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“Location location location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Apache Street and Center Road, South Rim; PO Box 699 10 Albright Street, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023   |  
Hotel amenities
Crawley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Location location location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

This was our second visit to the Grand Canyon and this time we decided to spend a bit more and stay in the park itself. The room was on the small size but was adequate for our two night stay. Staff were friendly but breakfast was very over priced. Bar staff were great and the bar would be highly recommended. We had a slight view of the Canyon from our room. Gift shop was good.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,499 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed in a deluxe queen room and could not have been more satisfied. The bed and pillows were awesome. The restaurant was full of character and our meal was very good. The gift shops are very fun to browse as well. We would definitely recommend the El Tovar!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Cincinnati
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My husband and I booked this hotel about 10 months in advance and were very excited about our stay in early November. However, El Tovar is extremely disappointing. Clerk at check in was very apathetic. Hotel hallways are dingy and dirty. Friends of ours mentioned how much they enjoyed the piano music on the second level, but sadly there was no music while we were there. Room strangely decorated; the a/c was so loud my husband and I finally wound up wearing ear plugs so we could try to sleep. The pillows were wafer thin, the hardest and oldest things you could imagine and I hated to put my head on them. The bed was lumpy. Don't count on getting a good night's sleep while you are here. On a positive note, the bathroom was clean and seemed like it had been newly redecorated.

We made reservations for two nights at the dining room, but were so disappointed that we wound up cancelling the second night. All of our food was lukewarm, even my husband's soup. Service was spotty. We ate on the lounge balcony overlooking the canyon and had a nicer evening.

As another reviewer mentioned, we were there over Election Evening and could not understand the hoses and pipes being dragged thru the lobby and up the stairs to clean the second level sitting area. I was hard navigating the stairs and noisy.

Listen to all the negative reviews and don't waste your money on El Tovar. I don't know what the other properties are like on the rim but for the money, I can't imagine they would be much worse.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We only stayed for one night but enjoyed it. The room was small but it's an old hotel, the bed was small too which I don't think there is an excuse for so I was pleased we only had one night in it. The staff were very friendly in the main, although the restaurant was a little eccentric in the way it seems to be run. The food was ok, no better than that. Anyway I forgive it these issues for its location, which is wonderful. Watching the light change in the canyon as the sun set was never to be forgotten, and the stars at night, wow. You may not be able to see the canyon in the dark but it's just as awe inspiring to look to the skies and see the night sky in all its majesty. I haven't seen it so clearly since I was at altitude in the middle of Africa and a flight away from the nearest town.
So I recommend El Tovar, enjoy it for what it is but mainly for where it is.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooksville, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Imagine opening up your hotel room window and gazing out at a full view of Grand Canyon! Just mesmerizing! This quaint 100 year plus lodge is just steps away from the edge of the canyon cliff. From sun up to sun down the view is constantly changing. The walking paths framed in stone are beautiful. The elk, deer and bighorn sheep are almost close enough to touch, good thing they still shy away from people. The El Tovar Restaurant is excellent. The staff and service was great. The only thing I didn't care for was the queen bed...a bit lumpy for the price your pay.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of the canyon of course!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
London
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed that this hotel for two nights but were disappointed. This is an historic hotel, of an interesting architectural design in the heart of the National Park and literally within yards of leaving the hotel there are the most spectacular views of the Grand Canyon during the day and at sunset and sunrise.
However, the above are simply a "given". They are nothing to do with the way in which the hotel is managed. Overall, this hotel gives the impression of being somewhat complacent about its customer requirements and needs a facelift.
Our room was dowdy and gloomy. The bed did have wall lights either side but not sufficiently bright for reading. The air conditioning system was incredibly noisy mainly caused by a very big fan which had been redirected by the Perspex cover (not part of the original design) making it too cold to sit at the desk and have the air conditioning on. The Wi-Fi speed was not adequate; sometimes you could barely access email. Instead of a wardrobe there was a sort of room cavity which was covered by a tartan curtain. None of the fabrics matched at all, as if someone had only bought sample sizes of each material. The bathroom had been renovated although it was clear that certain aspects had never been tried out before the design was installed. The shower head had such small outlets that it was actually painful to have a shower. In other words, everything about the room in such an architecturally and historically important building was just average or less. At $281 a night, the same cannot be said of the price.
The austere corridors and landings with stained carpets were more reminiscent of a sadly maintained retirement home. The same is true of the dining room which is cavernous but appears to be operated in the same way it has been operated for many years. It is more like the 1920s than 2012. Again, it is dark and gloomy and the carpets and the walls are not particularly clean nor is the screen going into the kitchen area. It just seems as though the hotel is stuck in a time warp. Many historic hotels throughout the world have been sensitively altered and designed to meet the expectations of a modern traveller. This is not one of them.
On arrival at the hotel there was no welcome or interest about where we have travelled from or our destination after our stay. It was all very laissez-faire although we should say in fairness that when we left at the stage of paying the bill, the receptionist was very friendly. Our check-in was entirely perfunctory. There was almost the impression that the staff, many of whom have been there for many years, regard themselves as much better than the guests, almost as if overall the guests are regarded by the staff as a bit of an irritant. This is not an attitude shared by all staff because we had the impression that younger members of staff would like to see change whereas more senior employees are content to see everything remain the same.

We had dinner and breakfast in the main restaurant and light supper in the bar. The food is old-fashioned and not of a particularly high quality. The dining room seating arrangements again, seemed to perpetuate the past. Tables are assigned outside the dining room in the hotel foyer without any interest in customers’ seating preferences.
We stayed in the hotel on election night and upstairs at first floor level in the guest area there were many hotel guests trying to watch television. Surprisingly, at about 10 PM the front doors of the hotel downstairs were opened making the whole area freezing cold. An extraction pipe was then brought up and without any concern the guests trying to watch the television, it was connected to a very noisy cleaning appliance operated by workmen who then proceeded to clean the carpets including moving the furniture and the guests.
We love the high standards of accommodation and service in the USA but this hotel misses the mark. We cannot say that we did not enjoy our time in the National Park because we did, but except for its location this hotel did not contribute to the enjoyment.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay City, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stayed at the El Tovar in November of 2012. It was an awesome stay. The hotel is so historic. The service was spot on. The rooms were older but so nice. Perfect location. Parking was no problem the time of year that we were there, but I understand that parking can be a problem. The park does not allow the hotel to have its own parking so its first come first serve. The porches on the hotel are huge with rocking chairs to sit and look at the view. Even though I believe the prices are a bit high for the hotel itself, it is definetely the location you are paying for.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about El Tovar Hotel

Also Known As:
El Tovar
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon
El Tovar Grand Canyon
Hotel El Tovar
El Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon El Tovar
El Tovar Lodge
Address: Apache Street and Center Road, South Rim; PO Box 699 10 Albright Street, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Tovar Hotel 4.5*
Reservation Options:
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