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“Best place to stay on the Rim” 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
University Park, MD
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Best place to stay on the Rim”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

El Tovar is a grand old hotel that is not meant for modern crowds. Everything was pleasant and comfortable and we were happy to be staying there, rather than in some of the more modern lodges. We didn't have any trouble parking and ate most of our meals there. Most of our time was spent outdoors, so it didn't matter that the rooms were small and the bathrooms weren't luxurious. We walked outside at night to see elk grazing in the grass next to the veranda! We hiked before breakfast and were back in time to have a delicious, full breakfast that kept us going until dinner. Service was friendly and helpful always.

Room Tip: We couldn't afford a room with a view, but I bet they are spectacular!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,762 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
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Wirral
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

This hotel oozes history and character. The location is unsurpassable being right on the rim. It was very easy to do sunrise and sunset. Our room was good and we had breakfast in the El Tovar which was also first class. Staff were friendly throughout and we had a really good time here. It is an old building and so has no lift but, if you needed it, there is help to move suitcases. Go for the experience - it is worth having

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turlock, CA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

Our first experience at this hotel was parking. The parking is crazy! The hotel does not have their own parking area. You have to sit in a small parking lot and wait for someone to leave. It is a historic hotel with an awesome location and I believe that is what you pay for. The room was an average room with very limited bathroom space. Opening in 1905, I guess I should have expected that. It was very clean and the bed was comfortable. When we arrived, the room was not ready so we went on our scheduled Pink Jeep tour. I received a phone call that our room was ready. When we opened the door to the room it was like a sauna. We talked to people staying across from us and their room was nice and cool. We called and about an hour later a man arrived to look at it. He turned it off/on and lo and behold it started working. He said it was on heat and continued to explain that the F was heat and the C was cool. That didn't make sense to me because I know the meaning of F and C when it comes to temperature. But we were happy it was working. Next issue, I went to freshen up for dinner and no blow dryer. I called and they sent a young man up right away. He came in to look for it and discovered a metal plate on the wall with no blow dryer. He returned shortly and put in a new blow dryer. We had to leave him in our room due to our dinner reservation. Came back from a wonderful dinner and the room was not very cool. We should have called and requested another room but we were so tired and just went to sleep. Needless to say it wasn't a comfortable night! In the morning I got it working again by turning it on/off. However, by the time we left the room was like a sauna again. I would have given this hotel a 1 or 2 rating due to this, but I believe that it was just our room that had this problem and not a regular issue. However, I believe with an attentive staff this would have and should have been noticed before our arrival. Paying over $200 a night, we should not have had to deal with this! Again, overall a beautiful hotel, amazing location, delicious food and atmosphere at restaurant! Just not satisfied with our room!

Room Tip: Make sure the AC works!
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 5 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.
Laguna Beach, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I have waited for a long time to come back and stay at this historic hotel and the wait was worth it! The hotel itself was a treasure but the people that work there really make the difference. We ate in the dinning room on several occasion and felt the prices were not over the top. Our room was large with a sitting area and very nice. The coffee and tea available to guest in the morning was a treat! This hotel has no elevator and we were on the third floor but the walk through the hotel to our room with all the historic paintings was a pleasure. We did all we wanted to do there sitting on the porch watching sunset and finishing a bottle of champagne was perfect. Riding bicycles along the rim was way fun! Elk in the morning was a treat and there were Indian dances in the afternoon that was educational and entertaining all was set up for a great time on the south rim with our stay at El Tovar

Room Tip: Make your reservation in advance so you wont be disappointed!
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  • Stayed May 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We stayed at the hotel and ate 3 meals at the restaurant. The hotel is a lovely historic hotel right on the south rim of the canyon. Our room was on the first floor near the porch with a partial view of the canyon. The room was what you would expect in a hotel nearly 100 years old. It was clean and well maintained. The location could not be better. At night most of the tourists left and we felt like we had our own private Grand Canyon! The elk come out in the evening. It was not unusual to see 6-8 elk on the lawn of the hotel. The dining room is just incredible. My filet mignon just melted in my mouth. The desserts were amazing. The wait staff was very nice and helpful. We had a view of the canyon at sunset for dinner. We also ate 2 breakfasts in the dining room which were delicious as well. Even if you aren't able to stay at the hotel, try to eat a meal there. You don't need reservations for lunch or breakfast. I did make my dinner reservation 6 months in advance.

Room Tip: We liked staying on the first floor close to the porch, allowing a partial view of the canyon.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Columbia, South Carolina
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Our family of four spent last week traveling around Arizona and we saved the Grand Canyon for last. We spent two nights at El Tovar, and it was amazing! It was expensive and we had to make our reservation eleven months in advance, but it was worth every penny. We were able to walk along the rim trail outside of the hotel in the moonlight, and again at sunrise with very few people around. My children were thrilled to see the big elk walking around at dusk. The restaurant was expensive, but the food was delicious and we had a wonderful meal. The hotel has a lot of history, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. This was definitely worth saving for and what we considered a "once in a lifetime" experience!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
san francisco
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

I organized a trip for 22 people, which means I booked 10 different rooms, in two different hotels.
The reason you want one of these rooms (as well as the Presidential Suite) is simple: 1) They are the only rooms in the whole South Rim which have full-on spectacular views, and 2) the balconies (which are really enormous decks) offer privacy, sublime viewing of the canyon, and space for cocktails (we easily had plenty-o-room for 22 people).
It is a strange design flaw of the other hotels, including the Bright Angel and the Thunderbird Lodges that they do not take advantage of the view with no balconies. Most rooms are looking at parking lots or roof lines. Who designed that?
The way I see it, most visitors have gone to extensive measures to get to the canyon since it is remotely located and most only stay one or two nights and few will get the opportunity to return. So take advantage of this advice and book one of these rooms. Especially if you need more than one room, make one of them a suite, so you have this superlative gathering space.
I would also like to mention that I woke up every night, intentionally, to go outside and look at the canyon bathed in moonlight. This would not have happened in another room or hotel.
Lastly, if you have the means, bring a fan as the air conditioning is loud. I would have preferred to cool the room with open windows and blowing fan.
I was Queen of the Universe because of the El Tovar Suite.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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

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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