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“A 1920s experience in 2013” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

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The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Burradoo, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A 1920s experience in 2013”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

Well, all round this was good fun. The hotel is just as it is described - a bit of a blast from the past. The public rooms are as I hoped they would be - visionary for the time they were constructed and probably the last word in luxury for the day - and still beautiful. They are really quite splendid and I enjoyed experiencing the lovely decorative touches of fine rugs on the floor and Kilim upholstery for old chairs and sofas. Altogether a very good start for our stay.

The problem is, we've all moved on a bit as far as personal spaces are concerned. We stayed in a "Classic" room, with breakfast, for about $500 a night. Not cheap, so our expectations were high. There is still the same old world feel but it doesn't work well when you can hear everything going on in adjacent rooms and the shower is inside the bath with a shower screen of cloth and plastic. All bathroom services are audible from the floor above and the rooms alongside.

I imagine it is difficult to meet contemporary big-city standards when everything has to be shipped-in from afar and the hotel, built in 1927, is in the the most pristine and beautiful "wilderness" in the US. However, the rooms (and the insulation) could do with an upgrade.

We had a bed and breakfast package, which I would recommend, but the hotel's management of "what is included, and what is out" is inconsistent across the staff from day to day. Our example is that expresso coffee is included with some wait staff (one cup per person) but the next day, expresso is an extra, until our protests had the Manager wipe the additional charges. Otherwise breakfast is excellent. Dinner is also, although the meal sizes are mostly too big.

The hotel reception staff were always fully occupied when we wanted to ask them questions or clarify an issue. Especially for dinner reservations. The same person takes all phone enquiries and also does personal requests from guests. She was unavailable when we walked up to her position with a request. Once we waited 10 minutes whist she dealt with the details of an telephone inquiry. Not her fault - it's a hotel function not being managed effectively.

Dinner gets booked out quickly, so make dinner reservations for the time you want - for every night you stay and then if you change your mind on the day, just cancel. It's too hard any other way, especially as they were packed each night (in November!).

We loved the Park, enjoyed the hotel, mostly, but felt that some services were being provided by amateurs when the rest of the world has become professional.

Perhaps this is the charm of the place, but I didn't really enjoy my neighbour's conversation all evening.

Room Tip: Dinner gets booked out quickly, so make dinner reservations for the time you want - for every night...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Airedale-Burradoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,473 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (697)
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English first
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

My husband and I decided to do something different for our 30th wedding anniversary. Neither of us have been to Yosemite, so we thought we'd give it a whirl. This hotel reminded me of hotels from the past in the vain of The Lake Placid Club of old or Lake Mohonk. Just my style! When we arrived the concierge helpfully mapped out our afternoon which included a late lunch al fresco in the park followed by an orientation film and exhibit. We then took a 2 mile hike which landed us back at The Ahwahnee just in time for tea in the Great Hall. The fire was roaring while we were entertained by a wonderful pianist on one of the hotel's grand pianos. We had dinner in the beautiful dining room which twinkled in candlelight. The food, service, and yes another pianist were wonderful.

Room Tip: If you want a huge shared balcony with a view of El Capitan and Half Dome, then room 502 is the roo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank merryleslie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2013

We stayed at the Ahwahnee back in September for 4 nights. While you are paying at a premium - you really can't beat the views, ambiance and overall convenience of being so close to the park's amazing wonders. The hotel, while older, was still clean and comfortable with ample space (including a walk-in closet!) and a comfy bed to crash after the long day-hikes. The afternoon tea is something to enjoy while sitting in the great lounge and taking in the fresh air. The morning complimentary coffee, tea and hot cocoa was a nice treat. (Best cocoa that I've had in ages!) The food options were fine-- nothing earth shattering-- but after a long hike you aren't too terribly picky. We would love to go back!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Misss_Tish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maynooth, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

Cottage room.
Disappointed with my stay. Expected a lot more from this hotel.
Pros
The location is the hotels strongest point.
The breakfast was good (buffet breakfast $25).
The lobby and dinning room were impressive.
The bed was comfy and tv was big.

Cons
The room was more shack than cottage.
They went for an old school look but felt shabby.
The housekeeping in the room was poor and would be better in a 3 star hotel.
Expensive, if the hotel had any real competition in the valley it would not get away with its short comings.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

We returned to stay at Ahwahnee for the 5th time in July, and it was as awe inspiring as ever! We stayed for 5 days. Our room had a magnificent view of Yosemite falls, however the falls were not at their best this time. We tried to time our visit so that the falls would still be flowing well and Glacier Point road would be open. Apparently, the snow pack wasn't that deep, because many of the falls were not as spectacular as we've seen them. Yosemite Falls were disappointing, and Bridal Viel was no more than a trickle. The hotel is surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of the valley, and it was a real treat to return to its elegance after a day of hiking and sightseeing. We were lucky enough to be there for the hotel's 86th birthday celebration, which was marked by a special tea that included a delicious cake!

The only negative was an unpleasant young woman at the podium in the dining room. We have eaten there at least 10 times over our 5 stays, and we're seldom seated near the windows. When we told her we would appreciate a table on the window side the next time we planned a meal there, she nastily told us that we would have to take our chances, as it was the luck of the draw. We did have dinner there the evening before we left, and when I explained our displeasure to the different young woman at the podium, we were given the very best table in the restaurant, where we were told Queen Elizabeth sat on her visit. That more than made up for the rude treatment we experienced earlier in the week! The rest of the staff were pleasant, helpful and accommodating.

If I have my way, we will return for another 5 visits!

Room Tip: We prefer a room on the side which faces the Falls. Room 435 (I believe) was a corner room with a b...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
102 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

The Ahwanee is located perfectly in the Yosemite valley. It's an old hotel, the guest are old and so are the waiters. Now offence, but being under 50 felt like being the youngest around...
The rooms are tiny and old. The guests are old, too, and so are the waiters in the restaurant... While they try to be fancy in the restaurant with a dress code, the waiters clearly don't know what fine dining service me ians. They try, but lack training! Food is ok, but you find much better for less even in expensive places like Napa!
The bathrooms are tiny and our rooms wasn't cleaned well. We found a cork under the table...
Anyways, it's a place to go once, if you don't mind paying too much.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Timinguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

My wife and I were able to slip into the Yosemite Valley and stay at the famous Ahwahnee Hotel in the brief interval between the end of the terrible Rim Fire north of the Valley and the government shutdown that closed the park. We felt extremely fortunate to be there as we had held our reservations at the Ahwahnee for more than a year.

The Ahwahnee is one of those national park hotels that evoke warm memories and keep individuals and families returning for a lifetime. This was our first visit to the hotel but it was obvious from overhead conversations that many people were returning for the umpteenth time, including one gentleman who had married at the hotel several decades ago. We can understand the loyalty. The Ahwahnee is a beautiful wood and stone building situated at the base of the famous Half Dome. Ringed by pleasant meadows (one of which serves as a “wedding meadow”) and towering pines, the hotel is an oasis of calm in the bustling Yosemite Valley.

Valet parking is free at the hotel and we recommend using the service as the hotel’s small public parking lot fills quickly. You can leave your car for the duration of your stay if you are not planning to leave the valley because a convenient shuttle bus service stops at the front of the hotel and will take you to virtually every scenic vista and attraction in the valley. The hotel is about a half-mile from Yosemite Village, which is a pleasant walk along both paved and unpaved hiking trails. The hotel is also the jumping off point for many hikes and walks.

We reserved a Classic room (one step up from a Standard room) and were rewarded with a striking view of Half Dome from our room window (no balcony, however). Our room also overlooked a meadow where deer came to graze during the early morning and late afternoon hours (and also to be fed by guests, a big no-no that the hotel cautions against). The room was large enough for a bed, sofa, coffee table, small desk and chair. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom, however, was tiny (to be expected in old hotels) and exhibited several patchwork repairs of tile and fixtures; it badly needed an overhaul. The hotel room walls were very thin (or perhaps a connecting door to the next room allowed more than usual noise to get through). Doors are very heavy and slam loudly, so take earplugs or download a white noise smartphone app to avoid late night and early morning noise.

The hotel provides guests with free Wi-Fi but the service is so slow as to be barely usable. It was also impossible to access any of the television networks on the flat screen television. A call to the front desk about the television resulted in the “we’re working on it” response, but the channels never appeared during our four-day stay. Cell phone service is also spotty as would be expected in a Valley ringed by mountains. The slow Wi-Fi and the cell phone service is probably not a concern to most people while staying in the Ahwahnee, but guests planning to conduct business or work on projects will find those tasks difficult.

Food and food service was excellent. We had a couple of lunches and one dinner in the Ahwahnee Bar, where you can sit outside under the pines. We also had one lunch in the huge main dining room that was very good (and worth a meal or two just to take it all in). Room service breakfasts arrived promptly and the food was also good.

The Ahwahnee is expensive, but the location and the service provided is excellent. And, of course, it is a lovely place for a wedding.

Room Tip: Pay for a Classic room. Our Classic room had a spectacular view of Half Dome.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mrmull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Property: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Address: 9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly The Ahwahnee)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Majestic Yosemite Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 123
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

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