If you're going to the Grand Canyon, treat yourself to even just one night at. El Tovar Hotel
El Tovar is quite simply the crème de la crème of the canyon’s accommodation inside the Grand Canyon National Park itself (known as the village).
Understandably it is therefore in huge demand so you need to book at least a year before you visit, especially if you want a room with a view.
If you can, book the El Tovar, Fred Harvey, Presidential or Mary Colter Suites, because they are the only accommodation in the South Rim with the spectacular view into the canyon and your own deck to appreciate it from.
Now a registered National Historic Landmark, the hotel is over 100 years old and was designed in the style of a Norwegian Hunting Lodge. The dining room is open to non-residents as well as in-house guests and has large picture windows overlooking the canyon (bookings are essential).
It is reminiscent of a Swiss hunting lodge
At over 1.6 kilometers deep and in places up to 32 kms wide, the scale of the Grand Canyon is hard to comprehend. And the rim is literally just a few steps from El Tovar Hotel.
Looking back at El Tovar from the rim walk
It's very romantic (in a nostalgic way) to imagine the hotel and its visitors 100 years ago. The hotel has some amazing black and white photos and stories of the old days, of the pioneers and intrepid explorers who travelled for days to get to El Tovar, then set off into the canyon, never to be seen again.
Once described as “the most expensively constructed and appointed log house in America,” El Tovar Hotel cost $250,000 to construct and was considered by many to be the most elegant hotel west of the Mississippi. Electric lights were powered by the hotel’s own coal-fired generator. It was so far from anywhere, it had to be as self sufficient as possible - so had its own greenhouse for fresh fruit and vegetables and a chicken house to supply fresh eggs for guests Even fresh milk was available thanks to the hotel’s own dairy herd. Inside El Tovar were a barbershop, amusement room, club room, solarium, art and music rooms - guest wanted for nothing - it was considered very luxurious.