USPL Reviews Provided by
Thunderbird Lodge
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 929 reviews
Great location on the rim
User: joaniemaria from: Eldridge, Iowa
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Oct, 14, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 5
We loved this location right on the south rim. Room was clean and comfortable. Checkin is at Bright Angel Lodge next door. TV reception is spotty. For WiFi you will need to go to Bright Angel lodge lobby to access. Parking can be challenging. You may want to ride the shuttle, once you park your vehicle. I suggest booking a room if you can find an available one. The location is close to all the south rim village area offers. You can walk to everything. If you want to hike the Bright Angel Trail, this is a convenient location. Shops, restaurants close by. It is also quiet and cozy.

Great Location, Average Accommodation
User: grady18 from: New York City
Published Date: Oct, 7, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
We stayed here two nights in Sept. 2019 that we were able to book on very short notice (yay)! The view from our room was incredible - right on the canyon rim. The room is a basic hotel room, a little worn in places. But the convenience of staying in the Park is worth the extra money. There is no Wi-Fi in the rooms and I could not log in to Wi-Fi even in the computer lounge in the building. Parking is very difficult. Best to come right after check-out time and leave your car for the day, until you can check in. When we arrived at check-in time, the entire area was clogged with tour buses. A mess. We dined two nights at El Tovar. That was great. El Tovar has a lovely cocktail lounge that serves pub fare and a formal dining room. Our meals were excellent.
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A nice room with a GREAT View!
User: Fudman from: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Published Date: Oct, 2, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
Stayed here after completing our backpack trip into the Canyon. We were lucky to get a canyon side room with a great view! Location, location, LOCATION! The room itself was nothing special and the price was a little on the high side but all things considered, worth it. You don't stay canyon side to save money!.
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Awesome Park Lodge
User: Adventurers11805 from: Charlotte, North Carolina
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Sep, 27, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 5
The Thunderbird is the closest hotel to the rim. Our picture window was only 40 ft from rim. The 1st morning we saw a deer at sunrise right in front of our window. We saw sunrise each morning from our window on 1st floor. This hotel is quiet, clean & recently renovated with southwest colors, carpets & art. It’s a 1960s style building so there’s nothing fancy but you can’t beat its location literally on the rim. Next store is Bright Angel lodge which has 2 restaurants & snack bar where we bought coffee, tea & bagels at sunrise which is awesome to see over the GC. We found a parking space behind the lodge and did not drive car for 3 days because the bus system is all you need. No restaurants in this hotel which is fine because we had a quiet atmosphere. We’d stay here again. Get a room with a view, doesn’t matter which floor.

5 Stars for Location, 2 or 3 stars for room
User: Lawrence O from: Portland, Oregon, United States
Published Date: Sep, 18, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
I've stayed here once before almost 20 years ago and I think this is the best place for the money if you don't want to spend 400-500 bucks a night at El Tovar. I actually found 3 days available about 7 months ago and planned our entire 14 day road trip around this stay (see my other reviews for more). We had a 2nd floor room which looked out over the roof of the first floor but had excellent views of the canyon. Two queen beds, micro, fridge and it was comfortable. What you're paying for is the location! You check in at Bright Angel Lodge (it says that right on your email reservation confirmation) and here is a procedure that will work best for you. I recommend parking in the registration area on the right just before you get to the front entrance (15 minutes), go in, register, call the bell service and he'll help you with your bags. Our room was upstairs so there was no elevator. By the time you're able to move your car and find a parking place, your bags will be in your room. Did I mention parking is a nightmare? Tip: Ask bellman about the "short loop" to look for a parking place so you don't have to do the 10 minute loop. If you don't find a close parking space, go out and check later at night after the sun goes down. Okay, on to the room. First thing you do if you want to use your fridge is open the door, get down on one knee and reach to the very back to feel for ice. If you feel ice along the back wall, you need to break it off or your fridge may not work like ours didn't. On the outside, upper right corner is the on/off switch and control. Make sure it's on and set to cool if you want it to work right.Not knowing this, I called the desk to tell them our fridge wasn't working and they sent someone up within 15 minutes to check it out. Lighting in the room was poor but outside on the walkway, it was downright miserable. The A/C was so loud, we'd turn it off at night and open the window. That worked great until we opened the door for a cross breeze only to find out someone was standing right outside our door smoking and it drew it all in the room and just made things worse. Worst part was that when I opened the door and looked outside, I couldn't even see this person 6 feet away because there were no lights on outside. Some time during the night, the dim porch lights came on, although not all of them. So you're staying on the rim. Take advantage of it and get up before it starts getting light. Go and walk the trail up and down to find a dark spot to check out the stars. Now that you're up, you might as well walk around some more down the road where the shuttle buses go to see some early morning wildlife. We saw some elk, big horned sheep and deer all within about 50 feet of each other one morning. Our room was an easy walk to El Tovar where we hung out on the porch because there's not many benches to take advantage of other than the rock wall. Arizona Room was 100 feet away as were the other places at Bright Angel Lodge. Time your activities so they don't take place the same time the buses are there or you'll be fighting crowds more than usual. We did 2 tours during our 3 days here and I highly recommend both: The bicycle tour and the sunrise photo tour) See my separate reviews.
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