The Thunderbird Lodge is a great location to stay if you plan to hike the Bright Angel Trail or the South Rim Trail. It was unbelievable that we were just steps from the South Rim. The prices are a little expensive but in terms of convenience you can’t beat it. I wish there were more places to eat near the lodge but a lot was closed because of Covid-19. Everything is expensive here so plan accordingly. I would definitely stay here again. The room was very clean and comfortable but there really aren’t any amenities here. You are paying for the convenience of being so close to the South Rim.
We originally booked the Maswik lodge, but were upgraded to this Lodge due to construction. It was a tight fit for our family of 5 with just 2 beds. We had brought along an air mattress to also use. The staff was nice enough to provide bedding and pillows for us. We had a partial rim view. Not much to see. It was very nice to walk outside our hotel and be steps away from the rim.
Sure, you are paying to be right on the rim. But it’s not worth it. I’d rather spend $150 less and stay in Tusayan. The rooms are fine, but the beds were not good. Neither the wife or I slept well. The parking situation is ridiculous. There’s no guarantee you’ll get a parking spot anywhere close to the room. You have to fight with all the visitors to the canyon for parking. The housekeeper was waking us up at 8:00 am. Plus, there’s no where to get a good meal so you have to drive to Tusayan anyway. Don’t bother.
The Thunderbird lodge is very dated. Read between the lines...There is only a heater. No. A/C in the rooms. When you are Texas, you need at least a fan to move the air in your room. Then there is the restaurant situation. Only one at El Tovar open that needs reservations...booked solid. Had to drive back to civilization to eat. Scenery is great but don’t stay here...not to mention our room smelled like a dirty vacuum cleaner.
During covid there are things you have to do in travel that are the new norm. I will leave out the horrible parking situation in this review because of it and the long check in at El Tovar which handled multiple hotel check ins Pros LOCATION GREAT WIFI CANYON VIEW 2ND FLOOR ROOM ROOM SIZE CLEAN Cons SHOWER WATER PRESSURE ROOM LIGHTING AND LACK OF PLUGS SIGNAGE FOR ROOM NUMBERS HARD BEDS (keep in mind I slept in the canyon on a pad two nights before here) That being said with covid it stood up