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“Right on the South Rim”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Right on the South Rim”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Okay, anybody who reads my hotel reviews know that I look for certain things. Over all décor was very good, tailored with nice fabrics, a contemporary feel; the bathroom was small with a really poor exhaust fan...so you have to open the door a crack while you shower, but the bathroom is nice. Nice closet with built in refrig and coffee maker. Nice size room for a couple. I think that there would be little space for a rollaway bed, if you needed it.

The bad news:
the BED. I like a firm bed and it was firm but uncomfortable. Kind of lumpy, really. King bed that was very high, at 5'2", I felt like I needed a running jump to get in the bed.

There were some stairs, we had a first floor room, but the hotel is built on a slope, so where the entry doors are positioned means that you still have some 5 to 8 stairs to go up or down to get to your room.

VERY limited parking near the hotel. Drop the luggage and then find a place to park.

Good news:
Once you park, you don't need your car. The shuttle is great. We were there 3 days and didn't use our car at all.
You can take beautiful photos directly out of you hotel.

Room Tip: We had rooms 6217 and 6235. If you come in the end door, 6235 has no stairs to get to your room.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank redheaddr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Tupelo, Mississippi
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed in a ground level room with a canyon view for two wonderful nights. (We reserved this room 9 months in advance). The room had exactly what we needed...mini -fridge with built- in water bottle holders, great a/c and 2 comfy queen beds. It was clean and quiet. Bathroom was tight but very tidy. You cannot beat this location. We could step out of our room any time of the morning, afternoon or evening to witness the changing light and shadows over the canyon. It was an unbelievable experience! We took advantage of this super location by hiking the Bright Angel Trail well before the tour buses rolled in and after 4 when the buses rolled out. Also...if you did not get a close enough parking space to your room when you checked in, you can move the car when spaces open up as the crowd leaves. The parking issue did not bother us because we had expected it after reading some of these reviews. We just found an open space, and left the car behind the entire stay. Great, family- friendly restaurant just steps away at the Bright Angel Lodge with kind, helpful staff. We also ate a nice lunch at the Arizona Room and had ice cream at the ice cream shop (go after 430 when the crowd empties out or you will be standing in a long line). We walked to the nearby shops in the village right from our room and enjoyed the entertainment as the sun set. We rode the free bus all around the rim (the bus stop is a very short walk from the room) and got off on many of the overlooks to take photographs of different parts of the canyon. My husband has hiked the Grand Canyon four times, and has always stayed outside the park...until now. Based upon his experience, he highly recommends staying at The Thunderbird Lodge because of its incredible location.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank braiden7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We went on a family vacation to grand canyon!! We booked our accommodation to top of grand canyon and we lucked out in one of the rooms in Thunderbird Lodge---The room number was I think 430...It is extremely clean room and a very clean lodge...from outside it looks old but when you enter the room its very nice. Look out the window and you see the canyon...we even saw the sunset and sun rise from the large windows..It was all worth it to book there. Some tips are book early as there are hardly any rooms..you probably have to check several times to get a room in the park....there is a bus stop right near the lodge which is free and takes you around the park...well worth taking the hour bus..you can get on and off and there is bus every 10min...there is a nice restaurant for breakfast near where you do your room registration called Bright angel restaurant...excellent service and breakfast...another tip is carry a little sweater as early morning and evening are a little chilly!!! Make sure you visit grand canyon at least once in your life with the kids!! Enjoy your summer and keep smiling and the world will smile with you!!

Room Tip: Sometimes you may not get rooms close to the Canyon but when you arrive at registration you can alwa...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ResumeWriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

The location on the grand canyon rim is great, but the hotel itself is more like a highway motel. We stayed 2 nights as part of a Disney Tour. Our room view was a parking lot. There are no ammenities. No pool, no restaurant, no lounge. The room was small and the beds faced a painted brick wall. A picture would have been nice. Saying this, you really can't beat the location for walking the rim or down the bright angel trail.

Room Tip: try to get a room with a view of the canyon
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kgastro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
93 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Stayed overnight as part of a tour group. The only thing going for this lodge is that it's right on the canyon rim. The room was ordinary with the worst bed. Why won't hotels turn the mattresses over so that there isn't a big hole on one side. Made for a bad back the next day. Still the view of the Grand Canyon surpassed any disappointment of the lodge. Would I stay here again...no.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ging466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

For our one-night stay at the Grand Canyon, we tried, unsuccessfully, to book a room at El Tovar (supposedly "THE" place to stay when visiting this wonder of the world). However, you have to either be smart enough to book El Tovar like a year in advance or be very lucky. We were neither! Thunderbird Lodge was a great second choice and less pricey than El Tovar. For those of us that like to stay in air conditioned comfort and enjoy a private bath, don't be scared by the word "Lodge". These rooms are basically standard hotel rooms and very comfy too. We had a double queen room (traveling with our 8 yr old granddaughter) on the second floor, facing the canyon. Speaking of which, you don't really need to pay the extra bucks for the canyon view, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong. The view was nice. I'm just saying that if you're looking to save a few bucks, the canyon view room might be the place to save. After all, as soon as you walk out of the room, you're right there on the canyon rim... awesome location. And, if you're like us and only book an overnight stay, you're really only in the room to sleep and take a nice shower anyway. Here's how I break it down: room was very clean and relatively modern (although wifi was spotty) with a flat screen TV; bathroom was small but more than adequate with good water pressure; beds were comfy; coffee and fridge in-room; view was nice (but wouldn't spend the $$$ on canyon view); and location was awesome with shuttle bus stop right outside the lodge. I've read other reviews complaining about parking. Maybe we were just lucky but we found a spot just a short walk from the lodge. If you can't find a spot at or near the lodge, you can park at the visitor center and take a shuttle. The shuttles are free and really easy to use. There are a few nearby options for meals. While we didn't stay at El Tovar, we were able to get dinner reservations which I strongly recommend you book in advance. The dinner was delicious and the restaurant ambiance was very nice and rustic, with a view of the canyon while you dine. I'll review the restaurant at El Tovar separately. For breakfast, we ate at the Bright Angel restaurant (next door to Thunderbird) which was also very nice with a canyon view. Service at both restaurants was excellent. Now that I think of it, all staff, shuttle drivers and rangers that we met were very friendly and helpful. Lastly, note that Thunderbird has no restaurant or front desk (you check-in at Bright Angel). Overall, Thunderbird Lodge is a great choice when you visit the Grand Canyon.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lschiezzari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guntersville, Alabama, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

My family an I stayed here for 2 nights on our cross country national park road trip. We had a 2nd floor room (booked a year in advance) with an excellent view of the canyon accompanied by a disappointing view of the roof. I was quite content with this though as I knew from previous reviews of what to expect. Nothing could have prepared me for the parking though. It was HORRIFIC, but most of the parking around the lodge was taken up by daily visitors and would generally free up by night. So, I waited until rather late the first night and found a spot right outside the room and didn't move. The shuttle buses are VERY crowded so, if you're planning on using that mode of transportation, be prepared to stand. The rim trail has some breathtaking and picturesque views. Though, I definitely recommend wearing some broken in and comfortable foot wear for any hiking. As for food, we ate a the Maswik Cafeteria. The prices were expensive, but that was expected. Overall we really enjoyed our stay here, but if I were ever to return then I would go back to the north rim.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brandy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thunderbird Lodge

Property: Thunderbird Lodge
Address: Canyon Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Region: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2 star — Thunderbird Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 55
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Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Grand Canyon National Park

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