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“Nice but........not VFM”

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Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins
London, England
Level Contributor
83 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Nice but........not VFM”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2010

I booked this place back in September 2009 when there were a lot of recent, and very positive, reviews on tripadvisor. What is interesting is that there has not been one since August 2009. Overall I was disappointed with the Sunset Inn and I think my main beef is the value for money. We stayed three nights in Sugar Pine, which is functional and cosy for two, and we paid $180 per night with 8% tax on top. I know it is Yosemite and I know it is California but this is not a good deal in my opinion. The killer touch was missing - for example we did not have a view over a meadow - the majority of our vista was a workshop with lots of tools and chains and junk. Yes we received a warm welcome but I could not shake the feeling of being short changed. Finally, there is no cell phone signal as one might expect in this remote area but the lack of (as advertised) wi-fi caused me problems - these things happen but it is me paying the bill at the end of the day.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark-choosy-chappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunset Inn, Owner at Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins, responded to this review, 1 June 2010
Thank you for your comments. We rely on guest feedback, both positive and negative. Most is so positive that we are surprised by your unfortunate experience.

We work hard to offer the best lodging experience we possibly can, and are very sorry we did not live up to your expectations. We know you cannot please all the people, all the time, but we do try.

In response to your concerns:
1. The majority of our business is seasonal, so that might explain why we have not had a Trip Advisor review since August. We do not solicit reviews, although thanks to yours, we might start now.
2. Our rates are based on our costs. Keeping our cabins clean and desirable as well as ‘functional and cozy’ in our out-of-the-way location is costly. Not only are California and Yosemite a little more pricy to visit, it is also more costly to operate here. If you shop around you will discover our rates are lower than the other desirable cabin lodgings in our area.
3. Sunset Inn is located in a beautiful mountain spot, surrounded by forest on the edge of a lovely, private meadow. The antique workshop with chains, tools and other equipment are necessities here to maintain the property throughout the year, including snow removal and cutting firewood for the cozy wood burning stoves in the cabins. This is an historic property where placement of the cabins was determined long ago. The wrap-around porch on your cabin does face the workshop on one side, and on the other is the forest. I am disappointed if you did not notice the beautiful forest. I am equally sorry you apparently did not find the opportunity to visit our meadow, just 40 steps from your cabin. None-the-less, your comments are not taken lightly, and we will do what we can to enhance the view from all sides of Sugar Pine, our most popular cabin.
4. We do offer WIFI, and regret it was down during part of your stay. In response to your concerns we have updated our web site to state “internet connectivity not guaranteed”.
5. Cell phones do happen to work in some areas of Yosemite where there are cell towers. However in our mountainous region cell reception is very limited, which is why we offered you and all our guests use of a remote phone in your cabin.

We are truly sorry your stay was not what you expected. It is as disappointing for us as it was for you. We will do our best to address the issues you mentioned. It is our goal for every guest to thoroughly enjoy their stay!
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122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Wirral,England
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2009

This was a really sweet place to stay. We had Meadowlark cabin which had a large-ish kitchen/diner which was open plan with the queen sized bed. In the other room was 2 more beds where the children slept and the shower room was off their room. The beds had patchwork quilts complete with a teddy or bunny to cuddle - very sweet. Lauren and Bill are very helpful and gave us some suggestions as to where to go and where to eat. We toasted marshmallows under the stars at night which is a lovely memory to have. I guess the only downside is the location which despite only being 2 miles from the Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite, you still have 20 odd miles to travel to get to the valley. So it does take a bit of travelling each day to get to where you want to be. However , I guess unless you are actually staying in the valley, Sunset Inn is possible not much further away than other accommodation. It's just something we hadn't realised before we arrived - how far the entrances can be from where you actually want to go for the day. But back to Sunset - it is a lovely place to stay if you want to commune with nature and it provided a huge contrast for us as we stayed in city type hotels for the rest of the trip. I don't want to put anyone off with the details about the location- just be aware you do have to drive distances to eg, the valley, Mariposa Grove, Glacier rd, the meadows.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kittyhola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunset Inn, Owner at Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins, responded to this review, 16 November 2009
We truly appreciate your thoughtful review and are so glad you mentioned the distance thing. So often travelers come to Yosemite unaware of the size and scope of the park. It is huge! It takes nearly 3 hours to drive from the north entrance ‘Tioga Pass’ to the ‘South Entrance’, a distance of about 97 miles.

Sunset Inn is about 27 miles from Yosemite Valley, considered the center and busiest part of the park. Yosemite is home to 3 groves of Giant Sequoias. The South Entrance, and main grove is a bit of a distance, about 60 miles from us. However with careful consideration travelers may discover that Sunset Inn, just 2 miles from the Big Oak Flat west entrance is quite centrally located. We are within 12 miles of the two, smaller, more intimate groves of Giant Sequoias; the Merced Grove is only 7 miles from us, and the Tuolumne Grove is 12. We are also just 20 miles from Hetch Hetchy, about 30 from White Wolf, 40 from Tuolumne Meadows, and 47 miles from Tioga Pass. We are actually closer to all these major sites and hiking trailheads than the lodging in Yosemite Valley. We are also closer, just 3 ½ hours to San Francisco.

One of the lovely aspects of staying at Sunset Inn is our quiet, secluded setting. With just 3 cabins situated on the edge of a private meadow, surrounded by old growth forest, guests experience nature, not crowds, and are bound to find this a very peaceful spot. We are so glad you had a chance to enjoy the amazing array of night stars at Sunset Inn!

Thank you for taking the time to express your observations!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2009

After my husband braved his vertigo to get us up the Priest-Grade portion of Hwy 120, we were so happy when we arrived at this peaceful cabin in the forest. We were greeted by Lauren who was on her way out for the evening, but she made sure we felt at home. We stayed in the Larkspur cabin which was spotless and well appointed with a patio and charcoal grill, a porch, a fireplace, a bathroom with a skylight and shower, and a nice kitchen with a little breakfast bar. We loved sitting on the porch watching the squirrels chew enormous sugar pine cones. Lauren and Bill were so friendly and helpful, giving us great tips, especially the spot on the Tuolomne River where we were able to cool off from the 100-degree heat. It was great being two miles from the park entrance, and the forest itself is also a stunningly beautiful landscape. Even my husband, who closed his eyes while I drove us in and out of the valley, was happy that we didn't stay in the park. After a hot day in yosemite valley, I was happy to take a scenic drive for 30-40 minutes and arrive at a private, quiet location where you can grill your own food, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy a peaceful evening. Our daughter didn't even miss her beloved Disney Channel too much. She enjoyed watching the chickens, April the cat, Yoda, the dog, the resident squirrels, and the mysterious golden frog. What friendly hosts! What a great place to stay! I would drive the Priest Grade Road ten times to come back here. (However, next time, I'll probably take Hwy 41 to get in:)

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TeresafromNeenah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2009

We stayed at the Larkspur Cabin and it is cozy, quiet, clean, well decorated, well furnished (king size bed, stove, toaster oven, small refrigerator, wireless internet connection, a BBQ grill, and many more). I would recommend you to check out their website as it details the amenities.

If you want to disconnect, this is the place to be. Lauren and Bill (the owners) did a great job on the cabin - nicely installed bathroom (e.g. shower with adjustable showerhead), well stocked kitchenware, fireplace (though we didn't use it since we visited in June), tons of good books, a few board games. We also got detail direction and extremely helpful tips (groceries shopping, gas stop, etc) from Lauren when she confirmed the reservation via email. She even provided us a Yosemite guidebook when we arrived, which was extremely helpful.

It is short drive to get to the Big Oak Flat Gate Entrance (from the Highway 120). Just be prepared that it's a bit of a drive to get to places like Tuolumne Meadows or Wawona (Yosemite is a huge park).

After full day of Yosemite activities, we always look forward to make it back to the cabin. The long hot showers, doing your very own BBQ, comfortable king size bed did the trick for us.

We left two sweaters at the cabin when we left and Lauren was kind enough to call, inform us, and offer to ship the sweaters back to us! Bill was also kind enough to offer us charcoal for our BBQ (though we brought our own). I recommend Bill and Lauren to consider getting microwaves for the cabins (for the folks who want to heat up things fast, not that big of a deal for us).

Overall, I would highly recommend this place if you are visiting Yosemite. Especially over the hotels within the Yosemite - the rate is relatively reasonable, you get your own bathroom, peace and quiet (away from the group of tourists within the park), and a good amount of privacy.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JCfromLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunset Inn, Owner at Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins, responded to this review, 22 July 2009
Dear JC from LA,

We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us!

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments! Thank you also for your suggestion regarding a microwave. (Our three cabins each have either a 4 burner kitchen range or 4 burner stove top, as well as a toaster, or toaster oven, coffee maker and refrigerator, etc.) We have long considered adding a microwave, wondering how the rustic charm of our cabins would feel with such a modern appliance, not to mention the concept of slowing down to relax a bit during your stay.

We appreciate your comment and would be interested in additional feed back on this topic from other visitors, both past and future.

Thank you again for writing,
Lauren Nickell
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Nottingham, UK
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2009

This place is an amazing place, right in the middle of the woods, up a private wooded path. The owners are really nice, really helpful and will do anything in there power to help you out. It is about 40mins from the Yosemite Valley floor and about 10mins from the gate Big Oak Flat gate.

Scencery is amazing, cabins are well facilitated and the wood stove is a dream. If you go to this area and dont stay here you are missing out on a treat! Also, don't go to the Yosemite Lakes store (the last gas station before the Golden Arrow Road) they are uber expensive!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RockinAllOvaTheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Utrecht
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2009

We had a great time in our Sugarpine cabin. It's lovely to drive back to your cabin after a day in the busy valley and to find some rest (and a great bbq). The cabins look lovely and natural and are equipped with a nice kitchen (plenty of cooking-gear) and a pretty new bathroom with the fluffiest towels ever. The location is great: close to the action but very quiet. We loved sitting on our porch in the evening with some bbq-food and the sounds of the forest....

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jostravelsforreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2008

We stayed at this hotel on Nov 6, four adutls and one dog. When we drove to Sunset Inn at 5:30 pm, it was already dark outside and it just started raining. Following the direction we turned into unpaved road leading to darkness in the woods. If not for the strong recommendations and pictures on Tripadvisor, I would not have imagined there is a nice little cottage hidden in the woods.
Lauren showed us to the cottage, and it is just charming! We cooked soups and bread, turned on the fireplace, played some games and had a wonderful night!

My in-laws from Germany really liked the cleaneness and the comfort of the cottage.

We will sure come back again!

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Sandyvonsanjose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins

Property: Sunset Inn Yosemite Vacation Cabins
Address: 33569 Hardin Flat Rd, Groveland, CA 95321-9607
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Groveland
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Groveland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunset Inn is a small, family owned and operated lodging. Three beautiful, cozy cabins offer king or queen beds, equipped kitchens, private bathrooms, wood burning stoves and sun porches. Located just 2 miles from Yosemite National Park, in a peaceful mountain setting, surrounded by huge aromatic pines, on the edge of a lovely private meadow. A stay at Sunset Inn is a true mountain getaway. We also offer a fabulous vacation home nearby, privately situated on the banks of the Tuolumne River, able to accommodate up to 6 people. We invite you to visit and enjoy this unique experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sunset Hotel Groveland

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