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“Good place to stay for a visit to Canyon de Chelly” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good place to stay for a visit to Canyon de Chelly”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

I was hesitant to stay here due to some of the reviews I have read, but was pleasantly surprised when I arrived. The town of Chinle is quite small, and Thunderbird Lodge is just up and out of the town a little ways. The rooms were clean, but do not expect high tech and completely updated (the sign in the bathroom actually does warn you that the plumbing his "HISTORIC"...) but it was a peaceful place to stay.

The cafeteria leaves much to be desired if you're looking for a restaurant, but it serves it's purpose. Also, it has coffee in the morning, which is usually top priority on my list. Regarding the staff, they were not the friendliest when I came to visit. They weren't rude, but relatively disinterested in taking care of any questions or checking me in.

We also took the tour that was offered from the Lodge. It looked to be the cheapest, and it really was wonderful. You're in a large open air truck which allows for stunning views of the sites. OUr tour guide DJ was really wonderful, and I would definitely do it again.

Room Tip: If you're a light sleeper, you might try to get a room back towards the office. We had a room fa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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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641 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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Minneapolis
Level Contributor
112 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

My wife and I stayed two nights at the Thunderbird Lodge in May...sorry for the tardy review. The Thunderbird is a modest motel but the rooms are clean and the staff is friendly. Best of all, you are just a few blocks from the entrance to Canyon de Chelly which is a wonderful combination of beauty and historical significance.

You can see some of the Canyon on your own...the two rim roads and one hike to the floor...but to see and learn much more go on a guided tour of the floor of the canyon with a Navajo guide. We went with Ben Teller who is co-owner of Antelope House Tours. The things we saw and learned from Ben were amazing. On a few occasions, he dropped us off and drove on another quarter mile or so. Walking in the beauty and solitude was a highlight of our two weeks in the Southwest.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SandstoneSprings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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.
Livorno, Italy
Level Contributor
301 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

We chose this accomodation essentially because we wanted to do the tour inside the canyon organized by this lodge. The room was nice, it was clean and the bed was comfortable. We were missing: a coffee machine, a hair dryer, a fridge and a ventilation system for the bathroom. The air conditioning was very noisy. Fortunately there was a ceiling fan in the room, and it was not very hot. You park in front of the room. everything is very basic and old-fashioned. The reception was not very friendly. The lodge was not full. I think that for Canyon de Chelly this is the best option, although the overall quality of the accomodation is not high.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandra L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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.
london
Level Contributor
108 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

The two best things about this hotel are the convenient location for taking a trip into the canyon and that you are providing income for the Navajo nation (instead of the corporate hotels in town.) Saying that, it's a shame they don't update the rooms just a bit more. They are very well cleaned and kept nice. I didn't even notice if they had a coffee maker or a hair dryer because we got our coffee in the cafe. The cafe is an OK option - lots of locals eat there and I found the prices reasonable and there was no fast food in site. We enjoyed it because it felt like the hotel fit with our trip to Canyon de Chelly - which was quite an experience and met all of our expectations. We found the guide a delight and also found all of the staff in the giftshop and front desk helpful and informative. Just don't arrive later than 8:30pm!! they close for the evening.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sandyinhgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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.
Williams, AZ
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

We stayed just for one night. Nothing much to excite us. Room was clean, lots of towels, bed was great, but nothing much of amenities. The cafeteria was closed, we have to go a nearby hotel for dinner. Breakfast at the cafeteria was not tasty at all. However, the place is close to the Canyon and we enjoyed our tour of the inner canyon, the guide was very informative, very interesting tour!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GrandLivingBandB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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.
Mesa
Level Contributor
77 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

We spent two nights. Very bare-bones--no mini fridge, no ventilating fan in the bathroom, no coffeemaker in the room. Everything was clean and in good repair; plenty of towels, etc. The mattresses were very good!! The cafeteria on the property was convenient but high-priced for home-style cooking, although the selections were good. We had stayed in other reservation lodging previously, so we knew what to expect. Staff was helpful and friendly. It was nice to be close to the NPS Visitors' Center.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank C B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Level Contributor
81 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2012

This hotel is like going back in history for a Route 66 motel. It was clean, however, such amenities as a coffee maker or hair dryer were not part of the package. The office is closed at night if there is a problem, there is no swimming pool for children and I did not see and security personnel. The only on site eatery is a cafeteria and this option was very mediocre. The tour provided by this hotel to the canyon is excellent. We met tourists who stayed in alternate hotels who were much more satisfied.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank keasterling2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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