The Ahwahnee Hotel - Atlas Obscura

The Ahwahnee Hotel

The interior of the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining" was based on this Yosemite original. 


Opened in 1927, this classic example of “Parkitecture,” or a building designed to fit in with the natural landscape surrounding it, was the inspiration for the interior sets of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

While the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was the inspiration for Stephen King’s bestselling book, and the iconic exterior shots in Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation were filmed at the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon, the queasily overbearing interior sets of the movie, were heavily influenced by Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel. Inside the lobby, visitors will find the cavernous ceilings, Native American-inspired patterns, and even the frightening red-doored elevators from the movie.

Today, the hotel also features an excellent gallery of old-school winter sports photos, some of which were taken by Ansel Adams. The large first floor has couches and desks that are open to the public. Unfortunately, no big wheels are allowed.

There has been a recent dust-up over the hotel’s name. Due to a trademark dispute between a contractor (who is essentially holding the intellectual property, which they were mistakenly given the rights to in 1993, for ransom) and the National Park Service, the hotel has been forced to change its name as of 2016 to the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

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Located near Yosemite Village on the valley floor. 

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