It’s a national treasure, a geological wonder, and a landscape that has inspired artists for generations—there isn’t anything in the world quite like the Grand Canyon. Whether you and your spouse are of the thrill-seeking variety, or more low-key and relaxed, there are plenty of ways to experience the grandest of our nation’s landscapes. Here are a few of our favorites.
For a Central Location
The Little America Hotel is Flagstaff’s best hotel for a few reasons. Not only did it just complete a major renovation, but its unique position boasts easy access to Flagstaff’s historic downtown, Grand Canyon National Park, Red Rock State Park, and the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest. The combination of comfortable, contemporary rooms with an unbeatable location make the Little America an ideal perch for a longer honeymoon to the area, so you have plenty of time to take advantage of everything Flagstaff has to offer.
The hotel also boasts an impressive 500-acre private forest, with trails that connect to the greater Flagstaff Urban Trail network—great fodder for long, romantic walks together. And after a long day of exploring, take a soak in the year-round outdoor hot tub, surrounded by ponderosa pines.
For the Ultimate Luxury
A 2.5-hour drive might sound like a long time, but we promise it will fly by when you’re driving across the vast expanses of desert between Utah and Arizona. Plus, if it’s luxury you’re after, there are not many places in the Southwest that can compete with Amangiri, a favorite with elite travelers and celebrities alike (Kanye and Kim Kardashian West have visited, and Emily Ratajkowski honeymooned there). The hotel’s ultra minimalist concrete architecture blends in seamlessly with the landscape, setting the stage for some epic alone-time with your spouse.
At only two and a half hours north of the Grand Canyon’s less-visited North Rim (which you can organize as a day excursion from Amangiri), it will feel like you have the entire canyon all to yourself. And once you get back to the hotel, you can let loose with a couple’s massage at the sublime, 25,000 square foot spa, which incorporates Navajo healing traditions for an unforgettable spa experience.
For a Bird’s Eye View
“You’re not just close, you’re there,” says the Grand Canyon National Park Lodges’ website—and it couldn’t be more true. If it’s proximity you’re after, consider checking out one of the numerous lodges this company operates directly on the South Rim of the national park. Could there be anything more romantic than falling asleep with your own private fireplace and a sunset view over the Grand Canyon, long after the day-trippers have gone home? El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge are the most striking cliffside accommodations in the group’s portfolio.
Just understand that what you’re gaining in scenery and exclusivity, you might be giving up other things to do—it’s not like there’s a cute town you can walk into for dinner if you get bored of the hotel’s restaurants. You’ll have a bird’s eye view, for sure, but this option is best for honeymooners looking to spend just two or three nights at the Grand Canyon.
For the Adventurous Couple
If it’s a unique high-adventure honeymoon you’re after, then there is only one place to consider: Phantom Ranch, the only accommodation that exists below the rim of the Grand Canyon itself. It is reachable only by mule ride, by a challenging multi-day hike in (and then out) of the Canyon, or by rafting the Columbia River. You’ll have to reserve early, as this tiny eco-lodge books up as much as a year in advance. And while Phantom Ranch might not have much my way of frills, bells, and whistles, the thrill of waking up just the two of you in the heart of the Grand Canyon will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.