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“The Best Vacation!”

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
PR
Level Contributor
10 reviews
“The Best Vacation!”
Reviewed November 28, 2006

This was my best vacation yet. Been in Vegas, Chicago, NY, Phoenix, Orlando, Miami in winter, but this is the best view of all. Tha weather is extreme in the mornings, but the views worth it. Stay at the GC 1 night, so I had the time to eat, sightseeing at day and night, drink and buy souvenirs. If you want to enjoy your trip and use your money wisely, stay 1 night at least in each hotel, in Williams and GC. I'll be there the next january with my wife. She deserve the time off!

  • Liked — Big room, nice lobby, better outdoors iluminations in Christmas.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay at least 2 nights (1 here and 1 in GC)
  • Stayed January 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Neil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,810 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (354)
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Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2006

the fact you have been warned about the dinner buffet. All four people in our party decided we would not eat at Max & Thelma’s dinner buffet a second night. I highly suggest you eat off property or at the very least try Spenser’s Lounge. Someone in the lobby told me that they exchanged their meal ticket for a hotel credit because they where so disappointed with the food. I just can’t figure out how a restaurant can consistently turn out such low quality!?

Breakfast was slightly better. The biscuits (butter milk?) where hard as a rock. Be advised; ask for a seat away from the windows. The glare from the sun is so bad you will want to sit with your back to them.

The hotel itself is nice and the staff very attentive. In fact they went out of their way to check us in early. The rooms where very clean and I’m happy to say that no smoking is allowed anywhere in the hotel!

I found the train ride to be a subjective experience. I’m 46 and found the whole 2 hour and 15 minute ride to be a bore. Our cabin attendant started telling jokes to help pass the time and to possibly help his tip fund grow. However I think children will find it a fun adventure. A total round trip time of 4 hours and 30 minutes on the train leaves just 3 hours to explore the Grand Canyon. By the time you reach the canyon it’s time to eat. The lines at the restaurants can get so bad that you hardly have time to take in the canyon’s view. I suggest spending a least one night at the canyon.

  • Liked — Non Smoking Hotel
  • Disliked — Food
  • Tips/Secrets — Eat Off Property
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank FlyBoyJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Youngstown, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2006

We stayed at the GCRH for two nights and took the train to the South Rim. The hotel is very comfortable, service was excellent, and our room was very clean. We had breakfast at Max & Thelma's and dinner and snacks at Spencer's. All good food at decent prices. The town is nice and other restaurants are within walking distance. All in all, a nice experience and we would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cmsw03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawlish, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2006

Tried to book online but there were problems so I called direct. Not cheap from the UK but the booking agent, Megan, was very helpful. We had wanted to spend a night in Williams, go to the canyon on the train, overnight at the South Rim and then return to Williams the next day. Unfortunately, there were no rooms at the South Rim so I opted for 2 nights in Williams.

After a longish drive from Palm Desert we found the hotel easily enough (Williams isn't too big!). It was chilly when we got to Williams. The receptionist, who clearly took her cue from the weather, was one of the very few people we encountered on our 3 week journey round the western USA who was less than friendly. How hard would it be to muster a smile for an arriving guest? Anyhow, we found our room, which was pretty standard, and managed to park reasonably close by.

Our package included vouchers for breakfast and dinner at Max and Thelma's, which is attached to the station. We had to queue for about 30 minutes for the buffet. The food was no better than ok so the next night we exchanged our food vouchers for gift shop vouchers and ate in Williams.

The point of the trip though was the train journey to the the Grand Canyon and that was tremendous. The destination is of course breathtaking and awe-inspiring, but getting their (and back) on the train was a blast.

  • Liked — Convenience for Grand canyon Railroad
  • Disliked — Poor reception
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't bother with the inclusive packages. Eat in Williams on Route 66
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank SPaPP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2006

Our stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel couldn't have been better. Check in was a breeze. We had the one night package. Everything was so organized right on down to boarding the train, seating, etc. We went first class which was nice-more space.

Now about Max's and Thelmas. I must say after reading other reviews I was cautious. No need to be though as we did go ahead and order off the menu. I recommend this highly as the buffet did look too institutionalized for us. Well, the service was tops and the BBQ Rib dinner couldn't have been better with fall off the bone tenderness! large portions, hot food and very tasty. My husband had the breakfast buffet and I must say the was a nice surprise as it was very well done. I considered our "package" a great overall experience and value. I would recommend to anyone. (one word of advice: make sure you have someone knowledgeable on the phone reservation desk)

We are from Mission Viejo, CA and drove in.

  • Liked — Location and
  • Stayed October 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank canne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, AZ
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2006

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel sits adjacent to the train station and next to Thelma's restaurant where they have a buffet breakfast for travelers who book the hotel. It's a neat, modern and newer motel-type building that has a massive amount of rooms in a horsehoe shaped structure on two levels. There is plenty of parking and the grounds were nicely landscaped with regional pine and scrub.
Everyone staying there has booked "The Railway" that chugs along a narrow-guage track for a two hour plus excursion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I could go on for many pages about the wonders of the train trip, the great views, the comfy compartments and the ease of travel to see the 7th Wonder of the World, but this review is supposed to be focused on the hotel itself.
The lobby was inviting and quaint. Checking in was quick and we made our way to our room, which was clean and spacious. It had all the basic ammenties you would expect in a moderate motel. We were only staying the night before the morning train's departure, so we didn't linger. The room included a buffet dinner and breakfast at Thelmas. It was adequate but that's about all.
Suffice it to say, the room was very convenient to the station and we would stay there again, for that reason alone.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food next door at Thelmas
  • Tips/Secrets — Eat anywhere else. Snack are available on the train.
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jph948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
1 review
Reviewed October 12, 2006

Was third time we have done trip, so obviously we enjoy it very much.
The Kids want to do Polar Exspress next year, so might change time of trip in the coming future to do that.

Only problem I had was the excellent bartender named Barak was no longer working there...
He was full of knowledge and a joy to the entire family.
On this last trip we had two other people wait on us, and they seemed disinterested in anything other than closing up for the night. Real dissapointment from previus experiences at Spencers. I could not get a good answer as to where Barak was now, but whomever has him working for them is I am sure reaping the benefits of his kindness and detail to hospitality.

Thank you GCR for another friendly nice vacation.
Marques Colston

Helpful?
Thank Tracy2425
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

Property: Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
Address: 233 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046-2563
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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