Located on the southern rim, El Tovar is undoubtedly the best accommodation option at the Grand Canyon.
Activity adventure | History & culture | Natural world
The only feature to rival the building itself is its location directly on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. This means you can beat the crowds in the morning and, come the evening, you can watch the sun set over what is one of the world’s most spectacular sights. There’s also a southern rim trail that starts practically on the hotel’s doorstep.
Opening its doors in 1905, El Tovar was the architectural brainchild of Charles Whittlesey, chief designer for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railways. Constructed out of local limestone and Oregon pine, it was designed to appeal to the contemporaneous taste for European refinement and cost a staggering quarter of a million dollars to build. Due to its historic nature, none of the 78 rooms are alike. For example, the Zane Grey Suite features a sitting room and balcony decorated with art, specific to the author.
El Tovar’s historic Dining Room, again constructed out of local stone and Oregon pine, is decorated in murals that reflect the customs of Native American Tribes. It serves a traditional menu, integrating both local and southern influences. It will come at no surprise that the signature dish is prime rib. Guests such as President Bill Clinton, Teddy Roosevelt, and Sir Paul McCartney have all dined here, possibly enjoying the breakfast hash or the salmon tostada at dinner.
Designed to fully realise its place in American hotel history, El Tovar offers its guests a full bell service. To complement this, an in-room dining service is available along with a lobby concierge, all too happy to recommend anything from day walks to helicopter tours. After a canyon hike, relax in the hotel’s bar and lounge area while the complimentary high speed WiFi brings El Tovar back to the 21st Century.
Stay here on these holidays
This unforgettable itinerary will see you discover the awe-inspiring landscapes of Arizona as you self-drive emblematic desert highways to reach the likes of Monument Valley, Sedona and the spectacular Grand Canyon.
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