Hotel Review: Tenaya Lodge – The Perfect All Year Round Place to Visit When in Yosemite

Hotel Review: Tenaya Lodge - The Perfect All Year Round Place to Visit When in Yosemite

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall….anytime is the perfect time to visit the Tenaya Lodge.

On a road trip from San Francisco, California to Los Angeles, California, my husband decided to throw in a stop at Yosemite National Park. When I found out it was ‘out of the way,’ meaning it wasn’t along the Pacific Coast Highway and we were going to have to take a few hour detour to get to the park, I was less than happy. We had our hotel booked at Tenaya Lodge before I knew the actual route we were taking and we tossed around canceling our stop at Yosemite since our son tends to get car sick sometimes. My husband insisted we could not visit California without stopping at Yosemite and after staying at Tenaya Lodge, he is now saying, ‘we can’t visit California without staying at Tenaya Lodge.’



While our visit was only one night, it was the one place we stayed during our ‘road trip’ that left me feeling like I needed more time. Much more time. Tenaya Lodge is more than a place to hang your hat when visiting Yosemite National Park, it is a full service resort and spa with activities (lots of amazing activities), a pool, beautiful grounds and beautiful rooms.

Let’s talk Activities:

Indoor/Outdoor Pool – There is both an indoor and an outdoor pool. Since we stayed at the lodge in the summer we used the outdoor pool and we are going to let you in on a little secret – there are speakers in the pool. So when you go underwater, you hear awesome music! How cool is that??

One with Nature – I know this is a complete cliche but seriously the mountains and views were absolutely amazing. My husband is the outdoorsy one but I could not get enough of the trees, the plants and the views. 

Evening Hike – In the pitch black of the evening,  a group of us, along with a guide, went for a hike. The views were gorgeous. It was informative and the guide made it super fun. This is a hike for anyone, from young to old.  The hike itself was a mile or two, but since we stopped so frequently to investigate nature, bugs and the stars, you barely even notice how far you’ve gone.  This tour is SAFE – we saw a lot of bugs and bats. No bears (thank goodness).



Mountain Bikes – Upon our arrival at Tenaya Lodge, the first thing I noticed were the mountain bicycles waiting for us (while we didn’t have a reservation to use them – getting a bicycle was no problem). We took the mountain bikes for a ride on the trail exploring the great outdoors, stopping along the way to climb on rocks and enjoy the nature.




Summerdale-BBQ_TenayaSummerdale BBQ – the BBQ was super fun, with live entertainment, as well as a campfire, s’mores and a
delicious menu of classic starters like potato salad and macaroni salad, main dishes like corn on the cob hamburgers hot dogs, chili and desserts like pie
and the s’mores.  The BBQ is throughout the summer on  on select Tuesdays through Saturdays.



Rooms – there are rooms in the main building, in addition to suites and mountain cottage accommodations. We stayed in the main building where there was ample room for our belongs – and the rooms were super clean, something we always look for when we stay at a hotel.

Tenaya_extended double

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite launched a $5.0 million remodel that will refresh 240 of the main lodge’s rooms and suites. The first phase of the resort’s refresh was completed in spring 2015, with the entire west wing – 119 rooms and three floors of corridors – ready for their debut as Premium Rooms. The update, which features a rustic contemporary flair, will include new bathrooms with granite countertops and barn-inspired doors; an all new luxury bedding package; new lamps; new sofa sleepers in suites and extended queen rooms; fresh paint; plantation-style window shutters; new plush carpet; and refinished bar cabinets in suites. The corridors will boast new wallpaper, hardwood flooring and wood paneling.

The project will wrap up in spring 2016 at this stunning mountain resort, which is located two miles from the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park and features many recreational activities; the world-class, 10,000 square-foot Ascent Spa; indoor and outdoor pools and five seasonal dining venues.

While Tenaya Lodge is an amazing place to visit in the Summer, the Winter activities are off the charts!

There are so many fun things to do at the lodge, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing activities for the remainder of 2015.

November 2015

Ice rink opening day celebration – Nov. 25
Celebrate ice skating season with complimentary hot cocoa for all skaters. Rentals are available onsite for guests of all ages.
Available Nov. 29 through March 26, 2016, the S’more Skating Package is a great way to enjoy the rink. Includes overnight stay, a s’mores kit, and a skating session with rentals for two starting at $189 in Nov/Dec and $239 during the holidays. Use promo code SMORE.

Gingerbread House Workshop & Competition (one and two of three) — Nov. 27 and 28
Adored by guests of all ages, this is a deliciously fun show for everyone. Guests and members of the public alike can enjoy intricate mansions and colorful cottages or try their hand at a creation of their own at this sweet contest. For only $60 per house, competition participants get decorating access to everything from gumdrops to marshmallows to build an original gingerbread masterpiece.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting — Nov. 28
Guests can marvel as the lodge’s towering, 35-foot tree is set aglow and the lobby is transformed into a cheery holiday haven. Staying true to green sensibilities, Tenaya’s tree is not only the biggest in Central California, it’s sustainably harvested, too. The lodge just “tops off” a Douglas Fir each year so the rest of the tree can continue to grow healthily for years to come. Celebration includes holiday entertainment, special treats, and a visit from Santa.

December 2015

Giant Christmas Tree in Lobby_Fotor
Gingerbread House Workshop & Competition (three of three) — Dec. 19

Ornament and Stocking Decorating Workshop — Dec. 19 and 21

Kids Dinner with Santa — Dec. 22 and 23
Always back by popular demand! Only available Dec. 22 and 23. Includes overnight stay, a two-hour holiday adventure for one child, a children’s dinner buffet with Santa and his elves, access to holiday crafts and activities, and a family photo with Santa. Starting at $254, use promo code SANTA.

Cookie Decorating Workshop — Dec. 24
’Twas the Night Before Christmas reading with Mrs. Claus — Dec. 24
Christmas Day dining specials (menu TBD)
Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration (kid-friendly) — Dec. 31
There is a high-end dinner, live entertainment from top acts and a special incentive for guests booking early.

For more information about Tenaya Lodge go to the website, and feel free to reach out on Twitter or with a comment. Just writing about this amazing place, leaves me wanting to return for a visit!!

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