"Family-friendly, new, and grand lodging"
Just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park is the small tourist town of Bryce City. There are three hotel lodging options, besides the RV park, which are all owned by the historic Ruby's Inn. We stayed at the brand new Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel which was grand in its size, spacious rooms, big breakfast, and modern amenities. It was a family-friendly hotel to stay at and would be our first choice for returning to visit Bryce Canyon, unless we camped under the stars.
WHAT WE LOVED
* Big rooms with 2 queen beds and a pull out couch for our family of 6
* Large, free continental breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, cereal, yogurts, waffle maker and drinks.
* Modern decorations in the rooms and lobby with a pine-mountain influence
* Mid-size empty refrigerator and microwave in room.
* Free Wi-Fi with no log-in
* Spacious and clean laundry room, quarter operated, next to the jacuzzi entrance.
WHAT WE DIDN'T LOVE
* A very crowded breakfast buffet which was tricky to maneuver through many people to get food for our family.
* The outdoor pool was closed in April and is only open during the main summer season. The jacuzzi was open. Guests are welcome to use the indoor pool at Ruby's Inn across the street.
* Our "suite" was just one large room with 2 queen beds and a fold out couch. There was no wall or door separating the living area from the bed area.
We visited Bryce Canyon in April and although we knew the typical temperature ranges from 40-60, we were surprised by snow but our kids loved it. The outdoor pool was closed until the summer so we visited the outdoor jacuzzi. We had to walk outdoors, open the gate, and get quickly into the jacuzzi before we "froze". Getting out was almost worse but we learned to grab our towels, put on flip flops (the ground was ice cold), and walk quickly indoors to dry off so it wasn't so cold. We considered driving to Ruby's Inn to swim at the indoor pool because our boys love swimming so much, but the hassle of getting ready, driving, changing clothes twice, and then driving back was more than we wanted to tackle. Two nights of swimming in the jacuzzi, with one occasion of being snowed on while soaking was enough fun for our kids.
Our room was plenty big for our family of 6 but we were disappointed to not have a separating wall between the living room area and the beds. Thank goodness for mobile devices with free Wi-Fi because then my hubby and I could let the room be dark and quiet for the kids to go to sleep and we didn't have to have it be bedtime for us too. We noticed all the cool decorating touches such as the pine cone shaped lamp switch, beautiful art on the walls, and modern bedding. The refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV, hair dryer, and bathroom amenities were appreciated. The bathroom could use more than one towel rack since they encourage re-using towels for conservation sake. Our family of 6 created a mountain of laundry because there weren't hooks or multiple rods to hang up used towels.
We loved the free breakfast in the main section of the lobby where a long buffet of eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, yogurts and fruits awaited. However, just walking from the buffet and back out was like maneuvering through a sea of people either in line, walking to tables, getting drinks, or waiting for food to be refilled. Every table in the room was taken, but I couldn't see any with more than 4 seats for our group. It was a stressful experience with kids, but once we got our food, we walked down the side hall to a quiet room with 6 or so tables where we were able to find seats for us all. I would suggest coming as early as possible for breakfast before it gets really crowded around 8:30 or 9.
The location couldn't be more ideal for visiting Bryce Canyon as it is a 5-10 minute drive from the entrance to the park and to the main look-outs over the canyon and hoodoos. The view from our 2nd floor room was not spectacular as it faced a side street and sloped up hill which blocked most of the distant views of the wide plateau and far off cliffs. The rooms on the 1st floor would have worse views than ours, but I would guess that anything on the 3rd or above would be more ideal. Half of the rooms face the outside pool area which may be noisy during summer months. Bryce City has several summer entertainment options with Ebenezer's Dinner BBQ show, a rodeo, Ruby's Country Store, and a small "Old Town" within walking distance. There is also a Bryce Canyon Shuttle Stop nearby that runs from May to October. Our favorite dinner, however, was found inside Bryce Canyon at the lodge which is open April to November.
We really enjoyed staying at this hotel near Bryce Canyon National Park. It is the newest in the area, and seems to be the highest quality. The indoor pool at Ruby's Inn might sway us to that location for our next stay, especially if we visit in the off season.
This review is based on a complimentary stay at the Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to share a particular point of view.