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“Gateway to the Grand Canyon” 3 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Williams
GreenLeadersGold level
Scottsdale, AZ
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Gateway to the Grand Canyon”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2006

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel sits adjacent to the train station and next to Thelma's restaurant where they have a buffet breakfast for travelers who book the hotel. It's a neat, modern and newer motel-type building that has a massive amount of rooms in a horsehoe shaped structure on two levels. There is plenty of parking and the grounds were nicely landscaped with regional pine and scrub.
Everyone staying there has booked "The Railway" that chugs along a narrow-guage track for a two hour plus excursion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I could go on for many pages about the wonders of the train trip, the great views, the comfy compartments and the ease of travel to see the 7th Wonder of the World, but this review is supposed to be focused on the hotel itself.
The lobby was inviting and quaint. Checking in was quick and we made our way to our room, which was clean and spacious. It had all the basic ammenties you would expect in a moderate motel. We were only staying the night before the morning train's departure, so we didn't linger. The room included a buffet dinner and breakfast at Thelmas. It was adequate but that's about all.
Suffice it to say, the room was very convenient to the station and we would stay there again, for that reason alone.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food next door at Thelmas
  • Tips/Secrets — Eat anywhere else. Snack are available on the train.
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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890 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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (171)
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English first
Missouri
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2006

Was third time we have done trip, so obviously we enjoy it very much.
The Kids want to do Polar Exspress next year, so might change time of trip in the coming future to do that.

Only problem I had was the excellent bartender named Barak was no longer working there...
He was full of knowledge and a joy to the entire family.
On this last trip we had two other people wait on us, and they seemed disinterested in anything other than closing up for the night. Real dissapointment from previus experiences at Spencers. I could not get a good answer as to where Barak was now, but whomever has him working for them is I am sure reaping the benefits of his kindness and detail to hospitality.

Thank you GCR for another friendly nice vacation.
Marques Colston

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San Marcos, CA.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2006

Our family arrived at The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel for the vacation package, which included two nghts at the hotel and the train ride to the Grand Canyon and back the following day. We absolutely had a blast. First of all, the hotel was beautiful, inside and out. The rooms were spacious and CLEAN. Large restrooms, shower/bath. Coffee pots in each room, as well as bottled water, and cable tv!! The staff was courteous and helpful whenever we needed anything. We enjoyed Max & Thelma's and the meal vouchers that we employed the use of during our entire stay.

The train ride itself was breath taking. The scenery on the way to the Canyon and back was spectacular. Where did all of those complaints abou the scenery come from in some of these other reviews?? The train travels through beautiful meadows and forrest-like areas. Deer and various other wildlife could be seen from the windows. The only disappointing part of the trip is that it rained that day, and on the way back, the tracks were flooded/washed out, and they had to stop the train at one point and board us on busses. This could have been a very chaotic circumstance; however, the staff were prepared and had busses waiting for us at the drop off site -- we did not have to wait. They did everything they could to make a difficult situation as positive as it could have been.

Our family will definately be taking another train trip with TGCR.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simi Valley, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2006

AAA package for two nights at the hotel - me, DH, DD8 & DS10. All loved it. Package included hotel, train tix- first class, all meals at Max and Thelma's, bus tour at canyon and lunch there too. Overall great package. Hotel room was clean and large enough for all 4 of us. queen beds, indoor pool (just OK), quiet, Max and Thelmas was much better than we thought. Based on reviews we had set out expectations very low and the food was OK, not fantastic but still good. You can order off the menu or do the buffet. Internet service did not work for me anywhere in the hotel though they say it is wireless and free........ Lunch on bus tour was terrible and tour was just OK. Overall we would do this again. The kids loved it and the Canyon is beautiful.

  • Liked — clean large rooms, queen size beds
  • Disliked — lack of internet access, indoor pool/jaccuzi smelled of chlorine
  • Tips/Secrets — get to Max and Thelmas early
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2006

My wife and I reserved the train/hotel package in 2003, and again this July. I can tell you that I found our hotel room to be much cleaner and well appointed this time around. Of course, the reason people stay here is to ride the train. The Grand Canyon Railway has the whole supply chain from hotel to restaurant to gift shop to train. Also, regarding the train, travel in the upstairs Dome Car. It is the only way to go. It costs a bit more but enhances the train ride 100%.
Another tip, don't use your dinner vouchers to eat at the restuarant, use them at Spencer's lounge. Spencer's has a limited menu, but the quality of the food is far superior to anything you will find in Max and Thelma's restaurant. Overall, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is a nice place to stay, and the train (Dome Car) is fantastic.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2006

The Grand Canyon Railway hotel in Williams is next to the train depot and convenient. The train, the hotel, and the resturant are all run by same people. The hotel looks nice when you enter the lobby, That is as good as it gets. The rooms were ok, (it was like a maze to find our room) we had a suite, and needed pillows for the couch bed, and had to call twice, then I had to go to the desk and stand there to get any pillows. They told us that they were full and did not have many, I Figued that was their problem, we had to have pillows for the folding bed, so I stood there unitl I got two pillows. There is no free breakfast, only coffee for guests. The pool smelled like 100% bleach and the kids could not take it, we took them back to the room, sad because they could not swim. Stay there only if it is part of your train package, otherwise I saw other hotels in town that looked ok. Also they have bottles of water in the rooms, do not touch them, they are $3.00 each!

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2006

The name of this hotel was changed to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel after the last 97 rooms were added in 2005. The hotel has close to 300 rooms now.

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Location: United States > Arizona > Williams
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Williams
#5 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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