We needed to find a stop-over somewhere between Las Vegas and Yosemite (actually Mariposa just beyond Yosemite) and when loooking at a map the little town on Independence looked as good a place as any to make that stop, so I did a little research online for accomodation there and found this independent motel - it's not got it's own website and I couldn't find an email address for them, so I had to call them to make a reservation.
I unfortunately had a slight issue with my booking, but it luckily wasn't a problem in the end. I had a phone conversation with Linda very early in the year (February) to make a booking for October and I believed we had firmly secured the booking there and then, but when I luckily did a reservation check email (she gave me her email on my phone conversation) to her a couple of weeks before we were due to fly out the the States she didn't have it down in her book - but she at that time still had availability left at the original price quoted, so phew, problem averted - moral of the story, if booking really early/seasons ahead it's always best to double check the booking before you travel.
I think the motel is a little expensive for what it is, but at the end of the day there isn't a huge amount of choice in the town of Independence so they don't have to be competative against anyone really, and there isn't anything to complain about with the motel, so I can't really complain.
We were staying in the room second from the road, and I was a little worried it could be noisy with road traffic throughout the night, but actually the road traffic seemed very minimal after dark anyway so it was never an issue. The motel has comfortably spacious rooms and a nice clean bathroom and shower. There is also a fridge/kettle/tea/coffe etc provided in the rooms and a freezer with ice in up by the main office door. After we had gone out for a quick dinner we also enjoyed sitting outside the room on the lovely wooden bench that each room has outside it. The weather was very hot whilst we were in the area, but we found the temperature of the room fine and there is an air conditioning unit that can help cool it down if necessary.
The location was perfect for us, as we had driven from Las Vegas throigh Death Valley and felt we had enough time to take all that in, and it was a do-able distance then from Independance through Yosemite and on to Mariposa the next day.
Unfortunately because there are large distances to cover either side of the town, it meant that we got in late and left early so we didn't have any time to explore the town itself (although I'm not sure if there is much more to it), and becasue we didn't arrive until about 6.30pm we were then pushed for time to go and have dinner at the one and only little country kitchen restaurant down the road before they closed at 8.00pm (or something like that), and we were told that we were lucky they were open tonight - so not sure what we would have done for food if they had been closed, as it's a bit far to drive to one of the slightly larger towns either side on Independence just for a quick dinner. Due to breakfast only being available at the same place we had dinner, we decided just to get up and going early the next day and actually stopped at a great place called Jack's in Bishop (the next big town up) and had a hearty american breakfast (pancakes bacon etc, yum!) - so I would highly recommend that to people if they are doing a similar journey.
All in all I would stay here again though if I was doing the journey from Las Vegas to Yosemite again (or vice versa), and I'm sure if you are spending more time in the area it's a lovely place to base yourself.
- Also Known As:
- Ray`s Den Hotel Independence
- Rays Den Hotel