Grand Canyon South Rim El Tovar Hotel

Maximize Your Visit: Grand Canyon Itinerary and Imagery

by and - last updated on 6/12/2024

El Tovar Review and Information 

Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
El Tovar Entrance
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Main Lobby
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Lobby View of Front Entrance
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Front Lobby
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Lobby & Front Entrance
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Front Porch Rocking Chairs
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Front Porch
Looking for the best way to explore the Grand Canyon? Our itineraries for the south rim cover must-see sights, activities, and tips for an amazing adventure
Hopi House view from El Tovar

Staying here felt like a step back in time! The hotel is almost on the very rim of the Grand Canyon. This historic landmark offers breathtaking canyon views from its grand lobby windows and many guest rooms. Imagine waking up to the sunrise illuminating the vast expanse of the canyon right outside your window.

The El Tovar Hotel was designed by the Chicago architect Charles Whittlesey, the hotel took inspiration from Swiss chalets and Norwegian villas, a style considered elegant and sophisticated at the time. Construction was completed in 1905, making El Tovar one of the first luxury hotels built within a national park.

The hotel has played host to numerous dignitaries and celebrities throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, including Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Zane Grey, Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Oprah Winfrey.

NOTE: The El Tovar has one of those old-time large front porches with comfortable rocking chairs spread out across the front and side of the hotel building. This is a very comfortable area, you are in the shade, with a good view of the South Rim Trail, etc. We wound up waiting here for a short period of time until our hotel room was ready.

Our Experience with the El Tovar Hotel

  • Overall Impression: Hotel staff were friendly and quick to assist. We arrived somewhat early and asked if we could get into the room early and they took care of us.
  • Accessibility: The public bathrooms are downstairs and there was no elevator. The website describes that they have two main floor rooms that are accessible. The entrance has a side-ramp to the front porch and the dining room was wheelchair accessible. You should note that there is no elevator in this hotel, so getting your suitcases up to your room via stairs is a bit of an exercise.
  • Eateries: We did not eat in the dining room, as it appeared as though it had a dress code and we were not prepared. Reviews we've read described the food as good.
  • El Tovar Cocktail Lounge: We ate dinner here, the food was good, but for whatever reason, our orders took a very long time and it wasn't until I asked a waiter why the food was taking so long that our order was finally delivered to our table. Once the food got to our table, it turned out to be pretty good, They had a decent beer & wine selection, and the views of the canyon were very good.
  • Parking: There is no "hotel parking only" and we were fortunate that we arrived early (8:45 am) and we got a good parking spot next to the hotel. We saw people trolling that parking area throughout the day, so word to the wise - get there early or you will have to park and hike back to the hotel.
  • Rooms: Good sized and somewhat rustic. If you are looking for a five star accommodation, you will not find it at a National Park. The bathroom was adequate size, the hot water was good and the A/C and heater worked properly. You should note that almost all of the rooms have no view of the canyon. Yes there are several suites that have a large balcony and a great view, but this hotel is already somewhat pricey and the extra money for the view isn't as good as just walking over to the rim and seeing the amazing views there for free.
  • Amenities: There is no pool or gym or game room and again you have to remember that you are in a National Park hotel and you are just a few steps away from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you go up the stairs from the lobby to the first landing, you will find a nice sitting area with a fireplace and plenty of seating. This could be a good place for a family card game or maybe board games.

More Just Traveling Thru Resources  

  • Our Grand Canyon Image Gallery
  • Our Grand Canyon Video
  • Our Grand Canyon El Tovar Hotel Page
  • Top Sites in the Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon South Rim Itineraries
  • Fly Drive Road Trip Tips
  • Our Youtube Channel

More Info for the Grand Canyon, AZ 

  • Grand Canyon Wikipedia Article
  • Grand Canyon National Park Service Page
  • Grand Canyon Google Images Set:
  • Get Your Guide Grand Canyon Tour from South Rim:
  • Our El Tovar Hotel Image Gallery:
  • Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
  • Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours
 
 

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