El Tovar Hotel

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Discover El Tovar Hotel, which is the premier lodging facility at the Grand Canyon National Park where President Theodore Roosevelt stayed.

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El Tovar Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2012, dates back to 1905.


El Tovar Hotel was constructed at the dawn of the 20th century, in which the United States had started to emerge as a global superpower.

A U.S. National Historic Landmark, the El Tovar Hotel is among the most cherished holiday retreats in Arizona. This spectacular historic hotel is located in the heart of Grand Canyon Village, which overlooks the expansive Grand Canyon National Park. The El Tovar first debuted in 1905 following President Theodore Roosevelt’s famed visit to the area some two years prior. Roosevelt spoke eloquently of the Grand Canyon, stimulating great national interest in the process.

The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway decided to capitalize upon the region’s newfound popularity. It subsequently partnered with the Fred Harvey Company to construct a quaint hotel that could cater to the potential scores of people that were anticipated to visit the area. The two companies opted to use an architect named Charles Whittlesey to oversee its construction. He quickly set about designing the new structure with a budget of $250,000. Whittlesey utilized a combination of local limestone and Oregon pine to develop the brilliant combination of Swiss Chalet and Mission Revival-style architecture that still defines the El Tovar Hotel today. Once Whittlesey finished the project, the Fred Harvey Company named the hotel after Spanish explorer Pedro de Tovar in honor of those who explored the Grand Canyon in the 16th century.

The El Tovar Hotel quickly became an overnight sensation. So many people had arrived within the first few years of its existence that the hotel had to be expanded exponentially. Among many of the guests who flocked to the El Tovar was Theodore Roosevelt, who returned to the Grand Canyon twice in the immediate aftermath of his presidency. Roosevelt even wrote about his experiences at both the El Tovar and the Grand Canyon shortly after his second visit in 1913. The El Tovar Hotel continues to host countless people who share President Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for the inherent beauty of the Grand Canyon.

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