King Fire Revealed to be Arson, Man Arrested

The Storied History of Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK-

People have been flocking to the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, which has kept overnight guests from all over the world the past 87 years.

The Ahwahnee stands out by blending in.

“As you can see behind me, the whole idea of it with the rustic architecture was for it to blend into the rocks,” Park Ranger Scott Gediman said.

The hotel, standing since 1927, has become a destination all on its own.

“There’s a lot of people who save their entire lives to stay here,” General Manager Brett Archer said. “They came camping here back in the ’70’s with their children and they’ve always dreamed of once their families are grown to be able to stay here at the Ahwahnee, so we help make those dreams come true.”

And over the years, celebrities have taken notice of this national historic landmark.

“There’s a lot of famous people who have stayed here,” Archer said.

Late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who pulled up to the Ahwahnee in style – a red convertible.

Back in 1962, Kennedy stayed the night in the second-floor suite.

“Queen Elizabeth stayed in 1983 when she visited California,” Archer told FOX40. “She closed down the whole hotel, she was the only one staying here.”

But two of Hollywood’s television and movie icons have stolen the show for the most memorable stay at the Ahwahnee hotel.

“In the 1950’s the hotel management got a complaint in the upper floor in the great lounge that that there was some wild piano playing and singing going on, and so management came out and it was actually Lucille Ball playing the piano and Judy Garland singing,” Archer said. “Now, I would not what to have to tell Judy Garland to have to stop singing.”

That history wrapped up in a luxurious hotel, nestled in a national park, is what makes the Ahwahnee Hotel so intriguing.

“People definitely need to take a look at the great lounge. That’s the wow-factor in my opinion, and then the dining room, probably an even bigger wow-factor. The dining room is certainly spectacular,” Archer said.

The cost for one night at the Ahwahnee is about $500.

Katie Hackett contributed to this report.