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“Good independent Motel”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Ray's Den Motel

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Ray's Den Motel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Independence
U.K.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good independent Motel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2012

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.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sevvi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    22
    5
    1
    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Any
English first
South Wales
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2012

We chose this motel because it looked 'typical' and it was. Comfortable and clean rooms, cheap, and with a friendly and helpful manager Independence is a very small place, but a good stopping off place between Las Vegas and Yosemite.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Heraldic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2012

I agree with the other reviewers about how clean this place is! Nice towels, comfortable beds and a chocolate on the side table. The owner was friendly and helpful. The price is what one pays in the summer in the Eastern Sierra.

Room Tip: Only 8 rooms. Don't think it makes a difference
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kateCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netherlands
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2012

After reading all these enthousiastic reviews, we were really looking forward to our stay here. It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.
The owner was friendly and really nice to our children, the motel looks cute, the room was clean, but the beds were way to soft and soggy and the room was cramped and hot and the airconditioning made a lot of noise. All in all I think paying almost 100 dollars is very expensive for what you get.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SaskiaNLNetherlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
80 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2012

Sparkling clean, everything worked, free wifi worked perfectly.

Charming wooden armchairs and table outside the door, but we didn't sit in them because it was too hot outside. In the morning it was cool, but we were driving away.

Bed firmness: 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Pillow firmness: 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Bright lights over beds and between armchairs--nice! Not to be taken for granted.

Fridge unusually large for a motel room, 3 feet tall, froze our blue ice--nice! Not to be taken for granted.

Noise: at bedtime, we turned off the power strip into which the air conditioner, microwave, and fridge were plugged in, to turn off the noise of the air conditioner and fridge, and the bright-light display ("0") of the microwave, and sleep better. On Friday night, we could hear trucks rumble by on 395, but not too late into the night. I slept fine, even though when I was occasionally awake, I could hear air conditioners rumble in neighboring rooms, as well as road traffic, like white noise. My hearing is more sensitive than average.

BOOKS! A shelf-ful of books about the area, i.e., the Eastern Sierra, is available in the office. You can borrow them while staying there. What a great idea and what a fantastic service!!! I borrowed and read half of The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin, who published it in 1903 and whose house in Independence still stands. I had long dreamed of staying in Independence and reading this book (and other Sierra books, by John Muir, etc.), and now I have! Reading about areas visited, before, during or after visiting, so-o-o enriches travel experiences.

For dinner we looked at Dugan's (interior surprisingly sparse and more modest than the exterior), Still Life Cafe (white tablecloths, stem wine glasses), and ate at Jenny's Cafe and enjoyed the local all-American color and flavor.

On Saturday we drove 30 min to the Onion Valley Campground and trailhead, then hiked the ~5 miles in 2 h 55 min, past several gorgeous lakes, to Kearsarge Pass (~11.823 ft). From there the view into Kings Canyon Nat'l Park is heavenly: green valley, six lakes, and the promise of more valleys, canyons, streams, and lakes. They film western movies out there! In 11 h 20 min and 18.5 miles of hiking that day, we saw 3 rabbits, 1 hare, 9 deer, 1 marmot, 1 woodpecker, and many golden mantle squirrels.

The Eastern Sierra Museum and Manzanar are both rich in info about the history of the area.

I would stay here again before or after hikes or backpack trips into the Sierra.

Room Tip: I'm glad I asked for a room away from the main road, to avoid traffic noise--even though the roo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Factual
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012

We stayed for one night and was extremely impressed by Ray's Den. The room was absolutely spotless with a stack of immaculate towels in the excellent bathroom. The two beds were very comfortable with crisp, like new, bedding. My only observation was the external air con unit was attached, I believe, to the wooden building which made it a tad too noisy. Some light sleepers could find it intrusive, but as we come from England were air con is not needed, it takes time to adjust to the constant hum of the device.
Lynda was very friendly and welcoming which made our stay all the better.
One of the previous posters said "why stay in Independence" which suprised me as we found it a quaint little town that was obviously very proud of it's imacculate surrounds. We had a brilliant burger at Dugans which was a couple of small blocks away. All in all for the money, outstanding.

Room Tip: Try Dugans for a beer and a burger
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lancs4258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2012

Stayed here on the way to Death Valley for the night.

The rooms were clean and comfy. I stayed there in July and the air conditioning works great there was free wifi. Kinda of expensive for the night at $84 but for the area i understand it. I would stay there again if i pass through.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ray's Den Motel

Property: Ray's Den Motel
Address: 405 North Edwards, Independence, CA 93526
Region: United States > California > Independence
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Independence
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Ray`s Den Hotel Independence
Rays Den Hotel

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