The Ahwahnee Hotel in the heart of Yosemite is the grand old statesman of national park lodgings and staying here is to experience a unique piece of American history.
Built in the 1920s to draw affluent travelers to Yosemite, there is a grandeur and scale that remains nearly one hundred years on. Its location at the head of the Yosemite Valley is spectacular and its imposing exterior could almost be an extension of the precipitous granite cliffs and pine forest that surround it.
The interior halls are no less striking with huge ceilings, cavernous stone fireplaces and floor to ceiling windows. Hand stenciled beams, wall tapestries and oil paintings of the Yosemite landscape all add to the sense of history and tradition. The flipside of this history is that The Ahwahnee does draw plenty of day visitors making it a busy place in high season.
While the hundred or so rooms are not reason enough alone to stay at The Ahwahnee, they are comfortable, pleasantly decorated and have everything you need. Be sure to to get a room that has views of Half Dome and the valley.
Need to Know
The dining room at The Ahwahnee is an institution in itself and is almost always very full. Huge ceilings, pine beams and granite walls make for a grand setting. For dinner the formality levels are upped with a dress code requiring jackets.