The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, formerly known as The Ahwahnee shines as Yosemite National Park’s distinctive AAA® Four-Diamond hotel. Known for its magnificent façade and architecture, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel was specifically designed to highlight its natural surroundings. In the early 1920s, Stephen Mather, the National Park Service Director, realized that the Park needed accommodations to suit the affluent and influential traveler. The concept of a hotel such as The Majestic Yosemite Hotel became the impetus to draw such a visitor. The site for The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, once a village of the native Miwoks, was chosen because of its exposure to the sun and stunning views of Yosemite's icons – Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point.
In July 1925, Gilbert Stanley Underwood was selected as the architect for Yosemite's new luxury hotel. Due to its remote location, the construction of The Majestic Yosemite Hotel was the most complex trucking endeavor of its day. Over 5,000 tons of stone, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feet of timber were hauled over the challenging mountain roads. To protect The Majestic Yosemite Hotel from fire, a fate of many of the Park's earlier hotels, its wood-like facade is actually concrete, poured into rough-hewn wooden forms and stained to look like redwood.
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel’s grand opening was finally set for July 16, 1927. Since then, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel has served as a major attraction to visitors to Yosemite and has welcomed celebrities, political figures, artists and royalty from around the world to explore this unique relationship of architecture and nature. During World War II, the Navy operated The Majestic Yosemite Hotel as a rest and relaxation hospital for naval personnel. From 1943 to 1946, 90,000 service men and women relaxed in Yosemite National Park, while 6,752 patients were treated at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.
Today, the original big oak tables, secretaries, and wrought iron chandeliers are still found in the Great Lounge. The original rugs hang on the hotel’s walls. Unique and individual Native American designs are still found above each guest room door. Rubber mosaic tiles in the entrance lobby continue to greet each visitor. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality and elegance.