Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zoning Out In Arizona - Old School Style at the Grand Canyon's El Tovar Hotel

I wish I could claim the brilliance of choosing the El Tovar Hotel, the South Rim's prime hotel, but the credit for that smart choice goes completely to Husband J. While I didn't learn this until months later, you really need to plan far ahead (I mean really far ahead!!) if you want accommodations within the Grand Canyon, especially at the El Tovar. My understanding is that accommodations can be booked up six months or move ahead of time, especially for the summer high season.

Having celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2005, I still felt the old Western lodge feeling even in 2010. Given my lack of experience with the Southwest, I loved walking through the lobby and imagining what the hotel would have been like in the early 20th century.

Can you tell I got a little obsessed with the stuffed mounted animal heads? Kinda weird to me

In addition to the dark woods, there are also small artistic touches.
A Native American mural

There are beautiful paintings of the canyon throughout the hotel.

While it may look like you've stepped into the Old West, there are modern amenities in the lobby area like free-wifi. I'm glad they got that right! Isn't it crazy in 2010 that many hotels in the U.S. are still charging exorbitant fees for wi-fi?

I was pretty shocked when I overheard that Husband J had booked us in the Painter's Suite on the second floor. Go Husband J! A suite for us? While not the ginormous space that it sounds, the Painters' Suite was three small, yet quite comfortable, interconnected rooms: a nice compact and classically decorated bedroom; a modern, bright bathroom; a small bar area in the hallway; and finally another room with a small, round dining table, antique-looking leather couch, flatscreen TV (good enough for Sunday afternoon football viewing) and a gorgeous wood work desk (Husband J actually used it quite a bit while fitting in some work. Sigh...).

Also the Painter's Suite has a history. The Santa Fe railroad employed well-known artists of the time to document the Grand Canyon through their art. When staying at the canyon, they stayed in our room like ours. Sadly, I didn't get more pictures of the Painter's Suite, but take in these:

Our very comfortable bedroom

In addition to being a beautiful historic place, the El Tovar is right next to the canyon rim.
Look to the left of Husband J. That's the El Tovar. Look to the right of Husband J. That's the canyon rim. It's that close!

The view of the canyon from the El Tovar's back porch.

All this, and I haven't even mentioned anything about the food. That's another post.

After having stayed at the El Tovar, I would definitely recommend it as a way to treat yourself while staying at the Grand Canyon.

1 comment:

BigAppleNosh said...

Cool! We looked into staying at El Tovar (or the other famous one, the name escapes me now) but we didn't look 6 months in advance and were, alas, too late.


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