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“Perfect Grand Canyon Lodging” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
83 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Perfect Grand Canyon Lodging”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

This location came highly recommended from friends who stayed here years ago and it did not disappoint! Driving from Las Vegas to view the Canyon we needed overnight lodging. After long drive we arrived in the park in time to view the south rim at sunset. Checking in, the lodge looked as authentic as it was to be- over 100 years old, quaint yet modernized. Small but comfortable rooms, clean and steps away from viewing the canyon. At night the stars are brilliant to view, and rising to see sunrise over the canyon as amazing yet different from sunset views. The lobby has couches and a lit fireplace. The bar is cozy with ample wine and beer choices and tasty appetizers.

After a great and reasonably priced breakfast in the dining room we checked out and headed to Mather Point viewing area. The views do not stop!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank nwalkley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,796 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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edinburgh
Level Contributor
495 reviews
180 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 462 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

We had booked for one night and we found the staff just lovely. Mary Ellen checked us in and was so helpful. The lady concierge (sorry forgotten her name) was just charming and quickly reconfirmed our helicopter flight for us the following day. Our room was small, on the top floor, but we were only there one night. We knew there were no lifts so we had sorted our luggage so that we only needed to take an overnight back from the car - and left the rest of our luggage in the boot of the car.

We were able to find a parking space right out front, and as we had arrived too early to check in, we walked around the canyon during the afternoon, taking photos, gasping at the wonder that is the grand canyon, and watching the light change. After we checked into our room, we went down to the bar and sat outside on the porch taking in the view with a glass of wine and a few nachos (excellent nachos). We stayed there until sunset and then went up to warm up and change for dinner. We had made a reservation for dinner in the dining room and had a fabulous table right in front of the fire. Service from our waitress, Gilda, was outstanding (definitely 5+ stars). She couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Even the chap who cleared the tables and filled the water glasses was super efficient and really friendly.

We slept very well, waking up during the night only to look out on to a fabulously starry sky.

We didn't have breakfast the following morning so just had another walk around the canyon before checking out and heading to Tusayan for our helicopter flight.

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. yes the room was small, yes the place probably needs a bit of TLC but the hospitality was fabulous and we have nothing but happy warm memories of our stay and dinner there

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dee090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
98 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

We come up every November and stay at the El Tovar. Everything is available right under one roof, so in early morning and late afternoon and evening, we don't have to trudge around in the icy cold. The dining room is historic and cozy, with spectacular views and two fireplaces. The lounge in a great place to settle in and relax with a drink and enjoy conversation and people-watching. This year, we found the service at the El Tovar to be the best we've ever experienced here, likely reflecting good management and staff training. (See our review of the dining room for more details.) Over the years, our stays have gotten better and better, and to maximize our experience we come up in the shoulder season and reserve our room and dinners well in advance. The only sour experience we have had was a few years ago when we found ourselves assigned a room in the "terrace," which turned out to be the basement! It was musty and dank. Still, it was a part of this beautiful old venerable hotel, and somebody has to stay there, but we felt hurt as regulars to be stuffed into the least desirable part of the lodge. We have found that these types of experiences do occur when staying at our beloved national parks because of the age and sometimes plain construction of the accommodations. It helps to have a sense of adventure and a sense of humor, as with any travels. Overall, we've found the El Tovar to be a standout beauty queen and good value when compared with other national park accommodations we've stayed in. We're already looking forward to next year!

Room Tip: Make room reservations well in advance and try to phone in dinner reservations early. We book a roo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Globetrotters910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
XanterraCorporate, Director of Sales at El Tovar Hotel, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Thank you for your comments on our El Tovar Hotel. We are proud of the Fred Harvey tradition of hospitality that dates to 1905 when the hotel opened. I am glad you have noticed a continued improvement in the El Tovar experience. I will share your comments with our GM and the hotel staff. We hope you are able to visit again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
452 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2013

This was our third visit to this great historic hotel and we have never been disappointed. The rooms are very nice and up to date. The service was top notch; staff stopped in to our room to make sure all was well. Treat yourself to one dinner in the main dining room and then check out the less expensive options on the rim. They are all good. The bar has a nice lunch and appetizer menu as well. Is the stay expensive? Yes. But worth the treat and you can't beat the view!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MichiganTess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
XanterraCorporate, Director of Sales at El Tovar Hotel, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
I am glad to read that you enjoyed your El Tovar stay. Thank you for your positive comments on the food in the hotel and on the rim, an important part of any stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

We hoped to get a special treat by staying at El Tovar, but we were disappointed. Sure the hotel is in a fabulous location, you can’t beat it, but we were disappointed in the service. When we checked into our room I found a pillow on our bed that looked like it had some wine splatters on it. I put it on top of the armoire.
About 9 am on our first morning the housekeeping staff was going up and down the hallway loudly knocking on ALL the doors announcing their presence. I am not sure what the purpose of that was, if there was no response why didn’t she go into the room and clean it? Why did she have to continue down the hall to determine all at once what rooms were ready to be cleaned? The “Do Not Disturb” sign was on our door, despite that, the woman knocked on our door and asked if we wanted our room cleaned. We went out hiking and when we returned to our room at the end of the day the wine stained pillow had been taken off of the armoire and returned to our bed! I went to the front desk to complain. The clerk was very apologetic. The next morning, the same thing! The housekeeping staff knocked on all the doors up and down the hallway this time at 8:30 am. Thoughtfully she did not knock on our door, which still had the “DND” sign on the handle. There was no tag to hang on the door asking for housekeeping which might help alleviate the problem.

When we returned to our room at the end of the second day we connected to the internet (which was intermittent at best) only to find we were disconnected after about 10 minutes. After several attempts to reconnect on our laptop and our smart phone my husband called the main desk to ask if there were server issues. He was told there were no issues. He went to the main lobby to see if being closer to the main office would help and he found three other people who were having similar issues. He spoke again to the desk clerk and was given the phone number to call to try to fix “our” problem. My husband told the clerk that HE should call, being that it was likely a hotel problem. When the internet still did not work the next morning my husband realized the clerk did not call. My husband phoned the internet provider and after 10 minutes on the phone they determined that the problem was indeed server/hotel related.

Unfortunately we forgot 2 items in our room when we left. We called the hotel the day following our departure to inquire. The switchboard operator did not have the courtesy to say “hold while I transfer your call” I only heard a click and had to assume the call was being transferred. The main desk clerk I was transferred to kept me on hold, I assumed to look in the lost and found for the items, but came back on the phone to say he had to then transfer the call to housekeeping. Of course there was no one there so we left a message; two times before we got a reply.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RaeOfSun137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
XanterraCorporate, Director of Sales at El Tovar Hotel, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
Thank you for your comments on your recent stay at El Tovar. I apologize for the disturbance our housekeeping staff created while attempting to get into rooms to clean them. The hotel has a high occupancy, and new guests typically ask for early check-ins, so we try to get the rooms cleaned as soon as possible. The staff should be more mindful of the other guests in the hotel and I will send your comments to the manager. I am also sorry for the internet struggles, the hotel is off the beaten path but we should have reliable service. I will bring that issue to the attention of our IT staff. I trust you received your left items, and we will work to improve in that area as well. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013 via mobile

We had a very nice stay at the El Tovar. The hotel has the perfect location just a few steps from the south rim! It is quaint and charming. The rooms are very clean .If the price is a hindrance I would encourage others to explore other hotels which are very close to the rim. The hotel is a a most enjoyable step back in time !

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

This was the best hotel if you want to stay at the South Rim. Sure, it's pricey, and a bit dated. But just look out your window at the marvelous-ness around you. It's historic, charming, and with that comes some big clunky furniture and creaky stairs. I had read warnings about the room size, and it was definitely not "big," but was perfectly fine for 1 person, and the bathroom was surprisingly roomy. If you plan on hiking (which I did), it was so nice to trudge back up a trail and be at the back door of this hotel. The bar (although small) was a great place to relax, and the staff was great. If you don't do dinner there, try their breakfast - the cinnamon buns were a great treat. If I come back to the Grand Canyon, I won't want to stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Witter1
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
Reservation Options:
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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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