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“Clean, comfortable and quiet”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
157 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Clean, comfortable and quiet”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

This hotel is on the Navajo reservation as you enter Canyon de Chelle. It was clean, comfortable, and quiet. The adjoining restaurant features Navajo fare - but no alcohol. The bed was very comfortable. There aren't many accommodations in Chinle. We had dinner at the Best Western and stopped in to checkout the Holiday Inn. The Sacred Canyon Lodge had the most character.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Srsignore
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, 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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683 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Wimberley, Texas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husband and I stayed there years ago when it was Thunderbird Lodge and loved the closeness to Canyon DeChelly. Although we enjoyed our stay and got a good night sleep on one of the most comfortable mattresses of our 11 day trip, we didn't appreciate the deception. Talk to the Navajos there and they will tell you that the lodge there and the View in Monument Valley owned by Navajos is bull. They are owed by a wealthy Vegas man. Interesting story.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Madonna K
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, 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.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
90 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We stayed at eight different places during our ten day vacation and the bed at this lodge was the most comfortable of all the other beds we slept in. They had a 3 inch foam pad on top of the mattress and laying down in that bed was wonderful, especially with the bursitis I have in one hip.
The lodge is old, but the room was large and very clean. The bathroom was also very clean. The temperature in the middle of September was nice enough that we opened our window to sleep and ran the ceiling fan. Even with the window open, it was very quiet and peaceful. The grounds are kept watered and were a beautiful green and had rabbits hopping every where.
The person who checked us in was very nice and friendly and discounted our rate after asking questions to see if we qualified for any discounts, so the price was very reasonable. The clerk in the gift store was also friendly. Their information brochure said the lodge is now being ran by the same woman owned business that runs the View at Monument Valley, so the innkeepers are experienced and accommodating.
There is a cafeteria on premise that is good for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was not too great. It is definitely cafeteria food, nothing special; however, after driving around the park all day, the cafeteria food even tasted good. Everyone in the cafeteria were also friendly and nice.
The WIFI worked well.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 210SATX
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, 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.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

There are basically three places to stay in town - Sacred Canyon, Best Western and Holiday Inn. We selected this one because we thought it was locally-owned by Navajos. Turned out that the only aspect that met that criteria was that the out-of-town owner's wife is Navajo (at least, that's what we were told).

We were also told the story of the terrible accident that occurred in 2012, whereby a defective tour jeep catapulted into a ravine and someone was killed. The owner of the lodge at that time was also the tour operator and ultimately had to sell the lodge because of financial difficulties arising from law suits. I don't know when the sale took place, but regardless the whole situation must have dragged on and had an understandably negative impact on the staff; any changes are tough, let alone for the reason I've just described, and I feel sorry for all who were involved or affected.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that staff friendliness is just about non-existent, especially in the restaurant where the food is also terrible. The rooms have no refrigerators, and the noisy air conditioners barely make a dent in the heat. This may not bother everyone, but it irked me that the jewelry in the store bore no price tags, making me less inclined to shop there.

Sorry to say that I would not go back, at least not until I see many more positive reviews. I couldn't help but compare to the other park lodges at which we stayed on this trip: Far View at Mesa Verde, Kachina at Grand Canyon, even Gouldings at Monument Valley (which was outside the park). Even though Sacred Canyon wasn't as expensive as these others, there was no comparison.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JewelwingJane
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, 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.
Battle Ground, Washington
Level Contributor
102 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Bearing in mind this is right at the entrance to the canyon, it was fine. It was rather dated, and the mattress could have used replacing, but all in all it was a pleasant stay, if a little expensive for the quality of the property.

We ate at the restaurant on site the first evening, which was disappointing. The food was pre-packaged and not at all appetizing. My wife tried the dining room one more time, and was not more impressed the second time around.

However, the folks who ran it were freindly, and the location could not be beat. In our experience, it is tough to get a good meal in Chinle, so keep your expectations low and you will be fine. The Best Western dining room in town or the Burger King seemed to be the best options.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rcftommay
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, 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.
south
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

This is a vintage lodge run by the Navajos. I loved the feel of the very clean rooms. Everyone was friendly and willing to help. Do not expect a Best Western, thank goodness, because this is a unique experience. It is the closest hotel to the Canyon which is its biggest plus. Our A/C was not working but we arrived later after dinner and didn't feel like calling about the problem. They next morning when we check out we heard the lady at reception (very nice) call to have it repaired immediately. Our room was spacious.
We tried the cafeteria and found the main courses good, but I love salads and never use iceberg which they use so only had some raw veggies, very fresh. This is all part of your unique experience. Enjoy it.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hewhoknows
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, 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

This lodge is great! Previously known as Thunderbird Lodge, I did read some less than complimentary reviews on Trip Advisor, so was a little nervous about what we would find. After a BIG travelling day - Monument Valley, and a walk into Canyon de Chelly (a must do for any visitor to the area), we wanted comfortable beds, hot shower, clean and quiet room with good air con. And that's what we have had, along with a very acceptable burger in the lodge's cafeteria. the lodge is by no means modern, but that didn't matter. The rooms are comfortable, and if I had to find a criticism it would be that there is no refrigerator in the room, but that's not unusual at all. Big thumbs up all round for Sacred Canyon Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dunkirk31
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, 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

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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