Zion Lodge vs. Desert Pearl or Flanigans

Feb 5th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Zion Lodge vs. Desert Pearl or Flanigans

I have read over the posts here, but would appreciate any additional input on this choice. I want to spend 3 nights around Zion in late March (Bryce lodge is closed until 4/1) and am in a bit of a quandry. The rooms outside the lodge seem much nicer, but my husband is arguing that staying inside the park is so much better that it is worth the sacrifice in room amenities. Costs are close enough to not count. Any input on setting vs. lodging much appreciated.
mstraveler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,424
Hi MS,

I've done both and I don't feel that it makes all that much difference.

The lodging in Springdale is nicer with more comfortable rooms, pools, etc. You have the advantage of being right there within walking distance of everything in the small town. Walk to dinner, walk to galleries, walk to tacky souvenier shops. Very easy shuttle bus to connect to go into the Park. You are close enough that you still have the red rock scenery all around.

Staying in the park at the Zion Lodge - rooms are a little more spartan, but clean and comfortable. The food is OK, but like all things in all the national parks, over priced for what you get. I have eaten there (although years ago) and wouldn't choose to eat there again over the good restaurants in Springdale. Advantages are that you are right in the middle of the canyon and the scenery is awesome. If you need to return to your room for some reason during the day, you are about 15 minutes closer. I guess you can decide how important this is. The lodge has a lovely lawn in front, but so does the Desert Pearl.

I would stay in Springdale and usually do, unless I'm camping in the park itself. A nice B&B is The Novel House, not recommended for families.

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 355
We did both last year in late May. We had reservations in a cabin- nicer than the lodge. Spartan, but adequate. It was wonderful being in the park. Do not eat the food- even for breakfast. We always went to Springdale to eat all meals. We did stay one night at Flanigans- Desert Pearl is nice too because we decided within a month of our visit that we wanted to arrive earlier. It is indeed nicer pool- which you probably could not use so early. If you stay in Springdale their is a free shuttle bus into the park right across the street form Flanigans- check to see if it running this early. My husband also opts for in the park. If I had to choose-- you won't be in your room that much so I would go for the cabin at Zion Lodge and eat in Springdale. The Lodge food is terrible.
zinfanatic is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
mstraveler: First you should realize that the drive from Flanigans into the park entrance is a straight shot 1/2 mile. And the lodge is another 1/2 mile beyond, on flat road. So we are not talking about a long drive here. Desert Pearl is a bit further outside the park beyond Flanigans, but not "far"
If you stay outside the park you can take the shuttle that stops right across from Flanigans (where we stayed) and goes right into the park. It lets you off at the visitor center where the park shuttle picks you up, and that second shuttle takes you to the trailheads. If you stay at the lodge I believe there are some trails you can access from the lodge or close by, but (someone correct me if I am wrong) I think for the other trails you still have to hop on the shuttle which stops by the lodge (this is the same shuttle you'd take if coming in from the Springdale hotels).
Personally, I would stay outside the park. As previous poster Dayle said, it is not that far. And Flanigans has a very nice simple low key spa and massage (maybe that will convince him) and good food- we ate there every night. And lovely feel. We stayed in one of the two room suites out back of the hotel and it was just perfect. If I was staying in a regular hotel room, Desert Pearl would be my first choice- their room amenities are great in the regular rooms. But still check out the spa at Flanigans- we had a massage special where we got a discount on the two massages, and it was just heaven on earth to get that at end of a hiking day.
BTW, when we went in October there was construction going on at the lodge and while we were hiking Emerald Pools across from the lodge it was VERY annoying hearing the hammering and saws, and it was LOUD (plus the noise just bounces off the canyon walls). I kept thinking of how awful it would be to hear that start in the morning. It was going full force when we got off the shuttle and still going when we got back on, and people were trying to dine at the outdoor tables at the lodge. So check out and construction they might be doing in off season.
emd is offline  
Feb 5th, 2005, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 637
I think that you'll be happy either way. It depends on the level of luxury you want vs. the convenience of not having to drive anywhere (or take two diffferent shuttles). The first time we went to Zion, five years ago, we stayed in Springdale at Flanagan's and loved it. We had a wonderful, spacious suite (we had our three kids with us) with a private patio. There's a nice pool & hot tub there, and a very good restaurant - a nice breakfast buffet was included, I don't know if that's still the case. I would very happily stay there again. The Desert Pearl sounds nice, too, although I have no personal experience of it.

Last April my husband and I stayed in a cabin in the park, and enjoyed that very much, too (this was for two nights). It was fairly basic, but comfortable, and had a nice gas fireplace. It was nice to go out hiking, then be able to go directly to our cabin to drop off our hiking boots & backpacks, relax a bit, and shower & change before heading out again to eat or go hike some more. Walking out the door and looking up at the canyon walls directly above was awesome - we certainly didn't tire of that!

I don't know why Zinfantic says the lodge food is terrible (How does he/ she know? Didn't he/she say they ate all of their meals in Springdale? ). We had some very good meals at the lodge, and were quite happy with the food and the ambience. The service could be a little slow, but we were in no hurry. You can't beat the view from the dining room, and lunch on the terrace was especially nice. We never felt compelled to make the drive to Springdale, although we knew there are good restaurants there. Of course, you'll be there one night more than we were, so that will be a factor, too.
Sara is offline  
Feb 6th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 282
Last May my husband and I spent four days in Zion. Our first night we stayed in one of the cabins at the lodge. Yes, these cabins are basic but quite adequate. When you step outside your door the views are breathtaking. We had one dinner and one breakfast at the lodge and they were quite good. The next two nights we stayed at Flanigans, due to only be able to book one night at the lodge. Flanigans is very nice and The Spotted Dog restaurant is very good. As much as I enjoyed Flanigan's, my first choice would be a cabin within the park. Zion is absolutely beautiful. Enjoy your trip!
Chico is offline  
Feb 6th, 2005, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. It is very clear that there is a pretty even set of trade offs here and I may just split the difference and spend a couple nights in the park and a couple of nights in Springdale. I really appreciate the input from people who have actually been there. It is a realtively short trip so I wanted to try to optimize it!
mstraveler is offline  
Feb 6th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 355
Had two meals- one dinner and one breakfast- guess none was wrong- that was enough to know not to waste our money on the food at the Lodge. It was expensive for the quality of food and service. The service was friendly- but as in most parks -staff are young and untrained. Of course one does not go to the parks for the food, but as long as an alternative was so close we chose better food and value in Springdle. Still gald we stayed in the park.
zinfanatic is offline  
Feb 7th, 2005, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,620
I am with your husband on this one. We stayed in the Lodge for 2 nights. We were not able to get a cabin and were just fine in the lodge rooms.

The reason we visited Zion was to see the park. We were there for the deer coming into the yard as dusk. We were there for the sun coming up on the canyon walls while sitting in a rocking chair outside the lodge. We were not visiting Zion because we wanted pampering, TV or chlorinated pools. We got that in Vegas on the way in and out.

By the way, we did eat dinner one night at the lodge and thouroughly enjoyed it.

To each their own, but I'd take the in park accomodations every time.
placeu2 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
To give some follow up, I decided on one night in the park and two nigthts at the Desert Pearl. The Lodge is the nicest Nat'l Park accomodation I have stayed in by a bit. Nothing spectacular, but the cabins have gas fireplaces and although not fancy are nice enough. Dinner was also good. The biggest advantage was having a "red" tag so I could drive all the way to the lodge to get the shuttle. Saved some time and was able to use it the next day.

That said, I am really glad I only stayed a night. The Desert Pearl is really, really nice and for the same amount of money (~$140) I have a huge room with a balcony overlooking the river, red rock views, king bed, good heat, frig, microwave, TV/VCR (don't much care about that really) etc. Decor is very sophistocated and comfortable. The park is a 5 minute drive and the lodge 10 minutes by car. The shuttle system is incredible.
mstraveler is offline  
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