Hey folks. My husband and I stayed at this hotel from May 29- May 31, 2008. Max & Thelma retired and the whole place (Hotel, RR, Restaurant) are up for sale. Word spreads fast if you ask the right questions.
Here's the deal...
The hotel is "okay" at best. The staff is wonderful though. There is a bar in the hotel, pool, hot tub, things to see and explore around town. Great restaurants locally, if you don't like the food at Max & Thelma's restaurant since it's all buffet style. The breakfast buffet was okay but the dinner buffet had little to be desired. The scenery is like a big hall (like you would see on a Scout camping trip). I think it was modeled after that. Campers will love it, if that's what you are looking for. It's not a 5 star hotel or restaurant, that's for sure. It does have it's "old style" charm though.
Beware that you can no longer trade your meal tickets in for something out of the gift shops. They took the coffee pot out of the lobby and the water in the hotel isn't all that great for the coffee pots in the room so take some bottled water!! But, if you enjoy a "Power Shower", you're in for a treat!
You can get internet access in the lobby. Plenty of plugs on the wall if you need them. Keep in mind, you are out in the middle of nowhere and it's a small town.
The train...If you're just a "couple", book the "Luxury" car both ways. You can stand on the back of the train if you like and the seating is much better than the other cars. I wouldn't recommend the dome unless you want to capture some great shots of the train and men on horseback. Besides, the lady in the Luxury car will point things out to you, that the others aren't privy too, regarding the surrounding area. And you can walk up the train to the other cars if you like. There is a small gift shop on there as well.
Take plenty of $1 bills with you everywhere. These people survive on tips and they deserve them because they all do an excellent job!!
Smoking accommodations are off the back of the hotel but nowhere on the train, even on the back of the train. Forest fires run rampant up there in the canyon! No sense getting careless with those cigarettes.
Complimentary drinks and snacks are available on the train, but take heed that if you are going to jump on a bus tour, your first stop is the restaurant to eat. However, that's "another" buffet style restaurant as well, so be prepared. And, you only have 1/2 hour so use the restroom first if you need to, it's not all that big!
The bus tour we took was fast and furious. I say that because that was the downside of the trip for us. It went too quick and we only stopped at 2 places on the rim. If you really want to enjoy the canyon, stay overnight. I would recommend any other package deal at the canyon if you truley want to enjoy it's splender up close and personal. Our driver, Frank, was an excellent driver, guide and spokesperson for the canyon though. He did an excellent job!
You can purchase take home gifts at Max and Thelmas. We're explorers so we checked out the town and the prices are the same anywhere you go, so you might as well get your items in their gift shop. However, there's a nice gas station that opens at 5:00am up the road that has some different items for sale as well, if you want to venture out.
Take it all in folks, enjoy your vacation because when are you going to have a chance to go back?
Mr. and Mrs. Eddy
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the luxury of a bygone era at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Designed to resemble the century-old train depot that housed the original Fray Marcos Hotel, our hotel is a relaxing retreat in a picturesque Western setting. The 298-room hotel is just a block away from downtown Williams and historic Route 66. Combined with a variety of amenities such as complimentary wi-fi, an indoor pool and hot tub, delicious dining options at Grand Depot Cafe and Spenser's Pub, The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is the perfect place to stay before embarking on your grandest of journeys! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Canyon Railway Williams
- Fray Marcos Hotel
- Hotel Grand Canyon Railway