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“Great old fashioned charm”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great old fashioned charm”
Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

We have just left having spent 3 lovely nights there. We read the reviews before, so knew what to expect and enjoyed it all the more. Yes the rooms are small, there is only wifi in one area, there is no airco, and there are shared bathrooms. The bathrooms are clean, the pool is very welcome after a day in Yosemite, the staff are friendly and helpful. We found the continental breakfast perfectly adequate and enjoyed the old fashioned feel of the place and preferred it to the overly commercial centres.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
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Grants Pass, Oregon
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The Wawona Hotel is reminiscent of much earlier times in our history. You are taken back and can picture folks arriving my stagecoach for their much anticipated Yosemite Adventure from San Francisco and the east coast. You can picture the ladies in their long dresses with petticoats and big hats gracefully descending from the carriages and ascending the wide hotel staircase to the main hotel lobby off of the veranda. We stayed in the Washburn Cottage in Veranda #W0002 which is on the ground floor and the backside of the building which stayed nice and cool. The furnishings were modern but fit the era. Queen bed was set very tall and was very comfortable. There were two adirondack chairs on the veranda deck to relax with a cold drink. In the evening at 5:30pm went to the main hotel and set on the veranda and sipped a mint julep and some appetizers while listening to the very talented pianist before heading to dinner in their charming dining room with the period replica hand painted shades on the ceiling lighting. Favorite dinner was the old fashioned pot roast! The place is charming and quaint and sits next to the Wawona Visitor Center and Pioneer History Center where some of the original homestead cabins have been relocated for your viewing pleasure. Our first morning we caught the 9am Mariposa Grove Shuttle at the Wawona General Store and arrived at the grove just in time to catch the Big Trees Tram at 9:30am which lasts about and hour and a half. I understand this is the last year for the tram which has audio over headphones narrating what you are seeing. Perfection!!! Wouldn't change a thing! Wawona Hotel being at the South Entrance of Yosemite is much quieter with a much slower and relaxed pace.

Room Tip: Washburn Cottage, Veranda #W0002 which is in backside of building and has its own private bathroom r...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
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1 Thank VacationerGP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 19 August 2014 via mobile

Had a great time with family at this hotel. It has large porches and a relaxed atmosphere. Smaller rooms than newer hotels but large porches to hang out on instead. Food was good but more expensive than we usually have with kids. But it was so convenient we had dinner there every night. Good distance to hiking, swimming hole, and mariposa grove. Lots of yard for kids to play on. Old fashioned pool.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Campsalotwithkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

Currently sat by the pool (the tank) a few days into our stay. It's a fab place, very chilled atmosphere a few miles past the south entrance of the park and about 45 mins drive from the Yosemite valley floor visitors centre. I was a bit concerned it was a bit far from some of the major attractions but it can get a bit busy down there and we prefer the relaxing feeling up here!

Rooms are very comfy, smaller than most hotels and not all have their own bathrooms, for a family with 2 teenagers we booked 2 rooms that were joined by a bathroom which although not too cheap have been fab. I've seen a few families complaining about lack of facilities despite the hotel being clear that guests in some rooms would have to wander down the veranda to use the restrooms.

Great friendly, informative staff (except one who always seems to be in a grump but we'll let them off)..

Really tasty food in the restaurant, breakfast time can sometimes feel a bit chaotic and that they're only just coping with the numbers but it's always done with a smile and nothing is too much trouble. We've not had lunch here yet but did get a packed lunch (order at reception by 9pm the day before) which was lovely and went down well halfway around our trek!

There's no TV's and no phones which is definitely part of the charm, but good wifi access in a couple of places in the annex building and (as I've just found out) around the pool too!

Every Saturday they have a BBQ on the lawn, 5-7pm, great food (for vegetarians too) a lovely atmosphere with some live music and a great chance to sit around and chat with other guests and people who've come just for the food!

There's the mariposa grove close by, a small pioneer museum and a great small visitors centre where we got more information than the one in the valley, with no queue either! There's a nice looking golf course, with golf shop, tennis courts and horse riding available too..

All in all very highly recommended, we've had a look around most of the accommodation near the valley (including the Ahwahnee) and the whole family think we've picked the best place..

For more pics I'm siplumb on twitter and instagram...

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vermont
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We really enjoy staying at park hotels when we visit the National Parks. Wawona did not disappoint. It's a beautiful old hotel; quite stunning when you first arrive. It is a ways from the Valley part of the park, but an easy drive to the Glacier Point section and around the corner from Mariposa Grove. We stayed in Moore cottage with our traveling companions. It was fun to sit on the porch with a drink before dinner. Very private, even though it had several rooms. Our bathrooms were huge. Housekeeping service could be improved though the rooms were clean. The wait staff in the dining room and the staff in the office were all terrific. Wifi was limited to a small area of the annex which was inconvenient since there was no cell service. I'm glad we stayed there. A great park experience.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snbvt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We had a lovely stay at the Wawona as part of our honeymoon and would stay there again. It was not perfect by any means but we had fun and negative reviews seem to be based on people not reading up about he hotel before hand!
The good: Great position in the national park, beautiful character property which is not a rebuild but has genuine history, lovely verandas and views of the countryside, lovely breakfast included.
The bad: Very small bedrooms, limited and vastly over-priced dining options.
The hotel does not have air-con and many rooms have a shared bathroom. Neither of these were a problem for us as the temp (in July/Aug) was high during the day but drops at night. Shared bathrooms were always clean but a washbasin in the room would have really helped.

Our main problem was that being in the middle of a National Park food options are limited. The Wawona seems to take advantage of that and the food in the restaurant really was nowhere near as good as the prices that they charge would suggest. The staff were always great (an breakfast good) but evening meals were very very average (other restaurants in the park charge less or the same and are far better quality)

Overall, we would certainly stay at the hotel again and would urge people to read about the hotel before booking!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ajh999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2014

First the good: beautiful historic hotel in the grand hotel style, with large front porch for lounging, and wide lawns dotted with lawn chairs, with huge ponderosa pines shading the lawn. The free shuttle to the Mariposa grove of giant sequoias is a must-do, and departs regularly a very short walk from the hotel property. The old swimming pool (they call it a tank) was also delightful. Now the bad: we opted for a room without a bath, and despite having reserved 8 months ahead of time, were given a room upstairs in the Moore Cottage, room # 93. This is a truthful review, the room was as small as a tent, with a sloping ceiling and one average sized window. We felt very cramped inside this room. There was no outside porch available, like the downstairs rooms in this same building, which would have made the room size more tolerable. Since we reserved (and paid!) so far in advance, I felt that we should have gotten a better room, not one the size of a postage stamp. I would stay here again, but would call ahead and request a better room as a condition of staying here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony, and call ahead so that you don't get stuck with whatever they hav...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sheryl s
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 #2 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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