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“Absolutely great value!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground

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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1380 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92802   |  
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Ranked #5 of 115 Hotels in Anaheim
A TripAdvisor Member
“Absolutely great value!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2005

We stayed at the Howard Johnson for one week at the end of April this year. The reviews on this website helped me make my decision. As it was going to be a once in a lifetime trip for us, making the right decision was an absolute necessity.

I would have to agree with most of the comments on this website, the Howard Johnson was definately value for money. The rooms are large and well decorated. The noise from the freeway was not a problem at all (and we had a room that backed onto the I-5 - Building 2). A fridge in the room made it very convenient to store drinks etc. and the view of the fireworks from our top floor balcony were spectacular!

Staff are very helpful and polite. Gift shop is well stocked. Kids loved the pool area and arcade. Make sure that you try Mimi's Cafe across the road. It has the most delicious food - just like home cooked! The staff at the restuarant are the nicest wait staff we encountered on our 5 weeks of travel through the USA and Canada. And the little extras that they provide with your meal (bread rolls and carrot cake), made it really affordable.

The walk to the park is not very far 5 - 10 mins. No need to catch a shuttle! Our kids aged 6 & 8, didn't complain once.

In fact the only downside to this hotel was that the beds are not the most comfortable to sleep in (my husband who has a sore back, actually slept on the floor for a couple of nights). We did mention this to the front desk, and although I guess there is not much they can do, suggested extra pillows!!

Overall a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2005

My 10 year old daughter and I stayed at the HJ from 5/20-5/23. We had booked a double double non-smoking room (356 sq feet) a few months earlier through Mousesavers and got a great rate of $58.75 a night. Check in was smooth and we were in Building 4 (4110) on the ground level facing the courtyard. This was a good location as it is close to the main pool but on the backside and Building 4 is away from I-5 and we didn't hear any traffic noise at all.

The room size was good for two and would be fine for 4 as well. It is a standard room with 2 double beds, bathroom with 2 sinks (1 inside, 1 outside), a mini fridge, desk, tv and walk in closet and a balcony.

The room was always clean and cool when we returned after a long Disney day. We had no problems with billing and used express check out via the TV.

The main pool was clean and stocked well with towels and the water was warm enough (although the outside temp during our stay was over 85 degrees each day).


The walk was less than ten minutes to get to the Main gate area of Disney, and if you cross at Harbor and walk on the north or west side of the street (across the street from Mimi's) you will miss all pedestrian traffic and will be walking by yourself.

All in all it was a great stay and well worth the price paid. You can't beat the convenience of not having to drive to the parks every day. It's not 4 star like the Grand Californian (where we stayed last March) but it's not $360.00+ a night either. If you're looking for a nice, clean Hotel within walking distance to the parks, this is the place.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2005

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights while visiting Disneyland. We were in Building 1, 6th floor with a view of Disneyland. The room was spacious and had a balcony. While we were not facing the freeway, we could clearly hear the noise from it. With the balcony door open, it was extremely loud, but with it closed it was much better. Luckily noise does not bother us too much. Our room overlooked the hotel pool and Disneyland park. We could clearly see the Disney fireworks from our balcony the first night we were there.
We utilized the restaurant next door to the hotel, Mimi's Cafe for breakfast and it was good. The hotel convenience store was amazing. They have everything you might need and more! I have never seen a hotel store that is so well stocked.
The hotel is within walking distance to the Disney parks. The walk took maybe 5-10 minutes. Harbor Blvd, the street the hotel is on, also has lots of other hotels and restaurants within easy walking distance.
While this hotel is not a luxury property, for the rate we paid, I would say it was a great deal; it is a nice property for what they charge. We definitely will return to the HoJo's on our next visit to Anaheim!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hood River, OR
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2005

I stayed at HoJo Anaheim Nov. 11-14, 2004 with my two children, ages 6 and 8. We were pleased with the location of the hotel, near enough that we only found it necessary to use ART once... and that was at midnight with exhausted kids. Mimi's restaurant nearby is great... here's a trick we didn't learn as early as would have been nice. Soon after your arrival, stop in and grab a to-go menu... then, if you want a meal and they are super busy, or you'd just rather go sit in relative quiet, call and order it, and then go pick it up. We actually called and made an order from DL, and picked it up on the way back to the hotel for dinner and a rest before heading back over to the parks for the evening.

The staff was helpful and polite, and quite patient with my very-curious traveling companions. My only wish was for more quiet, but that's a lot to ask, when, being used to rural Oregon, I didn't find quiet anywhere from the time we left Portland until we returned home. I was certainly given the impression that California=noise, during the entire duration of our trip.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

I am Sorry about the delay as I found this site useful and informative when I planned my trip and I should have done this sooner...We took our holiday in February of this year and stayed at the HoJo for 7 nights, we found it exactly as people have said on this site... conveniently placed, friendly and helpful staff, clean and well priced, but again as people have explained on here the noise from the interstate at the rear of the hotel is a minus point, when we arrived we were put in a rear room where the traffic noise is probably the worst but after speaking to the helpful and wonderful staff on reception they took my girl friends light sleeping problem as if it was their fault, and moved us no questions or fuss to a quieter room at the front of the building were there is less traffic noise, whilst we were visiting Anaheim the weather was awful(mud slides and flooding in Los Angeles also some freeways were closed for flooding) but the staff took time out from their busy schedule to find us activities we could complete without the need for canoes and lifejackets, the hotel also contains a well stocked mini mart where you are able to purchase everything from beer and snacks to Disney souvenirs, again the ladies in the mini mart deserve a mention as they are always friendly, helpful and interested in your day.

If I had one huge favour to return for all the help I was given, it would be to fit wheels to the HoJo and roll it 200 yards down the road towards Disney, this would be only to remove the traffic noise problem, but if I was able to do that I would probably not be able to afford to stop there again when I eventually return to California.

Thanks for the holiday HoJo

  • Stayed February 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

We stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Plaza from May 3, 2005, until May 11, 2005. We had read all the reviews on Trip Advisor ahead of time, so we felt that we pretty much knew what to expect. Even though I had high expectations for the HoJo, they still managed to surpass them. I was thoroughly impressed!

We arrived at the hotel very early (about 11 o'clock) and knew that check-in time wasn't until 3 o'clock, but we gave it a shot anyway. The man at the front desk (who was very, very friendly and helpful) gave us the option of checking in right then to a highway-facing room in Building 1, or waiting until 3 o'clock for a pool-view room in Building 2. Since we were going to be there for over a week, we thought it would be worth it in the long run to wait for the second room. The hotel staff took us to a luggage storage room in Building 1 where they allowed us to keep all our bags while we went to explore Harbor Boulevard and Downtown Disney. We returned to the hotel at about 2 o'clock and our room still wasn't quite ready, so we decided to go take a look at one of the two pools. While we were there feeling the temperature of the water (very nice -- i think 81 in the "cold" pool and i can't remember what it was in the hot tub, but it was very hot) the hotel manager came up to us. We thought we might be in trouble because we hadn't checked in yet or something, but he was so nice, and he informed us about the water temperature and made sure that we knew that they were there to serve us and that if we needed anything they would be happy to help. We were overwhelmed with the courtesy of all the hotel staff.

Our room was ready at about 2:45, so we made our way through the beautiful courtyard to our building and up to our room on the 3rd floor. When we got there and took a look at it, we breathed a sigh of relief. It was just what we'd been expecting/hoping for. We had a room with a king bed, and it was just the right size for us. It wasn't too crowded, even with all four of our huge suitcases on the floor. We had a large bed, two night tables on either side, a table with two chairs, a desk with another chair and a lamp, a large cabinet with a good-sized TV in it, a closet with sliding mirror doors, and then the washroom which was large with two sinks. We felt right at home there.

We usually returned from the parks for a mid-day nap at around 2 o'clock each day. Every single time we returned to our room it had already been cleaned very well. We were very impressed with the maid service. We always had clean sheets, and lots of clean towels. They seemed to do a quality job and not to cut corners.

We needed assistance from the front desk a couple times when we were trying to plan day trips (Knott's Berry Farm, Medieval Times, Universal Studios). Each time they helped us with any questions that we had, and were very knowledgeable. We got the impression that they knew exactly what they were doing... and all of our day trips worked out very well.

A couple of times we were down at the pool while the Disneyland fireworks went off. Wow! Nothing beats sitting in a hot tub with a great view of the amazing fireworks. It was kind of a surreal feeling, and one of my fondest memories.

I would like to say for the record that traffic noise was NOT a problem! We stayed in Building 2, which is a highway-facing building, even though we didn't have a highway-facing room. We left our bedroom window open for our entire stay, and never had a single problem with traffic noise. We did notice a quiet hum of traffic in the distance, but it was honestly relaxing and not a problem at all. If some are more sensitive to the noise, they could simply close their windows, then I'm sure -- at least from our room -- that there would be no noise issues at all. I'm shocked that so many reviews make such a huge deal about the traffic noise. They must be from the suburbs or farms where they simply aren't accustomed to normal everyday noises. Do NOT pass over this hotel if you're scared that the noise will be too loud... it really is a non-issue and should not be a deciding factor!

The hotel store was great too. They had everything we needed and more. The workers there were so nice and friendly. The hours were from about 7-11, so it was very convenient.

Mimi's Cafe across the street was wonderful. We ate there 5 times, and loved every single meal. The waiters and waitresses were very kind and attentive. The portions were huge, the prices were low, the atmosphere was inviting, and they really made you feel welcome!

Oh, and I do feel that I should mention the EXCELLENT rate we got for this hotel. We booked back in January when prices seemed to be at their lowest and we paid $49 a night! This hotel is so great we would have paid double that or more, but the great price was just the icing on the cake.

The Howard Johnson is clean, safe, relaxing, comfortable, and affordable. The staff, who really seem to care, are truly appreciated. It's not worth your time to look into other hotels in the area, this has got to be the best! I can't wait to come back someday!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2005

In the past 2 years I have stayed at HoJo three times. I love it. It's not 5 star, but it works!
Have never tried any of the other hotels, and from all the reviews I don't think I want to. I've never had any big problems when staying here.
The walk does seem like a ways away at the end of the night. The ART shuttle stops here, I think for 3 dollars one way per person. But you can get multi day passes for like 2 dollars each. (That's what it was when I went.)
They remodeld their pool, which looks GREAT!
Fridge is a big plus! No complaints! (Not yet anyway!)
I'm going back to Disneyland in August 2005, and I'm taking my 2 nephews and 1 neice. It will be their first time. I'm really tight on money, but I'm thinking about spending the 109.00 a night. It's well worth it. I'm afraid of spending 69-79 dollars a night somewhere else and having to sleep on dirty beds with bugs. Eww...
Hope you all enjoy HoJo as much as I did. =)

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground

Address: 1380 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#26 Business Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground 2.5*
Number of rooms: 303
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just an 8-minute walk from Disneyland Park, this non-smoking family resort hotel features Castaway Cove - A Watery Pirate Playground! With slides, drench bucket, water canons, jacuzzi, toddler's wading pool and more, Castaway Cove is a great place for your whole family to play together! Also nestled within the lush, park-like grounds is the family friendly Garden Pool! With free parking, fridges and internet- HoJo Anaheim is the perfect choice for your family adventure! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel And Water Playground - Anaheim / Disneyland Park
Howard Johnson Anaheim
Anaheim Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson Hotel Anaheim California

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