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“Enjoyed our stay”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We only stayed one night at the hotel but enjoyed our stay. I gave it a "4" rating but it is based on what else is available in/near GCNP. My rating is relative to those other hotels not the whole as a whole. El Tovar is not luxurious but I found it lovely and in a perfect location. It is a historic hotel and you see and feel it when there. I think they have done well preserving the history and avoiding too many modernizations except what is needed. Check in was quick and easy. Our room overlooked the front of the hotel. It wasn't large but even with 2 beds it was roomy enough. The bathroom was large especially in relation to the room. The room was well equipped with a nice TV, clock, frig, keurig coffee maker, and hairdryer. A/C worked fine. I wouldn't say it was an arctic blast but cooled the room enough. Closet space was minimal as was space to put the suitcases. Beds were comfortable and the room was clean. The bathroom was retro was its black and white tiles and old fashion tub. It reminded me of bathrooms of my childhood 40-50 years ago. I liked the looks although it needs more places to hang clothes when changing/showering and a little better place for your toiletries - always a problem when you have a pedestal sink. I found the hotel and even the room charming. My daughter and I played a few games they had in the common space above the lobby as we took a break before dinner. We loved our dinner at the restaurant that night. Staff was pretty friendly (more later on this). I loved the rocking chairs on the front veranda. I loved the location right on the rim. Awesome. I took a quick morning walk before the rest of the family woke. It was so nice seeing the sun rise and being on the rim before the day crowds arrive. That's one of the best parts of staying along the rim. The El Tovar is also by the Indian dancing and close to the Bright Angel and its trail. The only reason I did not give it a "5" is because of the lack of "storage" in the bathroom (just add a couple of hooks and a glass shelf with a chrome edge/rail so things don't fall off and you still maintain the retro look) and a staff issue. Everyone was nice but we were a bit PO'd at housekeeping. We asked for a late check-out (which meant only 1 add'l hr til noon). We wanted to take a quick shower and change clothes after a dusty morning mule ride. The front desk was helpful and managed to get it for us but it wasn't easy. You could tell by the phone conversation with housekeeping it was a HUGE deal. So given the late check out we put a do not disturb on the door. Our mule trip ran long so by the time we arrived back at the hotel it was 11:45. My husband wanted to ask the desk it we could have til 12:15p since it was just he that would shower and my daughter and I would just change clothes and wash faces. Front desk had to call housekeeping once again. An argument ensued between the two on the phone and the desk person relayed that housekeeping said they'd already cleaned the room. Total BS or if true really bad form. First it wasn't even check out time for us because we still had 15 minutes and second we had put a do not disturb sign on the door. We surmised housekeeping was just being a pain and lied to avoid any wrinkle in their schedule - who cares about the customer, housekeeping sure doesn't and this is after at 4:30pm we had to wait a few minutes at check-in for housekeeping to finish up readying our room. A raspberry to housekeeping. A thumbs up to the front desk that tried their best. The desk staffer feeling bad about the whole thing told us about a bathroom we could use which was a single so we could take our time and have more privacy. That was nice and worked out ok. I'd give the front desk service, dining room staff and shop staff a "4.5" and housekeeping a "2" (room itself was clean so a 4 attitude of housekeeping management a 1) so overall I have to give service a 3. We have now seen the Grand Canyon and probably won't return but if we did we would definitely stay at El Tovar for all the positives truly outweighed the negative of the hotel's "housekeeping" dept.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank akgirl51997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 July 2014

I just returned from a great stay at El Tovar. It is a rustic but elegant historic hotel. Our room, the Mary Coulter suite, was comfortable and clean and has an amazing balcony overlooking the canyon. What set my experience apart was the customer service. I left my drivers license and credit card in my room and drove to Vegas before I realized it. Everyone I spoke with at El Tovar was professional and seemed to genuinely care about my situation. I got my license and credit card back in time to catch my flight home. I am so grateful!

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

With that being said, this hotel is very dark and worn. I realize that the hotel is a "historic" hotel on the South Rim of Grand Canyon, but it would be nice if the carpet was replaced and that there wasn't food trays and such left out in the hallways. The room was clean and really no frills. The restaurant service was very slow and the food was mediocre, but again this hotel is in a national park and this is the best of the rest from what I saw.
Now the reason why this place is so popular: right next to the south rim!!!
Fabulous location. If you want to stay there you must book a year out which is what we did.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank horadam1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

First, this is the best place to stay on the South Rim and it has the best restaurant but the fact that there is no competition (Xanterra owns the concession for everything inside the park) really shows. All the comments about lax service and a worn facility are true. Why would you train your staff or spruce the place up when you're the only game in town and fully booked nine months out?

And if you are "lucky" enough to get a room here, be aware that all the nearby parking will be gone by 1PM or so. So get here well before checkin time at 4, cruise the small lot nearby the entrance until a spot opens up. Then leave the car there for your entire stay.

Room Tip: You'll need at least a "Deluxe" category room if you need a rollaway for a child.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank PAworldtrvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

A friend and I, on a Thelma and Louise trip, stayed here in 1969. We did not have Thelma's and Louise's experiences; e.g., no picked up men and no murder and we did not drive off into the sunset at the canyon, but we had a wonderful time. I still have great memories of the El Tovar hotel and remember very well the middle-aged couple from Sweden we met there, they had dinner with us. My friend and I were 32 and 27, our first independent trip without husbands or parents, we felt so brave and liberated. The hotel itself was old and romantic, the air was cool at that elevation even though it was August. We learned college kids were working in the hotel as waiters, maids, bellmen, etc. and all over the park in various jobs. They had their own living quarters and all the money they made they mostly saved. I was so envious of them, wanted to go back and do the same but alas, I already had three children. I have not been back to the El Tovar but my memories have it down as the best hotel I ever stayed in as I slept like a baby and the food was so delicious.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank beehunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Our third canyon stay and got lucky to secure the Mary Jane Coulter suite on the rim. If you can grab a view suite do it- it is special. Love the El Tovar, dining room remains really great - authentic atmosphere and really well prepared classic dishes.

Happy to not be roughing it at the El Tovar

Room Tip: Many do not care but I like a room with a view. Really quite after dark for stargazing an din the ea...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank madasa1024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

My husband and I were looking forward for our holiday in Grand Canyon. As we had stayed in the hotel for 3 days, we were disappointed with the maintenance. We stayed at room 6408. The staff members are exceptionally good but the condition of the room and the hallway needed to be improved. Bed size is not big enough for 2 persons. The air conditioning was so loud that we hardly could get some sleep. The green carpet needed to be replaced. The location is in the park but it is worth to stay in different hotels even though the location is outside the park.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank C and C S
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: £151 - £318 (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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