Top Ten Historic Hotels

El Tovar, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
El Tovar, Grand Canyon National Park
RUSTIC LIVING: Wood beams and floors set off the Grand Canyon's El Tovar Hotel (Grand Canyon Lodges)

3. El Tovar, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
For more than 100 years, tourists and explorers have flocked to the Grand Canyon. And for a historic, as well as geographic, bird's-eye view, there's no better place to stay than El Tovar.

Built in 1905, three years before the canyon received National Monument designation, El Tovar is perched just 20 feet from the canyon's south rim. El Tovar's significance lies in its eclectic architecture—a combination of the Swiss chalet and Norway villa—and the way in which that transitional architecture bridged the gap between the staid Victorian resort architecture of the late 19th century and the rustic architecture later deemed appropriate for the great scenic and natural wonders of the United States.

Interlocked with that significance is the building's importance as the Santa Fe Railway's key structure of its "destination resort" at the Grand Canyon. This dramatically increased tourism and in turn had an indirect bearing on the area's establishment as a national monument in 1908 and a national park 11 years later.

Rooms start at $175 per night.

Published: 8 Apr 2010 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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