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“Charming Old Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bellbrook, OH
Level Contributor
159 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Charming Old Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

We stayed one night at Wawona Hotel while visiting Yosemite National Park. Our bed was very comfortable and we had a room that was facing the front of the hotel and the fountain. It took me a little getting used to that the bathrooms and shower were going to be about a minute walk from our room, but it really wasn't a problem. Continental breakfast was included with the room. It's about a 30 drive from Yosemite Valley to the hotel. We also had dinner there and thought the food was good. We would recommend this place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LindaA99
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
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Highland, Maryland
Level Contributor
285 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2014

We spent 4 pleasant nights here. We were in Washburn which was erected in 1900. The room was spacious, the bed comfortable the amenities sparse. Don't expect tv or in-room wifi.Their is a separate common room with wifi at the hotel.

The staff is nice, the restaurant edible and the main building evening piano player highly enjoyable. The location at the bottom of Yosemite is great for Mariposa Grove but a little less than an hour to Yosemite Valley. Glacier Point Road (a must see) is half way down the road to the valley. The included continental breakfast was on the sweet side, the other breakfasts are fine. We had two dinners which were okay. Wouldn't recommend the seafood special but the flatiron steak was good the house specialty pot roast"feh". Dinner biscuits or rolls or whatever they were, are okay.

Room Tip: If in Washburn on 1st floor expect to hear your second floor neighbors tromping around it is an old...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RuffleScruffle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit! It's beauty overwhelms me. Yosemite Valley is an international tourist destination so making reservations can be very challenging. That is how I made a reservation at Wawona Hotel.
Wawona is approximately 40-60 minutes from Yosemite Valley. I've always passed it but this time I stayed one of the small, cozy rooms.
The price is a bit on the expensive side. Room with a bath, $227, which is what I reserved. You may reserve a room without a bath, $154. From what I understand, the community bath is very clean (separate men and women's area). If you've ever stayed in the Valley and had a cabin without a bath or a tent cabin you'll understand. I've done both with my kids but this time I was traveling with three other adult couples so I indulged ;)
On our side of the "Clark" building, there are a row of four rooms under a long porch. We're talking about a building built circa 1879. Wooden building, wooden chairs with a view of the woos. Wow! Beautiful, quiet (very different than staying in the Valley), pristine. Our "noise" was the sound of a wine bottle being corked and enjoying lunch on the porch. Three adjoining rooms made it easier.
Our room had a very comfortable, queen sized bed and a full bath. There is no air conditioning (didn't need it this time of year) but a ceiling fan. No mini fridge so be brought a small cooler. Free ice was available. Hair dryers are not provided. Absolutely loved the soft water and the toiletries provided. The caps to the shampoo, conditioner and lotion had braille on it! Kudos to the hotel for that!
Continental breakfast is included for all rooms. Yogurt, a small dish of granola, fruit and a small serving of banana bread or other sweet pastry. You could also order a full breakfast; delicious but also a tad on the expensive side. Coffee was free -you could pour yourself a cup of joe (or choose from a selection of tea bags) if you're an early riser (from 6:30am). Coffee was VERY strong from the coffee warmer (industrial size). I think I grew a hair on my chest! Better coffee from the wait staff once seated.
If you're traveling with a party of eight, keep in mind reservations are necessary if you wish to dine together. We made breakfast reservations on our last day and dinner reservations for the last night (not everyone wakes up at 5am like me!). Spending most of our time in Yosemite Valley was our goal since half of our party had never been. Saved a little $$ by eating at Yosemite Lodge ($28 for two salads and two waters) and buying food at the grocery store.
The wait staff- All so very polite! We left good tips for our servers. No complaints at all.
Each morning (except Sunday) the Star-Spangled Banner was played over a loud speaker in the restaurant as the American flag was being raised. Not sung, not by a band, but whistled. Awesome. Applause after completion. Nice way to start your day. Also nice for foreign travelers to hear it in conjunction with the raising of the flag in such a beautiful setting.
There are trails you could take from the Wawona, a small gift/grocery store, an historic building and stables near by. Also a golf course. Alas, I only stayed three days; not enough time to see and do it all. Perhaps another time....

Room Tip: No room service (food), no fitness center. Service was excellent, sleep quality was good. Very clean...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tarkingtons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

My husband and I really enjoyed our stay at the Wawona Hotel. I loved that there was no TV in the room and the bathrooms were located down the hall. It really made for a rustic stay. The main area of the hotel was nice and the staff were extrememly friendly and helpful. The continental breakfast was perfect before our long hike into the backcountry.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alicia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, DE
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

We came to The Wawona after two nights at The Ahwahnee. It was a semi last minute change of plans so we really weren't expecting much other than a room with a private bath. We were assigned to Room 52, in "Little White" which meant nothing to us until we saw the room. It is the most charming room we have ever stayed in--and we have stayed in lots of great rooms (Mary Jane Coulter Suite!) in lovely national park lodges. True board and batten walls, super high ceilings with ceiling fans, a huge bathroom and a lovely porch with comfortable chairs! Eastlake style furnishings, lovely lace curtains--this room has it all going on! And the beds were comfortable! It's a drive from the Valley but right next to Mariposa. I'm so glad we stayed!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with bath in Little White--you won't be disappointed!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DisneySue925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

I have seen other reviews complaining about the staff but I must disagree. The staff is the only reason I gave it an extra star. They were very friendly, helpful, and professional. Beyond that, though, the hotel has little to recommend it.

The only advantage is the location inside the park... But it is barely inside the park and all you are avoiding is the entrance line at the gate. For the high price this is not enough of an advantage. Once you spring for the privilege of having your own shower since many rooms do not have bathrooms (more about that later) and a private toilet, you are paying resort prices for a very run down and not very pleasant place to stay.

Most of the buildings have lovely wide verandas, but inside the rooms are rather abysmal. If you would like a shower, either do it at night or set your alarm early because there is no hot water by 6:30am.

Parking is not convenient and you will have to lug your bags a long way. Because of the understandably strict bear rules you can leave nothing in your car, so this could result in a LOT of lugging up narrow paths. The rooms are small, so it will be a tight fit once you and your bags are in the room.

If you still want to stay there, avoid upstairs in the Washburn building at all costs. It is the only place without a veranda and the rooms have been cut in half by an interior hallway. Since you are still paying a very high premium for your own bathroom, it is a bit like paying for a balcony room on a cruise ship and being stuffed below-decks in a porthole room. A tiny, cramped porthole room.

The internet situation is abysmal. This may not seem like an issue for some, but if you are trying to coordinate with other travelers it is a nightmare, especially since there is zero cell service and no room phones. It's a bit like being away at camp as a child, only way more expensive.

The food in the dining room is pretty subpar as well, and pricey.

Overall, if I was paying Travelodge prices I wouldn't have been so disappointed, but there are so many gorgeous inns and B&Bs right down the road outside the park it is nonsense to stay here. For the same price you can rest in luxury, and for quite a bit less you can be very comfortable.

Room Tip: Stay away for upstairs in the Washburn building
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kimberrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Wawona as part of a tour around the west coast. We stayed two nights and it is a lovely escape from technology, and a real
step back in time!!!

The food in the restaurant was delicious and the staff very friendly and helpful.

It's a great location, inside Yosemite, but about a 20 minute drive to the valley - the views will not disappoint!!!

I missed the wifi, only available in the sun room, and hubby missed
the TV, but probably did us good!!!

Had a room with en suite, would not have likes one without its own bathroom, but that's just me!!!

Really enjoyed our stay in this gorgeous hotel!!

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Suzanne C
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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