The Ahwahnee dining room ceiling. The trusses are stained a medium brown and are shellacked, which creates a shiny glow. The ceiling above the trusses is painted light blue, mimicking the sky. The trusses you see have been upgraded since the hotel was constructed, additional trusses were added when it was decided the original design was not strong enough for the snow load.
View from dining room windows. You can't see it, but it had just started lightly snowing when this photo was taken. The orange spots are the reflection of the chandelier lights in the window.
The other major room off of the Elevator Lobby is the Great Lounge. If you picture the "Y" design of the hotel, the trunk of the Y is the Great Lounge. (See floor plan.) It is a rectangular room and features a large fireplace on the Elevator Lobby end. The fireplace is constructed of cut stone, and the opening size of the actual firebox is 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. This is literally a "walk-in" fireplace, and there is a stone seat constructed on either side of the firebox. Yes, that's right, the firebox is so large you can sit inside it! The ceiling of the Great Lounge has to be at least 25 feet high, with plaster coated beams. The beams are painted on the bottoms with decorative patterns. On either side of the room are 5 sets of floor to ceiling windows, with the top section of each being stained glass panels, designed by Jeannette Dyer Spencer. Like the Dining Room each window has full length curtains.
A dark wood, 3-drawer bureau with overhead cabinets is located between each set of windows. The floor in Great Lounge is polished wood, to give the room a warmer feel than the concrete floors used elsewhere in the hotel. The room is furnished with numerous couches and coffee tables. Enormous tables help offset the size of the room and divide it up. These tables are part of the original furnishings from when the hotel was built. Each table has a centerpiece featuring small, live evergreen trees. Four decorative iron chandeliers with flame-shaped bulbs hang from the ceiling. Display cases with Native American baskets are at the south end of the room, along with photos of important people from the hotel´s past.