Grand Canyon lodging, particularly that of Grand Canyon South Rim, is grouped into two locations: Grand Canyon Park Village, which as the name suggests is inside the Grand Canyon National Park boundaries; and Grand Canyon Village South, which was recently incorporated under its traditional name, “Tusayan,” just outside the gates of Grand Canyon National Park.
In Grand Canyon Park Village, the newest hotel is Yavapai East. However, in the case of this Grand Canyon hotel, “newest” is a somewhat relative term. I’ll give you a clue: when this Grand Canyon hotel was under construction, Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was the most popular song on the planet. That’s right, Yavapai Lodge East dates back to the early 1970′s.
In Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South, the newest Grand Canyon hotel there is the Grand Hotel. So, what song was popular when this Grand Canyon Hotel opened its doors? “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio. The Grand Hotel dates back to 1995. What I’ve always found fascinating about the Grand Hotel was its successful melding of both old and new. On the outside, it has features such as peeled log beams and gables reminiscent of the oldest Grand Canyon hotel, the El Tovar. But inside, its amenities are totally modern.
All this said, though, age should not be the primary consideration in deciding what Grand Canyon hotel to stay at. Most of the time, what we recommend doesn’t amount to a hill of beans! It matters what’s available. The fact is that Grand Canyon Park Hotels tend to fill anywhere from 6 months to 1 year in advance during peak travel season (Spring Break through Halloween). Grand Canyon Village South books up 3 to 6 months in advance. And ironically, it’s the older Grand Canyon hotels that book up first: two Grand Canyon Park Village properties, the El Tovar Hotel (1905) and Bright Angel Lodge (1934) are registered National Historic Landmarks. But if your family has grown accustomed to the amenities offered by the more modern hotels, such as in-room wi-fi, continental breakfast, and a swimming pool (which none of the Grand Canyon Park Village hotels have), then staying outside the park would probably be best for you, meaning Grand Canyon Village South, or perhaps its gateway communities such as Williams (1 hour South) or Flagstaff (90 minutes Southeast).
Want to know more about a particular Grand Canyon hotel? Just give us a call. Chances are the person who answers the phone has worked at more than one Grand Canyon hotel, or is familiar with them on a first-hand basis. And don’t forget, for those of us who lived at Grand Canyon South Rim for any length of time, Flagstaff was kind of like our second home, so we’re familiar with a lot of those hotels too. Our number’s up top. We look forward to talking to you!
Here’s a video we hope you will find helpful in choosing a Grand Canyon hotel for your family’s vacation:
Make this day “grand” friends! Talk to you soon.