The hotel was named for Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Tobar, who reported the existence of the Grand Canyon to fellow explorers. The historic sign outside El Tovar hotel welcomes guests to this extraordinary property that stands steps from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The Fred Harvey Company, now Xanterra Parks & Resorts, managed El Tovar from opening day in 1905. The famed Harvey Girls staffed El Tovar and went a long way toward “civilizing” the then-Wild West. Many of the region's prominent families today are descendants of the Harvey Girls.