10 Best Places to Stay at or Near the Grand Canyon
By Steve Larese
Visiting Grand Canyon National Park doesn’t mean you have to rough it after a hard day of exploring. From the luxury of El Tovar just meters from the rim, to the coziness of a bed and breakfast nestled in the stunning red rocks of Sedona, the area has plenty of accommodations to fit your comfort level and budget. Opened in 1905, El Tovar is a must-stop at the canyon even if you’re not staying there. Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Paul McCartney and others have enjoyed its elegant rooms and massive stone fireplaces. Tour the lobby and enjoy the bar or restaurant that affords breathtaking sunset views of the Canyon. Near the trailhead of Bright Angel Trail, Bright Angel Lodge is also a historic, stylish property with million-dollar views. For families and groups who just need a good room at a good price, Yavapai, Thunderbird and Maswik lodges fit the bill, and ofter cafeteria-style dining. In historic Williams, an hour south of the Grand Canyon, consider taking the Grand Canyon Railroad into the park and stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams is right on historic Route 66. Two hours from the park in Sedona, Enchantment Resort is a four-star property that caters to every whim amid the stunning beauty of Sedona’s red rock landscape.
10 Grand Canyon Hotel
A Williams, Arizona landmark, the Grand Canyon Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in the state of Arizona. Rooms are small and unconventional, but cozy and comfy, and the staff is more than helpful. A charming trip to yesteryear. (No elevators!)
9 Adobe Village Graham Inn
This Sedona B&B features 15 rooms and villas, lush gardens, fountains, private patios and balconies and promotes hiking and mountain biking in the nearby Red Rocks on trails near the property. Adobe Village Graham Inn offers 25-percent discounts for last-minute reservations made day-of or next day, providing that a room is available. Guest must call the property (no walk-ins or on-line reservations) to qualify for the discount. During the summer, 20-percent discounts are offered. Call for dates and details.
8 Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast
This Williams, Arizona bed and breakfast touts itself as a "rustic wild west bed and breakfast with a woman's touch." Its four rooms are a fun mix of rustic wooden furniture with Southwest accents. The El Tovar is a single room with private bath. Hogan Hozoni and Hacienda are two-room suites with a shared bath, good for families. Cañon Grande features a copper and wood bed, fireplace, leather chairs and private bath, good for couples. A full breakfast is served every morning. In addition to the Grand Canyon an hour away, the property can arrange other tours of the area, including horseback riding and helicopter tours.
7 Enchantment Resort
This Sedona, Arizona luxury resort is not for the budget-minded but if you want to day trip from the most luxurious digs in northern Arizona, this would be prime. Situation among SEdona's famous red rocks, Enchantment promises and delivers four-star accommodations and dining. The Mii Amo Spa on site is a full-service spa that offers an extensive menu of massages, skin care services, mother-to-be treatments, signature Red Rock treatments conducted in a wickiup outdoors. The Che-Ah-Chi and Tii Gavo restaurants tout the wine bar and "intelligent cuisine."
6 Thunderbird Lodge Grand Canyon
Thunderbird is located near the Grand Canyon rim between El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge. Half of the 55 rooms here have views of the canyon; be sure to ask for one when making reservations. Rooms have two queen beds or one king bed that are triple sheeted, in-room coffee, refrigerator, safe, television, telephone, and full bath. There are two rooms, with roll-in showers, designed for guests with physical disabilities. There's no on-site restaurant, but it's a quick walk to El Tovar or Bright Angel.
5 Maswik Lodge
Modern styled, this lodge is a quarter mile from the South Rim and has a cafeteria that's open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Rustic cabins are available during the summer. Maswik South rooms are motel-style rooms with two queen beds, a full bath, telephone, and television. Room sizes vary somewhat between the north and south sections of the lodge. North section rooms are more spacious than those in the south section and feature in-room coffee, refrigerator, air conditioning, safe, cable TV, telephone, and two queen-size beds or one king-size bed with triple sheeting. Maswik is a good choice for budget-minded families that don't mind a short stroll to the canyon. Its sports bar serves pizza, beer and wine.
4 Yavapai Lodge
Surrounded by forest, the Yavapai is a half-mile walk from the rim and a half-mile from the park visitor center. It features a cafeteria, gift shop, and a transportion/activites desk. While Yavapai is not right on the rim, it's only a short walk, and the rates here tend to be among the least expensive in the park. This is a good choice for families who don't mind a stroll in the woods. Elk are often seen bedding down at night along the trail; their eyes glow green.
3 Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
This Williams, Arizona hotel is sited directly adjacent to the Grand Canyon Railway and celebrates the train departure each morning. It makes a great home base for day trips to the canyon, and affords easy exploration of charming Williams by foot each evening. The restaurant serves a great breakfast buffet daily and pizzas at night, and the bar has a great selection of Arizona wines.
2 Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins
Built in 1935, this property is on the National Register of Historic Places. Located just feet from the canyon's edge, this is where you check in for the Grand Canyon mule rides. During the summer there's an old-fashioned soda fountain, and the Arizona Room features Southwest cuisine. The Bright Angel trail that leads into the canyon also starts near here. This is a good pick for families.
1 El Tovar Hotel
The grande dame of hotels here, this former Harvey Hotel sits just 20 feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon. Opened in 1905, it's now on the National Register of Historic Places.It fine-dining restaurant offers the most diverse menu in the area, and the bar is a favorite evening respite to enjoy a sundown drink. Even if you're not staying at El Tovar, visitors are welcome to view its elegant, lodge-style lobby where Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Paul McCartney and others have passed on their way to any of El Tovar's 78 rooms and suites.
About Steve Larese
10Best.com Travel Expert Steve Larese tackles adventure worldwide, from being one of the first people to careen down the world's tallest waterslide to exploring haunted castles-turned posh resorts. Check out his latest book, Balloons Over Albuquerque, and his other projects here. When Larese isn't exploring for 10Best.com, he's writing for National Geographic Traveler, American Way, USA Today Travel and other national travel publications.
Read more about Steve Larese here.