The Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, one of the grand architectural masterpieces of national park lodges, is gleaming thanks to an extensive refurbishing of rooms and common areas.
The refurbishing, performed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Yosemite and the National Park Service, focused on guest rooms, public spaces and exterior areas of the 85-year-old Ahwahnee.
The lodge, designed by noted architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. The refurbishing started in February 2011 and also including an upgrade of the fire and life safety equipment. Materials used in the refurbishment are complementary to those used in the hotel between 1925 and 1942, which was established by National Park Service historians as the “period of historic significance” for the hotel based on a comprehensive evaluation of the hotel’s history.
“There’s never been a better time to visit The Ahwahnee,” said General Manager Brett Archer. “The magic of this hotel has been preserved seamlessly alongside some modern upgrades that will enhance the guest experience and allow visitors to appreciate the original glory of the property.”
Upon arrival to the hotel, guests will notice a new exterior walkway. Once inside they can enjoy the freshly-painted lobby, which was returned to its original color from when the hotel first opened, as well as a view into the refreshed Ahwahnee Bar, which was the original entryway for the hotel in 1926.
Designers Richard Kollath and Edward McCann of Kollath-McCann Creative Services, who have worked with The Ahwahnee since 1998, selected the textiles, colors and accessory items that were added or updated in the hotel. Now the historic property boasts brand new beds, linens and throw blankets; carpeting in the guests rooms and hallways; drapes and woven-wood window shades; the completion of HDTV installation for the flat-screen televisions; new public men’s and women’s restrooms on the main and Mezzanine floors; restored flooring in the lobby; and new and restored furniture and original artwork in the Great Lounge and throughout the common spaces and corridor landing areas.
Throughout the renovation, materials were selected for furnishings, textiles, lighting and accessories from American companies, several of which supplied the hotel in 1927 and are still operating today. Visitors to the hotel will see new wood pieces from Stickley and hand-crafted oak Georgian armchairs from D.R. Dimes of New Hampshire that reflect 1920s originals from the Michigan Chair Company. Additionally, 24 newly-acquired antique Persian rugs anchor welcoming seating clusters throughout the hotel’s public spaces.