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“Great location, poor accomodation”

Grand Canyon North Rim
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$338.99*
and up
Grand Canyon North Rim Air and Ground Tour with Optional ATV Ride
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Word of mouth has that the more remote, harder to get to and therefore less crowded North Rim offers a more authentic Canyon experience and better views. However, there is no bus service on this rim and it is closed during the winter.
Derbyshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great location, poor accomodation”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2008

We stayed one night in a motel room at the lodge, it was reasonably comfortable but the facilities were basic. Dinner in the dining room was very disappointing (and expensive) and there was very little choice for breakfast at the deli.
The beauty and solitude of the north rim more than made up for the deficiencies of the accommodation. Even allowing for the remoteness of the location the prices charged seem very high, they need some competition.

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2 Thank cletus121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Grand Canyon Lodge - Beautiful view, horrible cabins”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2008

Spent Jun 17 and 18 at the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim, traveling with husband and daughter. We had booked "only" 4 months in advance, and at the time felt lucky to get a room - there is only one lodging choice at the North Rim - others are miles out of the park We had a Frontier Cabin- with one double bed and one single, it holds 3 people. It's been hard for me to figure out what to say about this- fact is, if you want to stay at the North Rim and don't want to camp, this is your only choice. And the Canyon was incredible - totally worth seeing, of course. The main portion of the lodge had wonderful picture windows, as well as large terraces where you could enjoy the view while having your morning coffee or evening drink.

But the cabin- well, that was horrible - dark and musty, and, while it was big enough for the 3 of us to sleep, we could not all stand up in there at the same time. The bathroom was gross - cracked and ancient linoleum, several tiles missing from the shower. They make a big point out of how these are the original cabins from 80 years ago- I am not sure this is something to be proud of, given that it does not appear that they've fixed anything in there in 80 years.

We did not have a problem with the dining room. We had been told that we needed to make a dinner reservation on the day we wanted to dine. I am not sure why we could not book in advance, but it was not really a problem. We originally asked for 7:00, got 7:15, but were told to get there at 7:00. We did, and were seated at 7:15. I had salmon, which was bad- chewy and tough. But my husband liked his steak, and the side dishes and dessert were fine, so I did not go hungry. The second night, we tried the cookout. This was wonderful, and I strongly recommend that anyone staying there give it a try. The food- beef brisket, corn, potatoes, vegetable stew, was delicious, and we all enjoyed the entertainment. This was a married couple who performed country/cowboy music. The woman had a wonderful voice, and they were a very entertaining pair. Unfortunately, after this pleasant evening I had to return to the dread cabin. I postponed it by staying in the main building as long as possible, but eventually had to go in.

I sincerely hope that the management is able to improve things - new curtains to replace the current ones (which have holes) would help- but as they are already booked every day of the season months in advance, I am not sure what motivation they have to make changes.

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4 Thank travelmore149362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boone
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“worst facilities”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2008

Stayed two nights worst ever experience need to schedule your entire sightseeing around the operators(Forever Resorts) reservation policy. With over 1000 guests only one restaurant which has limited hours. Arrived from South rim after 6pm and were told no opening until 9pm after being told reservations were no longer required due to a new "cookout experience" which didn't start until after we left. Came back next day after sightseeing at 2:30pm and found place closed. The only other option is a cafe with the worst food. The rooms are very primitive suppose to be at the going rate however paid the same $110 at the South Rim for twice the cabin the walls are paper thin people in the next room fought till 11pm. While the rim is wonderful would never stay with this operator.

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6 Thank dickBoone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, OH
Level Contributor
121 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“North Rim Cabins”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2008

We stayed in a Pioneer cabin (2 room) May 28-30. And yes, things are run by a new company. We had not been to the Grand Canyon before, so have nothing to compare it to. Keeping in mind the North Rim only opened on May 15, our cabin was in decent shape, but not totally clean - there were still cobwebs at the base of the doors separating the 2 rooms. No clock in the room, even though the description stated there would be. Bedding is OK, not great, and we absolutely needed the heating system that is available. But, I knew we were booking a "primitive" cabin, and did not expect high class lodgings - that's why I still rate it as "above average" price/value. One weird thing - when we put up the sign to make up our room, they only did the first room, nothing was touched in the second room. Maybe I was supposed to put a separate sign out for the other door (there is a separate door for the 2nd bedroom, but we did not receive a separate key for it), but nothing was stated to that effect.

Quite breezy and cool while we were there, so did not enjoy watching the sunset as I had hoped - just too cool to leisurely sit outside with a beverage. Found the bar to be pleasant with good service. Deli in the Pines was OK, working through some staffing issues and things not working - one day the ice cream machine, another day the cappuccino machine. But we ordered a whole pizza the second night for dinner and it was quite good. As stated by another reviewer, the dining situation is evolving with the new owners. We received literature stating there would be no reservations for the Dining Room, but when I called before our arrival I was told you could make a reservation only on the day you wished to dine - i.e. in the morning reserve a time for the evening meal. We did not end up dining there, as we had spent quite a lot on a meal at the El Tovar earlier in the trip. And yes, there were some angry people sitting around waiting for their dining time who did not know this policy change. Also, there is something called the Great American Cookout which is supposed to relieve some of the pressure on the Dining Room. HOWEVER - it was not starting until June 1, and it is going to cost $35 an adult, in the mid $20's for kids, and you dine outdoors at the campground (under awnings), and there is entertainment provided as well as a buffet style meal with grilled meats and side dishes. Not sure how many people will chose to spend that kind of money on an unknown "restaurant". Maybe good word of mouth on this site will prove that the cost is worthwhile.

The view is beautiful and different than on the South Rim, the peace and quiet are wonderful. Not a lot to do unless you hike, and you need to be an adventurous hiker to do most of the trails. There are some ranger programs offered in the evenings, as well as entertainment in the auditorium, which we did not get a chance to see.

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3 Thank CarlyMegsMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Valley CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beware: new management at the North Rim”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2008

Visitors to the north rim of the Grand Canyon should note that for the 2008 season there is a new contractor, Forever Resorts, operating the lodging and restaurants. Any reviews from 2007 or earlier don't describe conditions under the new management.

I don't know the circumstances around the departure of the previous contractor, Xanterra, but we found more problems than we expected under the new management.

The first problem was that our cabin was not clean, but the restaurants were the most frustrating problem.

Forever Resorts terminated the reservation system used by Xanterra for the dining room in the lodge. The first night of our stay, it was first come first served, starting at 4:30 pm. We didn't want to eat so early, so at 5:30 pm we got on the waiting list for dinner and ended up eating after a wait of about an hour. The next day, without telling anyone so far as we could see, they changed to some sort of combination signup/reservation system, so when we tried to sign up for dinner at 5:30 pm, we were told that there would be a three hour wait, or more. The Deli also started to run out of food, so we drove to the Kaibab Lodge, outside the park and had a good simple meal with very friendly service.

At breakfast, we were told there would be a twenty minute or longer wait, even though the dining room was only half full. Breakfast is a buffet, but for some reason management was only using half of the available tables.

We never managed to eat breakfast in the dining room, but the food and service (waiters and busboys) at dinner were very good, once you got in. The staff at the hostess station were overwhelmed by frustrated diners, and ranged from polite but helpless to barely polite. But obviously the problems were being caused by management policies, not the staff themselves.

The North Rim is wonderful, the Lodge is a beautiful building, but watch out for stupid policies and poor communication by Forever Resorts management.

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3 Thank millvalley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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