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“Love it or hate it!!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Love it or hate it!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2013

This review is like no other I have done before. It appears from many of the other reviews that people either love this hotel or hate it. Well we loved it. Do not consider this hotel if you like your conveniences and comforts. The hotel does not pretend to provide them, so if you want them go elsewhere!

So why did we like it. This was our first visit to the Yosemite National Park and we were blown away with the beauty and grandeur. Frankly the last thing in the world I wanted to do was communicate by phone or surf the internet. This hotel transported me to another time, with walls covered in history and stories of the park. It was exactly what I was looking for. I passed a number of hotels on the way in to the park that would have been perfect BUT not for our Yosemite trip..for that we needed something different which is exactly what we got.
The staff were very helpful and provided excellent service. We found the restaurant food and service to be very good and better than we had expected. We did have a room with an en suite bath but as other reviews have stated that is not always the case.

When visiting the valley (with all the other tourists) it can spoil the serenity of the location but returning to the tranquility of the hotel brings you back to where you want to be. Silence and stars ...lots of them!

So it’s simple:

Silence , stars, history, something different or

wi-fi, fridge, comfy beds, AC, equipped bathrooms

Make your choice!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bud-Montreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (552)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013

The management of this facility mistakenly equate a historic and rustic hotel with a historic and unmaintained hotel! You CAN have a historic hotel which is kept clean and adequately maintained for comfort and convenience of its guests. Yes sir, you certainly can! It might mean a little less profit in your pocket in the short run, but returning guests and their positive ratings and recommendations used by others will make up for that initial loss (if at all) in the long run. We ain't coming back that's for sure! Yes, the setting is nice and the buildings look quaintly historic from the outside, but this is where the pleasantries end. For $250/night (in off season time) we checked into a depressing room for 3 days and 2 nights, with outdated, torn, and overused bed spreads which nobody uses anymore except maybe Motel 6! The radiator hissed loudly (and I mean loudly) all night long generating uneven room temperatures. It was either so hot that we had to toss the sheets aside, or cold enough that we had to pull the blanket back on while trying to avoid touching the dinosaur bedspreads (which we know are not washed every time guests check out). And to top it off, several times throughout the night we woke up to the startling, loud noise of banging pipes (most likely the radiator's). And the bathroom was a different story all by itself! The dim light bulb on the high ceiling barely lit the space. The once-white tiles were grungy. The claw-feet bathtub with its old-fashioned cloth curtains wrapping all around it was just gross! Frankly I didn't shower during my stay there, I just couldn't ! It is very unpleasant to be constantly touched by the wet and cold god-knows-when-it-was-last-washed shower curtain! Also, there was no place I could put my toiletries while in the bathroom washing up at night time or in the morning. I finally thought about wearing my fanny pack to hold my toiletries every time I was at the sink brushing teeth and doing whatever it is one does to get ready for the bed or the day.

The sun room with wifi access was a nice space, but often overcrowded and loud, while the empty lobby was yawning from boredom. Why don't you provide wifi in the lobby area as well?

I am not a spoiled city girl. I love to camp out, and I have stayed in not-so-great places in central and south america and the middle east, but not at $250/night price tag in off-season time!

I strongly suggest for the owner/manager to spend a few nights in various rooms of the hotel (preferably paying $250/night each time) to see it for themselves.

Food was decent, staff were great!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Frida N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Insch, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

Stayed two nights here. You need to go understanding you are going to stay in an old building. Lovely setting and the staff were helpful. Having to go outside for the bathrooms is novel. It is best to go with your own stock of drink and snacks. There are no facilities to make tea/coffee. Went to the restaurant on the first night but found the food overpriced for what it was, okay if you like tepid mashed potato, Next night drove into local town for a great meal at the italian restaurant but it is a fare distance. The continental breakfast included in price was interesting but very sweet. Fruit bowl, sweet yoghurt, muffin and their "character" bread which was on first morning sticky cake. When asked for plain toast was told would be an extra 3dollars. Next morning two of our party upgraded to cooked breakfast 8dollars each and I got toast substituted for banana bread. The pancake breakfast was huge. The positive side to this hotel is its peaceful location and restful ambience you just have to be prepared to step back in history to how hotels used to be a few decades ago. Went in October and the heating works really well and the radiators are burning hot.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bridie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ny
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed two nights here in different rooms. I thought the rooms were a bit noisy as they are kind of made by just closing off doors between rooms but the feel of the place and the grounds made up for it. There are not a lot of places like this left. Not for those who want a tv and fridge etc, nice if you can embrace the old style charm.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank loungestx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgetown, Texas
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

You have to go to this hotel with the right attitude and the right expectations. It's an old, historic hotel built in the early 1900s. There is no air conditioning and they still use radiators for heating. A lot of the the rooms don't have private bathrooms. We were 3 adults and 1 child, so we had to get two rooms since each room had a double bed and a single. The rooms were quaint and had everything we needed. The water was hot and the beds were comfortable. We enjoyed the piano playing in the lobby before supper and found the meals to be pricey and just OK from a food quality standpoint.

We stayed here during the government shut down. We were supposed to be staying at the Lodge at the Falls, but our reservations there were cancelled and they put us here instead. For some reason since this govt. property was on a main road they were allowed to remain open. Whatever the case, we were glad to stay there because it's always best to stay inside the park if you can. Overall, we enjoyed our stay at Yosemite.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the rooms in the annex that overlook the power generators.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mosskm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

The hotel is really lovely: an old colonial-style building in Yosemite, near the Mariposa Grove. In return for the ambience and situation we had to compromise on modern conveniences. We had a tiny bedroom, with small bed and no bathroom or air conditioning. And for this we paid $150 per night. We were provided with ear-plugs, but thankfully couldn't hear our neighbours snoring, despite their being just a few feet away from us. The fan was adequate for a September night, but may have struggled to cool the room in July or August. The restaurant service was really very slow, but the food was acceptable. Cocktails on the deck and walking under the starry night sky helped make up for the inconvenience of boarding-school bathrooms and nineteenth century bedrooms.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank omi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2013

My gosh! It's really hard to know how to approach a review of this hotel. 1. It is a lot more than a hotel. It personifies "Old Yosemite". When I walk the grounds or walk through the hotel I revel in the knowledge that I'm walking in the footsteps of the pioneers of Yosemite, my favorite place on earth. From as far back as I can remember until my teens, Yosemite was the highlight of summer. I, my family, and extended family would spend two to four weeks almost every summer camping in Yosemite. (Aunt and cousins were teachers.) So Yosemite is a huge part of my great memories of childhood. I remember driving by the Wawona on our way to the valley and always thinking how I'd love to stay there. Now we can and do. 2. It is a ways from the valley so a completely different experience from staying at the Lodge, the Ahwahnee, or camping in the valley. Think, traffic jams, the smell of exhaust, and noisy hoards of people in the valley. At the Wawona think quiet, restful relaxation. 3. A review for the Wawona would be a lot different depending on the season. The best thing going for it in the summer is a beautiful place to stay in a beautiful location, away from the maddening crowd. In all seasons (closed part of winter) you can sit and relax, or hike the many trails less traveled (some to lesser known waterfalls). So rather than complain about the lack of amenities in a 150 year old hotel, relish the opportunity of being able to experience some time with the grand old dame of Yosemite

Room Tip: Personal preference is any room in the main building, though persons with disabilities should probab...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FredO764
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Trees Lodge

Property: Big Trees Lodge
Address: 8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly Wawona Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2 star — Big Trees Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Big Trees Lodge is cherished as one of the most respected and most frequently visited Yosemite hotels. Its authentic Victorian architecture features beautiful white buildings, classic verandas and lush natural surroundings. At the Big Trees Lodge, there's something for everyone-including golf, tennis, horseback riding, or fishing. Evenings are spent gathered around the piano for musical performances in the lounge. Big Trees Lodge dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

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