We booked a room for 2 nights, first class on the train in February 2008 through the thetrain.com. The package included 2 nights plus 2 breakfasts 2 dinners. It was way more food than I could handle having Breakfast and Dinner at Max and Thelma's included plus on the train they give you drinks and cheese & crackers and fruit and pastries.
THE ROOM: was fine, nice bathroom, beds were ok, not bad. The size was enough to accommodate my husband and I and one teenager.
THE TRAIN: The ride was not too long or too short. 1st class was not much better than any other.
The GRAND CANYON: View was spectacular from the spot where the train dropped us off which was just a short walk to the back of El Tovar Hotel. There is not much to do there other than take pics of the canyon, walk around, and go to the few gift shops and El Tovar. The 3 hrs time you spend there is enough.
THE HOTEL: Nice enough hotel. Staff was helpful. Not much to do there for adults but go to the bar at Spensers Lounge. We met a nice couple there and talked and laughed with them, but apparently too much laughing is frowned upon. They were told to keep it down. For this place being a bar this I thought that was ridiculous.
MAX AND THELMA'S: The food here is quite good. You don't have to get the buffett, although I thought it was good. You can also use your food vouchers toward a good menu item such as the surf and turf. That was great. You can also use your vouchers toward Spencers food items or gift shop purchases.
BUS TOURS: When we booked the website said we could get a bus tour when we arrived to the hotel. DO NOT DO THIS! BOOK AHEAD! We arrived to find all the tours were sold out. You should book your bus tour ahead of time by phone.
Overall the experience was good. We got to see one view of the Grand Canyon and ate a lot of food. The weather in February was cold with snow. It was beautiful. The snow made the scenery more pleasant.
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