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“Wawon'ta Again”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Wawon'ta Again”
Reviewed 15 August 2005

It is sad to say that the historic Wawona is a shabbily worn down hotel. It has soooo much potential, but simply has not been properly maintained. We paid for one of the nicest rooms with bath....what we got was a dilapidated old room with worn out furniture, wallpaper pealing off the walls, a bathroom that had mold ALL OVER the shower curtain, lights that did not work, and port-a-potties for hotel guests. All this for only $200 a night! Food at the restaurant was average, at best, and the staff, while cordial, consisted mainly of high school students who were clueless as to what service really means. Most of the guests we spoke with were quite disappointed in the hotel. We were not expecting the Four Seasons, but it is a shame that at one of our most beautiful national parks the government has allowed the hotel to fall into such disrepair. Yes, they are currently renovating the hotel, but in all fairness, they should have CLOSED the place down while they are doing the work. Maybe in five years the hotel will be worthy of an overnight stay, but until then we WAWON'TA be going back.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank SWSpencer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2005

The Wawona is a neat historic hotel, but is undergoing major renovations. While I loved the setting, and the historic swimming tank, I did not like my room with an uncomfortable double bed and a sink (We couldn't get a room with a bath). What I did love was the dining room, where we had a delightful dinner and the lounge, where Tom Bop, sings and plays a mean piano in many different styles. He takes requests, and even sings the names of restaurant patrons when their tables are ready. He is worth a trip to the Wawona. I will wait until after the renovations are complete to stay at the Wawona again (which the hotel clerk told me may take five years), but I will definitely stay near the Wawona (Fish Camp is the closest town) so I can eat in the Wawona dining room and listen to Tom Bop.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank BPBFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brentwood California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2005

Great place if you are looking to spend a pretty penny to stay in a historic building inside the Yosemite National Park, but in my opinion not worth the $$$. You would be better off staying outside the park in El Portal or Oakhurst or even spending the night in Curry Village for a lot less cash.

Not a great place to stay with young children.

The restaurant should stay open an little later, it closes at 9 PM and if you are not served by 9 PM you are not eating. We got to the restaurant at 8:10 and we were turned away because they could no longer accomodate any more diners for the evening. So we loaded up the car and headed 40 minutes back to the nearest town of Oakhurst for dinner. This was very inconvenient and a little scary to be driving the windy park roads in the dark. They also have a general store onsite but it closes at 8PM, so once you find out you are not having dinner in the lodge it's too late to go get some last minute provisions.

Also, I had made several requests that were not taken into consideration. One was to be near or next to our traveling companions, we were placed on the other end of another building. I also requested a crib which was never delivered to the room and it was entirely not worth it with a toddler and infant to trek back to the front desk to correct the issue. There are no phones to call the front desk so once you are settled into your room, you get what you get.

We nicknamed the hotel the Wawon't.

Helpful?
8 Thank starrs1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 27 July 2005

We very much wanted to stay within Yosemite park the couple of nights we would be there. I booked the Wawona and was happy to be near the grove of giant sequoias and expected a grand hotel experience for the price of the hotel - almost $200 /night with the rollaway bed. We had a room with a bath, thank god, but it was very old fashioned (and not in a charming way either). The room was cute, furnished with antique reproduction furniture, but not as clean as it could have been with spiderwebs on the hanging lamp and dingy floors. The restaurant was ok but high priced for average food. I am sorry the parks can't do better with the lodging, especially if they are going to charge high prices for it. I guess they figure they are full, so why bother. Bad business, I think. I have to say with all its problems, the Wawona was better than Curry village, but only slightly. Probably would work our visit to stay outside the park next time.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2005

We booked and paid well in advance for the experience of a lifetime in this historic hotel. We didn't book a room with a bath because of the cost (half the rooms have baths and half don't) BIG BIG mistake! There was one bathroom on our landing for some twenty rooms. It was small and didn't have a wash-hand basin, very UNHYGENIC. The only way to the toilet was via an open veranda, picturesque but UNSAFE at night. The mens shower area was a disgrace. Building was going on but there was no real excuse for their poor state. Our room had a broken window pane which had been repaired with cardboard and tape! We checked in, saw the rooms and facilities, argued our case, got a refund, checked out and headed to a very nice Best Western nearby.
National Parks charged a $50 booking fee and despite my attempts to contact them they just ignore e-mails.
Historic it may be but be warned, the facilities are ancient and wouldn't be allowed in Europe!

Helpful?
18 Thank Swindell640
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, ME
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2005

My husband and I spent 5 nights at the Wawona hotel in June, 2004. We did not realize that it was such a hike to get to Yosemite Valley from here. The hotel had some old world charm, but was not what we had anticipated. We stayed in one of the cottages behind the main hotel, and had to share a bathroom/shower with several other people. The restaurant at the hotel was okay, but a little bit pricey. You have no choice but to eat there because there are no other restaurants in the area. The piano player playes at dinnertime at the main enterance-he is wonderful. It is fun to get a drink and just sit and listen to him One day, my husband and I bought some hot dogs and charcoal and grilled at a picnic area near the camp store up the street from the hotel. The golf course was small, but fun-probably more for beginners. At the end of our visit we wanted to find a river and go swimming. The front desk staff advised us to go to a little private spot where we could relax. It was so much fun jumping off the rocks into the river.
All and all, Wawona Hotel was a decent place to crash after a long and tiring day of touring Yosemite. It is an average hotel with very few amenities. It kind of reminds me of camping.

  • Stayed June 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank leighleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 17 May 2005

4 adults from Oregon stayed 2 nights at the "Little White House" adjacent to the main hotel. It was an interesting place from an historical standpoint but not worth the charges. The cleanliness of the rooms was poor, maintenance was almost non-existent-evidence of massive long term neglect apparent. The staff was, in general, cold and indifferent. The attitude seemed to be that we were bothering them. 2 exceptions to this general attitude was the golf staff and the piano player/ entertainer.They were great! The grounds and the setting are magnificent and help compensate for the shortcomings of the buildings and staff. It is improbable that we will return there.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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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