Just returned from our third stay at this beautiful, perfectly sited hotel. In a lifetime of travel, I've never encountered grander, more-appealing public spaces in a hotel--the grand hall, the nook-and-cranny public rooms and, not least, the massive dining hall were brilliant at their 1927 opening and they've only improved with age--compared to the corporate styles or Trump-dump glitz that followed over the decades. Designed in a Western-lodge style with late Craftsman-era influences, the Ahwanee has been wonderfully preserved and restored. And you walk outside and you're in a quiet world at the end of Yosemite valley, insulated from the general bustle. Just behind the parking lot, the trails begin for an after-breakfast stroll, for example (prior to a good day of hiking). Of course, a hotel is about more than architecture, design and location, location, location, but, for my wife and I, the Ahwanee measures up on all the practical counts, as well. Since it's an older hotel, built before we super-sized ourselves, the rooms aren't as spacious (or "inferior decorator" bland) as the better recent constructions, but there's plenty of space and the bathrooms, if on the small side, are charming in their period feel (fully modernized plumbing, of course). You won't find Four Seasons-level luxury here--this is a National Park, not a getaway spa--but the staff has always been warm and helpful, and the real surprise, dating from our first visit almost a decade ago, is the surprisingly high quality of the food in the dining room (and a compact, but well-chosen and fairly priced wine list). The recent addition of a morning coffee bar in the traditional bar space has been a big plus, too--although it needs to open at six, not seven, for those of us who want to get on the high trails early. (In general, my only complaint about the Ahwahnee is the same as my complaint about nearly every hotel we ever stay at--wimpy dishwater coffee...to get a decent cup, you have to stop by the coffee bar and take a serious coffee with you in to breakfast...where you will, on the plus side, encounter the best breakfast buffet this side of the Rome Baglioni.) In summary, the Ahwanee is a lovely landmark hotel, a classic in a spectacular location, well-managed and well-staffed (some of the waiters have been there thirty years--trust their recommendations), and with a magic feel that goes beyond the sum of its very impressive parts. Well worth the price. Your stay will be unforgettable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Majestic Yosemite Hotel shines as Yosemite National Park's distinctive AAA(R) Four-Diamond hotel. Known for its magnificent façade and architecture, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel was specially designed to highlight its natural surroundings, which include Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. The destination of queens and presidents alike, this distinctive Yosemite hotel offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality, and elegance. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park
- Ahwahnee Yosemite National Park
- Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite National Park