Scenic USA - Arizona

El Tovar Hotel

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El Tovar Hotel

Photos by Bob Goldman
Historic photos courtesy NPS

     The historic El Tovar Hotel, perched 20 feet from the edge of one of the world's greatest scenic wonders, Grand Canyon view - Grand Canyon Village, AZ has wowed its guests with first class service and dramatic Grand Canyon views since 1905. This historic landmark is located at the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. Taking advantage of incredible views, and Topeka and Sante Fe rail service, Harvey Girls - El Tovar Hotel, AZ the El Tovar opened in 1905 as one of the Fred Harvey Company's chain of hotels. The Harvey House was designed by Chicago architect Charles Whittlesey, with interior design by Mary Colter. Following a Harvey House tradition of using Spanish names, the hotel was named for explorer Pedro de Tovar. Located nearby the north depot of the Grand Canyon Railroad, the Harvey Girls not only offered railway guests impeccable service, but also catered to hotel guests as well. El Tovar Hotel Entrance  - Grand Canyon Village, AZ Once offering over 100 rooms, El Tovar was considered the finest hotel west of the Mississippi.
     Simply known as El Tovar, the former Harvey House hotel was built of limestone and pine. While the lower portions of the hotel are built with rubble stone and concrete, upper levels are clad in log slab siding and pine planking. Designed with a varied number of stories, the tallest section is a four story south wing. The interior is finished in multiple themes, varying from a rustic Western-Swiss decor to a Mission style. Today, very few of the original decorations remain, with replacements following a Southwestern theme. Large-scale renovations added air conditioning, electric heat, modern windows and private bathrooms, Condor  - Grand Canyon Village, AZ reducing the number of rooms and suites to 78.
     Several magnificent condors have made their home at this Grand Canyon location. Although released in the Vermillion Cliffs to the north in 1992, the endangered California condors seem to prefer the Grand Canyon National Park. Thanks to the Condor Recovery Program, the nearly extinct condor has made an extraordinary comeback, creating quite a success story. Still facing man-made challenges today, over 60 condors fly free in and around the Grand Canyon Village and South Rim.

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