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“A Bit of Yosemite History”
Review of Big Trees Lodge

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Big Trees Lodge
Florida
Level Contributor
116 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A Bit of Yosemite History”
Reviewed 28 December 2011

CelticRambler here.... With another California explanation that may be helpful.

The Wawona Hotel is the kind of rustic lodge that may have welcomed Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover. I loved the place when I was a kid. Very few changes. During my last visit, a wonderful entertainer brought the old-timers together and we sang Yosemite campfire songs from fifty years ago. I shouted, "Let the fire fall!" We watched home movies from the 1940s and even earlier. "Bully!" as Teddy Roosevelt said.

For some folks, this sort of thing is great. For others, it's tiresome and, yes, the hotel is a bit shabby and it's not much by Las Vegas standards. The dining room food is a bit ordinary. Although the whole crowd joined together for breakfast songs. If Teddy Roosevelt had marched into the dining room, we would not have been surprised.

Advantages? The Wawona is close to the heart of Yosemite. It's still comparatively inexpensive. The staff is friendly and very helpful. What more do you want?

Room Tip: When you make reservations, tell the staff what you need. Do you need a lot of extra space with...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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12 Thank CelticRambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2011

My husband & I stayed at the Wawona for 4 nights in December to celebrate his birthday. We stayed in a queen room with a bath, which was much nicer and more spacious than I expected. We were hoping for a stay where we could really get away - no phone, no email, no tv, etc - and do a lot of hiking, which the Wawona was able to provide. There aren't any tvs in the rooms or the common areas, nor is there a "business center" (i.e. computer, printer, or email connection). In fact, I heard a couple of families complaining because the hotel didn't have a wi-fi connection. If you like hiking, there are a couple of trails near the Wawona. If you want to head further in to Yosemite, it's a short drive to the valley (about 40 minutes depending on the weather). The Wawona will even prepare a sack lunch for you before you head out.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank TexasRunnerGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland CA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2011

The Wawona Hotel is about one hour from Yosemite Valley. If you want to avoid the crowds in Yosemite VIllage but still want to go there during your stay, the Wawona is the right place for you. However, don't expect anything fancy. The Wawona is pretty basic. If you want less noise, ask for a room in the main hotel building itself. A lot of their rooms have shared baths. Bring something warm to wear in the winter, because you have to walk outside to go to the shared bath. They boast a personalized complimentary breakfast, but it's pretty basic too. You have the option to get items in the menu for pay but I wouldn't recommend it, because they basically take filler (like potatoes, toast, even scrambled eggs) from the complimentary buffet and charge you for the breakfast. If you have any special needs, I feel the receptionist is very supportive and open.

Room Tip: Don't get a room in the "annex" if you don't want to hear people walking to the ba...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank snowrider-knitter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2011

Late review - stayed there first week Oct. Decided to stop for 1 night on the way to the Valley Floor. Strictly a historical experience, since nothing has been remodeled (accumulated coats of paint don't count) since its glory days. Which, in all fairness, is what the place is all about. In summary, everything written below is true - good and bad. We enjoyed the connection with its past so had a nice 1 night stay. 2 nights would have been too much.

About the restaurant - we knew what a national park captured audience is subjected to, so we brought our own wine. Took a look at the dinner menu and headed to the Deli at the nearby General Store. Brought back deli fare and had a great little dinner on the veranda outside the room for about $15. Was soon joined by several of our new neighbors, who said they wished they'd done the same. It would be nice if the menu would include at least one escape item for less than 30 bucks. Do recommend the Breakfast buffet - food layout is very nice and the room is beautiful.

Hiking is OK but total waste of time if you are going to the real trails in the Valley. Hence, the one night stay.

Room tips - a bunch. There are some really bad rooms. We stayed in the main bldg, which was charming, but stay away from rooms that open on to the connecting exterior passageways from front to back. Very dark. Also, connecting rooms have connecting doors (of course) that have no sound proof quality (they are doors). Guy in next room suddenly stopped snoring at about 1AM - hope he is OK. Our room was nicely done up in period decor, clean, and very enjoyable (except for worrying about the guy next door). European plan baths are not a problem for us so they were fine. But would definitely preview room before accepting. If anything looks like it could be a problem (location, adjoining room door, kitchen noise, traffic to the bath) it will only magnify as the night goes on!!

All in all, it was a once in a life time - gotta do it experience and we enjoyed immensely it for what it was without worrying about what it wasn't. Recommend for one night stay? Absolutely. Two? You are on your own.

Room Tip: Although most are nice, there are some really bad rooms - arrive early & preview room before acc...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank toughbutfair99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
182 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2011

I don't mind roughing it but no heat? We were at the end of the line so to speak for heat, and with the temperatures and the rain, it was miserable. I went to the front desk 3 times to talk to them about heat, and was told they were working on it but it didn't matter because the heat would be turned off in 20 min any ways. What, heat only from 7-9 each night? That is if your works. We stayed 3 nights traveled to Mammoth and back again for 3 nights. I tried to cancel the last 3 nights but was told no. I explained it was to cold, and at this point we were sick, but they needed a 7 day notice. I told them their web site says nothing about no heat except in the 7-9 pm range.

You will need earplugs, we heard everything from our two neighbors including the bathroom stuff. It was the worst place I have ever stayed at. The Gal that stands at the front counter is rude and should not be in charge.

The man who plays the piano and sings was a delight, we spent many hours in the lobby because it had heat, so we gots lots of time to hear him.

I would not recommend this place, instead camp.

Room Tip: I am not sure there is one, you might call and find out if it is better over the dining room.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank diver01
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 (per night): ₹ 18,861 - ₹ 24,803
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 
Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

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