This first map shows the Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Valley, main building on the left in relation to the cottages out on the grounds on the right, (swimming pool highlighted in light blue)
24 cottages (bungalows / cabins) are in eight one-story buildings out on the grounds of the hotel, a short or long walk out in the weather accessed by a wide paved pathway over a small bridge over seasonal Royal Arch creek, shown below after one night of heavy snow fall:
(Originally the Yosemite Park and Curry Company intended to build up to 300 cottage units.)
In the photo below, the Ahwahnee hotel main building is in the upper left, the cottages are in the wooded area to the right of the main building. The Ahwahnee Bridge crosses the Merced River near the center and Sugarpine Bridge is to the right. The road over these two bridges is now a pedestrians/bikes only route to Mirror Lake / meadow. (It will have occasional park service vehicles).
Off to the right (east) side of this map is the river, off to the left (west) side of this map of the 8 cottage buildings is the main Ahwahnee hotel building:
Floor plan drawings below are from the Yosemite National Park webpage document:
Ahwahnee Hotel Cottages, Yosemite Valley, California
bathroom renovations construction documents, December 1, 2006
With advance reservations, and a request to be next to each other,
Ahwahnee cottage rooms with adjoining doors can be booked together.
There are ten classic cottage rooms in five duplex buildings, shown below with the door in red that can be opened to connect 2 adjoining rooms:
700 and 701, 704 and 705, 706 and 707, 708 and 709. Two of the Classic Cottages are ADA, with roll-in showers, (702, 703, that can be connected).
In the center of the two five-plex buildings are featured rooms (D below), with four classic cottage rooms, shown below with the doors in red that can be opened to connect some or all of the adjoining rooms:
The one 4-plex building has standard cottage rooms, smaller than other Ahwahnee rooms, shown below with the door in red that can be opened to connect two of them:
In 1940 they looked like this:
Bathrooms in the main building look mostly like this, with the shower over tub, sink and toilet in the same room:
Here the floor plan for cottages 723 on the left and 721 on the right
Other cottage bathrooms have more spacious floor plans.
Accessible rooms have widened doors, grab bars in the bathroom, raised toilet seats, low density carpet. Five have a roll-in shower: main building 116, 206 and 421, cottages 702 and 703.
Here is a photo of an ADA cottage bathroom with a roll-in shower:
Other accessible rooms, with grab bar tubs but no roll-in shower, are 106, 219, 346, 507, 607. Here is the floor plan for the 2 ADA cottage bathrooms:
Cottage rooms 710, 711, 717 & 718:
Cottage rooms 712, 713, 715 & 716:
Four rooms, #710, 711, 717 and 718 in the H shaped 5 plex buildings have an alcove between the bedroom and the bathroom with a bed you can fit a child on, and a door between the bedroom and alcove for privacy.
The door on the right hand wall in the photo above is one that can connect to the featured cottage room.
If you decide to get one of these rooms to be able to park your bike(s) in the alcove, housekeeping would appreciate it if you bring some sort of large towel for under the bikes for the inevitably muddy tires.
(And again, please note, advanced reservations and a request to be next to each other are required for rooms to be connected and can not always be guaranteed.)
Ahwahnee featured cottage room #714 (with a fireplace, and large shower but no tub), has a generous sized patio with a view through the trees up towards Glacier Point. In the photos below 714 is in the center, a corner window of Classic cottage 711 is on the left and a corner window of Classic cottage 713 is on the right:
The other featured cottage is room #719 (with a fireplace, and large shower but no tub). The generous sized patio looks out at the forest (the window on the left below is room 718. It and 716 have corner windows that look out at the forest and the patio for 719.
(In June 2016 President Barack Obama and family stayed in the 715, 716, 717, 718 & 719 cottages. The hotel removed the bed from 719 and the room was re-furnished into a dining room. See a video of Obama’s Yosemite visit.)
Originally Ahwahnee rooms 714 and 719 were living rooms shared by the four bedrooms in the building. A description said: “The fourplex cottages with central living rooms are arranged in an H-shaped floor plan with two rectangular guest rooms (approximately 17’-8” x 24’-6”) on each end and a rectangular living room (approximately 34’ x 17’-9”) in the center… Originally, the central living room connected to a small kitchen; however this was converted into a bathroom when the living rooms were remodeled into guest rooms. . . The two central living room spaces (Rooms #714 and #719) have slightly different doorway configurations. On the front façade, three wide sets of doors extend the full length of the space and open onto a partially enclosed patio. In Room #719, these consist of three sets of French doors that are each glazed with four lites. In Room #714, two sets of French doors flank a single central wood door that has one lite in its upper half and a wood panel below. The central door is flanked by a pair of sidelights with four divided lites each . . . In the central living room, the stone fireplace stands at the center of the rear wall. The fireplace is constructed of irregularly coursed, rough-cut granite, and has a wood mantel that is painted black. The two fireplace doors are constructed of black metal screen surrounded by metal frames accented with flower and swirl designs at the corners. The hearth extends into the room beyond the front façade of the fireplace surround, and is comprised of large slabs of slate. . .”
“These cottages, designed by architect Eldridge “Ted” Spencer in 1928, . . . comprise an integral part of the Ahwahnee Hotel’s historical and architectural significance. The inclusion of cottages (commonly referred to at the time as “bungalows”) in the Ahwahnee Hotel Complex was an essential component of the plan for the hotel to function as a resort hotel for wealthy visitors to Yosemite National Park. . . Differing considerably from the monumental rustic style of the main hotel building, the cottages are also significant for their embodiment of a combination of architectural styles, blending elements of California Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Rustic, and Transitional/Early Ranch styles in a fusion of traditional and modern architectural designs . . . In designing the cottages, Spencer incorporated several aspects of the California Bungalow style, including sleeping porches . . . an architectural phenomenon that emphasized outdoor living and the health benefits of fresh air.”
Originally rooms 721 and 720 were one unit, 723 and 722 were a second unit. The rooms that are now 721 and 723 were sleeping porches (in the upper corners of the floorplan below), attached to bedrooms that are now rooms 720 and 723. When this building was remodeled into four “Standard” units, they became some of the smallest rooms at the Ahwahnee. Two of them have almost no closet space.
The original building was only two units and had only 2 patios, originally private, now shared.
720 shares a patio with 721.
722 shares a patio with 723, shown in the photo below:
The rest of the Classic and Featured cottages have their own patios.
There is occasionally an unnamed seasonal creek at the back of the cottages:
At any of the Yosemite lodgings, you have the possibility of seeing animals.
NPS photo of a ringtail:We saw a ringtailed cat jog across one of the large balconies one evening, and a bellman told a tale of convincing one hanging from the drapes in a guest room to leave the room. It was a balcony room and the ringtail had walked in through an open door.
The resident Ravens
will try to take any food you leave unattended on your patio or balcony table, even knocking the room service metal plate covers off the plate.
Staying with your food and keeping food within arm’s reach is a wise idea on your cottage patio and at every National Park restaurant with outside dining, hotel, cabin, campsite, picnic area or where you stop to eat along a trail.
(Ravens are bigger than a Crow you might see at home. Ravens are 24 inches long and have a wingspan of 53 inches, Crows are 17.5 inches long and have a wingspan of 39 inches).
Steller’s Jays are common, and they also want to get into your food. (Recordings of their calls are here.)
Out on the grounds on the paved pathway to the cottages there is a sign:
At the back of the cottages after a February snow fall, we found bear paw prints in which you could clearly see claw indentations:
In May, a mule deer browsed along a cottages pathway:
In July, a quail and one of 9 baby quail at the rear of the cottages area:
And in December, a mule deer along another path at the cottages:
and in the spring a mule deer and fawn outside cottage 716 at the back of the cottages:
You might see other animals not listed on the sign, such as this coyote walking just outside the swimming pool fence,
or a skunk (photo courtesy of Harold (Harry) Bradbury),
or this bobcat in the cottages area:
This map shows the main building and grounds near it. (A larger version of this map is at Ahwahnee Hotel Map):
In a photo of the Ahwahnee taken from Glacier Point, the dining room and kitchen take up the left (west) wing you see below. When arriving you enter the hotel from the far side of the right (east) wing of the building:
Notice the end of the white bus under the roofed driveway / covered entrance towards the right hand side of the photo above. (The YARTS sign you see in the photo is covered up or removed when YARTS does not stop there.)
And here, courtesy of the NPS, the view from the parking lot across the pond to the Porte-cochere:
Detailed DIRECTIONS to get to the Ahwahnee hotel from any/all roads/entrances to Yosemite Valley are at driving directions.
See this for “new operational procedures” in Yosemite hotels, facilities during COVID.
People who are not guests at the Ahwahnee can dine there. Reservations are often advised well in advance and there is a dress code for some dining room meals.
The bar has a limited menu, but without the dress code for dinner that the main dining room has. It has indoor and (in warm months) outdoor dining:
Menus for the dining room (including the Sunday Brunch) and bar, as well as a link to making dining room reservations, are at: https://www.travelyosemite.com/dining/the-ahwahnee-dining-room/
The Sweet Shop has chocolate truffles as well as many other potential hiking snacks.
The schedule for free one hour tours of the hotel and occasional Ranger programs held at the hotel, can be found in the the Yosemite National Park newspaper Yosemite Guide.
The swimming pool is only open to guests of the hotel.
(Swimming pool highlighted below in light blue.)
Guests in the cottages can take any path(s) towards the main building, cross over a small bridge over seasonal Royal Arch creek and the pool will be on the right before the entrance to the main building.
Guests in the main building can find stairs to the pool at the far end of the mezzanine floor, (floor #1 on the elevator) and use them instead of traipsing around the lobby in a wet swimsuit/robe. Turn left as you exit the elevator, go down a long hall to outside stairs leading directly down to the pool. The stairs are behind the pool in the center in the photo below:
The women’s restroom on the mezzanine level could be a shorter walk than back to your cottage room. Again, instead of traipsing around the lobby in a wet swimsuit/robe, access it up the outside stairs and go down the hall past guest rooms, into the mezzanine lounge, then past the elevators (light blue dot is the guest elevator on the right, dark blue dot is the service elevator, red dot is the women’s restroom, stairs to the ground floor are between these on the floorplan below).
Your room key opens the locked gate to the pool. If there is also a padlock on the gate, the pool is not available for guest use (evening/overnight or due to occasional weather/chemical problems or when a large branch / section of trunk from a nearby tree falls into the pool).
There is another in the main hotel building on the corner of a wall of the hallway going from the front desk towards the dining room, next to the side hall to the men’s restroom (see on map):
Pools open to the public for a fee at other Yosemite valley hotels, as well as suggestions for safe river swimming, including thunderstorms, bacteria in the water, safety issues, favorite beaches, are at Swimming in Yosemite National Park
All the Ahwahnee rooms have large flatscreen televisions,
If the cottages still do not show the Yosemite Conservancy Nature Notes when you come to stay, you could download them at home and watch them anyway:
All the rooms have a safe, ironing board/iron, robes and a small refrigerator:
An Ahwahnee Hotel “Frequently Asked Questions” page given out at check-in had this: Due to its (the Ahwahnee Hotel’s) historic status, the existing walls can’t be modified to dampen the sound in the rooms. To keep you comfortable, we observe quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.”
See the concierge for details about in-room massages.
See room cost notes at Ahwahnee Hotel Map
Reservations, and more details about the hotel are at:
Royal Arch Cascade comes down the cliff next to the Ahwahnee.
Here as seen out on the hotel grounds in the cottages area:
and as seen from the hotel:
The Yosemite National Park rangers would like you to call them if you see a bear in Yosemite,
no matter where it is or what it is doing,
at 1 (209) 372-0322.
If you can, in all the excitement, try to notice if the bear has a tag (usually on the ear), the color of the tag and if possible, the number on it (the tag is large enough that with a telephoto you should be able to read the number).
From the Yosemite Daily Report newspaper:
“It is extremely important to remember to yell at bears that are in and around development, even if they are foraging on natural food. Though it is very tempting to get close for a picture, or just to watch these incredible animals, it is important not to give into this urge. Yelling at them if they are in residential areas or near people is critical to keep bears natural fear of humans. Giving bears plenty of space. When bears become too comfortable around people, they will often start causing damage to structures and vehicles, or will even become too bold around people, creating safety concerns.”
Where were they when they got that great picture in Yosemite?
Where can I get a photo that looks like the one on a Yosemite postcard I just bought?
Places to take photos of Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Staircase Falls.
Other hotel, cabin and tent cabin choices in Yosemite valley are at: Yosemite Valley accommodations
Other restaurants, cafeterias, coffee bars, pizza, grocery stores are at: Yosemite valley restaurants, coffee bars, cafeterias, food service and groceries
Drivers should note that there are sections of road in Yosemite Valley with two lanes (usually) in the same direction, with the right lane ONLY for the free shuttle buses, ambulances, ski bus, commercial vehicles with ten or more passengers. The NPS says: “The bus lane ensures emergency vehicles can respond to incidents when traffic is backed up and provides preference for mass transit.”