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“First Family Vacation in Years So We Splurged”

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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Ranked #33 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“First Family Vacation in Years So We Splurged”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We made a three day, two night trip to the Disneyland resort this June and had a wonderful time! We booked a Concierge level room at the Grand Californian Hotel and it was worth the splurge! We arrived around 9:30 a.m. and we were greeted at the entrance by a cast member who escorted us to the concierge lounge where we were able to enjoy the end of the Continental Breakfast being served while we were checking in. Fruit, pastries, cereal, bagels, fruit, etc. were available and replenished constantly by a helpful staff. Check-in was a wonderful experience as we were able to store our luggage, confirm a dinner reservation, obtain a wheelchair, and get our room keys (our roos weren't ready until the afternoon, and we were texted when it was available) all while drinking coffee and eating a light breakfast. As stated in other reviews, the hotel is decorated in Craftsman style and looks like a lodge. The lobby offers many comfortable seating areas and a huge fireplace with Storytimes for the kids. After check-in, we entered Downtown DIsney through the convenient entrance from the hotel and straight to DIsneyland.

We stayed in a room with two queen beds overlooking the pools. The room was comfortable and clean. It had a mini fridge, hdtv, and a nice balcony with a table and chairs. The beds were very comfortable offering lots of pillows. We were able to set the a/c at a comfortable level as it was a warm weekend. We were lucky, the rooms around us were either unoccupied or had quiet guests. We slept well.

We enjoyed the amenities of the concierge lounge, partaking in the aforementioned continental breakfasts, appetizers, wine and drinks during happy hour and the brownies or cookies at night. Sodas, coffee and water were always available. We also used the concierge service to make restaurant reservations, we even called from California Adventure when we needed one for lunch and got a lovely table where we were able to watch the parade.

Staying at the resort is not an economical way to make a Disneyland trip, but it is the most convenient and the experience is definitely enjoyable. Once you go Disney, it would be hard to go back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LHopkins101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,308 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,132)
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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights for the location. When we arrived the man that checked us in was completely rude as we asked for any upgrade available. He basically refused to check and left us with a bad impression. Not a smile upon him. Is this Disneyland??
Got to the room which overlooked a parking lot (okay it's what we paid for) and it is fine. The rooms need major updating. The room was dirty with food on the walls and under the trundle mattress. Refrigerator didn't work.
Location and pools make this hotel worth it to us since my mom can't walk long distances.
Also used the gym once and it is horrible and needs completely redone. All the equipment is rusting and looked awful.
Overall, you are paying for location and we knew that. Hotel needs redone with major updating. Pool was great though and provided a well needed break midday from the parks.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank piniw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novato, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013

This hotel is indeed grand (if a bit imposing—the property is massive), but from the very first greeting (at the kiosk as we first drove in), it felt warm and welcoming (though not entirely personal). The bell staff was kind, and self parking was a breeze (but don’t forget your room key!) and just across the street (bring a dashboard sunshade—it’s entirely exposed out there! But the lot seems very secure and well monitored). The lobby is quite nice (but lines at reception and concierge can be ridiculously long and slow moving), the feel is upscale woodsy “lodge” (I hadn’t seen pictures and was somehow expecting something more marble-and-chandeliered, in keeping with California Adventure’s gracious Hollywood vibe), and the gift shop is cute.

Rooms are surprisingly average—not very spacious or at all remarkable (though the subtle Bambi/forest-scene shower curtain was charming!)—but comfortable enough. We would have preferred decent hairdryers (they just have the cruddy attached-to-wall ones) and really could have used a microwave (we called, but they couldn’t deliver one—they did offer access to one at Whitewater Snacks downstairs). We had dual vanity sinks, which was good since one barely drained (even after service call). We had a 4th-floor room with two queen beds; it overlooked the pools and had a balcony with diagonal view of World of Color in California Adventure. We stayed for 4 nights (sheets only changed every 4 nights unless requested—I appreciate the environmental savings, but the bed didn’t seem crisp and tidy—it was as if my child had simply pulled up the duvet and fluffed the pillows. But pillow chocolates and evening pillow cards were appreciated at turn-down service!). Room darkening drapes are excellent; a/c is noisy but blocks outside noise. The first morning, housekeeping woke us up at 9 AM by knocking and coming in (and quickly backing out when they realized we were all sleeping—but it was a drag with children who had been up well past midnight the night before!).

It’s clear that what you’re paying for is the great location and the lovely common areas, including the multiple pools (where there’s something for everyone of all ages, including slides, lap-swimming, hot tub, plenty of lounges and shade, and poolside beverage and food service). (Note: you can access all Disneyland-owned hotel pools with your key…but we didn’t see a need to stray!) The best part of the hotel is the private entrance directly into California Adventure (so you can easily come back for pool breaks, naps, etc.) and early access to each park (alternating each day between Disneyland and California Adventure). The catch is that you have to get there at least a half hour earlier than stated time, and even then the line is already long, and staff seems a bit overwhelmed/flustered; there was a gate-opening issue one morning of our stay, and we could see other guests enjoying the park well before we had access, which was frustrating! (I’ve since read that it’s usually much faster to use the main entrance, even as Grand guests, instead of the special Grand one—next time!) You also have very easy access to Downtown Disney.

We wished they had longer hours at Whitewater Snacks for quick, less expensive food. Dinner at Storyteller’s Café (the one with the buffet option, though we ordered off the menu) was mediocre at best and not worth the price. Late-night drinks at the bar, fireside, was quite relaxing and pleasant!

All in all a worthwhile stay if you’ve got the budget for it!

Room Tip: The higher you go, the better they get! We liked balcony overlooking pools and California Adventure...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank YertleTurtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Obviously, this hotel is pricey! But being a hardcore Disney lover, it was surprisingly worth it. I loved early access to the park and they were a very short walk away! No need to deal with parking or shuttles. Perfect location, very nice people. Comfy beds and a great view from the rooms that face the park. The location is what makes this hotel the BEST. The only bad thing is that since it is Disney, everything is overpriced, including food and drink.

Room Tip: Try to get one that faces the pool and parks for a good view, especially at night. If you like more...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carlymariex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed in this Hotel In June 2013 and was very pleased with everything. The staff were ever so helpful and friendly and the hotel itself was very inviting. Would recommend staying here as it was close to both Disneyland and California Disneyland.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank joduffield46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We just returned from a four night stay at the Grand Californian. I had been getting concerned, as I had read several scathing reviews on this website. I have never gotten bad advice on Trip Advisor.

I was so happy to have stayed here. The location is amazing. The weather was SO hot, and by noon we could walk back in a matter of minutes and be by the pool or air conditioning. We saw so many people with little ones, pushing strollers, walking to the further away hotels in the baking hot sun. I felt for them.

The beds were very comfortable, and the bathroom was large and clean. We found the staff very helpful and polite. At Guest services they printed out our boarding passes for the following morning, which was great.

The Disney shuttle to and from the airport was always right on time, and was so much help!

The room wasn't ready, as we got in early. The bell desk kept our bags for us, and when we did get In our our room, they delivered them up to us.

The Grand Californian is very busy. I think they try to do a fast and efficient job of accommodating everyone. Yes, it is a large property.But it is designed well.

Yes, it is expensive. It would be nice if microwaves were included in the rooms. But I have to say, I would stay there again. I think the high prices are a result of supply and demand. As busy as they are, they must be doing pretty well. I suppose when a hotel works with this amount of volume, there will be times when someone will be unhappy.

I highly recommend this hotel for the location.It makes the Disney visit so much more enjoyable.

Room Tip: Don't expect world class luxury in the rooms. But the location makes up for it.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OregonAngelwings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunn, North Carolina
Level Contributor
57 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013 via mobile

Great hotel to stay at due to location of disneyland and disney California adventure park, service was great and they would take care of any problems you have with your stay right away put shopping is right outside of the hotel and also restraurants

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank james y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Property: Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Address: 1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802-2317
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Anaheim
#3 Luxury Hotel in Anaheim
#6 Business Hotel in Anaheim
#9 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#17 Family Hotel in Anaheim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1019
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This stunning hotel offers premium accommodations and rich dining experiences in American Craftsman style and elegance. With its world-class spa, an impressive array of amenities and impeccable Disney service, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa defines grandeur in every way. Located in the heart of Downtown Disney District, this hotel is just steps away from exceptional dining and entertainment. And with your park ticket, enjoy an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Californian Hotel
Grand California Hotel
Disney California Hotel
Disneys Grand Californian Hotel
Disney Grand California Hotel
Disney Grand Californian Hotel
Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel
Disneys Anaheim

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