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“In canyon area but not on rim”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Thunderbird Lodge

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Thunderbird Lodge
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
62 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“In canyon area but not on rim”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2013

Since this lodge was touted as being "inside" the canyon, we assumed it would have great views from the rim. This was not the case as the lodge is tucked in a grove of trees quite a distance from the rim.

The room was large, however, and quite comfortable with the exception of the bed on the first night. We had the staff remove the extra layer of foam bedding and the second night's sleep was much better. The refrigerator we requested was supplied immediately at no extra charge.

We ate most of our meals at the historic-trading-post-turned-cafeteria where the food was reasonably good and reasonably priced.

The grounds themselves were pleasant with lots of grass, trees and walking paths. There chairs on the patio area outside our room where we sat to watch the moon and stars.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ArizonaSojourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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650 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Phila, PA
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2013

My family and I stayed there one night in late June. The location right next to the Canyon de Chelly was excellent and the staff was very welcoming. The room was clean and comfortable and the grounds offer a nice change from your typical chain hotel. I would definitely recommend if you're coming to the area.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mac6641
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria, Arizona
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

We were visiting Canyon De Chelley and was advised to stay inside the canyon. And yes it was very convienent. THe staff acted like they did not want us there. THe room was so so. nothing special. THe matress was not that great, lots of bounce.Not good if you have a poor back. THe room was sorta clean. They did have free wifi so that was a plus. The big thing is that the town of Chinle is so impoverished that I wouldn't stay in that town so best that you stay here. The canyon was beautiful. Be advised that there were local artist hawking there wares at most overlooks but they weren't to pushy.Despite this the Canyon is fantasic and since its not that popular its worth a visit.

Room Tip: Go for the proximity to the Canyon but don't expect much
See more room tips
Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Alan I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
227 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 413 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2013

My family and I stayed here for two nights while visiting the area a couple weeks ago. We fell in love with the quant rooms and décor. Unlike the box-type hotels, this hotel has personality. It's an old time motel in which you park in front of your room (a major plus, in our opinion), but has been updated recently. It has a lot of green areas to enjoy as well. Our room was clean and certainly met our needs.

The only downside is that the other hotels in the area have pools, which I sort of wish this one had as well, though we were kept so busy taking in the beautiful sights that I'm not sure we would have had the time to make use of it.

I would recommend this motel to anyone who wants a quiet and peaceful experience.

Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank GwenP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alameda, Ca
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2013

Background: Sacred Canyon Lodge formerly known as the Thunderbird Lodge has recently been acquired by the same owners as The View in Monument Valley. The owner could change the name because the lodge isn't historic but the cafeteria or a portion of it was the site in 1902 of Sam Day's Trading Post. There is a great picture of it in a book called Navajo Blankets.

Now for the property itself. It is located about 300 yards from the South Canyon Rim Road. It consists of about 90 or so 1 story motel type rooms. There are a cluster of rooms facing an inner courtyard with grass and tress which is lovely. Wish we had one of these. There were families on the lawn in the evening with children playing. Charming. The office staff were stoic by helpful. Perhaps they were concerned about the lodge's recent acquisition. Didn't eat in the cafeteria but took a peek for historic purposes. The menu didn't look inspiring but the Navajo Tribal Police were eating there.

We had a lower numbered room facing the street. The room was large. The furniture was minimalist (a TV/chest of drawers, bed, 2 side tables, a table and 2 chairs, No refrig, Yes wifi) and could use an updating but was functional. For location and historic ambiance we were charmed.

Our biggest issue was the sewer smell in our room when we ran the air conditioner. We ran it when we were away to cool the room down and then would open the door and window wide during the day when we were there. At night we left the window open and the AC off. One evening my husband and I took a walk about the property (see above kids playing on the grass) and he picked up the same sewer small on different sides of the building. There was a posted no in the bathroom about the historic plumbing so I am not sure if the smell is related to the plumbing or the AC but it really needs fixing.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CAGardenGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level Contributor
133 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2013

The property is old, but well maintained. The lodge is basically a historic motel. The rooms are what one can expect in an old motel, ceiling fan and wall mounted air conditioning. The bed had a few dips and ruts but was not extremely uncomfortable. Of all the people we met on our visit to Canyon de Chelly, the main attraction of the area, the Lodge staff and those in the trading post were not extremely hospitable. Otherwise everyone else we came into contact in Chinle were extremely friendly. The Navajo, famous for being somewhat reticent, were surprisingly communicative and friendly. The Lodge is in the park and conveniently located to the visitor center.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PalosVerdesAviator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgecrest, California
Level Contributor
135 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2013

The Thunderbird lodge of old is under new management of a Navajo group who have changed the name to Sacred Canyon Lodge. The rooms are spacious, the decor very updated and fresh. No Refrig, but does have free WiFi. Food in the cafeteria good. Jewelry in the gift shop among the best I've seen! People lovely, grounds lovely. Only issue is the old plumbing, but all else is great. They no longer do tours, but the many Navajo who do can pick you up here. Much more delightful that the only other 2 chain motels outside the canyon.

Room Tip: Can park right at the door for most rooms. No bad location...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Janet W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattie B, Admin at Thunderbird Lodge, responded to this review, 21 March 2017
Thank you for the rating and review of your stay at Thunderbird Lodge/Sacred Lodge in Canyon De Chelly.

Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise took over management of the Lodge in January 2016. Since then many improvements and upgrades have been made to the guest rooms as well as the property and surroundings. All guest rooms now are equipped with a Keurig coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, hair dryer, microwave and mini-fridge. All the rooms have new carpet, mattresses, linens and towels. The wifi has been updated, but still may not be as fast as what some people are used to given the remote area. We are so proud of all the changes and improvements we have made. We also are offering All-Day and 4-Hour tours of the Canyon in our 10 passenger Pinzgauer army-troop carrier vehicles. It is the best way to really experience Canyon De Chelly.

Should your journey bring you back to Canyon De Chelly, we hope to welcome you back to Thunderbird Lodge.

All our best,
Thunderbird Lodge Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Thunderbird Lodge

Property: Thunderbird Lodge
Address: Rural Route 7, Chinle, AZ 86503 (Formerly Sacred Canyon Lodge)
Region: United States > Arizona > Chinle
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Chinle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thunderbird Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only accommodations inside Canyon de Chelly National Monument. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Chinle
Thunderbird Lodge Grand Canyon

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