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At 277 miles long and and more than 5,000 feet deep, the Grand Canyon National Park is natural wonder and an American icon that attracts travelers from all over the world. Where to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon depends on which part of the park travelers are interested in exploring.
The South Rim is the most popular, while the regions of the north, east, and west are more secluded. Hotel options in the area surrounding the park are limited, but there are also a handful of rustic, historic lodges in the park itself. For this reason, some visitors book very early or opt to stay in Flagstaff where there’s more of a variety of modern hotels. Here are the nine of the best accommodations in and around the Grand Canyon for families, budget travelers and adventure seekers.
Best Overall: Little America Flagstaff
Set within 500 acres of the Ponderosa Pine Forest, Little America Flagstaff offers beautiful accommodations and is an excellent basecamp for day trips to the Grand Canyon. Standard Rooms are set on picturesque grounds in four separate, two-story lodges with elegant décor, 420 square feet of space and amenities such as mini refrigerators, stylish European furniture and flat-screen televisions. The Silver Pine Restaurant and Bar serves up southwestern cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s also a pool, hot tub, outdoor deck and walking trails around the property – all at extremely reasonable prices.
Best Views: El Tovar Hotel
When El Tovar Hotel was designed in the early 1900s, the architect envisioned a blend between a Swiss chalet and a Norwegian villa. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark, and while its age is showing in some parts of the hotel, the property sits conveniently inside the park near the popular South Rim entrance and offers unbelievable views and comfortable accommodations. Rustic décor and murals of Native American artwork can be found on the walls, adding to its appeal. Although no two rooms are identical, all 78 have satellite television, Keurig coffee makers and full baths. The dining room at the EL Tovar serves international and southwestern cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and guests can also enjoy a glass of award-winning wine at the lounge. Free parking is available.
Best Value: Bright Angel Lodge
Reasonably priced, the 90-room, Bright Angel Lodge has an excellent location on the rim of the canyon in El Tovar. The rooms in the main lodge are the most affordable, but also the most basic: many do not offer a private bathroom or televisions. Historic log cabins are also popular with guests and have wood floors, Western décor and fireplaces. The on-site restaurant serves three meals daily, and there’s also a traditional ice cream fountain, coffee shop and bar tucked away near the trailhead with folk musicians that perform during peak season.
Best Amenities: Sonesta ES Suites in Flagstaff
For those seeking the creature comforts of the city, the Sonesta ES Suites in Flagstaff has 102, newly renovated suites with bright and inviting décor. Drive time to the Grand Canyon is about an hour-and-a- half, and there are plenty of restaurants, bars and things to do in Flagstaff. Guests can prepare their own meals in the kitchens, barbecue in the “backyard” or enjoy a free breakfast buffet. A convenience shop sells candy, toiletries, frozen foods and other basic items. The hotel also has a pool, fitness center and sports court, as well as free self-serve parking.
Best Near the Canyon: Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
The main draw at the 318-room, Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is the location just six miles from the South Rim entrance, as well as the added amenities and the affordable price tag. Kids will love the bowling alley and arcade room, while adults can unwind in the Squire Pub for traditional “pub grub” and cocktails. Rooms feature southwestern décor with paintings of the Grand Canyon adorning the walls, as well as comforts such as Keurig coffeemakers, flat-screen televisions and iHome docking stations.
Best Historic Hotel: Cameron Trading Post
About 30 minutes driving from the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is the Cameron Trading Post Motel, located along the Little Colorado River Gorge. This motel has been hosting travelers since the early 1900s and features an art gallery with Navajo rugs, Hopi pottery, silver and turquoise jewelry, moccasins and more. In the rug room, visitors can watch a weaver in action, and at the restaurant they can sample American, Native American and Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s also some beautiful gardens to meander, and a convenience store and market for necessary items. Basic accommodations include hand-carved furniture, views of the Little Colorado River Gorge, coffee makers, cable televisions and internet.
Best for Families: Hualapai Ranch
For a taste of cowboy culture and fun for the entire family, Hualapai Ranch delivers a unique experience at the western side of the Grand Canyon. Guests can gather around the campfire to toast s’mores and listen to the tales of the cowboys before turning in for the night in their comfortable cabins. Standard Rooms come with desks, private baths, and WiFi, plus free parking and breakfast in the restaurant. Other activities include rope tying and quick-draw demonstrations, wagon rides, a shuttle to the Grand Canyon, a mechanical bull and horseback rides. Located in Peach Springs, A.Z., (not far from the Grand Canon Skywalk) on the historic Route 66, the 60-room lodge also features Hualapai artwork and an inviting lobby with a cozy stone fireplace, as well as a heated pool and fitness center.
Best for Dodging the Crowds: Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
For those seeking a less-crowded experience, the Grand Canyon Lodge is located on the peaceful North Rim, with captivating views of the canyon. Designated a National Historical Landmark, the lodge consists of budget motel rooms or private cabins with porches. The two-bedroom, Pioneer Cabins saw a refresh in 2009 and are the most spacious – holding up to six people. They have mini refrigerators, coffee makers, private baths and Instagram-worthy vistas. The lodge also has a main dining room with high-vaulted ceilings and stone walls, and serves three buffet-style meals daily. There are many hiking trails nearby, and the lodge can also arrange for mule rides down the canyon.
Best for Adventurers: Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch is the only lodging at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and can only be accessed by mule, hiking or rafting the Colorado River. The lodge is built from native stones of the canyon, and a nearby stream lets visitors cool off after a day of hiking. There are two types of accommodations: dormitories with bunk beds and a shared bath area, or private cabins with basic necessities (sink, towels, and bedding), while showers are in a separate area. Meals are served family-style and ice water, lemonade and beer are also offered. Space is extremely limited so reserve in advance.