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“The Presidential Suite Will Literally Blow Your Mind!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Presidential Suite Will Literally Blow Your Mind!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

Wouldn't recommend staying anywhere else! The location is just perfect! And the lodge itself is incredibly charming and rustic! My husband (fiance at the time) surprised me with the Presidential Suite (thanks to the unbelievably gracious staff)!!! The minute you walk out onto the oversized massive balcony, the view of the canyon literally knocks the wind out of you. It feels like you're floating! It's completely worth the experience and something not to miss! We woke up for sunrises and certainly didn't miss the sunsets! Completely magical!

Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank fdastvar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,837 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
85 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

As others have mentioned, key benefit is location, location, location. Our room was clean and quite modest, possibly the smallest in the hotel with a great view of the parking lot. Loved the period bathroom. A.C. was kinda sticky to operate and we needed to open windows to cool off at night. Meals were outstanding and service great.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeff A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

We loved our stay at El Tovar. It is well maintained for an old facility, still retains lots of its original charm and is in the perfect location for viewing and touring the Canyon. The beautiful dining room has a delicious, varied menu. My only complaint was that the only room we could get had one double bed. Book early!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sobemom319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

My wife and I booked the El Tovar hotel from August 5-8th. After leaving a wedding in San Diego we made the quick flight into Phoenix, grabbed our rental car, and made the very nice 4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon and the El Tovar hotel. From all the previous reviews I read I knew parking was going to be at a premium so I wasn't expecting to find parking anywhere close to the hotel. We arrived just after sunset, and to my surprise we were able to find a parking space in the first row. Pure luck I am sure, but I wasn't going to tempt fate...I told my wife that we were either walking or taking the shuttle anywhere else we went during our stay.
As we walked to the hotel we saw an Elk eating his dinner directly in front of the hotel. We took a picture 20 feet from it. Upon walking into the hotel, I felt that we were taking a step back in history. The decor, and feel just takes you back....check in was a breeze, and management was helpful, nice, and professional. Our room was located on the second floor. ***This is a historic hotel so there are no elevators, so you have to carry your luggage.*** This was not a big deal to us, and it was a short trip to our room. The room was on the small size for a modern day hotel room, however, as I previously stated, this is a historic hotel, so its to be expected. To be honest, we did not spend much time in the room except to sleep and shower, so we were quite comfortable. The room was clean, smelled fresh, the bed was comfortable, and the air conditioner cooled the room down quickly. While the bathroom is clean, there is a lack of counter space. No big deal to us at all, but worth mentioning for a review.
My wife and I do not like being tied to a schedule while on vacation so we never made a reservation for the dining room in El Tovar. The first night we were there we walked down to the Arizona Room which is located in the Bright Angel Lodge. The Arizona Room has a small, but friendly bar when you first enter, and the dining room is first come first serve. While waiting for our table we met Ray, the bartender. What an awesome individual he was. Professional, knowledgeable, and overall friendly. Over the course of our three day trip, we visiting Ray everyday either in the bar or the restaurant. On the first and third night we enjoyed dinner in the Arizona Room. The food was great, atmosphere excellent, and I left knowing that I just enjoyed a great meal. On the last night, Ray was our waiter, and wouldn't you know it, he remembered exactly what we were drinking and brought us our drinks without ever having to ask. I would highly recommend the Arizona Room.
The next morning we decided to try to El Tovar dining room for a late breakfast. Our waiter was excellent, I wish I remembered his name. He was professional, friendly, and provided us with a unique history lesson on the property. ***Note to reviewers if you eat breakfast here...you can request half portions, which are cheaper and MORE than enough to fill you up.*** We ate breakfast here all three mornings, all ordering half portions. The food was excellent. We have never had such a delicious breakfast, anywhere.....
We ended up spending both days there hiking, I would suggest the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab trail. Remember it's a lot easier going down then up! Bring plenty of water, and sunscreen. Another suggestion that I wish I would have known, but not one review I read stated it....bring bug spray. For whatever reason the bugs, which I describe as biting nats, were in full force on the South Kaibab trail. I spoke with a park ranger and she told me that the bugs are never this bad, so maybe it was a freak thing....regardless I wanted to mention it....
Okay...our only true disappointment of the trip was our second dinner. Located in the Bright Angel Lodge, but not the same as the Arizona Room, was the Bright Angel Restaurant. I would relate this restaurant to a Denny's quality type. While ordering an appetizer, I asked the waiter if I could have a caesar salad with dinner instead of the house salad. The waiter actually argued with me over why I wanted a caesar salad. Then it became clear he had no idea what a caesar salad was. I order the trout, which itself was good. However, it came with sides of rice and vegetables. They left much to be desired. The fact that I say they tasted bland is a compliment. And, if I haven't said it enough yet, the waiter left much to be desired. Not professional, acted like he did not care, and was not knowledge about the basic restaurant items.
I will say that during the course of our last dinner in the Arizona room we spoke with the manager who actually manages both restaurants. He was very polite and professional and really listened to what we had to say.
Even though this review is about El Tovar I wanted to list everything we did so that if you are thinking about coming to the Grand Canyon you could get a feel for whats around.
We woke up every morning at 515 for the sunrise, only on the last morning did we actually see it. The previous two mornings it was overcast. However, every morning you can see many Elk eating breakfast right outside the hotel.
So in summary....reviews are right, parking is terrible, however, I was a lucky one! Remember there are no elevators.
If you are looking for a modern day hotel with all the bells and whistles this place is NOT for you. But if you want to experience history, beauty, nature this place is for you. We will without a doubt go back to this place. We loved it!
Also, highly recommend taking a shuttle anywhere in the Grand Canyon National park. They are fast, efficient, and abundant.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank James A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North East England
Level Contributor
132 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2013 via mobile

The location of this hotel is undoubtedly its strength. It was lovely to see the Grand Canyon before the rush of tourists arrived for the day and after they had gone. The rooms are old and traditional and because of that are small in size. We upgraded to a deluxe room, which was very comfortable but certainly not large. Wile we were there the restaurant was packed every evening and I found it very cold as the air con was turned up so much. The food was good, although not exceptional. Service was also good but not very personal (We were staying for our 20th wedding anniversary and I had told the hotel and requested a 'romantic' table in the restaurant that evening - they did give us quite a good table but no one even acknowledged that it was a special evening for us, this would have cost them nothing but meant a lot to us.
Worth staying for the experience of this old hotel so close to the rim but don't expect luxury!

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Diana014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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): $285 - $576
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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