AAA Docks Diamond From Yosemite'S Ahwahnee Hotel Rating

Courtesy: Amy Graff | News Source:

Yosemite National Park's luxury Ahwahnee Hotel has lost some of its sparkle.

The grand lodge with Half Dome views has been downgraded to three out of five diamonds in AAA's rating system — it had long retained a four-diamond rating. The news was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

AAA inspectors make thousands of unannounced visits to hotels across North America and releases an annual list of the nearly 200 of four- and five-diamond hotels in California. The Ahwahnee — where rooms start at $376 a night — first earned four diamonds in 1991 and held onto the prestigious rating until the 2019 score was released.

"AAA can not disclose why a property would have gained or lost a diamond because it’s considered proprietary with the property," said Julie Hall, a spokesperson for AAA.

ALSO: The Ahwahnee is coming back: Yosemite settles lawsuits to regain trademarks

On Yelp, where businesses are reviewed by users, the Ahwahnee has three out of five stars and reviews are mixed.

A negative, one-star review from a guest who stayed at the Ahwahnee in December reads: "Skip this hotel and go down the street to the Lodge on the way to The Ahwahnee. This hotel is known for being old and outdated (something our family of 5 knew about) - however we did not expect the horrific customer service and the way they want to pinch you for every single penny is off-putting. We checked out early and choose to not attend the New Years Eve Party ($300 each) no refund just to escape this place."

A more positive take from a guest in the first week of January reads: "Amazing!!!  Omg the view the way this hotel is omg a must stay & visit next time again! Friendly staff & the crafted areas of the hotel inside & out... it's so unique n beautifully well designed!!!"

Food and hospitality company Aramark became the official concessionaire for Yosemite National Park in 2016 and manages the Ahwahnee. SFGATE reached out to Aramark for comment on this story and will update it if we hear back.

Built in 1927, the Ahwahnee is a National Historic Landmark with 123 rooms and a grand dining room known for its soaring log-beamed ceiling. It was temporarily renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel in 2016 due to a legal dispute between the U.S. government, which owns the property, and the former private concessionaire, Delaware North, that claimed its own rights to the name. The name was restored in 2019.

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