These National Park Lodges Are Straight out of a Wes Anderson Movie, and You Can Book Them Now
A new book celebrates historic lodges in the West’s national parks, from the opulent Ahwahnee in Yosemite to the Spanish Revival Inn at Death Valley.
The grandeur of our national parks isn’t limited to their natural splendor: Our treasured summer playgrounds are also home to some of the most impressive and rustically grand hotels in the United States. With their stacked-stone walls, shingled cabins, cavernous fireplaces, soaring dining rooms, cozy knotty-wood-paneled bedrooms, and Wes Anderson–worthy retro vibes, the lodges live up to the nickname given to them by staffers: parkitecture. Portland-based interior designer Max Humphrey’s beautiful new coffee-table book, Lodge: An Indoorsy Tour of America’s National Parks ($40, Gibbs Smith) is a heartfelt homage to these hotels that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a golden era of parkitectural experimentation not to be repeated. From the stately Ahwahnee in Yosemite to the taxidermy and timber of El Tovar at the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone’s massive log structure Old Faithful Inn, each hotel is a marvel true to its place and time. Co-written by Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, with photographs by David Tsay and Rob Schanz, the book is equal parts photo essay, history-minded travelogue, and Americana interior-design eye candy. In this excerpt, we take a quick tour of the Ahwahnee and the Inn at Death Valley to give you a taste of this essential tome.
Back in the day, California artist Robert Boardman Howard painted these linen-lined walls with Yosemite fauna, alongside a hand-hammered copper fireplace hood. It’s in the Mural Room, which feels like you’re in a time capsule. It’s totally indulgent—not the type of room most of us normally get to sit around in, reading books and sipping hot cocoa.
This is the best table in the Ahwahnee Dining Room (and reportedly where Queen Elizabeth II sat when she stayed here in 1983). Adding to the storybook appeal? The 34-foot-high exposed-beam ceiling, twinkling chandeliers, and the view over misty Yosemite Falls.
The Inn at Death Valley
The palm-tree–flanked pool at the Inn at Death Valley is spring-fed and stays a cozy 87 degrees.
Tiered fountains gurgle on the dining room patio at the Inn at Death Valley, adding to the Mediterranean feel.
Ask for the stone-clad suite overlooking the spring-fed swimming pool at the Inn at Death Valley.
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