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“Beautiful hotel and views” 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
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel and views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

To stay at El Tovar is a step back in time. A very rustic feel and one of the best or maybe the best view in the world just steps away from your room. The restaurant was great and the staff friendly. A perfect location and a treat if staying at the canyon. Take time to watch the ravens fly high.

Room Tip: The standard rooms can be a little tight. They have tried to fit to many modern amenities in a rust...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (338)
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Arizona
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is the premier place to stay at the south rim of the Grand Canyon and offers amazingly close access to some of the best views of the canyon. Be prepared for a rustic hunting lodge since it was designed at the turn of the 20th century in this fashion which was the style for all of the newly built National Park lodges. You will be struck when you enter the lobby that it's a relatively small place and dark throughout. Remember when it was built how accustomed even wealthy tourists were to dark interiors since electricity was expensive. There's also an abundance of dark woods and a shortage of windows. This darkness is either going to bother you or you are going to use it as an opportunity to reflect on the history of the place. The rooms reflect the era as well since they are smaller than those in new hotels, but they are comfortable and have charm. Few if any have views. Ours was of an employee parking lot and we had booked months in advance. But then who is going to stay in their room with one of the Wonders of the World just outside.

What counts is that you walk out the hotel and it takes you 20 seconds or less to be on the rim with great walking trails in both directions. Back at the hotel there are large porches with rocking chairs. Got to ask - are you so overstimulated and buzzed that you could not relish a few minutes in a rocking chair with one of the world's most stunning views in front of you? At night there is a quiet little bar for another kind of relaxation and then there's the dining room. We just reviewed it - in short, dine there.

Not all is wonderful at the hotel. There were maintenance issues and one wonders if the huge corporation running the place is nickel and dime-ing the lodge to ring maximum profits. The large public restroom in the basement - the only one beyond the private rooms - smelled of sewer backup. That's not a big enough issue to keep us away. Too much going for this historic place to stop us from returning.

  • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Orange County CA
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Old landmark hotels are risky, and this one is. They make a big thing about conservation (water, linens, recycling, electricity etc.) but it took fully 15 minutes to get hot water out of the bathroom faucet. Each time we needed hot (or even warm) water we wasted gallons of good water! We called the desk and they sent a maintenance man right away. I told him the problem, he acknowledged that he knew that was true, and he just shrugged (as if to say there's nothing he could do about it). Apart from that, the accommodations are nice -- nice (if small) room, clean. A little pricey but that's to be expected in a remote location with the hotel operator having a monopoly. The restaurant is very nice; creative menu, good service, attractive room.

Room Tip: There is no elevator, so if steps are a problem for you try to get ground floor room.
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
Cranston, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Located directly on the South Rim of the Canyon, El Tovar is an historic, rustic-looking - but pricey - hotel with a view - and what a view it is!  The changing shadows and colors of the canyon will leave you breathless.  We happened to arrive just as the sun was setting. Determined not to miss the splendor of the canyon glowing in setting sunlight, we gathered all our gear and made a beeline to the viewing point adjacent to the hotel. This was our very first glimpse of the Canyon, and we were simply blown away by the beauty and splendor of it all. As we visited in February, there was a coating of snow at the rim, adding to the dramatic effect - absolutely beautiful!

After getting our fill of the Canyon, we entered the hotel lobby to check in. On first impression, the room looked not like a hotel lobby, but more like a ski lodge, with natural wood, comfy chairs and sofa around a fireplace and even taxidermy displays on the walls above our heads.  Simply stated, El Tovar blends in perfectly with its national park surroundings. The staff throughout the hotel was friendly and helpful.

We had booked a king room months in advance and were fortunate to score a room on the second floor with both a porch and a partial view of the Canyon.  Our room itself was spacious, modern, very clean and comfortable. One downside to the hotel is the absence of an elevator to reach either the second or third floor.  Normally, this is not an issue for us, but schlepping our large, heavy bag full of winter gear and camera equipment up the stairs was laboring in the high altitude and left us huffing and puffing all the way up.

On one night of our stay, we dined at El Tovar's restaurant and were lucky enough to get a table by the window with a canyon view.  Normally, there would be a sunset to enjoy, but not that night - too much cloud cover.  It was lovely just the same.  As with the hotel, the menu is a bit pricey.  Although the decor is rustic, the table settings were elegant and the food delicious and well presented.  Due to both the popularity and reputation of the restaurant and hotel, reservations are required.  We reserved our table weeks in advance, requested and received a table by the window overlooking the canyon.t

On the last night of our three-night stay, a major storm was predicted to dump upwards of a foot or more of snow, possibly affecting our drive to Sedona the next morning. Weather in the winter months here is very unpredictable - one of the risks of coming here from November through March. I am happy to say that although we had light snow falling most of the day, it did not hinder our escape the next morning and only added to the beauty of the park and Canyon.

Is El Tovar worth the high prices. Absolutely - for the location alone.  Even if you are not lucky enough to land one of few the rooms overlooking the canyon (or do not wish to part with hard-earned bucks for a full-view suite, in just a few steps out the door, you're standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Room Tip: Be aware there are no elevators in the hotel, so unless you have a room on the ground level, you wil...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

If you're looking for a historic experience then the El Tovar is the place. The rooms aren't large, but have just enough space and let's face it you don't spend a whole lot of time in the room anyway.

I especially enjoyed the common space upstairs where we were able to sit with our computers, people watch and have a drink. The porches outside are also furnished with benches, swings, and rockers, so that the canyon can be enjoyed in comfort.

The restaurant it upscale and we enjoyed dinner there. For breakfast we simply strolled down the rim to another hotel. There are also several gift shops on the main floor and a cocktail lounge. The hunter's lodge feel with seating also adds to the atmosphere.

Perfect location to the rim, buses, train, museums and other venues!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Texas
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

If your are visiting the south rim of the Grand Canyon this is must stop even if you do not stay here. It has the feel of an older hotel that makes you feel that you have gone back in time. The restaurant is also quaint but has a modern menu with very good offerrings art reasonable prices. I can heartily recommend the crab cakes wiuth their marvelous remoulade sauce. The beef stroganoff was also very good, but a portion almost too large to eat. If you wish to walok from the visitor center along the south rim, El Tovar is on the shuttle route back to the main entrance so no need to walk back if you wish to save time and energy.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Sally and I drove up from Scottsdale and stayed overnight in this 100 year-old hotel - a wondeful rustic feeling, steps from the rim of the Grand Canyon and with a wonderful dining room. Very friendly staff and terrific dining room servers.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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:
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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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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