We had come to the US to attend an Affiliate Summit at the Rio in Las Vegas. So as we were here in the US, we decided to stay on and travel around taking in some of the sights. One of the places we wanted to visit was the Grand Canyon and so once the summit was over, that’s what we did.
For our first few day in the Grand Canyon National Park we stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Tusayan. The hotel is approximately 2 miles from the Grand Canyon entrance. This is a really convenient spot to base yourself while you are at the Grand Canyon and it is reasonably priced, mostly because it is not right on the Canyon rim. Staying at any of the Grand Canyon rim hotels automatically doubles the price for a room.
The Holiday Inn & Suites hotel is situated on Highway 64 and there are a number of other hotels in close proximity as well as a few shops and food markets within walking distance. The IMAX theater where they show an excellent movie about the Grand Canyon, is also only a few minutes walk away.
We got the best deal through the Holiday Inn website for about $70 a night. If you walk off the street and book this room direct with the hotel (which we did for another two nights) it is $99, which is still a bargain considering the amenities and conveniences that you get for your money. You can also book online for great deals.
We stayed a total of 4 nights at this hotel on two separate occasions in March 2008. The first two nights we were in room #332 and for the other 2 nights room #324 . Both of these rooms were marked “Priority Club” as we are both members.
Membership is free and entitles you to earn points for staying at any of more than 3,500 locations. The Priority rooms were all overlooking the front of the hotel so I assume this meant a better view although I can’t really compare as we didn’t get to see any of the other rooms.
The beauty of having the room at the front of the hotel is that we could see our car parked in the parking area below. And speaking of parking, this is a great hotel if you are bringing your car along. Parking is free and there were plenty of spaces right near the entrance making it easy to get our luggage into and out of the hotel.
Check-in was quick and easy. We found during our entire stay that the staff at the front desk were just a delight. They were all very friendly and went out of their way to help whenever they were approached.
Our room was on the third floor which was the top floor and we got there via the elevator (which we always found to arrive quite quickly). We also found another elevator down the other end of the hotel which didn’t seem to be used very often so this is worth keeping in mind during busy times of the day.
On walking to our room we noticed that the hallway had the most wonderful smell, as did the room. I am not sure what they use but it was always a nice feeling to walk to our room after being out all day.
We had booked a twin room with 2 double beds and the room was large enough to accommodate two people comfortably.
The beds themselves were very comfortable and each had four pillows which were marked with the words ‘Firm’ and ’soft’, which we thought was a great idea and not a luxury that you would normally find in a three star hotel. The linen on the bed was fresh and clean.
The facilities in the room included a TV, table and two chairs, an alarm clock, a mini fridge (which was empty), a microwave and coffee maker.
The wardrobe area, which was to our right on entering the room, contained an ironing board and iron.
The room was made up of four separate areas – the entrance way which had the open hanging wardrobe, the main area with the beds, the bathroom with the bathtub and toilet and finally the dressing room area which held the sink.
The coffee machine was in the alcove off the bathroom.
This bathroom had a lockable door but the dressing room area was open. I prefer bathrooms where the sink is included and don’t really like the open dressing room arrangement but this is just a personal preference. An open dressing room doesn’t really work where friends are travelling together, so changing meant going into the bathroom.
Overall both rooms that we stayed were in great condition and were clean and well maintained. We felt comfortable and safe in the rooms.
All was not perfect however as we did find a few faults. The first was the minor chipping on the toilet seat in the first room we were in and again in the bathtub of the second room. We also found that the second room didn’t have a plug for the bathtub. These were all very minor problems however and didn’t affect our stay in any way. If either of us had wanted to take a bath we could have easily rung the front desk and they would have brought up a plug. As it was, we settled for having showers.
Why is this a Great Place to Stay?
Now as to what makes this hotel such good value for money. The first is the free internet connection. We connected via a wireless connection and with just a few clicks we were on the net. We did find the connection dropped out quite often until we connected the laptop to the blue cable which we found in the TV cabinet. It seemed to work fine after that with only minor drop-outs.
The second value for money part of this hotel is the free breakfast. This is held until 9.30am. Wish it was held until 10am but it’s free so I am not complaining. The hotel advertises this breakfast as being a Continental Breakfast but we would have to say that it is better than that. It includes omelettes or scrambled eggs (depending on the day), sausage patties, muffins, bagels, danishes, boiled eggs, yoghurt, whole fruit and about four different juices and of course coffee and tea. The eating area had plenty of seating and room to get around.
A nice finishing touch was the free newspaper which was left outside our door in the mornings.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Holiday Inn at the Grand Canyon and would have no hesitation staying there again.
Note: If you need somewhere to wash clothes there is a coin operated laundry at the next hotel and you don’t need to stay at that hotel in order to use it.
For a 26 minute load it cost us $1.50 and the laundry powder was $1.25. The dryers cost 75c for 30 minutes and 25c for each extra 10 minutes.
Make sure you have plenty of quarters before you head on down there as the coin change machine wasn’t working when we were there. Wanda went to the reception area of the neighbouring hotel to get some change and this involved a long walk and conversations with various staff with limited English. However, she finally got change from a machine in the sportsroom.
We actually went and bought a bottle of liquid washing soap at the shop across the road from the hotel which was much cheaper than buying from the soap dispenser at the laundromat.
Getting to the laundromat was a bit of an act, we had to go out the back of the Holiday Inn and walk through the car park until we came to a retaining wall which we had to jump down from. Someone had thoughtfully placed some rocks to make this easier, however Wanda still had a struggle to get up and down the retaining wall because she is so short.
We then walked through a short pathway to get to the second building on the right, behind the hotel. There is no signage to tell you how to get to the laundry or even that you have arrived until you get right up to the laundry door. So as silly as this might sound – you don’t know you are there until you arrive.
Our Rating of the Holiday Inn & Suites – Tusayan:
- Checking in and out 5/5
- Room 4/5
- Position 4/5
- Price 5/5
- Cleanliness 4.5/5
We booked this hotel through the Holiday Inn website
Note: This post has been updated since it was first put up in 2008