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“Rating this place is besides the point”
Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Reviewed 6 May 2012

This is an old hotel which would get a C if located anywhere but where it is. So don't expect a great room or great food. It is a cash cow for Xanterra and the NPS. But its location could not be better for experiencing the Grand Canyon and it is inexpensive compared to what you would pay if it was run as it would be if it had any competition. So if you can get in, which isn't usually easy, go for it and don't think about the back-breaking bed, tired towels, out of date technology, mediocre food (except the cinnamon roll) and lack of an elevator if you on the third floor as we were. It is worth it, darn it!

Stayed: May 2012
1  Thank Ann D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,918 - 1,922 of 3,022 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2012

The El Tovar is an American classic. It sits on the rim of the Grand Canyon. This property was once home to the famous Harvey girls and has become one of the most famous hotels in America. If it's not on your bucket list - it needs to be.
I am reminded of being in Disneyland when I walk in and that is for good reason, Disney copied a lot of the feel of this hotel for it's Wilderness Lodge or Frontierland. But this is the real deal.
The lobby is dark with lots of animal heads hung on the walls. It has huge leather furniture with roaring fireplaces all ablaze. You feel like you are in the American west - and you are!
The staff is friendly.
Our room had a balcony and was near the front of the hotel. We could see the Grand Canyon just a few feet away when we sat on our balcony. The room was large and bright. It seemed a little dated, but it was very clean. It might be time to flip the furniture to something that felt more in tune with the flavor of the hotel, but I had no complaints.
There were nice little touches like a woman playing the piano at night on one of the landings.
We loved the restaurant. The food here is top notch and very American. Every meal we had at the hotel was great.
The location is tops. The Hopi House is just a few feet away and you are literally on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Things like the park ranger lectures and walks start just a few feet away and the Grand Canyon Railroad lets people off less than a block away from the front door of the hotel.
This will make your Grand Canyon trip special. We did not have one complaint with this wonderful hotel.

Room Tip: Go to the Grand Canyon in the winter months. The room rates at the El Tovar drop and it's much...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2012

Make memories, stay at el tovar! We wanted a special grand canyon experience and el tovar delivers. Your right on the rim. The hotel has a great feeling as you enter. The rooms are small, but we had a view. Expect this in a hotel built in 1905. Bathroom facilities were updated and very clean. Sitting on the porch, you will meet travelers from around the world. All taking the journey to see this amazing place. The el tovar dining room is the best in the area, but we were disappointed with the price and the view, if it's possible request the main dining room, when you make your reservation. Personally, I would go for lunch or breakfast and save the money that dinner cost and support this outstanding grand canyon complex, by becoming a member.

Room Tip: Call the hotel to book your room and not the website. Be careful of a booking service that charges f...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Swellstylew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2012

We booked into El Tovar as we wanted the best location on the South Rim. Certainly, the El Tovar has a prime spot, just 10 yards from the rim. Nothing to fault there.
Our room was a good size and the bathroom was a pleasant blend of modern and traditional. We had a balcony, shared wit the next room, looking over the front of the hotel. It offered a partial view of the canyon.
I think three things slightly disappointed, though.
Firstly, the overall decor of the property. I'm sure it's just a question of personal taste but we would have preferred something lighter and brighter than the dark, heavy wooden hunting lodge styling.
Secondly, the restaurant was a little disappointing - when we actually got in. We tried booking a table at 5pm and the earliest seating we could get was 9:30pm. The meals - billed as the finest dining in the area - were a bit average. Good sized portions but the food was rather uninteresting.
Finally, I was disappointed with the service at breakfast. It was a first for me in many vacations in the States to have to chase a waiter at breakfast for a refill of my coffee. Generally, much less attentive service here than anywhere else we have stayed this year.
GIven a price of almost $300 per night, I'd say the hotel itself was 'good', but not quite special enough. The location may be enough in itself to recommend El Tovar as the place to stay on the South Rim. I suspect it is the best available. However, I'd like to see it try a little more on the finishing touches

Room Tip: We booked months in advance and still couldn't get one of the suites with a proper view of the c...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Leedsboy38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Having a wonderful time in Sedona & was pitched a great dining experience at this Hotel's dining room. A van load of people from our resort went and took this package. Arrived at Hotel and was excited to be there.
Got the waiter from hell. Took long time to take order, slow delivery of food and didn't receive beverages. Two other couples, had different waiters, ordered, ate and out they went.
Asked for a box for leftovers, got someone else's dessert. Never got the bill for a small add on salad. Went to mngr. he turned us back to waiter. Waited another 20 minutes for resolution; none. Went back to mngr., no where to be found, and the hostess turned us back over to waiter Finally with clock ticking and a van driver waiting to pick us up, we never got dessert, drinks or time to explore Grand Canyon Rim the way we had hoped to. Left disappointed and now have the matter pending with our resort's concierge.

Room Tip: Didn't stay at facility just did day trip.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank alice e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanterra, Manager at El Tovar Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2012

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at El Tovar. Feedback left here on TripAdvisor assists us with improving the quality of the products and services we offer at the South Rim.

I was disappointed to read your comments about your charter from Sedona to El Tovar. The feedback I've received from this package has been very good up until now. Needless to say, I was shocked that we failed to deliver during your visit. Please accept my sincere apologies that we completely missed the mark with the level of service we provided that day. The manager on duty should have done far more to ensure your satisfaction. Please rest assured that I will be following-up on this with my staff at El Tovar to ensure a similar situation never happens again.

We hope you will consider returning to the Grand Canyon in the very near future. Should you decide to visit us again, please ask for me so I can guarantee your complete satisfaction.

David Beckerleg
Food and Beverage Director
Grand Canyon South Rim

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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

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: ₹ 13,095 - ₹ 27,559 (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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