The Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, hosts more than 5m visitors annually – a stat that may convince you to book your hotel sooner rather than later. From a pet-friendly getaway to a rustic luxury retreat, here are the best places to stay in the Grand Canyon – all bookable with Culture Trip.
The endless blue skies and vast landscapes of the American Southwest are rarely better captured than at the majestic Grand Canyon in Arizona. It’s the most dramatic natural wonder in America, after all. The canyon descends 5,000ft (1,500m) to the river below in a region delineated by red rock and piñon pine forests. This is Navajo territory, so prepare to be mesmerized by turquoise jewelry, Kachina dolls and carved fetishes produced by local artists.
Courtesy of Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile / Expedia
Located in Kanab, Utah, the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile puts your furry friends first. Whether you’re staying in a standard room, king suite or two-level suite, comfort and consideration of your pets is foremost. There are sleeping nooks and comfy beds for them (right next to you, of course), a self-service washing facility with complimentary cleansing products, a pet-walking service, and a fenced pet-park area with a water feature for a cooling shower.
There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars, which is what the people at Under Canvas realized when they were designing their unique Stargazer tent. There is a viewing window just above the king bed for a magnificent gander at the Milky Way. All the amenities you could want in a glamping experience are also provided, including an ensuite bathroom, wood-burning stove and private deck, all in 160 acres (65ha) of secluded juniper and piñon forest.
To wander through historic Williams is to take a stroll through America’s past. The equally historic Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, another nod to days gone by, is located next door to the train depot. The newly refurbished property has 298 luxurious rooms, a stunning lobby with an antique fireplace and the latest amenities. You can hop on the train just as 19th-century tourists did and arrive in two hours at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The 5-acre (2ha) Trapper’s Rendezvous is conveniently located off historic Route 66, in the town of Williams and within shouting distance of the Grand Canyon Railway. The property offers spectacular mountain views as well as strong coffee and hot cakes to start the day. The Squash Blossom – one of six rustic cabins available – honors the iconic Native American symbol used in Northern Arizona jewelry.
Fancy staying inside the Grand Canyon National Park? Then El Tovar is the perfect choice. Built in 1905 by Charles Whittlesey – chief architect for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway – the hotel was designated a historic monument in 1987. It’s constructed of local limestone and Oregon pine, with an elegant Swiss and Continental design that recalls a more elegant time. Book accommodation well in advance to enjoy a unique experience.
Courtesy of Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon / Expedia
The raison d’etre here is rustic luxury. That consists of a heated indoor swimming pool, as well as a spa and fitness center, which are open to all guests. The rustic part is the western decor but also the Canyonstar Restaurant serving delicious steaks surrounded by an authentic cowboy vibe. Only 1mi (1.6km) from the South Rim, wake up early to see the glorious sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
This bijou accommodation is only an 80-minute drive from the South Rim and features six single beds in a large dorm and four semi-private rooms with locking doors. On arrival, get your bearings with a Cowboy Carriage Tour of historic Williams before trying one of the nearby eateries, such as Goldie’s Route 66 Diner and the Branding Iron Restaurant, each just steps away. Alternatively, have a barbecue on site just like at home.
Courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott, Flagstaff / Expedia
The beauty of long-stay accommodation is the convenience of a home away from home. Each Residence Inn studio has a fully kitted kitchen, as well as spacious work and sleeping zones. The downtown Flagstaff location is a sophisticated stopover not only for tourists but also those on business, featuring top class restaurants, breweries and shopping. And it’s only an hour and 20 minutes to the South Rim.
The Little America in Flagstaff, nestled within 500 acres (200ha) of ponderosa pine forest, is a short distance from the natural wonders of northern Arizona. If that alone wasn’t tempting enough, this 247-room property has a welcome from staff pretty much unmatched anywhere. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows from which to enjoy the arboreal views; there’s also imported marble and spacious bathrooms. You even get separate dressing areas.
The Canyons Boutique Hotel in Kanab may have a boutique, bijou size, but has large hotel amenities there, including a pool and complimentary cruiser bikes. The supreme queen and king suites offer in-room hot tubs with custom-made toiletries. A hot breakfast is served every day in the dining room. With pet-friendly rooms available, this spot is brilliant if you’re touring the Grand Canyon and southern Utah with Fido.
Courtesy of Elden Trails Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
A separate two-room studio is the perfect proposition for those seeking a quiet, sustainable and ecofriendly B&B. Located in the foothills of Mount Elden, there are hiking trails for active guests and the hotel is just 5mi (8km) east of historic Flagstaff – just far enough from the hustle and bustle. Public transportation takes guests to shopping and restaurants. However, if you want something more local, the owners grow their own food, as well as native plants, in a four-seasons greenhouse.