The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park has long since been a national park icon since it’s construction in 1927. Prior to the Ahwahnee’s conception, lodging in Yosemite National Park was simple and rustic. The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park’s upper class lure, was the beginning of luxurious accommodations for Yosemite Park lodging. The bait worked as celebrity after celebrity have graced the Ahwahnee Hotel’s lobby and Native American inspired guest rooms. Yosemite National Park and the Ahwahnee Hotel has become one of the hottest destinations in the country. Some come to stay but many more visitors to the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park just come to see the famed Ahwahnee Hotel or perhaps eat in the upscale restaurant which totes an evening dress code.
The first well known icon to visit the Ahwahnee Hotel was Herbert Hoover in 1927 just weeks after it opened, although he was not the president at that time. Other presidential names include John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eleanor Roosevelt visited the famed Ahwahnee as well as Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth of England while accompanied by Prince Phillip. Jack Benny, a vaudeville comedian, visited the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park on various occasions and often would incorporate stories about the notable Yosemite park lodge in his radio and television skits. Robert Redford actually worked at the Ahwahnee Hotel.
The Ahwahnee Hotel has set a standard for lodging in Yosemite National Park. The Ahwahnee Hotel also becomes one of the most revered of the national park style lodges next to the Old Faithful Lodge. The pioneering architecture of Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who was a consulting architect for the Union Pacific Railroad, has added specific unique elements to the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park. His use of recycled materials and concrete beams shaped and stained to look like redwood beams made the Ahwahnee Hotel fire resistant. The use of concrete was just entering the scene at this time, and currently is a highly popularized building material, to which Underwood was instrumental.
So, if the Royal newlyweds, Duke William and Duchess Catherine of Cambridge were to visit any lodging in Yosemite National Park, the Ahwahnee would be the most suited. Will they stay in the Mary Curry Tressider Suite; just as William’s grandmother, the Queen of England did? It would certainly be fitting. The media has taken William and Kate’s trip to the United States and speculated that they will visit Yosemite National Park and the only lodging in Yosemite National Park the media can imagine the love birds staying in is the Ahwahnee. Yosemite National Park should be happy to host this royal duo. With all the media talk about their suspected itinerary, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up in Yellowstone National Park at the Old Faithful Inn, instead.