With more than five million visitors each year, Grand Canyon National Park hotels are busy places. Families, nature-lovers, and world-weary travelers all flock to this special place-a place, Theodore Roosevelt once famously declared, that every American should see in their lifetime. Not surprisingly then, crowds (especially during the peak summer season) are not uncommon. Preparation is the key, but Grand Canyon National Park hotels are diverse enough to suit most every taste. Whether you're planning a relaxing solo outing or an activity-packed family expedition, chances are you'll find the perfect place to rest your head at night.
Life on the South Rim
The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Northern Arizona, can be approached either from the south or north. The South Rim, as it is called, is the most popular gateway to the park, and also where most area hotels are located. In fact, most Grand Canyon National Park hotels are clustered along the South Rim entrance in an area referred to as Grand Canyon Village.
Located one mile from the South Rim entrance, the Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express (HWY 64, P.O. BOX 3245 - Grand Canyon, AZ 86023) is a popular choice for families and travelers looking for immediate access to the park. The hotel boasts 164 guest rooms, with High-Speed Internet access available in many rooms. Other amenities include dining, swimming pools etc.
Another Grand Canyon National Park lodge located at the gateway of the park is The Grand Hotel (State Highway 64 PO Box 3319 - Grand Canyon, AZ 86023). This western-style lodge provides guests with a warm, rustic backdrop from which to explore the park.
Rustic Vs. Resort
Whether you prefer rustic to resort (or vice-versa), Grand Canyon National Park Arizona area hotels have something for everyone. For visitors seeking a bit of history, the Grand Canyon National Parks oldest lodges can be found inside the park. Perhaps the most celebrated of the Grand Canyon National Park hotels is El Tovar Lodge (Apache Street and Center Road, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023). This Grand Canyon National Park lodge was built in 1905, but was recently renovated. Big and busy, elegantly furnished yet never stuffy, El Tovar Lodge is legendary for its beauty and history.
Reservations for El Tovar Lodge and other historic Grand Canyon National Park hotels are handled by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, 14001 E. Iliff, Aurora, CO 80014 (tel. 888/297-2757). Again, be warned that reservations for this and other Grand Canyon National Park hotels located inside the park are hard to come by: reservations made up to two years in advance are not unheard of.
Most visitors visit the Grand Canyon National Park and Northern Arizona for the gorgeous, rugged setting, and not particularly the amenities offered by area hotels. Your Grand Canyon National Park lodge will be clean and comfortable, but don't expect the luxuries of resort living. One notable exception, however, is the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn (100 Highway 64 - Grand Canyon, AZ 86023). Billed as the Grand Canyon's only resort hotel, it features restaurants, a full-service beauty shop, fitness center, and sports lounge.
No matter where you stay, don't forget why you came. Explore, wander, enjoy-the Grand Canyon National Park offers wonderful hotel accommodations, set against some of the world's most spectacular vistas. Enjoy the view!