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“Location, location, location” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Canyon Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023   |  
Hotel amenities
Los Angeles
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Location, location, location”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

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.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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414 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Had stayed here once before. The views are magnificent. Hotel is clean and comfortable. We could have stayed cheaper and traveled 25 miles away, but if your just going for one night. I'd spend the extra money and see the canyon at sunset and sunrise. Its magnificent.

Room Tip: I wouldnt pay the extra money for canyon view. Its right outside the hotel and your just steps away.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

The rooms are nothing to write home about. Actually our room felt more like a bunker than anything else but it was clean and a decent size. What makes the Thunderbird a stand out and worth it is its location- it's right on the Rim of the canyon and a hop to the beautiful El Tovar Hotel for fine dining or more casual Arizona Room. The breathtaking views are just steps away.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plano, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

The outside might not be much to look at, but the room was just great, modern and clean and right next to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Nice facility next door at Bright Angel Lodge. Very comfortable beds. What more can you ask for?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Rooms were terrific - better than expected actually - but the view and location are the true rewards for staying at the Thunderbird. Very pleased with everything. Highly recommend the partial view rooms.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

By far the best part of this hotel is the location! The rim of the Grand Canyon was just steps away from the door. Beauty surrounded us not only in the view of the canyon, but in the abundant wildlife as well. We saw many elk, mule deer, a family of raccoons and a mountain goat all outside our door. Most of our group was up for sunrise each morning. The views were just breathtaking!

The room was clean, although not overly spacious. The bathroom was rather small but served its purpose. This didn't bother us since we were only planning to sleep there and spend the bulk of our time exploring the canyon. A definite plus was the in-room refrigerator where we kept snacks and drinks.

The restaurants and gift shops were typical National Park venues with adequate, but not outstanding food and well stocked gift shops. We actually ventured outside the park for dinner 2 nights in Tusayan, AZ at the Yippee-ei-o Steakhouse. The food and service were outstanding.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would definitely book again at the Thunderbird simply because of the location.

Room Tip: Request a room on the canyon side for a great view from your window.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homewood, Illinois
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This hotel is a great location! In your front yard is the Grand Canyon, literally steps away. On either side are the historic El Tovar (great choice for breakfast or any meal) and Bright Angel Lodge which has restaurants. A short walk away is an art museum and the entrance to the Bright Angel Trail. In the other direction, just steps away is the bus stop. The hotel has a Keurig coffee maker with pods, comfortable beds...no complaints here. This was much nicer than I expected. What a pleasant surprise! Look for elk at dusk roaming the property.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thunderbird Lodge

Address: Canyon Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 55
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Grand Canyon National Park

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