Thunderbird Lodge offers decent motel rooms that you'd be happy to pay $100 for anywhere else. You pay twice as much as that here but that's the price of sleeping 50 feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon. IMO, you might as well shell out the extra $10 for the partial canyon view if you can because that is going to be trivial expense compared to the rest of your visit. Partial view means looking towards the canyon; you can make out the top edge of the far side. This is actually quite enough to remind you of the natural wonder that is waiting out there for when you finally get your shoes on and go take a proper look. Other than that, Thunderbird is clean, neat, and cosy, and front desk service, provided by Bright Angel next door, was OK.
The biggest downside other than cost was a wifi service that didn't function most of the time. The lodge staff didn't seem bothered by this, claiming it was "the weather" (we were there in winter) and part of the problems associated with a remote site. I call BS on that one, since every other amenity know to tourist man was available, like cable TV and their ability to process my credit card. Internet access was important for us to complete ongoing arrangements. Other issues include thin walls (but no-one comes to party at the GC) and a lack of dining options (Xanterra has you captive.) Parking was also tight, with maybe 20 spots outside and some more on the street and at the lodges on either side of Thunderbird. In December it wasn't hard to get a spot but in summer I wonder what competition with day trippers would be like. The free shuttle buses are a great resource, obviously, but they were often packed out.
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- Also Known As:
- Thunderbird Hotel Grand Canyon National Park