History & Architecture

History & Architecture

The Ahwahnee History

With one glimpse of The Ahwahnee, you’ll be transported back in time, to an era of elegance and new possibilities. Commissioned in the 1920s in the pursuit of drawing more affluent visitors to Yosemite National Park, The Ahwahnee is a testament to the vision and perseverance of American ingenuity. More than 5,000 tons of stone, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feet of lumber were transported through the mountains to create the hotel.

The Ahwahnee’s precise location afforded guests stunning views of Yosemite’s most recognizable cliffs and waterfalls—Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls—and news spread around the world about this marvelous new hotel. Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood went on to design such historic landmarks as the Grand Canyon Lodge, the San Francisco Mint and the Rincon Center in San Francisco.

Nearly a century later, The Ahwahnee still attracts visitors from all over the world—eager to explore this National Historic Landmark. Guided tours are available year round.

The Ahwahnee Design

The architectural and design influences of The Ahwahnee include Art Deco, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Arts & Crafts Movement. Its towering ceilings, massive stone fireplaces, intricately hand-stenciled beams, and hand-made stained glass windows harken back bygone eras and cultural traditions—all masterfully combined under one roof.

The Ahwahnee Dining Room

With ceilings over 30 feet high and massive windows that take in the surrounding views, the dining room evokes a feeling of grandness and opulence. This is the setting for some of the world’s most famous food and wine events: The Yuletide Dinner at Yosemite, The Grand Grape Celebration, and A Taste of Yosemite.

Great Lounge

At nearly 80 feet long and over 50 feet wide, and with 24-foot-high ceilings, the Lounge is as spacious as it is inviting. Stunningly grand windows, stained glass details and an immense natural-stone fireplace invite guests to settle in for an afternoon of relaxation—or an evening of reconnecting with family and friends.


Letting in the bright mountain sunshine that shines upon the room’s beautiful plants, the Solarium is the ideal setting for weddings, reunions or even corporate events. Its large windows invite in the views from Yosemite’s Glacier Point.

Winter Club Room

Open year-round but especially inviting in the winter, the Winter Club Room features décor focused on vintage winter sports. Old photographs, large display cases and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure hours of imagining winter life in eras long ago.

Mural Room

A remarkable mural featuring local plants and wildlife is the focal point of this lovely room. The cozy fireplace and views of the surrounding landscape make for an inviting space—perfect for working on a puzzle, losing yourself in a good novel or just kicking back and taking it all in.

Colonial Room, Tresidder Room and Tudor Lounge

Our private meeting spaces provide everything you’d expect for productivity—with the added enhancement of spectacular views.