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“The nicest hotel on the rim”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Murrieta, California
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“The nicest hotel on the rim”
Reviewed November 28, 2010

El Tovar is a very cool hotel. It has lot's of history and it feels like you should be at the Grand Canyon. Rooms are nice and clean. Staff is EXCELLENT and helpful. Restaurant on site is nice as well. Location is PRIMO. This was my first trip here, so I can't compare it with other hotels. We stayed as part of our anniversary trip, so this seemed like THE place to stay. We were very happy with it.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rpmotocross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rockwall, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2010

I've stayed at this hotel probably 25 times over the past 40 years. It remains one of my favorites. A pre-Thanksgiving stay this year was just as good. It's always busy, and nothing short of a miracle that the staff can accommodate so many people so graciously and efficiently. Too bad the same cannot be said for the terribly inadequate parking. The 2005 renovation was badly needed and well received. I enjoyed the in room wifi as well as the comfortable bed. I was fortunate enougt to snag one of the larger rooms, which was nice as most of the rooms are small. It was very, very cold one morning (8 degrees) and I could not get my room warmer than 63, which made for a chilly morning. Understandably, however, the heating system was maxed out in the entire hotel. Three expensive dinners were on par with any big city high end restaurant. The servers in the dining room were friendly and efficient. I've always loved the lobby bar, but I have to wonder why it wasn't expanded in the recent renovation; it's always packed, often standing room only. There are several scattered 1970's style tables, 12 or so, but only 4 bar stools. The environment is fun though; just be prepared to stand or take your drink elsewhere. They do allow drinks to be taken outside the bar as long as they are not taken outside the hotel.. My 3 night stay topped $1400, which is ghastly expensive for the quality. I'd rather have paid that for any Ritz Carlton 3 night stay, but there's no Ritz in the world that can offer the view of El Tovar. I've booked my return for Christmas Eve.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Drroady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suburban MD
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2010

This hotel was the nicest in the Grand Canyon area, however, it was extremely expensive for what you got. The rooms are clean and the service was friendly. floor are a bit noisy (ours squeaked when we walked) and we could hear the people above us. When the heater turned on, the fan was also a bit noisy. The location, however, could not be beat! You park your car and walk or shuttle wherever you want. The rooms are a bit small. There are great gift shops in and across from the hotel and you can walk outside to watch the sunset on the canyon. The hotel lobby is built with dark woods, which make it quite dark. Also, there were always lines for check in and conceirge. When the train arrives each day, the line can get very long and check in is slow.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank theorchidlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longwood, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2010

Grand old hotel right on the rim of the canyon. Excellent service, Outstanding restaurant. Rooms are a bit small for the price, but you can't beat the location!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scoutmaster936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2010

Everything they say about El Tovar is true, from the Ferraris in the driveway to the deer munching on the grass at midnight. And best of all you are almost in the Canyon-just a few steps from the car park. This place is so special get the best room you can afford-initially we booked a "standard"room which was incredibly standard. A small double bed just about filled the room up. The alternative was a suite- twice the price but oh boy were we glad we made that decsion. Ours was called the Santa Fe suite -it was enormous as was the 4 poster bed and the bow shaped lounge from which we sat in comfort and watched the sunset. "Very Great Gatsby" l. Worth every extra cent!
So you do need well in advance-6 to 9 months is not unsusal -we also eat in the dining room one of the best meals we have had for a very long time. Try and get a table near the fire place to complete the atmosphere.
And after dinner wrap up and go out to look at the sky. If you come from a city you will have never have seen anything like it. Nor will be used to seeing a herd of deer grazing on the hotel lawns under a moonlight sky.
Magical!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank julian19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2010

My wife and two teenage children just returned from a wonderful stay at the El Tovar. We were lucky enough to snag a suite (the Zane Grey Suite) when we booked many months ago, although I was concerned about some postings that the room was tight and that the hotel was shabby. Well, we found none of this. The entry and lobby are like a classic antique. When I admired one of the moose heads hanging nearby, the front desk clerk commented, “Oh, that was a gift from Teddy Roosevelt”. Cool.

The Zane Grey Suite was perfection for us. Upon entering the room, you are in the main bedroom with two very comfy queen beds, a flat screen TV, two large rectangular stools at the base of each bed (perfect for holding our 4 large pieces of luggage), and a very comfortable upholstered chair. There is also a good sized walk-in closet. The bathroom is also generous in size, with what looks like the original tiled floor. The fixtures are modern and even the bathroom is nicely decorated.

In a smaller. separate area was the sitting room, with a large comfy leather sofa, table with chairs, desk area, decorative shelves, refrigerator, coffee maker, and another flat screen TV. The best part about the sitting room is that there was plenty of space to fit a rollaway bed for our son. (Tip: ask for the rollaways that don’t fold – they have much better mattresses than those that fold up).

And the sitting room opens up to the best part of the suite – the balcony that looks out over the front of the hotel. The balcony has a padded chair and small table, and there is enough room to move one of the chairs from the sitting room onto the balcony so two can sit outside. From the balcony, looking straight out, you see Hopi House and the grassy circle in front of the hotel driveway, where we saw elk at dawn and dusk. Looking to the left, you clearly see the canyon, including awesome views at dawn. And a bit to the right of Hopi House, on the horizon, you can watch the sun rise. Since you are on the 3rd floor, the sunrise is very easy to see; I don’t think people walking outside the hotel are able to see the sunrise above the trees. We awoke at 6:30 both mornings, got our free coffee/tea from the second floor coffee service, put on the soft robes supplied by the hotel, and marveled at the sunrise, elk running about and snacking on the grass, and the play of sun and shade on the canyon as it was lit up by the morning light. Even though it was probably in the 40’s, we were not cold. Amazing.

The entire Zane Grey Suite is decorated with mementos of the author, including pictures, biographies, posters, and books. This adds immensely to the charm of the suite. And, based on the floor plan, it would appear that this suite is definitely larger than the multiple suites at the end of the hotel which have huge terraces looking directly into the canyon.

As others have mentioned, breakfast is superior and preferable to dinner in the dining room. We did both, and the service, quality and value were definitely better at breakfast (as was the awesome view).

Thanks to another TripAdvisor member, I knew that, if the adjacent parking lot was full (which it almost always is), a dirt road behind this lot leads to another small lot (where I did find a space).

The Zane Grey Suite and the El Tovar definitely made our first visit to the Grand Canyon a memorable one. The worst part of our stay? When I walked up to the front desk and said, “Checking out of the Zane Grey Suite”.

Take a look at my photos for a better idea of the room details. It was worth the expense.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
20 Thank Elitefreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed November 9, 2010

The service is outstanding GM Owen knows how to exceed customers expectations! The charm and character of the hotel with a great staff makes the Grand Canyon visit that much more memorable.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Slutyk
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: El Tovar Road 1, 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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