Enjoying the rustic splendor of Yosemite National Park does not necessarily mean roughing it in a tent or spending nights in a roadside motel or a bland, mid-range chain hotel. Luxurious accommodations can be found both inside and outside the park, including some of the best-rated lodgings in California.
While accommodations in and around Yosemite National Park might be luxurious, they might not be conveniently located. The Big Oak Flat and Arch Rock Entrances are on the east-central border of the park and convenient to the popular Yosemite Valley, but even so these areas are separated by 25 miles or more of driving over winding roads from the western and southern parts of the park. Visitors should consult a map before choosing a hotel.
The luxurious accommodations of the Ahwanhee proved suitable for both John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II, and earned the highest marks from Fodor's and Frommer's. The Ahwanhee is six-story lodge with a wood and masonry facade that blends into the lovely Yosemite Valley scenery, and Fodor's called particular attention to the dining room, calling it "one of the most beautiful rooms in California." Rooms feature Native American decor and come with touches such as overstuffed couches and nightly turndown service.
Chateau du Sureau and Spa
With its tile roof, whitewashed walls and stone tower, the Chateau du Sureau presents its guests with a decidedly old world atmosphere. Frommer's described it as "one of the standout B&Bs in all of California (for that matter the entire U.S.)," and AAA, Forbes and Fodor's all gave the chateau their top ratings. The rooms are impeccably and individually furnished with European antiques and standard features such as dreamy goose-down pillows, giant bathtubs and Italian linens. The one drawback is the location, which while secluded is a full 16 miles from the southern entrance to the park.
The Groveland Hotel
Guests in search of luxury accommodations at reasonable prices in Yosemite National Park can turn to the Groveland Hotel. The two buildings of the hotel date to 1849 and 1919, and collectively stand as a historic landmark. Rooms at the Groveland are spacious and furnished with antiques, thick down comforters and feather beds. Suites have the added touches of big spa tubs and fireplaces, but some rooms are lacking in modern touches like television sets, so guests who find these amenities important should request a room equipped with them when making a reservation.
- Yosemite Valley image by Robert Ulph from Fotolia.com