Historic El Tovar Hotel transcends time on Grand Canyon South Rim


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Along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon sits the El Tovar hotel, known by travelers around the world for its history and elegance. A mere infant in comparison to the Grand Canyon itself, El Tovar opened in January 1905, not long after the Santa Fe railroad tracks were laid to Arizona’s top tourist destination. The hotel was named in honor of the Spanish explorer Pedro de Tovar who led the first expedition to Hopi Indian country in 1540.

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Built from local limestone and Oregon pine, it cost $250,000 to build, and many considered it the most elegant hotel west of the Mississippi River. In 1987, the Hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Famous people who have stayed at El Tovar:

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Albert Einstein
  • Western author Zane Grey
  • President Bill Clinton
  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Many more

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Unique world-class destination

Nothing was spared to make this one of the great hotels of its era. The building was completely equipped with electric lights powered by its own steam generator. Railroad tank cars brought fresh water for the hotel from Del Rio, 120 miles away. Fresh fruit and vegetables were grown in greenhouses on the premises. The hotel even had its own dairy.

Today, El Tovar retains its elegant charm and is widely considered the crown jewel of Historic National Park Lodges. Truly a world-class travel destination, El Tovar offers its guests full bell service, a lobby concierge and in-room dining.

Highlights that all visitors can enjoy at El Tovar:

  • Fine dining room and lounge
  • Gift shop and newsstand
  • Spectacular views of the Grand Canyon

Whether you are a registered guest at El Tovar or not, you can admire the beautiful and historic architecture while strolling the paved trail that runs between the hotel and the the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Reservations can be made online at  grandcanyonlodges.com through Xanterra – the official lodging agent of Grand Canyon National Park.

Use this map to locate the hotel when you’re at the Grand Canyon:

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