As oldies, we were looking for warm hiking and photography weather when visiting the Grand Canyon and surrounding area. It was important to us to arrive before summer vacation crowds so we planned our trip for April and early May.
Our best advice is to start planning early!
Our first priority was finding a place to stay while at the Grand Canyon. Since we want to follow whatever roads interest us, we only made hotel reservations in three high traffic locations for our cross-country road trip-Grand Canyon; Page, Arizona; and New Orleans.
Trip Advisor and Expedia were our go-to resources for lodging. We are not fancy people but Stu is definitely not into camping. Hostels and budget hotels were out. We feel that now that we are retired, there is a purpose for the money we saved and one use is to be comfortable! Stu is a member of AAA and asked the Pensacola office to draw up a sample itinerary and suggest hotels. Since sunrise photography is a priority for us, we wanted to be as close as possible to the Grand Canyon Village so the early mornings weren’t unreasonable (I am not a morning person). We found that some of the lodges at the Grand Canyon filled a year in advance. Maybe next trip! Our first thought and the AAA recommendation was staying in the town of Williams. The range is cost seems to be from @$60 per night to $400+. Williams, Az is about an hour from the actual Canyon, so we scoured sites for accommodations in Grand Canyon Village and the town of Tusayan appeared. Tusayan is only 7 miles from Grand Canyon Village and has several hotel options with free shuttle pick-up at the door for heading to the Village.
Our lodging priorities may be different from yours. We were looking for:
1) Hotels with 3-4 day in advance cancellation policies in case our trip was postponed for any reason.
2) Hotels that don’t require room pre-payment. (We don’t mind credit card holds for rooms, but as seniors, we want to keep earning interest on our money ourselves up until trip time instead of hotels using it ahead of time. We are budget conscious.
3) Free Wifi
4) Rooms with a desk and large enough for post-processing photos and editing videos at night.
5) Breakfast included.
6) Proximity to dinner spots.
7) Amenities if we hit a rainy day and can’t work and play outside.
8) Laundry facilities, if possible.
9) Hotels where one of us have a membership or discount card.
10) Fitness Center, if possible.
All our priorities were met and we booked directly with this hotel:
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn, 74 State Route 64, Grand Canyon, Az 86023
The price range for hotels in Page, Az seems to be from $60-$400+. Searching online, we booked via Expedia:
Baymont Inn and Suite Lake Powell, 677 Scenic View Road, Page, Az 86040