The hotels listed below are the best in their category for the Yosemite area. Have reasonable expectations no matter where you decide to stay. You'll pay more for a hotel in or around Yosemite than you would pay in many other areas.
- Best in Yosemite Valley: It's a tie - and there are only two. The Ahwahnee is the famous one, with some beautiful public areas and a very nice (albeit expensive) restaurant, but fairly expensive. The Yosemite Valley Lodge is much more basic, less expensive - and you can still go hang out at the Ahwahnee.
- Best Value for Money - Evergreen Lodge: Located near Groveland, about an hour's drive from Yosemite Valley, the Evergreen Lodge gets great user reviews. The same company also runs the Rush Creek Lodge.
- The Most Amenities - Tenaya Lodge: Located just outside the west entrance, Tenaya has a lot of things to do, special programs, a concierge and a spa.
- Best on Highway 140 - Yosemite View Lodge: Located on scenic highway 140 in El Portal, this lodge gets good reviews from people who have stayed there.
- Best for Families and Friendly Groups - Pine Mountain Lake and Yosemite Resort Homes: Many of the other Yosemite hotels and lodgings have smaller rooms that can only sleep 5 or 6 people at most. If you're traveling with an extended family and you all want to stay together, rent a condo or house in the gated Pine Mountain Lake resort community and you can cook a few of your own meals and spread out. You can also enjoy the on-premises swimming and other recreation. Located on scenic highway 140, Yosemite Resort Homes offer a beautiful riverside location and also have fully-equipped kitchens.
- Cheapest Option - Tent Cabins: Yosemite's housekeeping cabins are a cross between a tent and a cabin. You'll get four walls (canvas ones), a roof and beds with mattresses. Bring your own sleeping bags or bed linens, or rent them.