Evaluation: El Tovar Resort, Superb Grand Canyon Lodge!

The El Tovar Resort has been on my radar for fairly a very long time.

Located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, that is the place to remain for nationwide park lovers and those that need easy accessibility to the wonders of the Grand Canyon.

I lastly bought to expertise what it was like staying at this historic resort and beneath, I’ll let you know all about it.

Resort Overview

There are a handful of accommodations/lodges that you will discover situated proper on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

These embody:

  • Vivid Angel Lodge
  • Maswik Lodge (1/4 mile from rim)
  • Thunderbird Lodge
  • Kachina Lodge
  • El Tovar Resort

Every of those can supply a distinct sort of room starting from cozy historic items with a shared tub to straightforward lodge rooms with a personal tub and satellite tv for pc TV.

The “crown jewel” of those accommodations is the El Tovar Resort.

That’s principally due to the power to ebook particular suites with nice views and its historical past courting again to its 1905 opening.

The El Tovar was a part of the preliminary wave of “vacation spot resorts” that had been inbuilt newly-accessible areas like Yellowstone and Glacier Nationwide Park.

These had been made attainable by the railroads just like the Santa Fe Railway, which performed a significant position within the creation of the resort.

A former Harvey Home resort, El Tovar additionally has probably the most fascinating and distinctive structure out of any of the properties with a fusion of rustic Western-Swiss themes and southwestern Indian accents.

There’s a purpose it was featured in Nationwide Lampoon’s Trip (1983) and why it was visited by presidents like Theodore Roosevelt.

It’s only a particular place.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon


The El Tovar Resort is residence to 78 rooms and has loads of totally different room varieties together with fairly just a few sorts of suites.

We booked a queen room for $400 per evening together with all taxes and charges (once we booked, we had been required to make a 50% deposit).

I actually wished a set however we didn’t discover availability once we had been looking for rooms a number of months out.

Whereas it could be dear at about $900 per evening, I’d love to remain within the El Tovar Suite, which has an enormous non-public balcony with rim to rim views from the third ground.

You’ll be able to see a number of the balconies within the picture above. I’m fairly certain the views from these can be fairly strong. Nevertheless it’s ridiculously arduous to search out open dates for that suite.

Grand Canyon Sunset rainbow

Location: South Rim of the Grand Canyon

The El Tovar Resort is situated on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which you don’t wish to confuse with the North Rim that’s situated roughly 4 hours away (the place you will discover the Grand Canyon Lodge).

If you wish to get much more particular, the El Tovar Resort is discovered simply ft away from the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village.

In case you’re attempting to take in each little bit of the Grand Canyon that you could, it actually is difficult to beat the situation of the El Tovar Resort.

It’s proper next-door to the Hopi Home, Verkamp’s Customer Heart, and in addition very near the Grand Canyon Rail the place you possibly can board classic rail vehicles in true western fashion.

Discover fascinating items and structure on the historic Hopi Home.

If you wish to enterprise down into the canyon, it’s a brilliant handy place to remain for an early begin on the Vivid Angel Trailhead.

In case you’re feeling actually adventurous you possibly can go for an epic mountaineering journey right down to the river and again however most individuals ought to in all probability accept taking place no farther than Indian Backyard and even the three mile home.

The underside of the Grand Canyon.

And naturally, it’s situated proper on the Rim Path which you’ll absorb both course (east or west) for sweeping views of the canyon.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon

This location signifies that as quickly as you step out of the resort you might be solely steps away from admiring the magnificent views of the canyon.

Whereas the Grand Canyon is fairly superb within the daytime, it actually is one thing particular at dawn and sundown.

It’s not all the time simple to linger round right here throughout twilight hours, so with the ability to principally roll away from bed to admire these views is priceless.

Grand Canyon golden hour

Plus, you by no means know what sort of wildlife may come roaming as much as the property for some early morning grazing.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon elk


We arrived just a little bit previous to the official examine in time however had been capable of get a room at about 1:30pm. In case you’re not capable of get early examine in, you can simply chill out on the patio or go for a stroll alongside the rim. Getting a chew to eat is all the time an possibility, too.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon patio

If you arrive, you’ll make your approach via a dim foyer lounge and the entrance desk space will likely be in your left.

Since we had been visiting in October, the foyer was accented with fall leaves and I’m fairly certain they get into Christmas as properly. They’re fairly festive round right here.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon lobby
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon lobby

There are two issues it’s good to learn about examine in.

The primary is that there’s no assured parking on your car.

We had been visiting on a busy fall day and struggled to search out parking wherever within the neighborhood of the property.

Ultimately, we discovered a spot but it surely was on the Vivid Angel Trailhead.

For that purpose, you may wish to arrive earlier than the afternoon rush and attempt to keep away from transferring your car when you discover a spot.

Fortunately, the shuttle busses can get you nearly wherever you’d wish to go so that you don’t must drive to get to a number of the varied look out factors, trails, and so on.

The second factor to concentrate on is that there aren’t any elevators!

The resort will give you bellman to help together with your baggage so it shouldn’t be an issue for some folks. But when stairs are an issue, ebook a room on the primary stage.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon lobby

The queen room

Our room was on the smaller facet however truthfully I assumed it was a reasonably strong resort room contemplating that is basically a primary room at a historic lodge in a nationwide park.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

It appeared that the “queen” mattress was a bit on the small facet, although.

We measured it out and it got here out to a couple inches underneath the usual dimensions for a queen mattress of 60 inches.

That was a bummer as a result of it made it tough for us two to get snug. So until you assume you’ll be wonderful with a smaller queen, I might undoubtedly attempt to ebook a king or two queens.

However, the mattress was comfortable in a really fluffy sort of approach.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

The room got here together with your normal resort options together with: a telephone, alarm clock, glasses, ice bucket.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

It additionally had a TV with normal satellite tv for pc TV programming.

By the TV, you will discover a room service menu, which provided pizza supply from 4 PM to eight PM. The pizza comes from the Maswik Meals Courtroom, which is situated on the Maswik Lodge a few quarter mile from the rim.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

There was a desk with two sitting chairs the place you can discover the espresso maker.

Retailers weren’t plentiful close to the mattress so we needed to transfer this desk nearer to us in order that we may plug electronics into the lamp’s retailers. (You need to use the alarm clock on the opposite facet of the mattress which has some retailers.)

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

There’s a closet with an iron, iron board, protected, and room on your baggage.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

One factor I used to be anxious about was the Wi-Fi as I had seen reviews of it being fairly spotty.

Nonetheless, I used to be capable of get work carried out with none issues in any respect.

If you wish to do a bunch of downloading or streaming that is perhaps a distinct story however I used to be nonetheless capable of watch YouTube movies for instance.

We additionally had strong cellphone service which made up for any potential shortcomings of the Wi-Fi.

So this was a really totally different expertise from my current lodge expertise in Glacier Bay Nationwide Park the place we had been with out Wi-Fi and cellphone service in our room.

As for the view, we didn’t have a view of the Grand Canyon however as an alternative we regarded out over the car parking zone. There’s additionally a ladder that ran straight exterior the window to the roof which was an fascinating web site.

Sidenote: there’s a again entrance to the resort on this car parking zone which might make it just a little bit simpler to navigate when coming from the car parking zone within the again.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bedroom

The toilet stunned me in an excellent approach with its basic look.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bathroom
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bathroom
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon bathroom


We tried out the totally different eating spots situated each within the resort and within the close by lodges. General, I might say that you could undoubtedly get some high quality meals though not each place was a success.

The primary restaurant we tried was the Fred Harvey Burger, which is situated on the Vivid Angel Lodge. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Fred Harvey Burger

I ordered the Fred Harvey Burger, which got here with fries and a potato bun.

It was a pleasant meal to have after being on the street for six hours however I wouldn’t rank this as probably the greatest burgers on the market.

Take into account that there might be an extended ready time so I might head to make a reservation a few hours previous to your required assembly time.

In our case, the ready time was about one hour.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Fred Harvey Burger

Subsequent, we tried out the Arizona Steakhouse, which was in an attractive venue that provided partial views of the rim wall. It’s additionally situated on the Vivid Angel Lodge.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Arizona steakhouse

It’s nonetheless just a little complicated to me as a result of they don’t have steaks listed on the menu however as an alternative provided one as a particular. Just a bit odd for a steakhouse if you happen to ask me.

The menu additionally options beer and wine picks produced from native artisan brewers and vintners.

Reservations are beneficial right here and we made them for the earliest time out there which was after they opened for lunch. Nonetheless, it regarded like folks with out reservations had been capable of get in with out a difficulty.

I went with one thing mild which was a turkey wrap ($16.50) that I assumed was an ideal fast possibility for lunch.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Arizona steakhouse

Brad tried the New York strip steak ($38), which he loved but it surely was wayyy over cooked for a uncommon steak.

Then, there was the El Tovar Eating Room, which provides wonderful eating.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Dining Room

That is the premier eating venue on the South Rim, the place in addition they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It’s additionally probably the most formal of all the eating locations.

Whereas it seems like it’s good to costume up for dinner from the restaurant’s description, informal costume was accepted simply wonderful throughout our go to.

We loved a very nice dinner throughout our keep. I went with a particular brief ribs dish (~$41) whereas Brad went with the lamb shank ($~37).

The parts had been greater than plentiful, meals very flavorful, and the service was high notch making this a reasonably memorable expertise. I might suggest not passing it up.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Dining Room

To make your expertise even higher it’s best to do two issues.

First, undoubtedly make reservations as far prematurely as you possibly can as a result of all the slots can replenish for each lunch and dinner.

Additionally, if you make a reservation you possibly can request one of many tables with a view of the canyon if that’s the kind of factor you’re into.

Right here’s a take a look at the view:

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Dining Room view

Personally, I might keep away from reserving a reservation throughout sundown so as to take within the views from exterior.

Grand Canyon South rim sunset


Contained in the foyer, you’ll discover a present store and a smaller information stand the place you possibly can choose up snacks and drinks.

There may be undoubtedly no scarcity of present outlets wherever within the Grand Canyon however it’s good having one within the foyer so near your lodging.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon gift shop
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon gift shop
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon gift shop

Right here’s a take a look at the information stand.

El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon newststand

Last phrase

The yr previous to this go to we hiked from the rim to the river and again as much as the rim in at some point which was undoubtedly a memorable and difficult mountaineering expertise.

We had been hoping to do one thing comparable throughout at the present time however sadly life occurred and made that an unrealistic possibility for us.

Regardless of the frustration that got here from that, I actually cherished this keep.

Hanging out on the rim throughout sundown is a very cool vibe and there’s one thing to be mentioned about simply trying off into the huge openness of the canyon that’s arduous to elucidate.

Now that we dwell in Arizona, we attempt to make an annual go to to the canyon and I feel it is a excellent place to remain for such an event.

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