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.
- 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