Ahwanee Hotel Patio Doors

While in Yosemite Valley a few weeks ago, we road our bikes to the Ahwahnee Hotel…oops, I mean the Majestic Yosemite Hotel…huh? No doubt you may have heard of the naming rights and trademark dispute that has led to the renaming of Yosemite’s landmark spots.

The Ahwahnee Hotel opened July 14, 1927. The hotel was the brainchild of the National Park Service’s first director Stephen T. Mather who envisioned building a hotel to attract the wealthier class of visitors.

The Yosemite people (Miwok tribes) called Yosemite Valley “Awooni” for its resemblance to a bear’s gaping mouth. The Yosemite people called themselves as Ah-wah-ne-chee, or “dwellers of Ahwahnee.” The spelling was later modernized to “Ahwahnee.”

Ahwahnee Hotel national historic landmark

Despite the plaque designating the Ahwahnee Hotel as a national historic landmark in 1987, the new signs dub it “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.”

I had always wanted to spend one night there to say I did (price is upwards to $500 a night for a standard room), but now if I did so, I would technically NOT be sleeping in the Ahwahnee.

After 24 visits to Yosemite since 1970, I will always remember and refer to it as The Ahwahnee Hotel. …sigh.

view of backyard of Ahwahnee Hotel

The featured photo is submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors photography challenge.

24 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: The Ex-Ahwahnee Hotel

  1. $12 cocktails seem to be pretty standard these days, from what I’ve seen on menus, not bought. I envy all those trips to Yosemite, though! We wouldn’t be staying at the hotel either, not matter that name, at those prices. Yikes!


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  2. *Skipah takes deep breath and goes into his happy Spicoli place* Woah! That’s like totally awesome Terri! You know what I could buy for $500 bucks? I could hire Van Halen to play at my birthday party!

    Great pictures, 24 trips to Yosemite! I’m officially jealous!

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  3. A night at the Ahwahnee wasn’t it our budget either but they were nice enough to let us riffraff wander around inside and take a few pics when we were there.
    I hadn’t heard about the naming rights issue; I’m off to google and read more about it. Sounds silly to me though. Regardless of what the sign says in the future I’ll still be calling it the Ahwahnee.
    Great post!

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  4. That’s really too bad they are in dispute over naming the hotel. I like the name, Ahwahnee better than The Majestic Yosemite hotel. It’s a nice looking hotel but doesn’t look like a high end hotel.

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  5. Wow! Would you look at the size of those timbers!!! Hubs has me doing it now, too. I look at the architecture of nearly every place we visit! What a beautiful old hotel. Do they have a restaurant? Maybe a guy could just have lunch and nose around??

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  6. I’ve never stayed there either. I sure hope they get the name blame game worked out. It’s so stupid. My brother-in-law is in charge of food service for the company who took over from Delaware East (or West, or North… I can’t remember) and I know they are working on getting the name back.

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