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Tenaya's renovation of cottages vs. Ahwahnee

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Tenaya's renovation of cottages vs. Ahwahnee

Postby LJY » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:01 pm

I was curious if anyone has stayed at the renovated cottages (old Apple Tree Inn) and how they compare to the quality of the Tenaya itself vs. staying at the Ahwahnee in a regular room (only thing available). We are traveling with a 6 and 9 year old, and usually like to have our space (Embassy Suites is our best friend when traveling), but I'm really torn over being so far away from things vs. having more room. I'm also concerned because a lot of comments say the quality of the rooms at Ahwahnee are not that great. We are staying for only two nights and then headed north, so If there's a lot to do in the south we could do that the first full day and then head northwards early on our check out day to see the valley. I would love some input on this and any advice on trails a 6 year old with flat feet can handle. She's five now and when we went to Zion this past summer, a mile was about it for her. Are there any trails that might be appropriate? Thank you in advance for the assistance, LJY
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Tenaya vs. Ahwahnee

Postby Heybooboo » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:31 pm

I've stayed at Tenaya Lodge and the Ahwahnee. Dollar for dollar I would choose the Tenaya. Last time I made plans to stay at the Ahwahnee they could not accomodate our family of 4 on the 5th floor like we wanted, so I canceled. Our only stay there was 18 years ago, 5th floor with balcony and a 4 year old. It was fun for our son to sit on the balcony and play flashlight tag with people on top of Glacier Pt. and climbers on Half Dome. Very pricey room, but the experience was a once in a life time, worth going in debt for. Probably never stay there again, too expensive, unless it's for a special anniversary. Tenaya Lodge has lots of family activities but you're probably not staying long enough to take advantage for that. And yes, staying there you're still an hours drive from the valley floor. Never stayed at Apple Tree Inn. Why not the Lodge or Stoneman House (motel rooms) at Curry? We've stayed at the cabins (not tent cabins) but real wood sided cabins at Curry with a common bath between them, like a duplex. Two double beds, it was a great time.

Hiking. Take the tram to Mirror Lake, nice hiking around there, easy trails, and water! What 6 year can't resist water. They should be able to make it to the bridge at the bottom of Vernal Fall, though I've never hiked with anyone with flat feet. There are some new (last couple of years) trails added to the Yosemite Falls area after the redesign. Great for all abilities, very crowded at times though, and water!

Hope this helps
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Re: Tenaya's renovation of cottages vs. Ahwahnee

Postby dan » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:38 pm

Well, the Apple Tree Inn is (or was) basically rustic-style cabins.

Tenaya Inn is a modern hotel. I like the interior of the hotel, but the exterior is just surrounded by a giant parking lot, and it's not in the park (let along Yosemite Valley). Both are just outside the southern boundary of the Park in Fish Camp.

Ahwahnee is an older hotel and I stayed in there once. It's a full service hotel. The rooms are spacious and nice. It's built in Monumental Architecture, which means large rooms, rough-hewned beams, and hand-plastered walls. The best thing about it is it's in Yosemite Valley. Nothing beats staying in Yosemite Valley and getting up in the morning and being right there--you can see Yosemite Falls and Half Dome without moving a step. It's a lot more restful staying in the Valley than commuting to Yosemite Valley, like most of us do at work.

The biggest thing to see is the Wawona Grove of Giant Sequoias in the Southern end of the park. In Summer there's a tram that takes you to the center of the Grove--I highly recommend that, especially if you have a young kid in tow. It's something you can do in a half-a-day.

If you have time, I recommend stopping at Glacier Point along the way into Yosemite. It's the best view of Yosemite Valley.

Short walks in the Valley include the base of Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls (this walk has a steep section), and Bridalveil Falls.
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