During our recent trip to Disneyland, we stayed on the concierge level both at the Marriott in Anaheim and at Disney's Paradise Pier, and it was interesting to compare the two.
Staff - All the Marriott staff were far and away more friendly, professional, and helpful than the Disney staff. In particular, the concierge at the Marriott was extremely helpful at locating an alternate route for us back up to the Bay Area so we could avoid areas of I-5 that are tied up in traffic snarls due to construction.
Room Comfort -- The beds in both hotels were very comfortable, but the Disney bed was the most comfortable, the bathroom was more spacious and the furnishings seemed more updated.
Internet Service/Parking -- Internet service was included at Disney, and parking was $15 a day compared to $24 a day at the Marriott. However, the overall daily rate of Paradise Pier was much higher than that of the Marriott.
Accessibility to Disneyland -- From Paradise Pier you can walk across the street and cut through the Disney Grand Californian to get to get private Disney resort guest entrance into California Adventure. However, around park opening, which is when we always went, that entrance gets so backed up with other resort guests using this entrance that it's better to walk all the way around through Downtown Disney to get into the park. It's only about a 10 minute walk, though.
From the Marriott, you can just catch the ART shuttle outside the Marriott. If you miss the Marriott Shuttle, there's also a Hilton Shuttle that was picking up close or at the Marriott shuttle stop due to construction currently underway. We always go to the parks early, before they open, and then come back during the afternoon to swim and rest before heading out again. We got 3 day shuttle passes for $10.00 a person. For us, the shuttle system was dependable and convenient, and the only time we weren't able to get a seat was one night when we stayed until park closing. Actually, it reminded me of using the Disney bus system from the resorts to the parks at DisneyWorld in Florida.
Pools - Well, of course my daughter preferred the Paradise Pier pool facilities. There is a long roller coaster waterslide alongside the pool. The Paradise Pier pool itself is not so special, but it does have a deep end -- the pool at the Marriott does not get any deeper than four feet all the way around. However, parents with children that are not strong swimmers might see this as a good thing. The Marriott pool area did look pleasant with both indoor and outside areas.
Concierge Lounge -- The Paradise Pier lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The Marriott lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. for breakfast, and then again from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. However, this lounge is only open from Sunday - Thursday. The Marriott offers a full hot breakfast, with eggs, potatos, bacon or sausage, as well as the usual continental breakfast offerings -- bagels, pastries, toast, cereal, juice, coffee, etc. Paradise Pier only offered continental breakfast, but the overall quality of everything they offered was quite fresh and good. For people like us who get to the park prior to the 7:00 a.m. early entry hours, it was a time saver, enabling us to get a quick cup of coffee and a muffin and fruit before getting on our way.
During the day, the Paradise Pier lounge offers a fruit bowl and some junk food -- cookies, snack mix, potato chips, as well as sodas and juices. During the evening, the Marriott has one hot appetizer (salmon and spinach on the one evening we went), a small plate of cheese cubes, a plate of water crackers, and a vegetable tray and possibly some tortilla chips. Sodas and juices are complimentary and alcohol is available for purchase. Paradise Pier offered one hot appetizer (spring rolls) an elaborate assortment of good cheese, an assortment of crackers and sliced French bread, vegetables and dip, chocolate dipped strawberries and ornate little tarts. They also offered complimentary beer and wine. The Marriott spread appeared meager by comparison, but then, access to the concierge lounge is free if you're a Marriott elite member. The Paradise Pier concierge lounge carries a $125 daily surcharge, and although it's nice you could save a lot of money by stocking up on your own cookies and muffins and sodas.
We enjoyed our stay at both hotels, and would return to both of them again. It was actually a nice mix, because although we enjoyed the facilities and comforts of the Paradise Pier hotel slightly more, it was a great relief to not have to depend on the Paradise Pier staff for the type of extra assistance we were able to get at the Marriott. Really, the concierge at the Marriott saved us hours of just sitting in traffic on I-5 -- not only did she look up the latest traffic updates, but she printed out directions. for us.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Anaheim Hotel Anaheim
- Anaheim Marriott