Grand Canyon Village – South Rim Hotels

Featuring the only hotel choices within the Grand Canyon National Park itself, Grand Canyon Village offers a variety of lodging options. From high-end elegance to efficient comfort, there are choices to suit all budgets and tastes. Each of the Grand Canyon Village hotels is within easy walking distance of the Canyon’s edge – in some cases, only a few steps away! These hotels are all operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a company that contracts with many of the National Parks for hospitality services that specialize in a lighter carbon footprint.

Grand Canyon Village is a convenient first stop (and resting place) for visitors to the Grand Canyon. It features a number of restaurants, shops, a post office, a grocery store, and even the historic Grand Canyon Railway. It’s also home to a number of Mary J. Colter-designed buildings, from the charming Bright Angel Lodge to the historic Lookout Studio. Colter was a rare female architect in the early twentieth century who was commissioned to design a number of buildings in the Grand Canyon National Park, including the famed Desert Watchtower (found at Desert View Point), Hopi House (also in Grand Canyon Village), and Hermits Rest (a decent hike west of Grand Canyon Village).

The all-important Rim Trail runs along the Canyon-side edge of Grand Canyon Village, giving easy access to travelers looking to explore the South Rim on foot. Roughly 12 miles long, this easy trail provides access to several major viewpoints along the rim, including Mather Point. The more challenging Bright Angel Trail is also accessible from right near the Bright Angel Lodge.

There are a number of different lodging options in Grand Canyon Village, each with different attributes. Here are the available choices:

Bright Angel Lodge

This rustic accommodation is oriented around cabin-style lodging, offering individual rooms (some with shared bathrooms) of a modest size that evoke country charm. The entire lodge is quite close to the Canyon’s edge, with most cabins just steps from gorgeous Canyon views. Designed by Mary J. Colter, this Lodge is actually a National Historic Landmark. There is the widest variety of dining options available at Bright Angel, from a dining hall to a coffee shop to a bar, as well as the famed Arizona Room. There is also a lobby and a gift shop for souvenirs. Bright Angel is the coziest of Grand Canyon Village lodgings.

Thunderbird Lodge

A more modern option than Maswik, Thunderbird Lodge embraces a kind of mid-century modern aesthetic. Canyon-view  (partial only) and street-view rooms are available, with better views found on the second floor. There is no lobby or dining facilities at Thunderbird, but check-in is at Bright Angel and dining is easily accomplished at many of the dining options in other lodges, including Bright Angel, El Tovar, and Maswik.

Kachina Lodge

Very similar in aesthetic to Thunderbird Lodge, Kachina Lodge was designed around the same time and possesses many of the same features. Canyon-side (with a partial view only) and street-side rooms are available, with superior views available on higher floors. Like Thunderbird, there is no dining or lobby available at Kachina; instead, guests check in at El Tovar and can take advantage of the dining facilities all throughout Grand Canyon Village.

El Tovar

An elegant historic structure, El Tovar is the luxury option in Grand Canyon Village. Built by famed architects and decorated by Mary J. Colter herself, El Tovar has hosted generations of celebrities over the years, from Teddy Roosevelt to Paul McCartney. Rooms are available as comfortable individual units or the more luxurious suites – both styles sell out fast and guests make reservations as far as a year in advance. Dining options here epitomize fine cuisine and fancy living; the El Tovar dining room also books up well in advance and features only the most delicious Southwestern/international fusion cuisine. There’s also a lovely lounge with great Canyon views.

Maswik Lodge

This efficient budget-friendly option is located a short walk away from the edge of the Canyon. It’s divided into two different sections (North and South) that feature all the basic conveniences in a comfortable space. There’s a cafeteria-style food court and a relaxed Pizza Pub for dining options, and parking is more readily available here than anywhere else in the Village. Situated within a lush Ponderosa pine forest, the views from the rooms here are also beautiful, with many guests reporting frequent wildlife sightings.

Yavapai Lodge

A budget-friendly and cozy option located less than a mile away from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s divided into two distinct sections (Yavapai East and Yavapai West), with the more modern East section coming at a slightly higher price point (but offering that all-important air-conditioning). Various dining options include a restaurant, a tavern, and a coffee shop. There’s plentiful parking, and it’s adjacent to a post office, a gift shop, and a bank.