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“The North Rim was very, very good for us”

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Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Having read the TA reviews months ago, I opted to book one of the Pioneer (partial)Rim view cabins and got #73. It had two bedrooms, one a queen and one a twin bunkbed separated by a 3/4 bath. Also had a desk, mini-fridge, and coffee pot. It was as rustic as I expected it would be, but the screens were all tight so no canyon critters got in. (Sorta reminded me of some Northern Canada fishcamp cabins I've stayed in, but alot cleaner) Being a rimside cabin, there was only a single path that dead-ended at our frontdoor so we did not have the hoards of tourists constantly walking by our cabin like the several rows of non-rim cabins farther up the hill; which is closer to the parking lot and main lodge traffic. The west side of our cabin backended along the canyon with only a hiking trail several yards down the hillside, so made for quiet evenings. Since our cabin was not a duplex; we did not have the adjacent connecting room voices, noises, flushes, etc to contend with, so our stay was quite peaceful.

The North Rim main lodge is where you check-in (but what immediately grabs your eyeballs is the jaw-dropping view of the grand canyon thru the floor-to-ceiling tall windows in the lounge area below. The two huge side patios also offer spectacular views.) Luckily there were no 40-person tour buses trying to all check-in the same time as us, so the check-in staff were efficient and friendly. We requested a porter who drove us to the parking lot, loaded us and our luggage, cooler, etc on a golf cart and drove down the long hillside to our cabin. Gave him a well-earned tip for saving us several trips on our own.

The North rim had everything we needed foodwise. The Lodge dining room (another review). The Deli in the Pines for really good pizza & also salads, sandwiches(opens 7AM). The Roughrider Saloon which was a full-service bar on one side (open til 11 PM) with local microbrew drafts and a espresso coffee shop on the other side (opens 5:30AM) with giant breakfast burritos for sale. Theres also a large souvenir shop and postoffice. I was told the nearby campground has a laundry. You can book canyon mulerides at a desk in the main Lodge, something I highly recommend. Also some evenings park rangers/volunteers setup telescopes on the Lodge's patios to view stars, Saturn, etc.

I have been to the South Rim, which is breath-taking, but so is the North rim. The North's plus is it's less accessable, so there's fewer tourbuses, less congestion and alot more silence. The biggest negative was due to the remoteness, all the facilities seemed to be understaffed. Housekeeping, foodservice workers, waiters, bartenders, cleanliness of the deli dining area, public restrooms, etc. Example - there was only one poor bartender when 12 hikers came into the Saloon one afternoon all wanting Bloody Mary's; talk about a backlog in the bar.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank OTR_Again_IM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,199 - 1,205 of 2,244 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2013

The North Rim is just beautiful & you really need to stay there to get the full appreciation of it. We stayed in the Frontier cabins for 2 nights. The cabin was really nice, clean & well maintained. The cabins adjoin & you can hear everything even at a whisper so if your neighbor is getting up at 5AM so are you. That being said we really loved the cabins & the bed was very comfortable. The front desk is great Nancy was especially nice & assisted us with hikes & information about the hotel. There is a guest book in each of the rooms although it is hidden in the desk drawer - i accidentally found it on our last day there & wish i had been able to read it upon arrival. It had great information about the property as well as the history. Nancy was nice enough to make me copies of the information as she did not even know that this book existed in the room. The dining experience leaves a lot to be desired. I did know this before we went as i read other reviews. I guess that they do not care as you are a captive audience. There is too little help, & no leadership or if there is it is very poor. It is prices but the food is good & i really do not mind paying if the service would be there. Breakfast should be done very different. The tour groups should be made to get there at 6AM so by 6:30 the regular people have a fair shot. We wanted to get an early start so we got there at 6:30 & it was a mob scene with little direction. The line for the buffet was enormous (it is a much better value than the menu but you should not go til 7 or 7:15 when the dining room clears out. Maybe if they are not going to change the times that the groups eat then the front desk may want to clue people in to that fact. The saloon wait was ridiculous - one bartender/coffee maker to serve a lot of people - we just left. We did have a lot of fun at the cookout & it is all you can eat so it is a good value considering. Not a lot of options unless you want to drive out of the park. We would stay as the North Rim is spectacular, lodging is very nice, hiking is great. Maybe some day they will improve the dining experience.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ROTNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2013

This is an historic property built in 1928 located in a national park, so it is necessary to take this into consideration when evaluating it. Further, there aren't a lot of alternate choices if you want to stay in or near the North Rim.

These comments relate to the "Frontier Cabins" at Grand Canyon Lodge.

Each free standing cabin has 2 connecting rooms. While the connecting door can be locked to create two rooms, there is limited privacy since even whispered conversations can be easily heard in the adjacent room.

Each of the 2 small rooms has one double and one single bed, a small desk and a single chair at the desk, and a shelf with a coat rack. There was one dim overhead light and one desk lamp. That's it. Windows open for fresh air; there is no air conditioning (likely not needed at 8500 feet). Bathroom which had a sink, toilet and stall shower measured 4 x 6 feet. Tiny!

Staying here is a step back in time to the era of our grandparents. It was a lot different then!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank mountainoutin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2013

We stayed 4 nights in Western Cabin (#328) as part of our Grand Circle tour. The cabin was in good condition and the bed was comfortable. We enjoyed sitting on the porch in the evenings people watching and we had a partial rim view of Roaring Springs Canyon. We only had a few minor complaints. The cabin was stuffy if you didn't leave the windows open. There is no ceiling fan but we brought along a small table top fan to stir the air and that was enough to make the room comfortable. The mini (and I do mean extra tiny) fridge was a disaster. We were happy to see it in the room and thought it would be nice to take our lunch meat, cheese and veggies out of the cooler and store them in the fridge. Well, it froze everything solid the first night. I tried to turn the temperature to the warmest setting, but the lack of markings on the dial made it a guessing game. Luckily we also had pb & j with us to eat for lunch while everything went back into the cooler to thaw. Except the veggies, they were ruined.

Now for the second part of the review, the dining options. Forever Resorts should have their contract taken away. Period. We ate in the dining room the first night and didn't go back after that, even though we had reservations every night. We also had a coupon for 2 free desserts that the hotel manager gave us for switching out of an ADA cabin. We left it for the housekeeper. Hopefully she had the good sense to throw it away. The deli had issues too, lots of issues. I will provide a full review of both restaurants in the dining section of TripAdvisor. Bottom line, the only good thing to eat was the pizza at the deli. If you are staying more than one night, bring a rice cooker or a hot plate and load up your cooler with decent food.

All things considered, we would book a Western Cabin again. The north rim is fabulous and while it can feel quite crowded around the lodge and cabins, it is easy to find some solitude on the hiking trails.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank WyoNikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2013

First off...despite the tiny motel room, it was all worth it!

I was told by many that it was very difficult to get a room at the North rim lodge. I went online 6 months before my trip and reserved a "Motel" style room. I swear I got the last one left as it was the furthest possible distance from everything else. This meant driving to a closer parking spot or a ten minute walk each way.

The room was tiny, the bathroom even smaller. The shower was ultra sensitive to changes in temperature. However it was far easier then camping out and we really only spent a few hours sleeping in the room and the rest of the time at the lodge or on the walking paths.

Tip: Get up for the sunrise! The sunset is crowded and noisy, everyone seems to be there at once. At sunrise there were literally four people on the veranda for the whole sunrise! Otherwise during the day you can walk out and see the sights with very few people around.
We were at the Grand Canyon during a star party and it was amazing to see Saturn and the Moon in so much detail. The area surrounding the lodge is wooded with several easy paths. The view is of course breathtaking.

Room Tip: The motel style rooms are tiny, but warm and better then camping. They don't have A/C but the ai...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ZapWizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2013

The cabins at the North Rim will appeal if you enjoy rustic living. But our whole family (ranging from 40's to 80's) had a great time. Everything is rough wood with a tiny, but clean, bathroom. Amenities are minimal, but that's part of the fun. Best of all, you're as close to the Grand Canyon as it gets - and a 6:00 AM jaunt to Bright Angel Point is more than worth the price of admission. h needs in-room cable when you have some of the best views in America? Definitely worth a visit.

Room Tip: There are a few nicer cabins along the North Rim itself. (The numbers run in the low 300's.) If...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank PBCGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

We had a small duplex cabin with atwin and a double beds. Very small, no phones, no A/C, no TV. BUT you are minutes from the north rim. Next time I would book sooner and get one of the large (and more expensive) cabins. Get the biggest one you can afford.
Restaurant was good and priced reasonably with a great view. The lodge is perched on the north rim with views to die for.

Room Tip: Get biggest cabin you can afford.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jerrypag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim

Address: End of Highway 67, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86052
Region: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range: £139 - £220 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim 2*
Number of rooms: 219
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The more remote North Rim offers up its beauty and solitude to those willing to make a little longer trek to cooler temperatures and greener vegetation of the Grand Canyon's less visited rim. Time means little here in this Nirvana for nature lovers…abundant forest beauty and wrap-around scenic splendor as sheer walls hold in the Colorado River a mile below. The only developed lodging within the National Park’s North Rim boundaries this historic treasure has cabins and lodging tucked into the trees and dotting the canyon edge. The historic dining room with wall to ceiling windows gives diners the unique opportunity to take in the Canyon's views and tasteful regional and sustainable delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended. For guests seeking a unique remembrance of their visit to this special place, there is a gift store and convenience store located at the North Rim. Authentic Native American handcrafts, jewelry and merchandise that is U.S.A. made by local and regional artists provide an array of gift items for guests to the Grand Canyon. Smell the pines, listen to the fluttering leaves of quaking aspen, and keep an eye out for a California condor, the largest bird in North America. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is only open from mid May to mid October. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim Hotel Grand Canyon National Park
Canyon Grand Lodge North Rim

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