Take a step back in time to the year 1905. That's when El Tovar first opened to tourists seeking an adventure to write home about.
"It was a very, very ritzy place to stay," says Bruce Brossman, marketing director of Xanterra, the company that operates El Tovar. "It was one of the fanciest places west of the Mississippi when it opened."
El Tovar was built by the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway to entice East Coast visitors to stay overnight at the Grand Canyon. To appeal to this clientele, the hotel was sure to have electricity, heat and running water, all considered luxury amenities back in the day.
As you step inside this 111-year-old historic hotel, you'll see dark wood and finishes reminiscent of those early days. Brossman says even after several renovations, Xanterra's goal has always been to preserve the style of El Tovar and keep it looking as close to the original design as possible.
"We want to preserve that experience as people come in and out of the hotel."
This magnificent hotel sits right on the Rim Trail of the Grand Canyon, inside The Village. It was a premier destination back in the day, as it still is today. Its 78 rooms continuously book out, up to a year in advance, with suites costing upwards of $540 per night. It's a price tag many are willing to pay as sunrises and sunsets at the canyon are priceless.
Next year, El Tovar will close for about three months for a makeover. It will undergo renovations of its guest rooms and lobby. Visitors should also expect to see construction on a new lodge taking place. That's a first for the canyon since 1970.
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