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“Historic Hotel next to one of the wonders of the world”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
153 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Historic Hotel next to one of the wonders of the world”
Reviewed 28 March 2012

To wake up within 50 feet of the Grand Canyon is amazing and allows you to visit the rim at any hour of day. The GC is unbelievable in the day, of course, but don't miss the countless stars at night since there is virtually no light pollution around the canyon. The El Tovar feels like an 1800's European lodge; a fact that drew both Teddy R. and Taft to it. The hotel rooms are small but clean and, if you realize you are staying in a National Historic Landmark, the small rooms allow you to appreciate traveling conditions of the early 1900's. The hotel's restaurant, gift shops, and rooms are very reasonably priced. If you get tired of the El Tovar's menu it is a quick walk to other restaurants. The El Tovar sits more or less in the middle of the bus routes and walking routes so there is easy access to the South Rim.

Room Tip: Spring for the mid priced rooms as they are much bigger than the most inexpensive rooms. Few, if any...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank lowlander46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Great stay at EL Tovar. This is my 3rd time staying at El Tovar and I will be back. Room 6473 on the 3rd floor was small but the window gets a solid view of The Canyon which was a treat. At checkin, the front desk said only certain suites are guaranteed to have views but room 6473 was great.

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
Thank wwwstudyofmakeupcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

The El Tovar is located right on the rim of the canyon. You can't beat the location. However, the hotel itself is average at best. Floors were squeaky and not level. You are paying for location and that's it.

The main restaurant at the hotel is pretty good but make reservations well in advance.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank SM-HTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
126 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

So glad I heeded the advice of other travelers who shared that the El Tovar is THE best place to stay in the Grand Canyon. It is right at the South Rim. The hotel is nostalgic and provded a very nice stay. One of the best things--besides the extraordinary location--was David at the Travel/Reservations (not sure exactly what it was called) desk at the hotel. We (my husand and I) had only one full day to spend at the Canyon and David quickly picked up that we were a bit lost at trying to decide the best way of using our day. He suggested certain highlights and mapped them out for us. We followed them to a "T" and had the most wonderful day. What an asset he is to the El Tovar! Because of David, and of course, God's "artwork," we had the most wonderful experience. Thank you, David.

Room Tip: I would guess that the suites with the canyon view would be the best--but difficult to reserve unles...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Leavita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

A well-preserved historic hotel, right on a spectacular part of the Grand Canyon. Building and lobby are fun to walk through and really preserve the old-time tourism experience.

Food in the El Tovar restaurant was very good, and service very pleasant and attentive.

But -- the hotel part was a disappointment. Rooms are nice but small, and many have no or very limited view of the Canyon. Hallway was dark, hard to see the key slot. First-floor hallway is a major tourist thoroughfare, very noisy. Worse, there's no mention that there is no elevator for other floors, just lots of stairs and dim halls. Very difficult for a sister with a foot injury and for an older member of our family. Even in a historic setting, I would have expected better notification that the facility's accessibility was very limited.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LJMJonthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanterra, Manager at El Tovar Hotel, responded to this review, 3 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback on El Tovar on TripAdvisor. Your comments are critical to assisting us with improving the products and services we offer here at the South Rim.

There have been many changes to El Tovar over the years. When El Tovar opened in 1905 there were 100 guest rooms, a music room, a solarium and two roof-top gardens. Many of the structural changes occurred in the 1950s and 60s. This is when staircases were added to the interior of the building at the north and south side, bathrooms were added to every room (not one per wing), etc.

When the hotel was built, it was designed with a north-to-south direction as they felt guests would get out and enjoy the canyon more, so yes, there are very few rooms with a view of the canyon - especially a panoramic view. Had the hotel been built with an east-to-west orientation, more rooms would have a view.

There are very small rooms and some rooms that are quite large, but every room has a bathroom and the total number of rooms at El Tovar has gone from 100 to 78. Little changes can be done to the hotel now that it is on the National Historic Register. There will never be an elevator, but we do offer bell service and if someone has problems with stairs, we make every effort to get them on the first floor.

Unfortunately, there is no natural light that comes into the hotel hallways. To help correct this, small chandeliers with more lights were added during a 2005 remodel of El Tovar.

There are only two main entrances to the hotel: The front entrance on the drive up circle and the entrance along the rim path on the north side of the building, so the north hallway on the first floor does get a lot of foot traffic.

Thank you again for providing your feedback. I hope your recent experiences do not prevent you from returning to the South Rim and re-experiencing El Tovar, or any of our other in-park lodges.

Mike Harding
Rooms Director
Grand Canyon South Rim
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 El Tovar Hotel

Property: El Tovar Hotel
Address: Apache Street and Center 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 (per night): ₹ 25,449 - ₹ 30,035
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Tovar Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
Reservation Options:
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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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