More about Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn
The Jewel in the Crown
We can only agree with the other reviewers. Ron & Liz have created the perfect B&B to match the awe and beauty of Yosemite. The park's unique splendor is complimented by the creation of the perfectly matched Inn to make a holiday we will never forget.
Others have mentioned the quality of the cooking, Liz's ability to make the best cup of tea (silver service and warmed pot) in America.
We will remember the Humming birds that were feeding four feet away as we ate breakfast on the balcony.
I advise you to go soon, as this place will soon be full of returning guests and referals.Thank you Ron and Liz, PLEASE keep a room for us when we return.
Such wonderful hosts, Ron even fixed my car
Now that everyone seems to know how great this place is, I think it will be hard to book, and that's a shame for us because we want to go right back. Ron and Liz are wonderful people, and we loved the place. After we first arrived, suddenly the car would not start. Ron investigated, diagnosed a battery problem, tried to charge it, and when that did not work he got jumper cables and got it started. He called the auto parts store for us and found the right battery. All we had to do was drive to town and get it switched. The whole problem was resolved in less than two hours, and didn't disrupt our vacation. We will be back.
Excellent Place to Stay!!!!
This was our first B&B experience, and we chose the Blue Butterfly Inn after considering the hotel options in El Portal.
Our experience was great! Ron and Liz were superb and genuine hosts, and the accommodations were clean, friendly, and quiet. Our room was spacious, and included the sites and sounds of the Merced River. Tucked along the river, the location was great, being right at the gate to Yosemite, and a 20 minute drive into the valley.
Breakfasts were delicious, homemade, and had plenty of variety. For breakfast, you can choose to sit on the deck overlooking the river. It’s breathtaking, and it’s a great way to start the day before going up to the park.
Finally, Ron and Liz go out of their way to ensure guests are comfortable, and they’re more than happy to share stories and tips to make your stay memorable.
We loved every minute and will definitely return to the Blue Butterfly Inn on our next trip to Yosemite.
After this experience I will certainly be more skeptical of trusting reviews done by "one-timers", especially those who post a glowing review the same day they join and never return again.
I had found it odd that the inn's website gave no directions. There was a link to get directions from a map site to El Portal, but no details on how to arrive at the inn. We just figured it was such a small town directions weren't needed to locate the inn. Well, this cost us over 20 minutes drive time. We approached El Portal from Yosemite's Arch Rock entrance. We passed Yosemite View Lodge on the left and figured the inn would be coming up soon. We thought perhaps El Portal would be coming up any minute and that Yosemite View must have been on the outskirts of El Portal. Well, after about 10 minutes of driving we knew that there was no El Portal any further out from the Arch Rock entrance. We turned around and drove back to the hotel we had passed on the way in and asked for directions at the restaurant there. We were told Yosemite Blue Butterfly was in the parking lot behind them. We had to go through the parking lot of Yosemite View to get to the B&B!!!!!!! I wonder if this is why the proprietors of Yosemite Blue Butterfly had neglected to include directions on their website? I found it extremely inconsiderate of future guests not to give some sort of heads up about this-- I wonder how many guests have had a nightmare of a time finding this place. Vacation time is valuable and I didn't appreciate the stress of driving up and down the highway in search of a place because the owners didn't include the simple sentence on their confirmation email: "we are located at the Yosemite View Hotel- in back".
We arrived at the "Inn" around 8pm after an exhausting day. The check-in process seemed to take forever. After a long process downstairs, Liz came up to our room with us, which was fine- even a nice touch - but then she wouldn't leave. She was there for several minutes talking about the weather, telling us that we'd see more of the B&B the next day because guests liked to show each other their rooms (?!), etc. I had told her while downstairs that we had been up since 5am that morning, trying in vain to hurry the processs along. At every other lodging I've ever stayed the host understands that guests often arrive tired and don't necessarily want to spend ten minutes making small talk, they want to shower and rest. She just wouldn't take a hint- finally I had to bluntly say that we were ready to go to bed and she left our room.
We noticed the bed had two very thin pillows and I like to sleep with two pillows or at least one with decent filling. My husband went downstairs around 9:30pm to ask for another pillow. We didn't want to bother them but had been told that other guests still hadn't arrived so we knew they would still be up. My husband said when he walked in the kitchen Ron didn't even say hello when my husband said "Good Evening" and just called Liz's name. When my husband politely asked for one additional pillow, he was asked by Liz why I needed an extra one!!!! She asked if I needed one for my neck and waited for my husand to explain! She spent a few moments pondering before she gave him a pillowcase and told us to take the sham off one of the decorative pillows and use it- which was fine. We just didn't appreciate being questioned about why we needed a third pillow in the room! Plus, the bed is described as a queen on the website. It was certainly the smallest queen we've ever slept on. I would not be surprised to learn that it was actually a double- especially since the queen we slept in at the next hotel felt positively huge in comparison.
When we walked in our room the thermostat showed 86 degrees. There was a heat wave moving through the region during our visit. Liz said for us to open the sliding door that the weather was really nice and that the room would cool down quickly. Considering it was quite hot outside I was a little skeptical. We left all the windows open until around 11pm when we were ready for bed and then decided to close them because the room was still a little hot for us and the river was *very* loud. We spent the hours from around 11:15, when we figured out the thing wasn't blowing cool air, to 1:30 am fiddling with the thing trying to get it to work. We figured that maybe we had it on a wrong setting or someting. We also tried turning it off and then on. We'd fiddle with it, go back to bed thinking it would kick in and begin working and then get up again when we realized it wasn't blowing cool air. Finally, at 1:30, we just gave up and realized it must be broken and opened our windows. After about an hour the room cooled down somewhat and we were able to sleep.
The next evening, when we saw Liz upon our return at 6pm I asked her if the a/c was broken. She said no, that she turned it off at midnight to save on the power bills. That people would run it even when the weather was nice and it would cost her $500-600 extra a month and was too expensive. I told her that I wish we had known, that way we wouldn't have spent a miserable night fiddling with the a/c with the stress of trying to figure out why our room wasn't cooling. If we had known we would have dealt with it, not spent two hours going back and forth with the a/c- and repeatedly getting up to stick our hands by the vents to see if cool air was at last coming out. otherwise. She followed us up to our room and walked in (we had left all the windows open) and exclaimed excitedly that the "The temperature is perfect!" After she left, we walked over to the a/c and the thermostat showed a temperature of 85 degrees! At this point we caught the owner in a major lie. We decided to take no chances of a repeat of prior night and closed the windows and turned the a/c on. Just like the night before, the fan ran but it didn't blow cool air. Uh, what happened to running the a/c and turning it off at midnight, as we had just been told? It was a blatant lie. I feel sorry for the folks visiting in the summer months! If she doesn't wish to run the a/c she should be upfront about it, as are the un-airconditioned hotels in the park. Just don't be deceptive!
Upon checking in I asked what time breakfast was served. Most other websites gave this information but theirs had neglected to mention it. Liz said it was at 8:30. I told her that we were planning to leave at 7:30 or 8 and that with the construction delay on 140 an 8:30 meal could put us in the park after 10am. She said that her guests were usually in the valley at 9:15 after breakfast. Later, I realized that this was a mathematical impossibility... one of many little "fudges". I told her that we would have to miss breakfast then. She got very defensive and said that that was when most people liked their breakfasts and that she couldn't please everyone. There was no reason for this defensive attitude since I had been really nice and polite when I told her that we wouldn't be able to make it. She then went on to say that some of her guests that morning had left early and had eaten some cereal on their way out. The next day she told us that three out of her five rooms were skipping breakfast, when we asked. And that was before the other two rooms had returned from the park, so one or both might have chosen to forego breakfast too. It didn't seem like most people prefered that time to me... But I do understand that is the standard time for several B&Bs in the region, which strikes me as odd given that many people like to leave early for hikes or see popular sites early before the crowds arrive. So my irritation wasn't so much from the time breakfast was served but her response when I told her we had to skip it. Why had she acted as if it was so outlandish?? It's not as if we asked for our money back!!
And last, but not least, the most bizarre aspect of this place- the utter lack of privacy. First, the minor ones: our room is touted as having a private balcony. Uh, not really. The room shares a balcony with the adjacent room and is divided by a waist high railing. There aren't any potted plants there to give an illusion of privacy, etc. Our neighbors had their dinner out there and stayed there all evening looking at their laptop so it wasn't like we could enjoy some romantic time stargazing. Also, upon checking in Liz didn't offer us a key to our room. When we asked she said that nobody used keys- that all her guests were nice and that most were from the U.K. and another couple was from Kentucky. Yes, I'm sure if a worldwide study were done the Brits would definitely be at the top as being law abiding and polite but I still found it a little odd that we couldn't lock our room when we left for the day. Also, Liz left the front door locked and didn't give out keys. Very understandable and not a problem. However, she is quite tactless and on our second day there when I had made some purchases from the Yosemite Visitor Center book store she commented that I had lots of stuff. She was nice about it but when you force guests to encounter you as gatekeeper it really is inappropriate to survey what they bring in or out and comment! Again, a lack of privacy. Okay, here is the kicker-- Our room had no curtains with two exceptions- the window over the bed and the sliding doors. There were one or two windows which were okay without curtains- those facing the mountain behind us. It wasn't a developed area so no problem. However, the window in the *bathroom* and the window at the end of the room had no curtains. These windows WERE DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE WINDOWS OF THE ADJACENT HOTEL. This was completely unacceptable. The only place to keep our suitcases was in this area and we'd have to grab our clothes and then put them on the bed so we wouldn't have to walk in that area while dressing. If we forgot something we'd have to wrap a towel around ourselves to fetch it. I resorted to putting a throw pillow from the sofa on the windowsill of the bathroom window. It wasn't perfect- it didn't cover the window all that well but at that point we didn't really want to bother to think about it. And for those who might respond that people shouldn't be uptight and worry if someone catches a glimpse of them nude. Sure, ten years ago, it might have not been a big deal- but I don't care to see a picture of myself on the commode being circulated on the internet. Lol. Plus, it felt creepy to not have privacy in the bathroom. On the way out our first morning we discovered that the owners' bedroom is actually the reception room where they check you in. They sleep on a pullout couch. This wouldn't be a big deal but the room has french doors and as you descend the staircase and walk out the front door you walk by their room and can see them sleeping on their bed. This was a little odd. But it made sense to me... they obviously didn't care about privacy so they had no concept of other people's desire for it.
A last minor point, when I was looking for a second pillow for myself I looked in the large wardrobe and it was filled with old clothes and dirty blankets. Oh, and for people who care (we didn't) there is no televsion or phone in the room. And there are no bedside tables so we pulled a chair beside the bed to act as an impromptu table to place our travel clock, etc.
Some people make great hosts- they are friendly without being intrusive and know how to make people comfortable. This is not the case here. I would never stay at this place again. It was one bizarre incident after another... Even the term inn is a little off: there was no common area. Inn implies some sort of lounge area available even if it is just the owner's living room. Oh, one last point- this is the only B&B, inn, hotel or motel we've ever stayed in that required payment up front. It actually worked out well for us as when we checked-out at 7:30am the owners were still asleep. Some may find it off-putting though... Next time I'll stay at the Yosemite View Lodge- the buildings look brand new and the landscaping is very nice, looks well-cared for.
Although I do not normally stay at B&B's, I was happily surprised at my week long stay.
Location: Yosemite BB B&B is 2 1/2 hours from the Fresno airport. The Yosemite Park line is about 500 yards up the street, the entrance booth is about 2 miles away and Yosemite Village is about 8 miles from YBB. It is located on the Merced River with spectacular views up and down the river. If coming from Fresno, I recommend driving North on I-99 and East on 140 until you arrive.
Hosts: Ron and Liz treated us like family. They are both the owners and the hosts. We spent time with them before and during breakfast as well as in the evenings before we turned in. They have lived in the area for a while, and every bit of advice they gave us was dead on. Although I do recommend that you do some research on what to do in the park, do ask for their advice. I don't think words can justify Liz's breakfasts, but a good sampling would include quiche, fruit, a meat, breakfast casserole and juice (served at 8:30).
B&B: There are five Arts & Crafts-style rooms available (2 on the bottom floor, 2 on the second floor and "the penthouse"). We stayed in a cheaper room on the bottom floor (the California Poppy room), but it did have a nice view of the river. The second and third floor rooms have their own private balcony while the bottom rooms can make use of the lower floor deck. Amenities include a pillow-top bed and hand-made soap. Our room did not have a tv or phone, but we didn't want either being that we wanted to spend out time in the park away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life. Be aware that we could not get a cell phone connection although it is sporadic as you drive around. There are plenty of books and magazines in the "living room" for you to spend each night planning your next day out. The highlight of the B&B is the many hummingbirds that join you outside for breakfast each morning. Another nice feature.......no smoking and no kids.
Yosemite: The park was spectacular. Be sure to visit Glacier Point and take time to drive east across the pass down to Mono Lake and Bodie (a ghost town). There are only a few gas stations around the park and the prices ranged between $4.50 and $5.10 so choose carefully. Although the scenery was breathtaking, we also had an opportunity to enjoy the wildlife. While there, we saw 6 bears, chipmunks, marmots, various lizards, ground squirrels, butterflys and birds of all types. Basically, for weekly park fee of $20, you couldn't ask for a better bargain.
Other: There are not many restaurants around. Although there is a restaurant and a pizza joint next door, I would only recommend visiting the pizza joint as the full service restaurant was lacking in service and quality. If you do drive across the pass, be sure to visit the Mobil station in Lee Vining for lunch. Yes.......it is a gas station, but it also has an outstanding casual sit-down restaurant inside. Overall, we will stay with Ron and Liz again when we visit Yosemite again, and we will recommend them to anyone else. Enjoy your stay with friends and nature! Thank you Ron & Liz!
My wife and I and another couple stayed here for a night and we all loved it. We arrived quite late but Liz was there at the door to greet us and make us feel at home. We loved the decor and our wonderful hosts and the proximity to Yosemite can't be beat. We hope to be able to stay for a longer visit next time!
If You're Looking for Quality, Look No Further
After hours of driving, we arrived at the door of the Blue Butterfly B&B at around 8pm, hoping for a vacancy. We had made no reservations, and we later learned that they usually don't recieve unreserved guests after 6pm, but Liz, seeing how tired we were and how late it was, made an exception for us. We were lucky enough to get the very last room available, the california poppy room, which actually had been reserved for a visiting relative that cancelled at the last minute. After so much driving, it was nice to find a spacious shower and a very comfortable bed.
The next day, we were treated to a wonderful homemade breakfast, where we had the opportunity to meet other guests from England, Scotland, and Arkansas.
We had never stayed at a B&B before, but were glad we did, instead of choosing to stay at one of the cookie-cutter hotels in the area. The cozy setting and decor, the delicious breakfast, and the interaction with the friendly hosts and other guests made this place really stand out among the other places we've stayed at. Additionally, the back patio offered a beautiful view of the river and surrounding foothills.
We would certainly recommend this place to anyone looking for something other than the usual corporate hotel experience.
quirky but fine
We stayed here 2 nights and like a previous post, had great difficulty finding it, as we arrived after dark and drove around the Yosemite lodge complex for a while before having to stop and ask. The B&B is very oddly sited, being squeezed in on a tiny plot behind the pizza restaurant.
However, once inside this place is lovely, Its great having breakfast on the patio over looking the river. Owners, as others have said, are very friendly- don't stay here if you don't like a chat!
However, the place is a bit odd, with no proper sound proofing (and the people in the room above got up very early both days) and you can't lock your room when you go out. The room we had (glasgow) on the ground floor looks straight out onto the kitchen door of the pizza place.(I think the only room with no view) Also, there is no air con in this room and I imagine it will be very hot in summer. The bed was also very small and I found it quite uncomfortable. bathroom is great with huge shower cubicle.
If you can't get accommodation in the Park, this is a good well placed alternative.
Great Place and Wonderful Hosts
This is the best bed and breakfast that my husband have ever stayed in! Ron and Liz are such wonderful hosts. The rooms were very nice and very clean. They have great knowledge of Yosemite and can tell you all the places to see and hike. My husband and I felt right at home. Breakfast was very good. Being able to sit out on your own private deck was so nice and relaxing with the river right there!
We will be going back again for sure. We also felt like we made some good friends with Ron and Liz.
My husband and I have been coming to Yosemite for many years and have stayed in most all of the facilities available from housekeeping tents to hotels. Every year and sometimes twice a year we experience something new and unique. This year it was the Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn. I can not say enough about the accomadation, aviance, food, and innkeepers. The Inn is absolutely beautiful and every room is an artful experience. The breakfast was lovingly made and served by the innkeepers and what a delicious treat it was! Ron and Liz were such wonderful warm and friendly innkeepers, I felt I was staying with family! Ron and Liz have lived in the El Portal area for many years and I found their knowledge of the area extremely helpful. They shared many stories of the area as well and what an absolute delight that was. My husband and I both feel we have found a place to call home when we visit the park again. This is without a doubt the best place in the area to stay.