The Most Interesting Hotels Inside National Parks

By Stephanie Yoder,

The National Park system is one of America’s greatest treasures, and fall is the perfect time to explore the country’s gorgeous natural landscapes. Most National Parks can’t be fully experienced in a single day, and you may want to stay in the park overnight. Your accommodation options can range from camping to beautiful historic inns and luxury hotels. Here are some hotels inside National Parks that are almost destinations in and of themselves.

El Tovar

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Luxury Hotels Grand Canyon

Refined #cabinporn luxury at the El Tovar. Photo by Grand Canyon National Park CC BY

El Tovar sits on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, giving guests spectacular views. El Tovar is a refined luxury hotel, widely considered to be the most beautiful Historical National Park Lodge. It was built in 1905 by Charles Whittlesey, in an eclectic style that most resembles a cross between a Swiss chalet and a European villa. The staff at the hotel strive to cater to guests’ every need, from fine dining to concierge organized activities. Over the years the hotel has hosted famous guests ranging from Theodore Roosevelt to Sir Paul McCartney.

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Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Bright Angel Lodge

Cozy cabin living in the Grand Canyon. Photo by Grand Canyon National Park CC BY

You have to see the Grand Canyon in person to really understand the scope and size of it. Give yourself the best chance to enjoy its many facets from sunrise to sunset by staying in your own private cabin just feet from the South Rim. The Bright Angel Lodge is special– not just for it’s location but for its history and architecture, which led to its inclusion as part of the Grand Canyon Village Historic District. The hotel was designed by famous architect Mary EJ Colter and built (in a now classic American rustic style) in 1923. Historically minded guests can also stay at two cabins that predate the hotel with colorful histories stretching back to 1890.

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Old Faithful Inn

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Hotels in Yellowstone

The largest log cabin structure in the world bustles with visitors. Photo by Yellowstone National Park CC BY

In a park packed with amazing geothermal attractions, Old Faithful Geyser is probably the most famous and most visited of all. Don’t visit the clockwork geyser without poking your head inside  the adjacent Old Faithful Inn. Built in 1904 out of local logs and stone, it holds the record as the largest log structure in the world. Its centerpiece is an enormous multi-story lobby featuring a massive stone hearth and copper and wood accents.  It was initially famous as one of the first hotels to boast electrical lights and a geothermal steam heating system. Since then it has survived countless earthquakes and fires and is still standing strong.

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Ahwanee Hotel

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Hotels in Yosemite

Nestled into the stones is Ahwanee Lodge. Photo by Margaret Napier CC BY

The Ahwanee Lodge is lauded for its beautiful stone facade and for the unique way it blends architecture with Yosemite National Park’s natural environment.  Built in 1927, the building’s architecture is a blend of art deco, Middle Eastern and arts & craft style design.  Its strategic location integrates views of three of the park’s biggest attractions: Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point and Half Dome. The Grand Dining Room is a focal point and a popular spot for wine and food events.

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Many Glacier Hotel

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Glacier National Park hotels

Perched at the foot of a stunning mountain and gorgeous lake. Photo by H Matthew Howarth CC BY

Glacier National Park is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the United States. You will agree when you see Many Glacier Hotel, nicknamed “The Gem of the West,” a Swiss-alpine style chalet perched at the foot of a mountain and on the edge of Swiftcurrent Lake. Built by the Great Northern Railroad Company in 1915, the hotel has an enormous four-story lobby and balconies carved with Swiss jigsaw patterns. In keeping with the rustic feel the 215 guest rooms don’t have televisions. Then again, who needs one when you have this kind of view?

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Volcano House

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Volcano National Park hotels

Living life on the edge of a volcano. Photo by Thomas CC BY

Live life on the wild side and spend the night on the rim of the active Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s big island. The 33 well-appointed rooms overlook the smoking crater. In addition to an exciting location, the Volcano House hotel has had an interesting, if challenging history. The original building was built in 1877, before Hawaii was even a state! It burned down in the 1940’s (due to a kitchen fire, not a volcanic mishap). The hotel was rebuilt in a larger and more modern style, but had to be evacuated in 2010 due to dangerous sulfur fumes from the crater. In 2013 the hotel was renovated, restored and reopened so you can again live life on the edge.

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Which one of these hotels would you include on a dream trip?

 

More on national parks on Room5:

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park In The Fall

Choose Your Own Grand Canyon Adventure

6 Places Where The Wild West Still Reigns