Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
What We Love
- Tranquil setting away from the crowds and hubbub of Yosemite Valley
- Plenty of outdoor activities year-round, for first-time and repeat visitors
- Ascent Spa features local, organic and artisanal spa products
- Caters to couples, but is also family-friendly, with daytime and evening kids activity camps
What To Know
- A $15 resort fee per night (including parking, WiFi, newspaper, etc.) will be collected at the hotel
- Timberloft and Embers restaurants have seasonal hours
- The two outdoor pools are open seasonally when weather permits
- By car, it’s more than an hour from the lodge to Yosemite Valley, and the nearest town, Oakhurst, is a 20-minute drive
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Just outside Yosemite National Park’s south gate, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is a refined base camp in the woods. Encompassing almost 50 forested acres outside Yosemite’s south gate, this lovely stone and timber lodge is far from the park’s sometimes madding crowds while affording easy access to diverse outdoor activities, no matter the season. You can go mountain biking or hiking in the summer sunshine, or strike out on snowshoes or cross-country skis into winter’s freshly powdered landscape.
Bed & Bath
The lodge’s 302 guestrooms, suites and cottages are more comfortable places to lay your head than most lodgings in the park. Spacious and tidy, the rooms and suites have simple, country-style decor, with earth-toned patterned textiles, solid wood furnishings and lamps in a rustic Arts and Crafts style. Just a short walk from the main lodge, the renovated cottages offer more privacy and atmosphere, with romantic gas-burning fireplaces and (in some) private patios or balconies looking onto the deep forest.
Depending on the weather, take a dip in the indoor pool or two outdoor heated pools; there are also two outdoor hot tubs that make for a perfect star-gazing soak. And after a day of fun in the High Sierra with the kids, book some alone time at the eco-friendly spa, where organic, fair trade and natural products enhance hot stone massages and wild rose and sage red clay wraps.
How to Get There
Nice property but I felt like I was buying a used car. Pushed to use valet parking as it’s complimentary...but you should tip the attendants. Of course I should! Then the attendants actually told me I should tip them. What? I’ll park my own car. Internet didn’t work the four days I was there. $450/night? Not again.
After "roughing" it at several budget hotels near Yosemite, we booked one night at Tenaya to rejuvenate before driving to Sequoia National Park. We arrived about 1 1/2 hour prior to check-in time, so our room was not ready. Not a problem - we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Jackalopes and had excellent service. Room still wasn't ready, so we took the kids outside to play bags and ladder golf on the lawn. After nearly 2 1/2 hours (and watching other parties get their room keys) we inquired about our room. Staff told my husband our room still wasn't ready, but they would give us a different room. Okaaaaay? We ended up with a spacious corner room that had a balcony overlooking trees.
Took kids to the pool and really appreciated all the pool toys they had for guests' use. Word of warning - don't use the lounge chairs behind the basketball net. We noticed quite a few spilled drinks. Pool bar was convenient and they had servers offering take-out from the restaurants to be delivered pool-side. As others mentioned, the laundry is hit or miss with payment. We found some of the washers worked without inserting money, the dryers needed money, or your could utilize unused time from previous users. All the machines worked well, though.
There are plenty of activities, but almost everything requires an additional fee. All activities can be booked in the concierge office. Our family tried archery and had a blast! There were bikes to rent, a climbing wall, and a ropes course for kids.
Overall, we found the staff very friendly and helpful, and our room spacious and clean. This was our one "splurge" on this trip, so we knew what we were getting into. We definitely found it better than the Majestic Hotel within Yosemite. Also appreciated the fruit water and taffy in the lobby. Would definitely recommend a stay here.
We stayed here for two nights on a whistle-stop visit to Yosemite, and the Tenaya Lodge was all we needed. The cottage room we had was well-sized and equipped (fridge, coffee machine, table and chairs etc.) although, as others have mentioned, the bathroom was ok, if a little cramped - but you don’t go to Yosemite to experience the bathrooms!
Their full-day tour was fantastic and we also did the interesting and eerie night-time flashlight tour. All the staff were friendly, with the shop and deli also being useful facilities. Prices were a little high (it’s a captive market so what do you expect?) although the packed lunch we’d ordered for the full-day tour was more than enough! They will do a gluten free sandwich for the packed lunch if requested too. We ate and drank in the Jackalopes restaurant/bar and made good use of the ability to swap housekeeping for 2 free drinks per night!
The games room was also fun, as was the indoor pool and jacuzzi. The outdoor pool was always full of kids, but thankfully the indoor pool was generally quieter.
Although Tenaya Lodge is located just outside Yosemite itself, access to the park is easy enough and it’s much more peaceful than staying in the valley with all the crowds!
We stayed 2 nights in Tenaya Lodge on a recent California road trip.
Unfortunately, on checking in, we were not really happy with the quality of the room we were given. It appears that some of the hotel has recently been refurbished but, although it was clean, we were given an older, dreary room. We asked whether it would be possible to change rooms, the following morning, and the front desk could not have been more helpful. We switched to a more modern and contemporary suite which was lovely - like chalk and cheese!
The highlight of the trip, though, had to be the all day tour of Yosemite which was arranged by the hotel. The guide, Rick Schulz, was outstanding! He had old postcards, photos and a wealth of information and interesting stories about the park and its visitors over the years. When we stopped at the meadow in front of El Capitan, he even had a plan showing all the climbing routes! He is clearly someone who really enjoys his work and in turn he passed his enjoyment on to us.
Dining options were a bit limited but fine for us as we were only there for 2 nights. The hotel is perfectly situated for Yosemite National Park and I would recommend it, but I suggest you ask for a refurbished room.
We wanted to explore the revitalized Mariposa Grove and stayed at the Tenaya Lodge, about a 3 minute drive from the South gate to Yosemite at the central shuttle parking area, about 2 miles away. Traveling from San Francisco.
We booked a Tenaya cottage room for a bit more privacy and to feel like we were in the woods rather than a big hotel. We checked in early and were seriously disappointed by the ground-floor cottage room and dirt "patio" (Redwood 532): we were below-road level and eye-level with the hub caps of the parked cars in front of the building. The room had the same "view."
A quick look around showed that many of the ground level rooms had cut-out, below ground dirt patios with pretty much the same view and rather public sitting areas, no real attempt to dress up the space. (We later made a list of what look to be the decent patios and balconies on the cottage rooms -- it's below). There are some nice ground floor rooms and patios, we just didn't land one on the first try. The cottages could have been planned out a bit better: they are pretty much right on top of each other, with not much privacy on balconies or patios.
Not sure at the time if we might just trade one bad ground floor view for another, we upgraded to a top floor cottage room (actually "roomS." Incense Cedar 513: The room with king bed also had another separate bedroom with queen bed). The front desk staff were very helpful; it was good that we checked in early, since this gave us more options: many cottage rooms had not yet been assigned.
The next day, we got to the Yosemite south entrance and the shuttle to Mariposa by 8:15am and the parking lot was wide open (Friday June 7, before most schools were out). We spent hours hiking around the upper grove (far fewer visitors here than the lower grove) and were back at the parking lot by 2:30. There were a good number of parking spaces available.
We were soaking sore muscles by 3:00 in the Tenaya hot tub and had drinks around the pool. The hotel amenities were very nice: great pool, good restaurants, excellent staff.
Before we left, we walked around the cottages and took notes on what seemed from the outside to be the better-situated patios and balconies:
Oak: 526 527 (528?). Fir: 505. Maple: 524. Incense: 512 513. Dogwood: 502 503. Birch: 546. Aspen: 542. Juniper: 519.
We looked at some hotel rooms, checking out for a possible future stay. There seem to be quite a few views from the hotel rooms of parking lots. Staff told us the parking lots serve as fire breaks.
The Tenaya is in the process of building some more cottage-like structures a bit north of the hotel. It might be interesting to check these out in the future. Hopefully they'll give a bit more thought to design and placement for privacy than the current cottages.