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“Great Stay! Beware of "Package Deal"” 4 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
San Marcos, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Great Stay! Beware of "Package Deal"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We booked a package deal that included one night stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, a train ride to the Canyon, a motorcoach tour there, a night at the Maswick Lodge, and a train ride back. I took my husband, son (4 year old), and father.

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is very nice. I was really impressed with rooms - great beds and bedding and gorgeous bathroom. It has an older feeling but everything is modern and fully updated. Very clean and attractive beautiful lobby area, and walking distance to downtown Williams which was cute.

A few things to be aware of if you book the package deal (which I wouldn't recommend)...
*the buffet dinner at the hotel is pretty mediocre and VERY EXPENSIVE, it was $85 of our package deal for 3 adults and a child to eat Luby's style food in a limited buffet (I'd rather walk into town and eat at Cruiser's Cafe which is fun and tasty!)
*the train ride SLOW and not scenic at all (2+ hours to travel what takes an hour in the car). Based on the pictures I saw on the website I wrongly assumed that we would have some views of the Grand Canyon area. Actually, all you see is open fields the entire way. Very boring. Luckily, the Railway tries to keep you entertained with musicians on the train and a staged train robbery which was cute. But it was still really slow going. I'm glad we did the train but I would not do it a second time.
*the "motorcoach tour" is totally unnecessary! After riding on a train for 2 hours the last thing we wanted to do was board a bus and wait for 20 minutes for it to drive us to 2 different stops. The seats on the bus are so low you can't see anything of the canyon unless you are in the back, higher seats. They take you to a stop and let you off for 20 minutes and then you board and wait and they drive you to another stop. If you want to go to these stops, just take the park shuttles.

***If you book a package, please be sure to book one that gives a night in the park! I would have lost my mind if I had taken the train all the way there, had only a few hours in midday heat to look at the Canyon, and then taken the train back to Williams, which is what most people did.

If I was to do this trip again, I would have booked a night at The Lodge in Williams (which was awesome!), booked a train ride to the Canyon, stayed a night there, and booked a ride back. Would have been much less expensive and better for my family.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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1,090 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
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English first
Philadelphia, USA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We chose this hotel for it's proximity to the train and for it's environmental policies. The hotel is probably as high end as it gets in Williams. While we didn't find the front desk folks overly friendly, but the restaurant and train staff were definitely warmer. Maybe it was a busy weekend. There is a restaurant/pub, a buffet cafe, and a coffee stand right on the property. The train to the Grand Canyon is also right outside.

The town of Williams is full of Route 66 kitsch. Very walkable and a lot of fun. Many restaraunts to choose from—but be aware this is a touristy place so prices are on the high side.

The train to the Canyon is really quite pleasant. We skipped the Wild West show that happens just before the train departs because it was "too early and too corny" for the tween, the teen and the spouse. Instead, we grabbed morning beverages and waited at the depot. Once we got going there was on-board entertainment, including the continuation of the show. The "bad guys" take your cash (tips), which everyone got a kick out of. There is also a photographer to take photos (for a cost).

All in all it's quite charming for families, particularly those with young children. And taking the train keeps cars out of the Grand Canyon National Park. If you are traveling to the Canyon it's worth a night's stay.

Green Features: One of the resons we chose this hotel is because of it's practices. The train is designed to run on clean diesel and oiletries are dispensed in larger bottles to keep down the use of plastic.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Goodyear, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We did this trip with two of our grandchildren (10 and 14). Great experience. We enjoyed the train ride, the hotel was wonderful. Our only negative was the dinner buffet. Would have liked better choices: fatty beef brisket, dried chicken nuggets and breast, will not win approval from anyone.
Breakfast buffet was good with an excellent omelet selection. We stayed two nights at the hotel, did the train, plus a motor coach tour....this was a great experience. Touring the Main Street and the many shoot outs was great fun!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
Manalapan
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

I stayed at this resort 2 weeks ago and I adored it. Once we walk in through the double doors, you are welcomed by a warm, immaculate lobby decorated like the Grand Canyon. I was in room 2119 and it was absolutely outstanding! The bathroom was extremely clean, the beds were VERY comfortable, and very big TV. Housekeeping was very nice as well. Also, their restaurant, Spenser's, had great food, as well as their buffet on the other side of the hotel. They had a wonderful gift shop connected to the buffet. Now, the train ride to the Grand Canyon was a lifetime experience. The two and a half hour ride was filled with entertainment as well as breathtaking scenery. I definitely recommend on taking this Grand Canyon train trip. It picks you up and drops you off in front of the day. What an experience. I am definitely returning!!!!

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
75 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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.
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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
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Williams
#3 Business Hotel in Williams
#4 Family Hotel in Williams
#5 Romantic 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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