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“Quirky as heck. But also brilliantly located.” 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
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Quirky as heck. But also brilliantly located.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

El Tovar's main door is literally 25 feet from the wall where the South Rim actually falls away from your feet. That means you can awaken 5 min before sunrise (yes, I'm lazy) throw on a bunch of warm layers and snap off the sunrise shot everyone must have. TIP: the sunrises all the way to the left as you approach the wall.
The hotel though is quite funky. Dinner service can be truculent until you get a table and then very gracious. Rooms are small by global standards and minute by American. And despite the location, most have terrible views from inside the room itself.
Two souvenir shops in the lobby is a bit over the top too.
But the food is decent, the beds and comfy and the loos are clean.

But. There is not a single better located hotel on the South Rim.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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1,767 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (397)
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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

El Tovar is a historical National Park Lodge that has been maintained well over the years. We spent $225/night for a basic second story room. The rooms were small, but bathrooms large but with limited space to store items. There is no elevator, so you will need to use hotel staff to carry bags or haul them up steps if on the upper floors. Common areas were limited, somewhat crowded with rather dated furnishings. Parking was tight if you bring a car. The lodge is at the rim, but rooms were really not designed for views.

I was not as impressed with this hotel compared to the other National Park lodges, but it was clean, the service was good, the restaurant good value. We were there in February and the lodge's first floor was always packed with people, hard to imagine what it would be like in summer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Oceanside, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I loved this hotel. Yes, there is no elevator. And yes, I stayed on the top floor (3rd) but it was awesome! History was everywhere. It felt almost magical. My room was small, but it was just me and the room amenities were better than standard. Make sure you eat at the restaurant for both dinner and breakfast. You will not be disappointed! I had the best polenta corn cakes for breakfast with prickly pear syrup and pistachio butter. Top Notch!

Room Tip: Try to pack light, there is no elevator.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

Where else on earth can you stay just steps away from one of the 7 natural wonders? The creaky, quaint, historical character of this landmark hotel more than makes up for the lack of modern hotel comforts (like elevators). Classic lobby, classic service, classic restaurant that you'll be happy to eat in breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're after an authentic Grand Canyon lodge this is the one. Not that the hotel matters at all when the canyon is 23 (counted them) steps from the door. And its not set off to the side in a discrete spot - the hotel is smack band on the edge of the canyon, overlooking one of the most sensational vistas on the South Rim.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

El Tovar is an older hotel but in very good condition and in a wonderful location next to South Rim of Grand Canyon. Rooms are clean and very nice but not luxurious. The hotel's restaurant is very good. All of the people we met who work here were so friendly and helpful. The only draw back is that there is no elevator so if your room is on 2nd or 3rd floors you have to carry bags. There is bell help but they weren't always around. Ask for room on first floor if this matters. There really isn't a view of canyon from any of the rooms except restaurant. You can ride the free shuttle through a lot of the park.

Room Tip: Ask for room on first floor so you don't need to carry suitcases up stairs. There is no elevator...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frisco, Texas
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Places like El Tovar simply cannot be measured by the same standard as a modern but ordinary Marriott, Hyatt, etc. We stayed two nights recently and had a wonderful experience in a place with a rich history and character. The service was impeccable and the big bucks invested in the recent complete renovation were well spent. And how can you improve on a location on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

Room Tip: Rooms above the ground floor are quieter if there's a crowd (but there's no elevator).
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allendale, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just stayed at the El Tovar Lodge for 2 nights. This is the place to stay when visiting the south rim of the Grand Canyon. While some might consider it "dated", I prefer to think of it as rustic. The view can't be beat. Our room was simple, but comfortable. The food was pretty good, but could use some improvement. The staff was very nice and attentive. A very memorable visit!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about El Tovar Hotel

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:
Bar / Lounge 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*
Number of rooms: 78
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon
El Tovar Grand Canyon
Hotel El Tovar
El Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon El Tovar
El Tovar Lodge

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