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“Pretty good for a National Park”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Reviewed 13 April 2014

If you have read the previous reviews, you know that this is really a three-star resort, but given it is in a national park (IE, a government-owned property managed by Xanterra) it gets at least a one-star upgrade. We had the Mary Coulter suite, which had two queen beds in one room,and a full bath, closet/coffee/refrigerator as a divider from the rest of the suite which was a living area. This suite is marketed as having a Grand Canyon view, but.....the wood railings and trees in front of the balcony seriously hinder the view. The property is old and worn, but the rooms are somewhat updated and overall OK. If you want the Four Seasons, hire a helicopter. The location is convenient and overall, we were happy with the hotel. The staff was friendly, helpful, and knowledgable. We had a problem with ants in the room and received a discount, probably not enough, but the management had already corrected a fault from the hotel dining room so we were happy. This is the best hotel in the south rim, some of the others look like dorm rooms or new-soviet era.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Heather C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 April 2014

My husband and I visited the Grand Canyon at the end of March, 2014. The trip was sort of last minute, so we were unable to secure a room at the El Tovar. We stayed at the Yavapai (liked it, btw). However, it's easy to get around the park, so we ate two dinners and a breakfast at the El Tovar. Oh my goodness! Fantastic food! Each thing we ordered was perfectly prepared and the wines were wonderful! I'd say one "do not miss" would be the cornmeal pancakes at breakfast.

The El Tovar dining room overlooks the rim of the Grand Canyon. We were fortunate to get a table the second night with a fantastic view. Do, do make reservations, the farther ahead the better. The El Tovar is one of the great, historic national park lodges. Truly enjoyed dining there.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LindaForThePeople
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

My beautiful lady and I took a road trip to Sedona, and then on to the South Rim and stayed a few nights at the wonderful El Tovar! We were fortunate enough to stay in the Whittlesey Suite, and we were not alone!!! Just before calling the bellman the day we were checking out, I noticed the reception on the TV in the main bedroom was scrambling and twitching. There was a lot of interference and the colors on the screen shifted from green to black. I called my lady into the room and we both watched the screen go black. A couple of seconds later, a face appeared for almost two seconds clear as day! It was an older mans face with a gray beard, and the face was slightly transparent. It was looking right at us!!! We pretty much both jumped out of our skin, but had a big laugh afterwards and went on about our day, and it wasn't until that evening when we came back from a canyon tour that we found out from several staff members the hotel had several ghostly residents! Awesome experience! Our otherworldly friend set aside, the hotel itself is pretty awesome! It's a great classic slice of turn of the century Victorian architecture. It really sparks your imagination walking through the halls and foyer. The restaurant was pretty good, just make your reservations WAY in advance. Love how they show you the dessert before seating you! Very friendly staff and the most amazing view of the canyon is steps from the front entrance! Enjoy!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Stayed 1 night while visiting Grand Canyon during a drive over from Vegas. Our room was TINY & price was outrageous but the location cannot be beat. Got up before sunrise next am to catch sun coming up & view was phenomenal. Breathtaking does not describe the scenery literally right out the backdoor. Moose were grazing out & about on grounds before sunrise. Spent day sight seeing around canyon before leaving the park late that afternoon. Yes, price for room here is too expensive but for a once in lifetime view, I gota say it's worth it. If I ever get chance to go visit Grand Canyon again, I will stay here & eat peanut butter rest of the trip, lol.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank phall007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

When Mom says she wants to visit the Grand Canyon and the El Tovar Suite is available, book it. We had a very enjoyable three day stay. I wish we had the whole family along and warmer weather to really enjoy the magnificent deck more. We set our alarm for 10 minutes before sunrise and piled on layers to step out and view the canyon waking. Stunning. in the evening we waited for sunset then dashed onto the deck to capture the action with our eyes and cameras. Yes the suite is a splurge but it's a nice room with an amazing deck.
Pros: the deck! King size bed was comfortable. We enjoyed the chairs in the sitting room. Housekeeping respected the do not disturb sign and did a good job cleaning. Tons of pillows to choose from. Surprise there were 2 tvs. Extra towels were provided in the bathroom cabinet. Plenty of hot water and a bathroom with a view. The heating controls were very responsive.
Neutral: We needed to open the windows to freshen the room.
Cons: I wish the kitchen were able to recruit top chef talent. Breakfast and dinners were just ok. King bed needed a mattress pad! This room cannot accommodate more than 2 people - staff told us they cannot add an extra bed to this suite.

Notes:
The first floor of the building is accessible - there is a ramp on the north entrance. We used this stairwell the most as there were good handrails on both sides and regular height stairs.
There is the possibility of assistance with luggage; if it's not offered, ask. We were introduced to someone after checking in.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank KM_Borowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

This property is very expensive and the rooms are tiny. It is also a slap in the face when you are paying so much money and your room faces a parking lot. We arrived prior to the 4 pm check-in time and were told that they would call us when our room was ready....that call never came. We tried to have lunch on the property, but there was an hour wait for the dining room, so we went to the lounge and had nacho chips. While the menu in the lounge seems to offer a variety, its basically nacho chips with different toppings. While on the topic of food, I had the foresight to book the restaurant for the 2 nights that we were there. I will say that the service is excellent, but the food is way overpriced and disgusting. On the first night, I had the pasta with vegetables, which found me eating what tasted like a jar sauce with cut up zucchini placed over mushy penne. On the second night I had chicken marsala with pasta.....OMG.....this was a chicken cutlet in barbecue sauce with a pile of plain spaghetti on the other side of the plate.....ugh. I would have to say, however, that the very worst part of this stay was that there is no place to park your car. I live near and work in NYC......one of the most crowded cities in the world.....and it took me longer to find a parking space at the EL Tovar, than it ever did in NYC, One day I waited for over an hour and a half, just trying to park the car. If you are thinking of visiting the Canyon, stay outside the canyon. You can drive into the park and take any number of buses that are available free of charge. You will save a fortune on accommodations and have a choice of places to eat that are reasonable and delicious.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Marylieu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed in this hotel for one night while visiting Grand Canyon. Excellent location on the rim, nice decor in the lobby, very good restaurant. Rooms are very basic. Expensive, but better than other lodging in the area. Kachina lodge next door is more like a dorm though many rooms have views.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank YUNATONI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Tovar Hotel

Address: 1 El Tovar Road, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Region: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range: £156 - £308 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Tovar Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Due to pending renovations to guest rooms, public spaces, and the dining room, El Tovar is not available from January 25, 2018 through September 30, 2018. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon
El Tovar Grand Canyon
Hotel El Tovar
El Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon El Tovar
El Tovar Lodge

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