Accommodations, services, and food were provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
For: Families, Couples
Archery and other amenities, newly renovated rooms, full-service spa, close to south entrance of Yosemite National Park.
Links: Official site
Tenaya Lodge is located in Fish Camp, CA, very close to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. This makes the lodge an especially interesting place to stay if you’re coming from Southern California. It’s right off Highway 41 so make sure you don’t have too much fun taking the curves going up the hill. It might be hard to resist the urge but you may miss the entrance.
Once you enter the park, which is practically around the corner, Wawona and Mariposa Grove are just a few minutes away. Glacier Point Road, which gives an awesome view of Yosemite Valley, starts at about 45 minutes from the lodge. It’s another 30 minutes going all the way up. Check to make sure if the road isn’t closed, which may be due to heavy snow during the winter months. Another half an hour and you’ll be in Yosemite Village, passing popular spots such as Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, and much more.
Going through the entrance really sets the mood. The décor is perfect for the natural setting the property is based in.
Staying at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
The rooms inside the hotel are comfortable and spacious but feel a bit dated.
The property is currently being renovated, though, and the new rooms are a great improvement. You don’t worry about noise or closed off areas as the renovation is being done in a way that won’t affect your stay.
There’s also a separate adult-only floor for those that want some peace and quiet from rambunctious little ones racing down the halls. It’s also nice if you want to get away for a few days for some alone time as a couple while you leave the kids with your parents.
In case you do prefer to bring the whole family or similar sized group, outside the hotel there are several extremely nice cabins. It’s right among the trees so you’ll feel that you’re in the middle nature even more. Large spaces are available for business meetings and special events as well.
Tenaya Lodge Review – Amenities
Once you’ve checked in, you’ll never be bored. TerriAnn and I really enjoyed the fancy spa and relaxing massage. After the massage we were advised us to drink lots of water and take a good shower. The altitude, in combination with the oils they use during massage, can apparently make you feel a bit woozy.
It’s not all fancy spas and massages though, no way. That same night we went for a flashlight hike through the forest, learning lots of interesting facts about the trees, animals, and other living things. For example, I learned that the Sugar Pine contains five needles in each bunch (easy to remember since the word “sugar” has five letters) and that the Ponderosa Pine has three (like the three sons in Bonanza who lived on a ranch called the Ponderosa).
The next morning we enjoyed some archery lessons. Make sure to ask for the leather guard to protect your arm, or else it will be black and blue before you know it. (I learned that the hard way.) There’s also horseback riding and rock climbing. During the winter you even can go ice-skating, right there at the lodge.
Let’s not forget the pools. They have one inside and a few outside, including a wading pool with water play features. The main outside pool plays a jazzy tune underwater, which was quite unique. A fully-loaded arcade is on-site as well.
Tenaya Lodge Review – Dining
There are several restaurants inside the lodge. Embers is really fancy but only for adults and older children. Our nicely behaved (most of the time) teen daughter would be okay. Everyone, even the little ones, can enjoy the Sierra Restaurant next door.
I was pleasantly surprised with the efforts they took to care for ones with food allergies. The manager of Jackalope’s Bar and Grill was very interested to hear about the gluten-free beer I prefer. I hope they’ll follow through on that one. For future guests, an on-site brewery is on the way.
The Tenaya Lodge is in the higher price range. However, the location and the amenities make it a place worth staying at. We had a great time and would love the chance to visit again, but this time in one of the newly renovated rooms!