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“Delightful holiday experience”

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 25, 2012

This is a very special hotel: a gateway to the Grand Canyon unlike any other. About 65 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you can buy different packages which include a train ride there and back , hotel stay and meals. Our package was two nights hotel, a train ride for four in coach, and two buffet breakfasts and dinners. We also got a motor coach ride from the South Rim that took us a few miles out past the grand canyon station and let us explore the grand canyon some more. You can certainly just hike the many trails, but the coach ride is helpful in the winter since many trails are closed. If you're taking a coach ride, take the one without lunch included: it's a waste of time and you can grab lunch to go there and be on your way.
The hotel rooms were clean and comfortable, there's a heated indoor pool, the buffet is sumptuous with good service. No complaints here. Be prepared for packs of families with kids :)

The train ride to the Grand Canyon itself was two hours each way, with entertainers on board to help pass time We went close to Christmas time, it was snowing, the Canyon was gorgeous and magical. Highly recommend this for a unique unforgettable experience. There's also a Polar Express train that we didn't check out.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank APalan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,574 - 1,580 of 2,113 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

We recently stayed here as part of the Polar Express package, and I was thoroughly impressed. Everything is centered around the family. The meals were delicious, rooms comfortable, and the courtyard was decorated for the polar express. I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank erinautical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

What a great and joyful way to have the spirit of Christmas! Watching the familiesn their pjs was great as were the rooms, the staff and the food. The room was warm and fine-the food at the buffett was quickly refreshed and fresh. The service was great, and when we had to stay another night because of bad weather, we were given a good rate on our room-and we didn't have to check our dogs out of the kennel until 11 the next day!

Room Tip: Ask for one down at the end of the hall, away from the registation desk
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Allison H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

I agree with other reviews, the look on the outside is not very inviting. However, it is modeled after a historic, old western style building. The entrance is hard to find. Can't figure out why its all the way in the back facing a residential street. But, once inside all is forgiven. We booked the AAA Grand Canyon Rails to Rim package, and it all went smooth, really organized. On our way there, we took the scenic route through the Boulder-Hoover Dam, Route 66 detours and then to fun, charming Williams. The check in was fast and friendly. We had a nice double queen (would prefer one bed and a comfy chair) with fridge. None of the rooms have any sort of view but they are nicely decorated and clean. Bathrooms have dryers and shower dispensers. As soon as we settled in, off to the train depot (just yards away) to get our tickets for the entire trip. We received tickets for breakfasts, dinners, train and luggage tags (stayed at the GC one night). Large lobby with the largest, crackling fire you can want! Lots of comfy, clean sofas to sit and visit on. Took a glass of wine down and met lots of fellow travelers. After our visit to the Grand Canyon, we returned for another night here. Quick check in and our luggage was safe and sound in our room. There's a nice lounge to have an evening drink and if you're not doing the AAA package, a continental breakfast. Downtown historic Williams is just a walk across the tracks. Stroll the little shops and restaurants, some of the friendliest people we've met. It was fall and the hills were beautiful. The hotel and train ride were both wonderful, but...unless walking is difficult for you SKIP THE GRAND CANYON LUNCH AND BUS TOUR. Horrible food and you get a much better tour on the free, local tram system. We loved everything else in the AAA package.

Room Tip: The corridors are no longer than most any other hotel. I think when travelers are tired they look li...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank norcalhummingbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We (two adults and one elementary school-aged child) stayed at this hotel for a three day, two night vacation, which incorporated the Polar Express and going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Interesting: When we were checking in the woman at the front desk told her supervisor that she was feeling hot and needed a break. Her supervisor insisted she help us but the woman indicated she needed a break right away, so her supervisor excused her and helped us herself. Two minutes later another employee came out and said the woman had fainted in the bathroom. I hope she's okay. Anyway, it didn't ruin our vacation at all, I just thought it was a peculiar start.

The good #1: Nice rooms. They were clean, adequate size, had a fridge to store items (not a wet bar-which is fine with me) and I like that they use dispensers for soap, shampoo and body wash instead of the individually packaged items. They do this because its a "green" hotel and they do many things to help reduce waste and conserve energy.

The good #2: Exercise room. While the facility is not fully equipped, it is better than other hotels I've stayed at that are not a fully-equipped resort hotel. They had two ellipticals, two treadmills, two stair-steppers, and a recumbent bike for cardio. They had dumbbells up to 50 lbs (although I think the 25 and 30 lb dumbbells were missing) and one cable machine. I forgot my iPod but they had a large flat-screen TV with a remote to change the channels. I worked out early in the morning so I didn't have to argue with anyone about what channel to watch.

The good #3: The employees and facilities. Everyone was extremely nice and friendly. The lobby area and Spenser's pub, which has a limited pub menu (children are welcome but they can't sit at the bar itself) are gorgeous. We ate one night at the pub and the service was slow. However, it was T'giving so it is possible they were short staffed. Tip for adults: Try the Grand Canyon Pale Ale-its the best Pale Ale I think I've ever had.

The good #4: The Polar Express, which is why we and most everybody else were there. If you don't know what it is, then you probably don't have young children.

The OK #1: The hotel's buffet. While the food is adequate and the selection sufficient, It was nothing spectacular. However, this is true of most buffet's I've eaten at.

The OK #2: The pool is nice and the spa is large (up to 9 people), but there was not much pressure from the spa jets.

The (sort of) bad: There wasn't much bad. My only real complaint was that the hotel room was dark. Because it is a "green" hotel, they use CFL light bulbs and they did not light the rooms well. The shower pressure, while adequate, was not the greatest, likely because they use "green" shower heads. The diffuser on the bathroom sink faucet also extremely limited the water flow/pressure. These were minor inconveniences, however, and would not change my recommendation of the hotel.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay. While there are less expensive hotels in Williams, AZ if you are on a budget, if you can afford it I would recommend this hotel.

Traveler Tip: We were hesitant to try nearby Bearizona because of how expensive it is. Don't miss it. It was well worth the cost.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank AcapulcoBound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

A very nice stay. Only one night , but a good one.
Staff is really organized. They had my package ready and waiting. Chech in took about 3 mins. We came in on Amtrak and checked in about 11:00 PM. They have it down to a fine science.
Room was clean as was the bathroom. Took a long time to get hot water, but no big deal. Beds were OK Got a good nights sleep..Bathroom was clean well lighted and shower had good pressure.

This hotel is geared mostly to the Grand Canyon Railroad pagkages. A trip from Williams to the Grand Canyon by rail. We did not take the train trip. we took a private tour. However the hotel checked our bags all day and let us hangout in the lobby while waiting on our outbound train. There is a nearby cafe and bar. Lobby is fantastic. Large pictures of the Grand Canyon . Very well kept grounds. Grounds were decorated for thier Polar Express train trips. All in all a very pleasant experience.

The town proper is just a short 2 blocks from the hotel. You can walk on old route 66.

Be sure to mention if you are a AAA or AARP member. Our rate went from $ 189.68 to $ 161.28 for a standard 2 queen room.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SINBADNOBLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Spent 2 nights in Rail Baron suite, 1 in junior suite for part of anniversary trip. Main reasons were the train to Grand Canyon and back, as well as nice hotel close to Canyon, in an area with shopping, etc. Willaims is a nice, friendly, western town with a GREAT brewery and some decent restaurants and unique shops.
Rooms were spacious, clean, well maitained, well appointed. No plumbing issues at all.
Train and transfer process were seamless, and made the whole mule-trip journey really easy.
Staff was very helpful, friendly and courteous.
Food was buffet style, but good, ample and a varied menu.
My only 'complaint', is that there is not a restaurant within the main hotel structure (although there is a bar), and consequently no room service - the reason I didn't give it 5 stars.
Overall, a great place to stay in a great area.
I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Jr suite has 2 queen beds and plenty of room.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank joe s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

Address: 233 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046-2563
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Williams
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Williams
#4 Business Hotel in Williams
#5 Romantic Hotel in Williams
#5 Family Hotel in Williams
Price Range: $77 - $242 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Canyon Railway Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the luxury of a bygone era at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Designed to resemble the century-old train depot that housed the original Fray Marcos Hotel, our hotel is a relaxing retreat in a picturesque Western setting. The 298-room hotel is just a block away from downtown Williams and historic Route 66. Combined with a variety of amenities such as complimentary wi-fi, an indoor pool and hot tub, delicious dining options at Grand Depot Cafe and Spenser's Pub, The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is the perfect place to stay before embarking on your grandest of journeys! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Canyon Railway Williams
Fray Marcos Hotel
Hotel Grand Canyon Railway

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