Friday, December 2, 2016

Yosemite hotel celebrates a century of hosting travelers, the rich and famous

The Ahwahnee Hotel (now Majestic) in Yosemite National Park has a long, rich history hosting many famous guests.


The Yosemite scenery is world famous, a wonderland of wonderful sights. 


THE AHWAHNEE Hotel may have the best location of any guest house in the world.
Dreamed of nearly a century ago, this graceful landmark finally opened with a gala overnight party in the shadow of the Great Depression.
The opening was  1927 and officials at Yosemite National Park were proud of their hotel, which carried a then unheard of price tag of well over $1 million.
The Majestic Hotel's lobby combines rustic comfort with elegance.
Brain child of Stephen Mather, first director of the National Parks (often referred to as "the father of the national park system), the plans began more than 10 years before completion. Mather's efforts persuaded congress to implement the National Park Service, and he was instrumental in the plan to create an attractive lodge in his favorite part of Yosemite.
MATHER CONVINCED D.J. Desmond to convert an old army barracks into what has now become a multi-million dollar show piece of the national park system. Its name change has confused many people and,
Out the door of the hotel, magnificent waterfalls and splendid scenery await.
money is at the root of the trademark dispute, resulting in the change from Ahwahnee to Majestic. Ahwahnee means "deep grassy valley" in native language.  That seems fitting, for its facade is is the jewel of the Yosemite lodging, framed by the natural landscape that attracts millions of visitors each year.
 MADE OF stone and wood, the hotel is beloved for its grand public spaces featuring giant stone fireplaces, massive hand-stenciled beams, rich tapestries and elegant stained glass. 
A couple combines a sunny late morning rest with cell phone catch up.

The Majestic has entertained movie stars, European royalty and a host of international tourists. Among celebrities to stay are Judy Garland, Mel Gibson, Charlton Heston, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Joan Baez, Boris Karloff and Kim Novak. John F. Kennedy spent a night, as did Herbert Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt. Royal visitors include Queen Ratana of Nepal, King Baudouin of Belgium, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, Queen Elizabeth, who overnighted with Prince Philip in 1983.
Set against spectacular peaks , this historic, landmark hotel is the leading lady on a valley floor with views of Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. 
 AHWAHNEE IS derived from native American languages, and means "deep grassy valley" 
The hotel is just 1.5 miles from Yosemite Village, with shopping, a museum and restaurants. It has
The hotel preserves a woodsy feeling in its nature paths.
The Ahwaynee (now Majestic) has
a long string of awards and status.
 won "Premier Lodge" classification from National Park Reservations. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (now its official name) is marked by a striking granite facade, magnificent log-beamed ceilings, massive stone hearths, richly colored Native American artwork and finely appointed rooms.  It stands, along with my Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful Hotel, as a shining example of what we consider to be the most inventive of early national park lodging and architectural brilliance.

Tours with holiday meals are a highlight at Tate House in Georgia.
For more information, contact
UP NEXT: Elegant southern hospitality merges with holiday splendor at the Tate House in rural Georgia.  The historically famous home was built on land purchased in 1834. The structure was completed in the 1920s on an enormous vein of rare pink marble and came into its element in that decade, invoking the "Great Gatsby" era. Several incarnations later, present owners have restored it, with attention to detail. For Christmas more than a dozen rooms are decked out in holiday finery. Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us weekends for lively arts-travel insights.

No comments:

Post a Comment