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.
- 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