"And actually, now that I see your report on Vermilion and Muir Trail Ranch, I'm wondering if we would be better off just skipping Vermilion and staying at MTR. Were all of the services offered at MTR free of charge if you have a stay booked with them (clothes washing, lemonade, hot tub soaks, etc.?)"
I'm not so sure how practical it would be to book a stay with MTR for the middle of a JMT trip. They do allow people to make reservations for short stays, but only for dates where they have an opening, and only in the spring and fall. I'm not clear on how Daniel and Manfred set this up, and whether they would have been allowed any flexibility to arrive on a different day.
The only services MTR offers to backpackers who aren't staying there are resupply, a hiker's box, a very small general store, and water. They do not offer food, laundry, or use of toilets.
VVR is a much more welcoming place for hikers. They have a cafe, beer, a bigger store, laundry, toilets, showers, and your choice of camping or sleeping in a bunkhouse. The first beer is free to through-hikers. No reservations are required, so you don't have to worry about staying to a fixed itinerary.
I stopped at both places (VVR for a zero-day break, and MTR for resupply), but if I had it to do over, I'd have skipped MTR entirely.
MTR is an expensive luxury resort. They charge $155 per night for the adults in the cabins. What I paid at VVR for meals and a bed was 1/3 of that. It's not surprising that you get a lot more luxury when you pay three times more money.