We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Tough Call”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Big Trees Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Big Trees Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Tough Call”
Reviewed 29 May 2012

Wawona is just what it bills itself as, a quaint older hotel with a very distinguished lineage of visitors, no TV, no in room coffee makers and optional in room bathrooms. But the other reviewers are right, it is getting run down. We stayed in a room with a bathroom at the Washburn Cottage the week before Memorial Day weekend. There were still vacancies. The walls are thin and the lights are kept purposely dim in the rooms.

The location is everything. It is 35 to 40 minutes of winding roads to the tunnel view in the valley. But the food and gas prices in the Wawona Hotel and convenience store are crazy high. I would advise stopping in Oakhurst (junction of 49 and 41 south of park) and getting gas and food. Don’t worry, the main bear rule is to keep nothing in your car, rooms are fine.

But the location is everything. To stay at Oakhurst would add 45 minutes to your valley floor trip. But be forewarned, Wawona Hotel is telling the truth. It is an over 100 year old hotel with few modern conveniences.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CincinnatiPiper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

2,015 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    699
    750
    303
    175
    88
See reviews for
506
1,053
60
11
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (556)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Luis Obispo
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2012

We stayed at the Wawona Hotel in October 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was like stepping into one of my grandparents' photographs and was a magical experience. We booked our rooms through Priceline, and so while they were (relatively) inexpensive, they were also the leftovers. That being said, everything was lovely and charming. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms, but having them would ruin the charm of the hotel. There is WiFi in the lounge farthest away from the main lobby. There are personal touches everywhere and the facilities are well maintained. Folks planning on staying here should do their research...this is an old, and historic facility, and as such will not have all the mod cons we are used to nowadays. So there are no tv's...have a conversation! It was fantastic to drink hot toddies , listen to the live
piano, and spend quality time with each other. To modernise anything would be like putting false eyelashes on the Mona Lisa, because we think she'd look better! This is a lovely hotel, and we plan on returning.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mrsskceb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
corning ne
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012

a historic hotel with rustic charm that needs updating badly . Yosemite is the crown jewel of the park system ,but this place is showing its age and its staff should be ashamed of how it is run for the price that is charged and the service that they give .A noisy hotel with thin walls and loud closing doors ( THEY LEAVE EAR PLUGS ON THE NIGHT STAND FOR YOU),Needs to be remodeled so each room has its own bath . As for the restaurant , what a joke !!! if you are a party of six you can make a reservation , but if your a party of two you wait in line all day while the person running the dining room takes each group to their table while all of us in line to eat wait for her to come back and then do it again ,and again ,and again!!!!!! (THEN GIVES YOU ATTITUDE WHEN YOU SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF) . yeah its overpriced ,but hey, your on vacation, right.!!! Breakfast should start earlier than 7am and be a buffet so you don't wait around all day as again a line forms and the person running the dining room takes each party to their table while the rest of us wait in line again. I bailed out on breakfast as i had already had enough problems getting dinner the night before . The swimming pool has not been usable for years i was told . staff said it needs concrete repairs ??? the parking is far away from the rooms and you walk across a lawn that is un -even and hard to walk across .the sprinklers were almost always running but it still looked bad . Now i know i was not staying at the ahwanee and and was not expecting the same amenities .BUT I DID EXPECT THAT A HOTEL IN THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE NAT. PARK SYSTEM WOULD BE A BETTER FACILITY WITH PEOPLE THAT KNOW HOW TO RUN IT.

Room Tip: Stay in a room with its own bathroom and bring your own food .
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mark c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2012

They asked for feedback and this is my comments....
The quality of the rooms available in the hotel is simply not good enough. I do not accept that a "quaint" hotel offers dingy rooms:-
1. not only with no bathroom facilities, but having to endure listening to someone using their "facilities" next door via an adjoining door. This is completely unacceptable standard.
2. The room are in fact no better than a bed. I accept no TVs, but no wash facilities, no clothing storage, no iron, no shampoo, no Internet, no hairdrier, shared (dirty and tacky) toilet/bathroom between 8 rooms, no coffee making, no fridge, no bar after 9:30 (I now laugh at this one)........the list could go on and on and on.
Given the price we paid, the facilities were not good enough.
I was totally and completely ripped off.
Having traveled around 3 states (Calif,Nevada,Arizona) in 3 weeks staying in numerous hotels of various standards and prices, this was by far the worst value for money I experienced not only on this trip, but on any trip I have ever taken.
The dining service (food quality and staff) was the *only* plus point.
This hotel ruined my visit to Yosemite National Park. You have been warned.

Room Tip: Simply do not go to this dump.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allybally354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
156 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

This hotel was one of the highlights of my trip to Yosemite. There really is nothing better than relaxing in under the giant trees on the property, sipping a glass of wine, and watching the sunset. After dinner everyone would gather in the parlor for drinks and snacks while listening to the piano player. As there are no TVs in the rooms this made for great entertainment.

A lot of people would prefer to stay in the valley, but I love the peacefulness of this hotel. It is only about a 45 minute drive back to the valley so you aren't terribly isolated. The road that leads to Glacier Point is right down the road, along with a gas station.

Room Tip: Not all rooms have a private bath, so if that means a lot to you, I would recommend it. Also, there...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChildeRoland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

I don’t want to be harsh about the Wawona because it really is a beautiful hotel. What I will say is that it really does need some time and money spent on bringing it into the 21st Century. I’m not talking flat screen TVs and wet rooms (that would destroy the charm of the place) just new, clean bathrooms (ours was VERY old and slightly mouldy) and some decent lighting (that is more powerful than a candle). I realise that the hotel is old and is trying to keep all of it’s charm and to be fair the main building is a real gem and full of history and character but the block we were staying in was in desperate need of some work. The hotel’s location however is just stunning. It is surrounded by forest and has a charming fountain out front as you drive up. Unfortunately the parking is a joke and we had to keep on driving around until someone left – additional space is desperately needed. It’s an hour’s drive from the hotel to get to Yosemite Village and all of the main attractions which isn’t ideal but we knew this before arriving and to be honest the hotel’s location is so peaceful and quiet that it is welcomed after a busy day exploring.

Having said all of that, our lasting memory of the Wawona will be that of the superb service we received from every single member of staff and in particular those who were serving breakfast. Honestly, it really did make a huge difference and allowed us to forgive the hotel its shortcomings.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burraneer
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

We stopped over for one night and wish I could have stayed at least another. The hotel is just beautiful. Fantastic lawns with plenty of chairs to sit and watch the world go by! We booked a shared bathroom room and it was great. Bathrooms were excellent. Dinner in their restaurant was really good too. Drinks on the verandah are a great way to finish off the day meeting new friends. Highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Baloo_loo_00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Yosemite National Park
22.2 km away
Cedar Lodge
Cedar Lodge
#2 of 2 in El Portal
1,954 reviews
36.6 km away
Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge
#3 of 7 in Groveland
320 reviews
22.4 km away
BEST WESTERN PLUS Yosemite Gateway Inn
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.8 km away
White Chief Mountain Lodge
18.5 km away
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
#1 of 2 in El Portal
3,652 reviews
7.3 km away
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Big Trees Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Cancelon so you can book your Big Trees Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Wawona Hotel Yosemite National Park
Wawona Yosemite National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing