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“For Canyon de Chelly I'd recommend...”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Reviewed July 25, 2011

...but I would not choose to stay here.

There is nothing to get excited about here. It's basic accomodation catering soley to tourists who have limited choice in Chinale, which is the place you need to be to go and see Canyon de Chelly.

BUT it is also the best choice in Chinale, where the Best Western and Holiday Inn don't feel, let's say, as authentic for the area. The staff at the check-in/office are, whilst not rude, really not very friendly (check-in closes early btw), and the rooms are the type that needed renovating five years ago, but have not been because the audience is, captive. The other MAJOR PLUS, for which you don't need to stay here, but may as well, is that they do excellent excellent [sic] tours of the canyon. I'd recommend the half-day for anyone with kids or those going for fun (so most) as half way into this or any canyon you get a bit over-canyoned, but the guide was first class, and it's very interesting to see and well worth the cost (60 or so dollars, I think).

So over all I can't say Thunderbird is bad, it's just uninspired and been a bit left behind, give than it's not particulalry cheap.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank andersaxson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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463 - 469 of 765 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2011

We found Thunderbird Lodge comfortable, clean and friendly. The cafeteria provided lots of variety and we agree the Navajo Tacos are excellent. Our room was comfortable and clean with an authentic, historical feel rather than your cookie-cutter chain hotel. We took the all day canyon tour and enjoyed lunch at Mummy Cave. Our guide was knowledgable and it was a great way to see the ruins up close and enjoy the beauty of Canyon de Chelly! We hope to visit here again soon.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Smiles000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2011

Ok this is the second time I have stayed here. It is was it is. It is a motel, not a hotel. It is old, old fashioned and has the smell of a motel. I love it. The quietness in the middle of summer, both times I went is so relaxing. Some of the old stone buildings are quite charming. It has large old tress near the gift shop/tour center. You drive up to your door, and use a real key to get in. I like to get up early and hike the white house trail, only 5min or so away. You are right near the canyon. No services except the Thunderbird cafe. Just like Furs! Enjoy the nice Navajo people that work there and come in for a meal. It was about 98 bucks, but you are right near the canyon, and I like helping out the Navajo people. I will return!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Luckyscout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2011

OK, this was not the fanciest place ever, but it was clean and comfortable, you could open the windows in the room, the people were helpful when I phoned to say I'd be arriving late, and it was not part of a chain. Not the best cooking, but I went to the alternative for dinner, the Holiday Inn, and that was not the best cooking either. If your barometer for a place is to go where the locals go, then Thunderbird is it. You will find the local Navajo and whites here. It was just what I needed for days of horse riding and hiking.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ardmara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2011

This was our second stay at the Thunderbird Lodge, on another family roadtrip through the Southwest. Our usual M.O. is to stay as close to the sights as possible, but I don't think it's worth it in this case. Yes, the Lodge has a quaint, old-fashioned look, and the restaurant and gift shop are nice touches, but the service is substandard and the whole place has a negative vibe to it: from a stingy lack of coffee in the room to snarky reminders about how much you'll pay if you steal the towels. And every interaction with staff was done without a smile (on their part), if not actual rudeness. When we checked in (at about 8pm, mid-week, hotel no more than half full), I asked the receptionist if we could have a late check-out the next day (at 12 instead of 11, big deal), because our tourguide had changed the time of our morning canyon tour. She said that would be OK, but when I checked out the next day at 11:45 the receptionist criticized me for being so late, and said "checkout is at 11" (as if I could have missed it, the signs are everywhere). I politely explained that the evening receptionist had granted us a one-hour grace period because of our tour change. Instead of a "sorry," I got a big show of her flipping through her paperwork, saying "well she didn't write it down" (the unspoken message seeming to be that I was making this up).

There are nice new chain hotels in Chinle, which probably even have swimming pools, and are at most an extra 5 minutes from the Canyon, so we'll be taking our business to them next time!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank myfamilystravelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2011

Visited Canyon de Chelly as part of a tour on 16 June 2011. We took the half day tour on the trucks offered by Thunderbird Lodge. Less than five minutesw after leaving you're in the Canyon! It's quite an experience, and our guide Ron expertly explained the ruins and sights of the Canyon. White House ruins in particular were well worth the stop. Didn't stay at the Lodge, but the cafeteria we very good and a welcome sight after leaving the Canyon.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank Damurph_1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

This is an average motel that is overpriced, but is the only lodging actually in Canyon de Chelley. The other hotels are in "downtown" Chinle, which is one of the dustiest and most depressing looking places I've ever seen. The cafeteria is adequate. I didn't find the desk people especially friendly, no smiles. But they were informative.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bucky77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Thunderbird Lodge

Address: Rural Route 7, Chinle, AZ 86503 (Formerly Sacred Canyon Lodge)
Location: United States > Arizona > Chinle
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Chinle
Price Range: $66 - $124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thunderbird Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only accommodations inside Canyon de Chelly National Monument. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Chinle
Thunderbird Lodge Grand Canyon

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