Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell's 1991 wedding took place in the same hotel that inspired the set of 'The Shining' — here's a look inside the remote resort

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite HotelThe inside lobby of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel features large rustic chandeliers and old-fashioned furniture.
  • The Ahwahnee Hotel was constructed in 1927, and has retained much of its original decor.
  • The hotel, now called the Majestic Yosemite, is nearly 100 years old and is a National Historic landmark.
  • The hotel has had notable guests ranging from famous actors like Judy Garland to an array of US presidents. Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell also got married at the hotel in 1991.

One of the great historic hotels in the United States, this four-diamond luxury hotel is located deep within YosemiteNational Park. Originally known as the Ahwahnee Hotel, the name was changed in 2016 following a trademark battle.

Despite its appearance, the hotel is not actually constructed of much wood. Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood instead relied on steel, granite, and concrete to reduce its flammability. That sets it apart from other old, luxury hotels such as the Hotel del Coronado and the Grand Hotel, which were built primarily with wood.

The hotel has earned a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and appears on multiple lists of top national park hotels, including roundup from Condé Nast Traveller and Vogue. Curbed also featured the hotel on its map of grand old-school resort hotels. Accommodation can cost up to $US1,300 per night.

Read more: 17 hotels with stunning views of iconic sites

Many famous guests have stayed in the hotel, from U.S. presidents to British royalty. The hotel’s lobby and lounge also served as inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film “The Shining.” The Majestic Yosemite is just one of several historic American lodges involved in that film: The Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood was used for exterior shots, while the Stanley Hotel is credited as the inspiration for the original story by Stephen King.

Keep reading for a closer look at the iconic hotel and some of its notable guests.

The Majestic Yosemite is a grand hotel designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood.

Source: Visit California

The hotel was completed in 1927, and has seen many guests over the years.

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite Hotel/NPSA photo from the National Park Service shows Navy soldiers on the hotel front lawn during WWII. Then called the Ahwahnee Hotel, the building was temporarily used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Source: National Park Service

The Majestic Yosemite is located in the heart of California, deep within Yosemite National Park.

Source: Google Maps

The hotel is a short seven minute drive from other locations in Yosemite Valley, including Yosemite Village, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and various campgrounds.

Source: Google Maps

This area is also home to the Yosemite Chapel, the oldest remaining building in the valley.

Source: National Park Service

The hotel is within driving distance of some of the park’s iconic sites, including Yosemite Falls …

chaolik/Getty ImagesYosemite Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in North America. The trail includes a strenuous, 8-mile hike.

Source: Yosemite Mariposa County

… and the Half Dome rock formation.

rmbarricarte/Getty ImagesViews of the park’s granite crest from the infamous Glacier Point.

Source: National Park Service

Guests visiting the hotel for weddings, business meetings, or vacations check in at the lobby …

… just as Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell did when they got married in 1991.

Diana Walker / Contour by Getty ImagesSteve Jobs and Laurene Powell at their home in Palo Alto, California in 1997, six years after their wedding in Yosemite National Park.

Since then, both the exterior and interior of the hotel have remained relatively unchanged …

… and rooms such as the Great Lounge have retained their original stately decor.

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite HotelThe Great Lounge, along with the lobby, inspired the decor for the fictional Overlook Hotel in the horror film The Shining.

While some guests may think the decor is outdated, much of the hotel’s old beauty is visible in its historic decorations.

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite HotelGuests can relax by the fireplace in the Great Lounge.

These decorations include Turkish kilim rugs, Native American tapestries, and 19th-century paintings.

Source: Visit California

The Great Lounge is open to the public, where visitors can sit below the hotel’s original chandeliers.

Source: Visit California

At other times, the lounge is rearranged for special events, such as cooking demonstrations.

Nearby is the solarium, or sunroom.

The traditional tables and chairs are sometimes swapped out for elegant wedding receptions.

Facebook/Yosemite Wedding PhotographersThe Majestic Yosemite accommodates up to 150 guests, and also offers onsite wedding planners and personal pastry chefs for the events. Outdoor space is also available.

Source: Yosemite Wedding Photographers

Another notable room in the hotel is the Majestic Yosemite Dining Room.

Source: Yosemite National Park

The massive room has 34-foot-high ceilings, and is used for catered evening events …

Source: Yosemite National Park

… along with regular, daily dining.

Source: Yosemite National Park

Guests have the option to dine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For a weekend stay, it’s recommended that visitors head to the hall for the “legendary” Sunday Brunch.

Source: Yosemite National Park

One round table is even nicknamed “The Queen’s Table” …

Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons/Amadscientist‘The Queen’s Table’ in the brightly lit dining room.

Source: Trip Advisor, Condé Nast Traveller

… after Queen Elizabeth II paid the hotel a visit in 1983 and dined in the hall. During her stay, the entire hotel was reserved in her name.

Source: Condé Nast Traveller

Other notable leaders who’ve visited the hotel include Winston Churchill, and U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy …

Source: Visit California,Travel + Leisure, John F. Kennedy Library & Museum

… along with Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.



National Park Reservations




Travel + Leisure

Other famous guests of the hotel include writer Gertrude Stein and actress Judy Garland.

MGM/’Wizard of Oz’Judy Garland in the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

Source: Visit California

Guests can choose to stay in one of the hotel’s 123 rooms and suites …

Source: U.S. News & World Report

… or opt for a private cottage for a more secluded stay.

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite HotelThere are 24 cottages on the Majestic Yosemite property. A feature cottage room can cost up to $US1,300 per night.

Source: National Park Reservations

The hotel grounds are beautiful in the summertime …

… when guests can enjoy hikes in the sunshine or relax by the hotel pool.

The fall foliage also makes for picturesque views …

… as does snow during the winter season.

Beginning in December, guests can enjoy skiing and snowboarding nearby. An ice rink is also installed outside the hotel during cold months.

Facebook/Majestic Yosemite HotelSkiers ride the chair lift at the oldest ski resort in California, Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.

Source: Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

Given its beautiful surroundings …

… it’s no surprise that the hotel has been home to such a long list of notable guests over its nearly 100-year history.

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