Built in the mid-1920s to attract affluent visitors to the park, The Ahwahnee remains one of the most recognizable icons in Yosemite. Built on the former site of a village of native Miwoks, this prestigious hotel has hosted dignitaries, presidents and more with its unrivaled views of the park’s natural treasures, including breathtaking Half Dome. Today, it’s the perfect destinations for a couple looking to create a few sparks in one of California’s most beautiful outdoor landmarks.
Recommended Resort: The Ahwahnee. Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood was selected to build the hotel, with construction requiring one of the most complex trucking endeavors of its day to deliver materials to the remote location. The results is nothing short of astonishing—5,000 tons of stone, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feet of timber coming together for this exquisite lodge. The façade is actually made of concrete and painted like redwood to help protect the hotel from one of the park’s most feared foes: fire.
The hotel’s unique design combines Art Deco, Native American, Middle-Eastern and Arts & Crafts influences, seen in the stenciling, woodwork, lighting fixtures and china patterns. The dining room alone, host of the renowned Bracebridge Dinner and Vintner’s and Chef’s Holiday, features a 34-foot high ceiling with sugar pine trestles and ceiling-to-floor windows framed in stained glass.
Check In: Yosemite National Park. 801-559-4884, yosemitepark.com
Check Out: The Suites. Accommodations abound at The Ahwahnee. For those who want to experience a little more than the nicely appointed hotel rooms or lovely cottage rooms, the spacious suites are a wonderful option. Sitting rooms with amazing valley views connect these glorious spaces, like the warm wood paneled walls of the Library Suite, or the light-drenched rooms of the Sun Suite.
Don’t Miss: The Park. You’re at Yosemite, don’t forget to go out and play! Winter, spring, summer or fall there’s so much to experience from skiing and snowboarding to hiking, water sports, golfing and horseback riding. Yosemite is also a great place to exercise your photography skills, with more than enough mountain vistas, giant sequoias and waterfalls to inspire your inner Ansel Adams.
Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.
Photos courtesy of The Ahwahnee.