USPL Reviews Provided by
El Tovar Hotel
997cindyh from: Fletcher
Published Date: May, 10, 2021 Travel Date: May, 1, 2021 Rating: 2
Save your money and stay elsewhere! Great Views, not so great property.
I'll start with the pros first. The location cannot be beat! Employee Jonathan went beyond his call of duty to try to rectify all of our issues. The food we had at dinner was good and our waiter was very sweet. Other than that, El Tovar is not what you expect for the price and comfort. This trip was mostly for my 74 year old mother as a life long planned vacation. After postponing two times due to covid, we finally were able to go in May 2021. When we arrived we were put in a room with a king bed, instead of the 2 queens we requested. The air conditioning did not work and the TV faced the wall in front of the bed instead of us. The furniture is old and dated, our ice bucket was missing pieces. Not good. After Mom explained she must have air due to asthma, they magically found that 2 queen bed with working air. Most of the employees act like they don't want to be there and are short with you and not welcoming at all. Parking is next to non existent due to the fact of visitors to the rim hogging all of the spaces. This is poorly planned and managed property. It may have history and views on it's side, but that is pretty much it. Too bad, there is so much potential.
bartw275 from: Pasadena, California
Published Date: May, 6, 2021 Travel Date: May, 1, 2021 Rating: 3
Great location but... that’s all
Yes it’s the GRAND Canyon (6million years old) and El Tovar is over a 100 - I get it
But this is not a “luxury “ hotel
Dark and dreary, plumbing could be generously described as “vintage” and yes there is COVID but no one to help carry bags up several flights of stairs ( no elevator) and overall mediocre service except the professional restaurant wait staff. Btw, the only restaurant, make reservations in advance cause there isn’t much else in the village, has an ambitious menu but blah execution.
So come for the great location but don’t call it “luxury” Maybe the parks service will give Marriott or Hyatt a chance and they can upgrade it to the “Grand “ it deserves
- Rooms: 2
- Sleep Quality: 2
- Service: 3
PaulBeve from: Ridgeway, South Carolina
Published Date: Apr, 27, 2021 Travel Date: Apr, 1, 2021 Rating: 3
You cannot beat the location of the El Tovar. There is nothing like walking out the entrance and being at the South Rim.
The lobby is gorgeous. Love it. The staff that we dealt with were fine. Due to COVID you do not get maid service. I am OK with that. Would rather not have someone in my room everyday. I got enough coffee packets to get me thru my stay at the lobby desk. Maid cart was out during the day and could grab extra toilet paper, kleenex and other items if needed.
The park at this time is not functioning 100%. Not all the restaurants are open. For El Tovar restaurant lunch and dinner are reservation only. You can make reservations up to 30 days in advance. I did know this beforehand so we never got in for Lunch or Dinner. We did get in for breakfast. Get in line at 6:45am. Line may get long but they get people in quickly. By the time we left there was no one in line or waiting. We came out once a little after 7 and the line was out the door. We went to McDonald's and by the time we got back, 7:30-7:45 there was not line. We were happy for the experience of eating at least in the restaurant for breakfast. All the wait staff we had were good.
Parking can be an issue. I did notice a couple times that tourist vans were using the parking lot. That needs to be stopped. They can drop their passengers off and go elsewhere to park. Say something about parking to the Bell Hop and he will probably share info on a "secret" area to park. Between the secret area and the normal parking area, we also found a spot. Later in the day after the Bell Hop gave us them info we slipped him some cash, it was well worth it. I am not going to share where the area is here as I think the info should only go to those staying at El Tovar, so ask.)
The rooms need serious refreshing. On the plus side, the mattress was very good and we had no pain after a good nights sleep. The quality of the rest of the furniture was no better than a Travel Lodge. The bed skirt had threads hanging from it all the way around the bed. Our room only had one comfy chair and one office chair. It needs 2 comfy chairs and a little table, or a love seat and a table. I imagine when a room is occupied that there are 2 people in there most the time. An office chair doesn't work for a relaxing sit. I thought the bathroom was fine.
I really liked the lobby area, but when the restaurant is open it is usually packed with people not staying at El Tovar. They need to work on a way to get non El Tovar people get in a different way. We El Tovar people are paying a lot of money and the lobby is take over by non El Tovar people. So basically, we never enjoyed the lobby as it was always crowded.
You pay a lot of money to stay here and for the money the rooms need to seriously updated to make the money worthwhile. They need to find another way to get non El Tovar people into the restaurant so the El Tovar guest can enjoy their lodge that they paid a lot of money for.
At this point I don't think I would stay here again.
- Rooms: 3
- Location: 5
- Service: 5
rageisman from: Saint Louis, Missouri
Published Date: Apr, 21, 2021 Travel Date: Apr, 1, 2021 Rating: 4
Beautiful but overpriced
Even for a national park lodge this is overpriced for what you get. On the plus side, the location is so convenient to beautiful views from the rim--but neither side has views of the canyon itself. Either you face the parking lot or the staff quarters. Our room was fine and we had actual cell phone service and working wifi which is so unusual in a national park. Bed was quite comfortable and there were 2 upholstered chairs and a small table so that we could comfortably eat in the room. On the down side, there was a significant line to check in outside and there are no parking spots reserved for hotel guests which I have never heard of at this price point. Also for all restaurant meals including breakfast if you do not have a reservation there is a huge line to wait in, not something we do in Covid times. You can order carry out to eat in your room which avoids this line which is good. The food choices were limited with carryout but surprisingly tasty. This was a bucket list stay for us, but we cancelled the second night as we just could not justify the cost for what you received
- Value: 1
- Cleanliness: 4
- Service: 4
thejoyciecat from: Santa Cruz, California
Published Date: Apr, 20, 2021 Travel Date: Apr, 1, 2021 Rating: 3
Zane Gray Suite at El Tovar
Our trip to the Grand Canyon started with a stay at the Thunderbird (like staying at a motel but twice the price), then the mule ride down to the Phantom Ranch (where we stayed in a basic cabin) and finally a splurge with a night at El Tovar in the Zane Gray suite.
The Zane Gray is spacious and bright. There is a separate narrow living room with a small balcony overlooking the driveway and a view of the canyon. The balcony was amazing to have, to sit in peace and have a coffee, but there's only one chair and table, so only one of us could sit there at a time.
The room was clean except the couch and the chair in the living room looked like it came out of a dirty frat house. Cracked leather seats on the couch and the upholstery on the chair is in desperate need of a cleaning. Do they have some historical significance that they must be kept in the room? Did Zane Gray himself sit on the couch while doing the New York Times Sunday Crossword? Seriously El Tovar, invest in a new couch.
By the way, this suite is on the 3rd floor, with no elevator. Drag your suitcases up accordingly. And good luck finding parking.
My main disappointment wasn't with the accommodations but with an attendant at the line to get into the hotel. My husband and kids went to get a snack so I went to check in by myself. I stood in the line to get into the hotel (which I found out later is for tourists who want to look around/go to the gift shop). A man walked up to the attendant at the door and said he was checking into the hotel so the attendant promptly let him in. Seeing this, I got out of line and told the attendant that I too was checking into the hotel. I expected to also be let in promptly, but instead, the attendant started questioning me. "Checking in where? The restaurant? Do you have a reservation?" "I'm checking into the hotel." "Which hotel, the Kachina?" "No, this one, I have a suite." The attendant paused, as if he didn't believe me, then let me in. Being a female person of color, this exchange certainly reeked of gender/racial bias, and it never feels nice, especially after spending over six hundred dollars on a hotel room for one night. Of course this would happen at one of America's great national parks. However, I moved on and checked in.
Thinking about it, I wish I could say nicer things about our stay at this hotel, because there really was so much potential, my kids liked the room and I enjoyed sitting on the balcony. Even the restaurant was "meh" and I wrote a separate review on that. So I'll just end this with a God Bless America and I hope your stay is better than mine.
- Rooms: 3
- Cleanliness: 3
- Service: 2