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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
Tallahassee, FL
Reviewed January 12, 2005

This was one of our favorite stops on a major western trip. Our room was in the newer wing and was very quiet and everything was in good order. The hotel lobby is very tasteful and is the kind of place that is nice to just sit and people watch. Max and Thelma's Restaurant, owned by the same folks who own this hotel, has excellent food at a surprisingly reasonable price. The same outfit owns Grand Canyon Railway which runs a daily train, often with a steam engine, right to the Grand Canyon. The ride is scenic and is a very relaxing way to get to the canyon and back. I recommend spending the extra dollars and riding in the dome car one way. If you arrive in Williams on Amtrak, the hotel van will shuttle you to and from the Amtrak depot. (The Grand Canyon train stops right behind the Fray Marcos.) Williams is a small town but is fun to stroll around. The town's Main Street still is designated Route 66.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,861 - 1,867 of 2,028 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 9, 2005

We stayed here because of its proximity to the Grand Canyon Railway. That is a valid reason to be here. The hotel has a better lobby than the typical motel, and Railway-related surprises. On the downside, the beds were clean but warped. The showers were less than perfect. The pool was usable. Motel standards in the rooms. Most notable, however, was the poor quality of food in Williams. We almost starved here as we couldn't find anything edible. Our package included a nearby restaurant buffet - - my plate was empty at the end of the buffet as the food was so unappetizing. Other customers were complaining to the waitress about food off the menu, so we left. We found a local diner and suffered through low quality food. Guidebook in hand, we tried to find breakfast in town, but we could obtain nothing but slop. In the future, I would reorganize travel plans to avoid staying in Williams even if it meant driving more on a given day.

12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2004

We stayed here so that we could travel on the Grand Canyon Railroad - and the location could not be faulted. Our room was clean, fresh, modern but without character. Staff were friendly. The hotel lacked character and charm but is perfectly OK as a base for the railway.

10  Thank BJM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2004

My wife and I met several friends in Williams, AZ during October to take the Grand Canyon Railway package offered by AAA - 2 nights in the hotel, coach seats in the train to/from the Grand Canyon, and bus tour at the Grand Canyon, including meals at Max and Thelmas and at the Grand Canyon.

The whole experience was excellent! The hotel exceeded my expectations and is well described in other reviews. Everyone associated with hotel and train were exceedingly pleasant and professional. We found nothing wrong with the food; do not be concerned about the smattering of negative comments.

The buffet restaurant and train depot are within a stone's throw of the hotel. You will never need your car when you park at the ample hotel parking lot.

Each train car includes a steward that serves as a tour guide and concierge. Entertainment and information are provided en-route to keep everyone occupied without being constantly intrusive to your sight-seeing from the train. The train seats are pre-assigned to each passenger.

It was foggy at the Grand Canyon which limited our views. It made no difference! We were having a great time. I would take this trip again.

Bring your binoculars and a water bottle to the Grand Canyon.

  • Stayed: October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank Bubba'sDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2004

My partner and I recently attended a wedding in Las Vegas and made a side trip to Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon. The railway is not well known in the UK but I really wanted to do this trip and we booked one of the packages with meals and accommodation included at the Fray Marcos hotel. We loved the hotel and loved Williams - it provided a perfect antidote to the excesses of Vegas! The room was warm and comfortable, the bar was enjoyable and the lobby was lovely with the open fire and wonderful paintings. Having read some of your reviews I was a little worried about the food in Max and Thelmas - but whilst not gourmet cuisine it is plentiful. Although the buffet dinner is limited it is worth mentioning that you can redeem your voucher against something on the a la carte menu. My partner did this on the second night and the food was lovely - costing no more than the buffet. Service was really friendly and good and there is also a large soup and salad bar as part of the buffet. The buffet breakfast was excellent and compared with European standards the whole package was excellent value for money and we would recommend it to people here.
The train is a unique experience, the folks who work on board love their jobs and care about the train, we enjoyed the entertainment - if I did it again I would think about upgrading for the return journey to experience it differently, also time at the Canyon is limited so don't waste any time when you get there! We did not do the bus tour as we did not want to be regimented and wanted to walk around but if you are not so mobile - take the tour to maximise your time! We loved the Fray Marcos and the whole experience exceeded our expectations, the service was excellent and friendly from everyone we encountered.

7  Thank teresaanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2004

I stayed at the hotel with my family for the Polar Express Ride and we had a good time. The ride was great kids as Santa got to come on the train and greet all of them. The hotel was a normal hotel and they were renovating to add rooms. There is not much to do in Williams, so head to Flagstaff for stuff during the day. The food was OK, nothing fancy and I was not expecting fancy food from a cafateria. I have never heard of the Fray Marcos a a dangerous hotel, etc. Overall the time as good and the package was great deal as well.

We plan on going back this year for the Polar Express ride again!

7  Thank Matyz71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Santa Cruz, CA
Reviewed October 30, 2004

11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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: $129 - $245 (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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