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“Quirky as heck. But also brilliantly located.”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Quirky as heck. But also brilliantly located.”
Reviewed March 8, 2013 via mobile

El Tovar's main door is literally 25 feet from the wall where the South Rim actually falls away from your feet. That means you can awaken 5 min before sunrise (yes, I'm lazy) throw on a bunch of warm layers and snap off the sunrise shot everyone must have. TIP: the sunrises all the way to the left as you approach the wall.
The hotel though is quite funky. Dinner service can be truculent until you get a table and then very gracious. Rooms are small by global standards and minute by American. And despite the location, most have terrible views from inside the room itself.
Two souvenir shops in the lobby is a bit over the top too.
But the food is decent, the beds and comfy and the loos are clean.

But. There is not a single better located hotel on the South Rim.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Shumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

El Tovar is a historical National Park Lodge that has been maintained well over the years. We spent $225/night for a basic second story room. The rooms were small, but bathrooms large but with limited space to store items. There is no elevator, so you will need to use hotel staff to carry bags or haul them up steps if on the upper floors. Common areas were limited, somewhat crowded with rather dated furnishings. Parking was tight if you bring a car. The lodge is at the rim, but rooms were really not designed for views.

I was not as impressed with this hotel compared to the other National Park lodges, but it was clean, the service was good, the restaurant good value. We were there in February and the lodge's first floor was always packed with people, hard to imagine what it would be like in summer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I loved this hotel. Yes, there is no elevator. And yes, I stayed on the top floor (3rd) but it was awesome! History was everywhere. It felt almost magical. My room was small, but it was just me and the room amenities were better than standard. Make sure you eat at the restaurant for both dinner and breakfast. You will not be disappointed! I had the best polenta corn cakes for breakfast with prickly pear syrup and pistachio butter. Top Notch!

Room Tip: Try to pack light, there is no elevator.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alyssastones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

Where else on earth can you stay just steps away from one of the 7 natural wonders? The creaky, quaint, historical character of this landmark hotel more than makes up for the lack of modern hotel comforts (like elevators). Classic lobby, classic service, classic restaurant that you'll be happy to eat in breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're after an authentic Grand Canyon lodge this is the one. Not that the hotel matters at all when the canyon is 23 (counted them) steps from the door. And its not set off to the side in a discrete spot - the hotel is smack band on the edge of the canyon, overlooking one of the most sensational vistas on the South Rim.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheryl P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

El Tovar is an older hotel but in very good condition and in a wonderful location next to South Rim of Grand Canyon. Rooms are clean and very nice but not luxurious. The hotel's restaurant is very good. All of the people we met who work here were so friendly and helpful. The only draw back is that there is no elevator so if your room is on 2nd or 3rd floors you have to carry bags. There is bell help but they weren't always around. Ask for room on first floor if this matters. There really isn't a view of canyon from any of the rooms except restaurant. You can ride the free shuttle through a lot of the park.

Room Tip: Ask for room on first floor so you don't need to carry suitcases up stairs. There is no elevator...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank VTHokie81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
205 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Places like El Tovar simply cannot be measured by the same standard as a modern but ordinary Marriott, Hyatt, etc. We stayed two nights recently and had a wonderful experience in a place with a rich history and character. The service was impeccable and the big bucks invested in the recent complete renovation were well spent. And how can you improve on a location on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

Room Tip: Rooms above the ground floor are quieter if there's a crowd (but there's no elevator).
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SidMonge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allendale, New Jersey
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We just stayed at the El Tovar Lodge for 2 nights. This is the place to stay when visiting the south rim of the Grand Canyon. While some might consider it "dated", I prefer to think of it as rustic. The view can't be beat. Our room was simple, but comfortable. The food was pretty good, but could use some improvement. The staff was very nice and attentive. A very memorable visit!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank margomcd5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Tovar Hotel

Property: El Tovar Hotel
Address: Apache Street and Center Road, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Tovar Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
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Also Known As:
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon
El Tovar Grand Canyon
Hotel El Tovar
El Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon El Tovar
El Tovar Lodge

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