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“Rustic but charming.”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Dallas
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Rustic but charming.”
Reviewed May 22, 2009

The Thunderbird Lodge is a charming old lodge inside of Canyon de Chelly National Park. The rooms are rustic and no blow dryers in the room but they had internet! The beds were either comfortable because they were hard or because we were dog tired. The staff was less than friendly and seemed to act as if we were troubling them just to check in. The staff at the infamous lodge cafeteria were just as unfriendly. The food was decent...maybe we didn't order the right thing. You would think green chili beef stew would be a winner but it was fair. Don't judge the Navajo Fry Bread by that location. It is much better every where else! The best part of this hotel is definitely the location. So close to the canyon and nice and quiet. It served it's purpose and I would stay there again. Now we know what to expect.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flyin4fun
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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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Bolton, CT
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2009

My wife and two kids (10 and 12) spent two nights t the Grand Canyon in April. We wanted to stay in the park and on the rim. Thunderbird Lodge was all that was available. That said, we had a pleasant stay and the room was above average. We were expecting a run down, motel type of experience and were pleasantly surprised y the room. It was in good shape with good amenities -- along the lines of a Comfort Inn. The kids shared one double and my wife and i the other. The building is spartan -- you must walk to one of the neighboring lodges for food, etc. But the location is fantastic -- fifty steps from the Rim. A fine stay for a quick overview of the Grand Canyon South Rim before heading to Las Vegas!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joshua H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Guest Relations Manager at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Milwaukee, WIsconsin
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2009

We stayed one night with our Caravan tour. You cannot beat the location! The canyon rim is just a few yards from your back door. The room was nice. The El Tovar next door has a very nice restaurant and the Bright Angel also has a nice restaurant.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SunGoddess1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Guest Relations Manager at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2009

We were initially trying to stay at Bright Angel Lodge, but it was all booked. Looking back, I'm really happy that it was. You have to check-in at Bright Angel and the next building over is Thunderbird. We were greeted by a very friendly and informative concierge. He gave us Canyon trail maps, hiking tips, and suggested other attractions to check out. He also told us that there are shared bathrooms at Bright Angel, but not at Thunderbird. I was really happy to hear this....not really into sharing bathrooms with strangers. The Bright Angel has free internet service in the lobby (there is none at Thunderbird), restaurants and bar, and a gift shop which has modestly priced items.

I wasn't sure what to expect of the room, but I imagined it to be slightly dirty with an odor. I thought there would be dingy sheets and a moldy-smelling bathroom. However, when we walked into our room I was pleasantly suprised!! The room was clean and the sheets were also clean. The bathroom was recently renovated and all of the supplied toiletries were "green" to help save the environment. Other room amenities included a mini-fridge and coffee maker. We had a rim view room, which had an amazing view of the canyon. We woke up around 5:00am to prepare for our hike to Cedar Ridge and when we opened the curtains we saw how awesome our room view was!! It was like the canyon was in our backyard. My boyfriend immediately went out to take pics of the sunrise. They were beautiful!! Another bonus is that the shuttle bus to the trail heads is right outside the hotel. It was very convienient.

Overall, my stay was great, but the parking lot was very, very dark. We arrived at night and were very thankful that we brought our flashlights along for the trip. The Thunderbird does not have an elevator. So, you'll have to carry your luggage up a few short flights of stairs. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning. There was a slight odor in the hallway, but our room was fine. I heard that parking can be bad at times, but we managed to find a spot very close to our room.

I would definitely stay here again!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nitawil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Guest Relations Manager at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, CA
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2009

There is only one reason to go to Chinle, to visit Canyon de Chelly , a marvelous experience. The lodging options are very limited, and dining even more so. After staying at the Thunderbird Lodge, I'd say try the Best Western or Holiday Inn. The TL reminded me of a cheap 1960's motel; thin towels, sheets that need replacement, lumpy pillows, no hair dryer. I think we paid $104/night, which seems like a lot for what we got. I will say, however, that all the people were very nice and helpful. Breakfast is not included, but is cooked fresh in the cafeteria. We peeked at the dinner offerings, and they were really cafeteria style. That is, they were cooked and sitting in warming trays for however long. Not very appetizing. We opted for the restaurant at the Best Western, which was kind of basic, but okay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rekBerkeley_CA
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.
Phoenix, AZ
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2009

We stayed at Thunderbird Lodge for two nights. It was the last room available when I called two weeks prior to the trip (at least that's what they said). We checked-in at the Bright Angel Lodge, quick and easy. I really liked the room. It is indeed a little bit expensive ($170 per night), but it was very clean and nice. And I liked that everything was either recyclable, or made from recycled materials or something like that. It was funny that when we checked in, they gave us this little piece of paper saying that they apologize for the inconvenience, but they have only 15 channels available... I was thinking: who cares? Who comes to the Grand Canyon to watch TV?
For dinner we went to Bright Angel. The service - very good, food was good as well, especially the "Roasted pepper soup" - which is delicious.
Parking is terrible, but we were lucky enough to find a spot next to the lodge, and we didn't move the car until we left.
Overall, I was very happy with our stay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank phoenixsuns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Guest Relations Manager at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midland, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 361 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2009

We were at this hotel for one night..problems are there are not parking places and you must cirle around endlessly till you find a spot. Then hotel has no elevators. Our outside walkway was so dark I was using my cell phone for light. Room, Motel 6 all the way..
We had just left Las Vegas at the Bellagio and paid less than we did for this.. ate dinner at El Tovar..was okay..but hot..no air and the window don't open in DR. We were so tired after our day..we were glad we didn't have to drive..but I wouldn't stay again.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melanieann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattie B, Guest Relations Manager at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
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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