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“Good value but a few hiccups”

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Dunlap, IL
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Good value but a few hiccups”
Reviewed June 18, 2007

The Canyon Railway Hotel has the charm of a small family-owned motel from the 40s/50s, and is very clean and well run. Updated fixtures, paint, and ceiling fans show the owners care about the property - BUT - when we stayed there (mid June) we were told at check in that the A/C didn't work and to 'open the windows and let the fresh mountain air cool the room'. The room finally cooled down about 1am (ventilation was one window in the front of the room. The room and beds were small (remember the 50s? Queen and King beds hadn't become popular yet) but there was a small fridge and a microwave (nice!). My advice: make sure ALL advertised items in the room are functioning when you make the reservation. Also, bring your own normal necessities like tissues, blow dryer, and shampoo.

  • Liked — Reasonable price (for the Grand Canyon area); nice staff
  • Disliked — AC didn't work, nor did the wireless internet
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank westwardh0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2007

My family booked a night at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and a trip on the train for the following day. The hotel was easy to find. It is a large two story complex in Williams with a beautiful view of some pine covered mountains. I had higher expectations for the hotel than what we got. We paid $500 for 2 adults and 1 child for one night at the hotel, buffet dinner and breakfast, and RT in an antique railcar. Although we had a wonderful time, I didn't feel it was worth $500. The room was equal to an older Motel6 or Red Roof Inn. Not bad- but not above average. The buffets were ok. The night we were there the buffet had roast beef, roast pork, and fried catfish. The train ride was nice. It was relaxing and my kids really enjoyed it. The on-board entertainment was fun. Remember to bring some $1's to tip them. I did make a mistake of assuming the Club Car would have air conditioning. The ride out was fine, but the ride back was a little warm. The did hand out wet paper towels to help cool us off.

In all, I would book the train trip again, but I think I would skip the hotel stay and meals.

  • Liked — The train experience and the location
  • Disliked — the value
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ludicrous_speed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2007

We have just returned from the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel where we had gone on the Canyon Limited Plus package. We were all very impressed with the friendliness of the staff from the hotel staff to the gift shop, restaurant and railway staff. They were always ready to assist and never uttered a cross word. The whole trip fell into place beautifully. The rooms were spacious and clean and comfortable. We are ready to go back again including our 18 year old daughter!!!!!

  • Liked — The convenience to the railroad and the atmosphere- gunfight was great - people friendly
  • Disliked — inconvenience in getting to the pool from the romms starting with 1300's
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vapm1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2007

My husband and I booked a 1-night stay with the rail trip up to the canyon. Finding the property was difficult, and we found that we couldn't get a king-size bed upon arrival because all the rooms had two standard full-size beds. The furnishings need to be upgraded in the bedroom, and the bathrooms are incredibly out-dated. The lobby fireplace was under repair and so the sitting area just off the lobby looked an utter mess. The hotel was having a "Thomas the Train" event and was busy making sure that only people who paid for that event could get into the area, but the problem was, people who wanted to get on the train, or get to the restaurant were blocked from a direct route because of it. More planning for that kind of event needs to be done and they need to consider not inconveniencing their OTHER guests. They have a guaranteed customer base that comes through their rooms, and they need to re-invest in some serious upgrades.

  • Liked — Only the Train Ride itself
  • Disliked — The bedroom, the bathroom, the location, the atmosphere and the complete lack of hospitality
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carol B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cooma, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2007

We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel before catching the train to the Grand Canyon (2 adults & 2 kids). Our room was very clean and comfortable. The lack of a refrigerator was disappointing but not a major issue. Staff were friendly and helpful.

As part of the package deal, we got dinner and breakfast provided at Max and Thelma's opposite the hotel. The food was okay - there was plenty of choice and the service was good. The box lunch provided the next day at the Grand Canyon (by Max & Thelmas) was pretty good.

Definately a good place to stay whether you are just passing through Williams or going on the Grand Canyon Railway.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Lack of refrigerator
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lumasabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2007

We purchased the Railway Getaway Plus, and upgraded to the First Class car on the train through AAA. (AAA was no problem.) The hotel staff was friendly, the room was clean and well maintained, mattresses okay, the food in Max and Thelma’s was good but not spectacular (although the coffee was excellent) and the train ride very enjoyable, despite our hostess who called us “you guys” in almost every sentence.

HOWEVER (and it is a big HOWEVER) if you are planning on actually spending any time at the Canyon, the Rim bus tour was very disappointing. We spent no more than 30 minutes actually seeing the canyon at only two spots. I would have rather skipped the poor buffet lunch and spent more time at the rim.

I would suggest that you stay overnight one night at the canyon (that's a different package) and take the park shuttle to Hermit's Rest. Otherwise, if there is more than 20 minutes between the time you get back from the Rim bus tour and when you have to get back on the train, walk the five minute walk to the Bright Angel Lodge so you can spend time some more time up at the rim itself. Had we never been to the canyon before, we wouldn't have known this because our bus driver certainly didn't tell us and there was no one there to advise anyone.

We sure felt badly for people coming from out of state or who had never seen the canyon before!

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank easygoing1Arizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2007

We had a great time on the 2 night 3 day Rails to the Rim package. The hotel is fine, clean and pretty comfortable--I had some issues with the mattress being a little saggy, but had a nice chair where I could read. Staff was very friendly and helpful. I liked that there was coffee and tea in the lobby all the time although it is in the room, too. We did not use the pool--it was very crowded and noisy with tons of kids. We ate at both Max & Thelma's buffet and Spencers using the vouchers. The buffet was not as bad as some of the reviews have indicated. I had the fried chicken and it was quite good. Vegetables were not exciting and pretty bland. The pork roast was pretty good, but over salted. Beware if you are watching your sodium intake! The berry cobbler was excellent and breakfast was fine. We also had simple fare at Spencers, but the menu is extremely limited, not many choices. Servers both places were friendly and accommodating. The train ride was wonderful--we enjoyed the luxury parlor car very much. The motorcoach rim tour gave us 3 different overlooks to explore and take photos, and the lunch at the Maswik was okay. This is not gourmet food, but filling and served quickly buffet style to allow us more time seeing the canyon which is absolutely spectacular. Food served to us onboard was nice as were the drinks and the entertainment. Really enjoyed the old west shootout before boarding the train. Hokey, but lots of fun.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank Pesca7
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 Family Hotel in Williams
#5 Romantic 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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