The historic El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon

- Located just steps from the beautiful South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the El Tovar hotel.

It was built back in 1905 and to this day retains its original charm and beauty.

The El Tovar hotel has been accommodating guests for over a century. It was built in 1901 when the first passengers arrived to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon Railway. With the arrival of wealthy travelers from the east coast came a need for a hotel worthy of their stature and class.

Chicago architect Charles Whittlesey designed the hotel as a cross between a Swiss chalet and Norwegian villa. To this day, guests walk into the hotel and feel as though they've been transported back in time.

The hotel was built with local limestone and Oregon pine. The cost to build such a hotel in the 1900s was $250,000. In its day, the El Tovar was considered the most elegant hotel west of the Mississippi.

"We are on the mezzanine, which would be the women's lounge," said Bruce, with the El Tovar lodge. "The men would hang out in the various places, the wine room, the billiard room, there was a solarium where you could read the sun would come in the big windows, rooftop garden where they would grow vegetables and herbs and what not, even had a dairy farm on property."

"What we are looking at now is kind of what people would have seen in the 1900s, we have really tired to keep the look and feel the same from 1905, this hotel has had many renovations, obviously, when it first opened the rooms didn't even have private baths," Bruce said.

The hotel now has 78 rooms with private bathrooms.

They range from small single rooms, to large suites with expansive views of the Grand Canyon. No two rooms are alike at the El Tovar and range in price from less than $200,000 to more than $400 a night for one of the suites.

These rooms are also no stranger to famous names.

"Somebody was disturbing a guest, so guest called down and said can you please go tell hat person to stop playing that piano, it's bothering me so the front desk person came up and told Paul McCartney to stop playing the piano," Bruce said. "He was very cooperative and very nice."

Other famous guests include Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and President Bill Clinton.

The El Tovar hotel, a landmark full of history and beauty on the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

 
 
 
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