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“A must do at least once” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   235 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046   |  
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Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level Contributor
79 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“A must do at least once”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014 via mobile

First the only negative... Check in at the hotel is really slow.
Positives... Williams is a great place to go. The whole town works hard to make it a fun place to be. Rooms are nice and big. Walk next door to train. Pub is nice.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank Writerwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (237)
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Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Williams is such a fun little town, though, admittedly touristy. We enjoyed the neon lights and cute shops just blocks away from the hotel.

We booked a package including dinner, a night in Williams, breakfast, transportation by train, and one night in Grand Canyon Village. It was perfect! I highly recommend this as a way to experience the canyon!

The hotel itself is nice, though not spectacular. We had trouble with the air conditioning in our first room but the staff was very accommodating and friendly as they attempted a fix and then quickly helped us move to a new room. The buffet dinner and breakfast were nice and had lots of choices. The Wild West Shoot-Out was entertaining - all parties were amused. And the train was a wonderful prelude to a spectacular wonder of the world! We enjoyed it so much!

After returning on the train, we visited the gift shop which was nice and had many of the items we saw in Grand Canyon village, which was convenient for all the things I wished I had picked up earlier ;)

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank TLB33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

They have you on the location! Best if you are taking the train. Old fashioned TV.... Not much when it comes to service... Luggage rolling racks outside and help yourself... No king beds if you are a couple 2 doubles only... $169 outrageous for what you get

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank kaufman2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xanterra, Public Relations Manager at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, we are sorry to hear that you found us at less than our very best during your stay. We are in the middle of renovating the entire hotel, albeit one section of rooms at a time, and hope that should you find yourself in Williams in the future you'll give us a second chance.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wentzville, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

I've read other average rated reviews and though can see where some people may find the experience a little too "touristy" it really was the perfect package for us. The rooms were modern and very clean. The hotel staff I encountered was always friendly and helpful. The old west characters were a hoot. The train ride was relaxing and enjoyable (though I'd say splurge on first class....the seating layout and complimentary snacks and beverages make a big difference). We did the bus tour at the canyon as well and it provided two great but different vantage points which was perfect for our first time. The buffet dinner/breakfast were surprisingly good. I am not a fan of buffets at all but the quality I'd this buffet was quite nice.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
1 Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun City, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

It's pretty much a package deal with the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The reason you stay there is to take the train to the Grand Canyon. The Hotel is clean, nice, neat, well kept up. Nothing spectacular. The food (included in the package) is fair, not great. Buffet style, and you get breakfast & dinner. The staff is very friendly and helpful. You're just a block or so away from downtown Williams, an old "Route 66" town. It'd be a ghost town without the Grand Canyon Railway. But it's got a few nice shops and businesses and touristy type places. You really don't need to go anywhere else though, because everything is included in the price of the trip.

Room Tip: You don't have a choice where they put you. Don't go for an "upgraded room". The s...
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Green Features: Extremely environmentally friendly and have won a ton of awards for it.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank Rich H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

The perfect package for traveling with kids. Hotel, meals, train trip, entrance to Grand Canyon and night at Grand Canyon all included in one price that was very reasonable. The best part, they handled all of the luggage! Food was good and it was nice to go, eat, and enjoy, but not worry about paying at that moment, it was all included. Wild West entertainment (gunfight, train robbery) added to our enjoyment of the four day package. Everyone was very friendly and once again, it was so easy! Don't miss the zip line between Williams and the Grand Canyon Railroad Hotel. Even the youngest (9 yrs. old) in our group enjoyed it.
After we returned from the Grand Canyon, which was beautiful, we went to Bearzonia outside of Williams. We rode through the preserve for about 3 miles and saw some beautiful animals (bear, wolves, buffalo,my personal favorites, and mountain goats). Then we walked through another area where we saw a Bird Of Prey show and numerous baby animals. The bear cubs looked like any group of young kids playing in the water on a hot summer day.

Room Tip: If you need two rooms, try to get the connected rooms for large rooms great for 6 to 8.
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Green Features: Good job of providing containers clearly labeled recycle or trash. All areas where food was served ask if you wanted a straw or not
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank RoxieGeorgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

About 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year, but only about 100,000 make the trek to one of the seven natural wonders of the world by train. Doing so adds bookends to one of the most powerful and inspiring landscapes on earth.

Perhaps what makes both the entrance and the departure so unique is that it contrasts the immense size of the Grand Canyon with an intimate level of customer service. There is an authentic throwback charm to it all, one that is almost impossible to forget.

Why the best entrance to the Grand Canyon is Williams, Arizona?

Williams, Arizona, has a history as colorful as any in America. Its downtown business district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. As such, and with a population of only about 3,000 people, it seems unlikely to change. Williams is timeless.

While there are other small inns and motels in the area too, most people taking the train include the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel as part of a bigger package. The hotel isn't historic but iconic. It was designed to resemble the century-old depot that housed the original Fray Marcos Hotel.

The rooms are well appointed, especially the 550-square-foot suites. For a modest upgrade, the plush couches (with pullout sleepers) and kitchenettes with an extra sink, microwave, and mini-refrigerator create a cozy, homelike atmosphere comfortable enough to consider an extended stay.

These suites are ideal for families. The only room larger is the Rail Baron Suite that was originally designed for former owners Max and Thelma Biegert. The 1,000-room suite features a living room, full kitchen, separate bedroom, and ensuite. It resembles a small short-term apartment with comfortable amenities such as leather furniture.

Many packages also include meals at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel a buffet-style restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffets are augmented by made-to-order stations: an omelet station in the morning and pasta station at night. Dinners also feature a carving station and live entertainment.

The offering is surprisingly complete, given downtown Williams is a short two-block walk away. There are plenty of shops to explore, carriage rides, and a handful of restaurants that pay homage to different eras that make the town historic, ranging from its early days as a railroad frontier town to the road cruise culture that made Route 66 famous.

While there are many packages, the Canyon Discovery Plus is the most complete with two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and one night at the Maswik Lodge inside Grand Canyon National Park. The Maswik Lodge has a much more rustic, cabinesque vibe in comparison, but it is hardly noticeable given the surroundings. Most of the stay inside the park will be on the rim.

After checking into Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and picking up train tickets, a buffet dinner is included. After dinner, it is easy enough to walk to the small historic downtown area or retire to the signature bar in Spenser’s Pub. It dates back to 1887; handcrafted by George O. Spenser in England.

In the morning, guests are invited to leave their bags to be placed on the train before heading out for breakfast. Make it reasonably early because the railroad puts on a campy and comedic Western shootout before guests board the train. (The actors work the train too, so watch for them.)

The train provides a leisurely two-hour ride to the Grand Canyon, with attentive service and roaming entertainment. Some areas are remote enough for wildlife sightings.

After arriving at the Grand Canyon, many train patrons take prearranged bus tours along one of three expanses that make up the Grand Canyon. It's easy to pack light for the tour as guest bags will be waiting in in their hotel rooms when the tour is complete (and they will be picked up from the hotel room after checkout the next day). It's an experience unlike any other and the very best way to see the Grand Canyon unless you intend to stay longer than a day in the park itself. Brilliant ideal and absolutely great people.

Room Tip: The modest upgrade price for the 550-square-foot suites are worth it! Don't hesitate. And if you...
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Green Features: Everyone is so friendly and helpful. You really feel like you are the only guest, even when the hotel is busy. They do a wonderful job explaining how the packages work to ensure the best experience.
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
4 Thank RichardBecker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

Address: 235 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Williams
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Williams
#4 Business Hotel in Williams
#5 Romantic Hotel in Williams
#5 Family Hotel in Williams
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Canyon Railway Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 287
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historical hotel named after a member of a Spanish expedition. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Canyon Railway Williams
Fray Marcos Hotel
Hotel Grand Canyon Railway

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