Crown Jewel Hotel in National Park

Stephen T. Mather was the first director of National Parks in the United States. In 1915, he accepted the position, when there were only 16 national parks, and now there are only 58. Mr. Mather used the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley to promote the success of the entire national park system. How is this going.

Avani Hotel

Mather built the Ahwahnee Hotel in his favorite California Yosemite Park in 1927. This is the crown jewel of the National Park Hotel, and for good reason.

Get rich

Stephen Mather wants his Yosemite hotel to become a holiday destination for the rich. Not because he only wants to cater to the rich, but because he knows that if he can interest the influential people in the national park system, he can build better parks for everyone. His plan worked well.

From the newly invented electricity to the bathroom in each room, everything in Ahwahnee is perfect, and the exquisite kitchen can provide an extraordinary dining experience for the privileged guests of the hotel.

Two electric elevators were installed and operated by staff operators.

Noise reduction plaster is used on the interior walls to ensure that guests will not be disturbed by the roar of the nearby Yosemite Falls.

dining room

Dining is important to the wealthy. At Ahwahnee Hotel, Chief Architect Gilbert Underwood (Gilbert Underwood) provided Mather with one of the most memorable luxury restaurants in the world.

The dining room extends 130 feet from the elevator lobby to Yosemite Falls and spans 51 feet from side to side. Its vaulted ceiling is 34 feet high, with peeling pine wood after and trusses.

Imagine the difficulty of trucking 11 flat glass windows in a restaurant, which were up to 24 feet high on an earlier narrow road in California, all the way to the construction site in Ahwahnee. One can only imagine how many windows were broken along the way. Please also consider that once the window arrives on site, it must be positioned without the help of modern mobile devices-fascinating.

The high-quality restaurant wood is huge exposed pine columns supporting the heavy truss ceiling. What the observer does not know is that the pine columns are actually steel columns wrapped in hollow concrete. Once again shows the genius of architects. The rustic appearance of the dining room echoes the overall wooden atmosphere of the plan. This magnificent room is huge and can accommodate 350 guests.

Dining room wall-a magical place

The wall co is located at the end of the dining room and is an add-on to the previously spacious main hall. It has one of the 24 feet high glass windows, in this case, the window provides a display area for the upper reaches of Yosemite Falls and brings you an unforgettable atmosphere.

The Wallco Room has hosted many historic events, including a round table dinner with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in 1983. After attending the worship service in the historic wooden chapel in the park, the queen and prince held a small banquet in the host room.

If no special events are arranged, there are many tables in the coco for two people. The window center table is usually kept by newlyweds. Years ago, your author had dinner at that special honeymoon table on the night of his wedding, which was a privilege like no other.

Just like we did that night, we often think of the fate of hundreds of years-perhaps thousands of newlyweds, over the past 85 years, have toasted and celebrated their future in that place.

The beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel hosts about 200 weddings every year. If you plan to hold a wedding, this is an incredible place.

The design theme of the Avani Hotel

Ahwahnee has a Native American theme, and the selected decorator has done an excellent job of fusing the furniture with the overall characteristics of the hotel. Many of Ahwahnee’s furniture are original, with minor changes in fabrics and designs to please modern tastes.

The years of Ansel Adam

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the number of visitors to the national park declined and Ahwahnee was in trouble.

The president of Yosemite and Curry Company (YP&CC) decided that publicity would increase Ahwahnee’s occupancy rate. He hired a young aspiring concert pianist (part-time photographer) to shoot and promote the hotel and Yosemite’s experience. The young man’s name is Ansel Adams. The rest is history. As long as there is a Yosemite Valley, his works can live like John Muir.

Adams fell in love with the beauty of Yosemite since he was a child. He eventually moved from San Francisco to Yosemite in 1937. Although he created visual masterpieces in other parts of the west, he has maintained close ties with the valley and Ahwahnee Hotel for more than 40 years. He retired in 1972 and died in 1982. He left many precious photographs of natural wonders.

War times

The U.S. Navy designated the Ahwahnee Hotel as a spa and rehabilitation hospital in June 1943. Before returning to YP&CC in December 1945, Ahwahnee had provided treatment to more than 6,700 patients.

After the navy evacuated, they left many buildings, including bowling alleys, gymnasiums, mechanical workshops, swimming pool halls and foundries. The building was quickly demolished and the salvage work was well utilized in the valley.

Other changes over the years

The Laibin Elevator was automated in 1963. In 1964, a small swimming pool was added to an unobtrusive space next to the bar. Air conditioning was added, and all windows in the guest room were replaced in 1976.

There used to be a golf course, but it was demolished before 1980 in order to preserve the originality of the surrounding environment. Television first appeared in guest rooms in 1989.

The Avani Hotel was included in the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1977.

If you go

There are several entrances to Yosemite, and you can choose the route to the park by visiting the Ahwahnee Hotel website.

When you drive through the park, pay attention to the signs to Ahwahnee Hotel. The magnificent stone passage at the entrance of the hotel lets you know that you have arrived. Valet parking is always available, or you can self-park anywhere in the sequoia-lined parking area.

Have a good journey.

Watch out for wine fans! Ahwahnee is now booking for 2012 Vintner’s Holiday. Eight games will be held this year, and the first will start on November 4.

Special thanks to Lisa Cesaro of Yosemite DNC Parks and Resorts and Tami von Isakovics of Ellipses Public Relations Department for helping us provide information about Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley.

If you want to know more details about Ahwahnee hotels, there are two short but very good books. Both books are available from


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