Happy Birthday to Yosemite National Park! Established on October 1, 1890, no pictures nor videos can truly illustrate its true beauty than standing there and seeing it for yourself. In it nearly 1,200 square miles – we found deep valleys, tranquil meadows, towering granites, ancient giant sequoias and so much more. But where to stay near Yosemite National Park? We stayed at Tenaya Lodge which was just 7 minutes away from the park’s toll gate and it made our trip to Yosemite even more memorable. The only problem – we found ourselves struggling whether to stay in our beautiful room, experience all the activities the resort has to offer, or make more time for Yosemite National Park. The answer to this – stay longer the next time around so we can have more time for everything or more time to do everything twice.
disclosure: this post was created in partnership with Tenaya Lodge. All opinions are our own.
We stayed at Tenaya Lodge for 2 nights. This was the final part of our Central Valley Road Trip that comprised of Visalia – Sequoia National Park – Fresno – then Tenaya Lodge/Yosemite. At this resort, you have the option to stay at the hotel proper or at the cottages in the middle of the woods yet having the resort’s amenities at your disposal for whichever type of accommodation you prefer.
The resort was very clean and the finishing and furnishings were high-end. As a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) certified interior designer, I also liked the fact that Tenaya has earned a double Silver LEED certification with its year-long project that expanded Tenaya’s banquet, event and meeting spaces, and office area, plus the added destination spa. Delaware North, which owns and operates Tenaya, followed a process to ensure environmental stewardship and measurable green practices during its construction. And they don’t stop there – when we ordered drinks for the kids, I noticed the straws were not plastic and the cups were compostable.
The rooms at the hotel vary from regular rooms, spa suites, family suites and they even have exclusive suites where the interior is nothing like the rest of the rooms at the resort and they are only for the 16 and above. The cottages, on the other hand, has 3 rooms per cottage (triplex). By spring of 2019, Tenaya Lodge will debut their cabins so you can be in the middle of the woods with your own cabin and they will be adding another pool for cabin guests.
We enjoyed our room a lot. To a point that we didn’t really wanna go out anymore. It was very clean and very quiet even if the pool area was on our side as you peak out the window. I would like the option to try the cottages next time when we’re traveling as a group or the cabins when it’s just us so we can be closer to nature.
Tenaya Lodge has an outdoor pool, 2 outdoor jacuzzis, a splash pad, and an indoor pool with two more jacuzzis. We may have cut our Yosemite trip short because the kids wanted to hit the pools. And we did try it all, from outdoor to indoor. We ended staying at the indoor pool longer as the water was warmer.
On top of the pools, you can also get on other activities at the resort for an additional fee yet I highly recommend them. Both kids went on the newly added kid’s adventure course. Our youngest, who we’ve seen climbed everything throughout the years (climbing the stove, the piano, the window, French doors, you name it, she’s done it) was able to finish the course with the help of the Tenaya Lodge staff holding her hand along the way when she needed it. Our eldest who tried twice couldn’t muster the courage to finish the course yet aced archery which she’s been wanting to do for a long time now since she’s a fan of Merida from the Disney movie – Brave.
We did both activities right when we arrived on the 1st day and they wanted to do it again on the 2nd day except we ran out of time after being in Yosemite in the morning, and pool time in the afternoon.
A lot of the activities at Tenaya Lodge will vary by season. In the summer, you can enjoy the Summerdale Barbeque for a true taste of the “Old West”. In the winter, there’s ice skating, sledding, sleigh ride, and so much more. What’s constant though is they really try to think of activities you can do at the resort. There’s even a flashlight hike at night, you can rent a bike, rent a fishing rod, climb a wall, etc.
Tenaya Lodge offers various restaurant options. For breakfast, you can enjoy a buffet spread or order from the menu at Sierra Restaurant. We tried the breakfast buffet and they have a lot of good options. The cheese blintz and the broccoli dill egg dish during our 1st breakfast were my favorites, sadly they were not available the next day to make way for other dishes for a slight change in the buffet spread. Another favorite, their mini muffins, not too sweet, perfectly toasted top while moist inside.
For lunch or dinner, you can choose either Sierra restaurant or Jackalopes Bar and Grill – they are located at the hotel’s lobby. There’s also an option to go fine dining at Embers and ask for a babysitting service at the resort while you go on a date and the kids do activities and dine with other kids. Since we were very tired from our road trip and after doing a lot of activities, we opted to order room service for dinner the night we arrived and for late lunch the next day after our trip to Yosemite.
On our last night, we finally came out of our room to dine, haha. We dined at Jackalopes and ordered nachos and a mango margarita while the hubby had a tomato bisque and grilled cheese sandwich and the kids shared a mac n’ cheese. You have the option to dine inside or al fresco.
We had a really good stay at Tenaya Lodge. The only thing missing from our trip was some alone time at their award-winning spa – Ascent Spa, and more time to really do everything all over again.
Tenaya Lodge is located at 1122 CA-41, Fish Camp, CA 93623. Check their website to learn more.
Visit our Travel tab for more travel ideas.