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“Worth saying at the great lodges of the National Parks”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Reviewed May 2, 2014

As an admirer of historic hotels, the El Tovar is worth the stay. Centrally located in the Grand Canyon. Very nice rooms, clean and well maintained. My only complaint is that is lacks the ambiance of other historic park hotels (such as The Ahwahnee). Missing is a sitting room, lounge space for just hanging out. There is seating in the lobby, but it's pretty noisy.

The El Tovar is definitely worth the stay though.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
2  Thank Sonia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 30, 2014

Super stunning location right at the canyon's rim. We were thrilled.

As others have mentioned, the parking situation is horrendous. We were advised by the desk staff to try parking behind a building at the edge of the lot and had success there, though. Also as others have mentioned—you do have the schlep your own bags (there was an unconvincing offer from the bellman and it seemed most folks do carry bags themselves).

For the first two nights of our stay our room was a queen on the second floor with a canyon view and it was divine. Room was small but cozy—think European hotel. As others have mentioned, the charm of the rustic common areas was unbelievable. We dined at the El Tovar restaurant and it was a treat. Other restaurants on sight were very reasonably priced and tasty.

For our third night stay we were to move to a deluxe king room, and when we returned from a morning mule ride, it wasn't yet ready. We waited and had coffee for an hour and then were given the room...and it was laid out bizarrely—on the ground floor, with a tv set and two arm chairs right as the door opened, and a bed that had no view to the television. The view was bogus, too. We asked for another option and were told we could have a different room that addressed those concerns if we waited another 3 hours, which we did. Another bogus view, another bad layout, and we found ourselves at the front desk again. In the end we cancelled that night's stay (for $300 a night it seemed like a huge compromise) and the staff briskly dispensed of us.

The concierge, the restaurant staff, the bartenders and the mule ride folks were all very genial and friendly. The folks we interacted with at the front desk? Not so much.

I'd recommend no more than a two night stay, don't spring for the "deluxe" unless you need the space for a cot, and to specify a room with a view when booking. They are fully booked and not ready to address guest concerns once they have you on the property.

Room Tip: "Deluxe" rooms don't seem to be worth the money. Have breakfast at the Bright Angel Re...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lucyruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

This old-school place has soul and grace, not to mention one of the best locations in the world. Yes it's on the south rim where the tourists come through in droves, yes it's pretty pricey, yes the rooms are modest-sized by current standards. OK, I'm done naming about anything I can think of as a possible criticism. Oh - you don't go to El Tovar to get wide-screen TV's and play video games. But somehow some of us might not see that as a criticism (scuse me getting close to the edge of sarcasm there).

It's right by the rim. That's as spectacular as one could want. It's a traditional and old place, with really heavy wood beam construction, which is especially visible in the dining room. The staff live up to, and help very much to sustain, a standard of traditional, rather understated, elegance. In that it reminded me of the Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, at least as it was when I was there a few years ago. Very few places anywhere do that sort of honest elegance, where the idea is not in the least snobbery, but rather gentility, with excellent taste and natural warmth.

Other points seem like details. I never visited the Grand Canyon until just a few years ago, because I was so concerned that it would depress me to see a famous natural wonder rather defaced and debased by hordes of tourists and such. A visit to the North Rim certainly solved that problem - there was no such problem. But then a visit to the South Rim showed me that even with such hordes, the rim of the Grand Canyon is so big, and the buildings along the rim so tastefully managed, that one can have a terrific experience right there on the South Rim. (Descending any from the rim, or going to other parts of the Park, of course take you away from the tourist hordes.) El Tovar, and its dining room, are the best of the best on the South Rim, if you want to spend the money for that experience.

Room Tip: Perhaps the 2nd floor is better to get away just a little more and have perhaps a better view (is th...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Capraadmirer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Overpriced-YES! Outdated, small rooms, YES, but the location in absolutely fantastic. In the center of the park, unbelievable sunsets and rockers to just sit back and relax in after a day of hiking. The lobby is truly and old style lodge and has a warm feel. The staff was extremely nice so all the other stuff goes out the window. We originally had reservations at Maswick and two days before our trip I tried again at El Tovar and was able to get a room. It was almost 2x the price but money well spent.

Housekeeping was not good. Bed poorly made and our dirty glasses were there over 2 days.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank NewJerseylovedGreece
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

This hotel is very close to the Grand Canyon. Check in went very well and staff were friendly. We stayed in the Bellboys Suite which was very clean. The atmosphere was not what we expected for a hotel but it was still very nice. The food at the restaurant was very good but it can get very busy so be prepared to wait. Overall a very nice place right on the Grand Canyon but not as fancy as what we expected.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank TravelerMan96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

overall was a nice hotel, when we arriived saturday afternoon, it took us about 25 minutes to find parking due to you share parking with people who come to walk on the trails. the views from the hotel are amazing, we atew in the dining room food was very good but abit pricy. overall i would stay here again if i were to visit grand canyon.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sillyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

One of the most expensive hotels on our trip, the El Tovar lived up to its reputation. It was a great place to stay, and the location is the absolute best for the Canyon. The staff were all attentive and there is obviously a high service standard in place.
We loved the charming room we stayed in. The beds were really comfortable, including the rollaway for our teenage daughter.
We were really impressed by the menu, service and food at the hotel dining room. A tip, expect to wait for a breakfast table at peak time.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Thank jilrick
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

Address: 1 El Tovar Road, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Phone Number:
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: $206 - $409 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Tovar Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Due to pending renovations to guest rooms, public spaces, and the dining room, El Tovar is not available from January 25, 2018 through September 30, 2018. ... more   less 
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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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