Luxury Lodging Near Yosemite

by Mary Freeman

Yosemite National Park conjures up images of towering redwoods, mammoth monoliths and cascading waterfalls. The usual way to experience the great outdoors is in a rustic cabin or tent, but at Yosemite, a handful of luxury hotels will suit even the most high-maintenance guest. Most of the hotels are located just near the entrance, giving visitors easy access to the park.

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The Ahwahnee

The Ahwahnee is the only AAA four-diamond hotel located in Yosemite Valley. The hotel reflects its natural surroundings and the history of the area with Native American décor, wood furnishings and ceiling-to-floor windows that give panoramic views of the park. The hotel serves afternoon tea daily and holds interpretive events. While breakfast, brunch and lunch dress at the Ahwahnee Dining Room is casual, the hotel requests that guests wear "resort casual" attire during dinner.

Relais Chateau du Sureau

Designed to resemble a European chateau, this hotel piles on the luxury, earning itself five stars from Forbes and five diamonds from AAA. At the hotel, restaurant chef Karsten Hart serves Californian fare with a Mediterranean influence. With services like massages, stone therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy, the hotel's spa offers guests a chance to relax. For those more interested in the pressure and heat of the kitchen, the chateau offers hands-on cooking classes. Each of the hotel's 10 guest rooms and two suites carries the name of a different fragrant herb or flower. The owner has decorated the hotel, which is located outside of the park in Oakhurst, California, with antiques and artwork.

All Seasons Groveland Inn

At the All Seasons Groveland Inn, every room has its own theme. The period antiques, murals and artwork that adorn the rooms reflect these themes. The Clouds Rest has a palette of light blues, Yosemite Falls has a backdrop of cascades, and a mural of seven eagles surrounds the bed in The Eagles Tower. Rooms come with Jacuzzi baths, fireplaces, handmade linens, private balconies or decks, and air purification systems. Some rooms also have steam rooms and private entrances. The hotel is located on California Highway 120, the western entrance to the park.

The Groveland Hotel

A stay at The Groveland Hotel means a stay in an individually designed Victorian-style room, with featherbeds, down comforters and European antiques. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast each morning between 7:30 and 10 a.m. The Cellar Door has a menu of steaks, seafood and pasta. During the summer, Groveland recommends guests make reservations for a table. This country inn offers in-room extras like a bubble bath basket, champagne and chocolates, or a cheese and fruit plate. Spa services are available in-room or at the professional's studio.

Tenaya Lodge

Two miles from the park's southern gate, Tenaya Lodge offers a resort experience among the Sierra Mountains. The lodge's smallest rooms are 350 square feet; the largest accommodations are the private cottages located nearby the main lodge. The 850-square-foot luxury suite features a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, two private balconies, walk-in closet and separate dressing room. The resort has seven dining options, including outdoor barbecue, a pizzeria, fine dining and sustainable cuisine. The Ascent, the hotel's 10,000-square-foot spa, has 12 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and pools, a sauna, and steam rooms.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.

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