierra restaurant were atrocious and over-priced. The server could not provide any information about menu items - when asked about the fish, he went on a long description of how the fish is certified by some organization in Monterrey, but he would not be able to know where the fish are from without checking serial numbers - and all I wanted to know was how they tasted - turned out to have no flavor.

Salad greens were old and wrinkled. Poached eggs tasted like they were frozen and re-heated. Hollandaise sauce was clotting on the eggs. Hash browns were cut from a slab. Waffle tasted like it came out of a box.

The rooms are not sound-proofed - you really don't want to hear your neighbors enjoying themselves in the in-room spa.

Over-priced for what is offered.

And an aside: Tenaya Lodge is operated by the Delaware North Companies under license from the US Government - they have a monopoly on lodging in the national park and also manage the Tenaya Lodge that is just outside the park. Unfortunately monopoly does not lead to a high-quality service - maybe it's time to have some competition.

Room Tip: Stay here, but don't eat here.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gitano-SF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PRSocialMediaManager, Public Relations Manager at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Thanks for your comments, Pubudu-SF. Although we are pleased you enjoyed Tenaya’s close proximity to Yosemite and your room comfort, we’re disappointed to hear you encountered a few issues with your room and felt you did not receive informed service during your meals. We make a concerted effort to provide a consistent Four Diamond experience for our guests. Your feedback has been passed on to the food and beverage team. Thank you again.
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Bendigo, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
280 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

Tenaya Lodge has great facilities and attention to detail. The kids check in is a first for us but clever.

We stayed in one of the cottages. They are a little noisy and would be great for an extended family or group but didn't really work well for three different families with different schedules. we found the beds hard and pillows lumpy.

Would certainly return and stay here as our first choice.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rakehoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at Tenaya Lodge for 2 nights over Veteran’s Day Weekend. We were both going in with low expectations given that we were using a Travelzoo discount (I am always weary of hotels that need to offer discounts for people to visit). That being said, nearly everything at Tenaya Lodge exceeded our expectations. Overall, I would say this a great place to stay if you’re visiting Yosemite. It is located about 10 minutes outside the Southern entrance to the Park, and about an hour from both Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point. A great base for exploring the southern part of the park. If you’re looking for something more historic or authentic, you would probably be better off at the Wawona Hotel or the Ahwahnee – but if you want something easy, clean, reasonably priced and seemingly great for families – I would recommend Tenaya!

Rooms:
We stayed in an upper level room in the "Cottages", which I would definitely recommend (versus the main hotel). The Cottages are about a 30 second drive from the main hotel and appear to have been recently updated. They are very spacious, clean and have a fireplace. I think there is also an indoor pool and hot tub in the Cottages complex, but it appeared to have been closed for the winter.

Food:
The restaurants were all reasonably good. The ambiance at Embers, the most formal restaurant, leaves a lot to be desired. It has an awkward layout and the lighting is too bright, which makes it feel stale and cold. That being said, the service was great and the foot was excellent – albeit very pricey. Jackelopes is the more casual lodge-type restaurant which was a little more lively and cozy, with flat screen TV’s for football watching, a good bar, and an outdoor fire pit. If they could somehow combine the food at Embers with the setting at Jackelopes, I think they’d be on to something….

Activities:
Given the time of year, we mostly hiked and drove around the park. We hiked the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, only about a 20 minute drive from Tenaya. Do not miss this hike! There are something like 300 Giant Sequoias in this grove, which make the trees in Muir Woods look tiny.

We also drove to Glacier Point (1 hour, amazing view of Half Dome) and Yosemite Valley (1 hour, 15 minutes) where we did the hike to Mirror Lake (beautiful, although no water this time of year).

We both got massages at the Ascent Spa, which was much nicer than I expected. It appears to be recently built or recently updated – and very clean.

We were disappointed that there was no outdoor hot tub open at this time of the year.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms in the Cottages are spacious, private and cozy.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
98 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

My husband and I stayed here for one evening. I was in town for a conference that was being held at this resort. It was a very expensive room, so normally we would not have been able to stay there, but work was helping to pay for part of the trip. It was a very nice resort overall, the rooms and grounds were very nice. The workout room was down in the basement level where the spa is located- the WR was very nice with good equipment. I didn't go to the spa, but it did look nice from the outside. We ate at the Sierra restaurant. It was OK, I wish I could rave about it but the food was just OK for what we paid. If I was back in this area I would consider staying at the Tenaya Lodge again. As I mentioned, it was a little cost prohibitive for us but I am sure many ppl enjoy to splurge on lodging. It really was a very nice lodge.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank horsedoc24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterbury, Vermont
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

I don't usually write reviews but felt compelled to this time. After the recent Government Shutdown we were excited to actually be able to experience Yosemite and stay at the Tenaya Lodge. However, the overall knowledge and front desk service of this Lodge is horrible. Not only did they provide wrong information regarding guests having to purchase or rent tire chains.. that's right... tire chains.. what? So, we were originally told we need to buy or rent tire chains. Turns out this was not even true... what a strange topic to have to try and think about on our vacation. Then when I called to book the stay I was never sent a confirmation email... not too bad.. I just called back the next day and was sent an email. However, it wasn't until arrival that I was completely blown away by the horrible front desk service. I have never experienced such rude staff. The young woman (that wears a flower headband) and was horrific in dealing with should be fired. I am all for giving people the benefit of the doubt but seriously after working in HR this was beyond acceptable. She was snotty, rude and had no tact. I was hoping to treat my mother in-law to a nice spa day... this should have been included with our 3 night cottage rate (well over $300 a night)... this was being advertised online and when I made the reservation over the phone this should have been added. I could rant and rave about this but the end result was that the front desk was terrible... and the only good thing at the Tenaya Lodge was the friendly staff in the Sierra restaurant. Thank you Jordan and Megan (with the young 1 year old son) you were very friendly and we thank you for such a nice conversation! And the food was terrific at the lodge... this is what saved the stay... so, hopefully the Tenaya Lodge is paying their staff in the kitchen and waitstaff well... that's my experience... Hopefully, Tenaya Lodge will consider hiring folks with better experience at the front desk!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ashley k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TenayaLodge, Public Relations Manager at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, responded to this review, 7 November 2013
Thanks for your feedback, Ashley. As a Four Diamond-rated resort, Tenaya Lodge prides itself on an exceptional guest experience, and we are disappointed to hear you felt you did not receive exemplary service. We appreciate your comments and your thoughts have been passed along.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Property: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Address: 1122 Hwy. 41, Fish Camp, CA 93623-9600
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Fish Camp
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fish Camp
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite 4*
Number of rooms: 302
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on 48 acres in the southern High Sierra and just 2 miles from Yosemite, the Four-Diamond Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite offers easy access to all of Yosemite’s most alluring attractions and all the amenities expected from a luxury resort property. Tenaya boasts comfortable and spacious accommodations, Ascent – a luxurious 10,000 sq.foot spa, steam room, sauna, fitness room, three pools, five dining options, all-season recreation and a full-service concierge to help you plan your getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite Hotel Fish Camp
Tenaya Hotel Fish Camp
Tenaya Hotel At Yosemite
Tenaya Lodge Yosemite
Yosemite Tenaya Lodge

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