Whenever a management declares a property “rustic” or as in the case of Hojo Anaheim “retro,” a visitor can usually expect a dump in desperate need of renovation.
This hotel is not a dump, but no fairy tale castle either. While there is some pretty nice 50's retro architecture in certain sections of the hotel, the focal point is really on Disneyland across the street—and the hotel delivers a big punch in this regard.
The Disneyland gate is less than a ten minute walk away. It's perfectly reasonable to visit Disneyland in the morning, come to your room for a nap and return in the late afternoon. $4 also buys you an adult all day pass to the local shuttle, but considering that you'll be doing so much walking at the park, the short hike from the hotel to the gate is a drop in the bucket.
Speaking of buckets, the kids' water playground has a giant water bucket that tips over and spills water over heads of screaming children every five minutes. Shaped as a pirate ship, the playground is really nice and also has a hot tub for the parents for chilly winter evenings. The playground is open morning till 10:00pm every day. There is also a nice salt water swimming pool in the other section of the hotel.
Our room was a little worn out but large. The fifth floor offered a view of the Mt. Matterhorn peak across the street and watching the Disneyland fireworks from the balcony was great. I only wish the pillows were a little less filled. After one night on a giant, hard stuffed pillow my neck feels like I propped my head on a cinder block all night.
Hojo Anaheim is a pretty good value when compared with the Disney branded hotels. Certainly a lot cheaper, but not luxurious although fun for kids when the water playground is in operation.
There are two or maybe more low rise structures. One of them is right next to the water playground. Don't plan on sleeping before 10:00pm if your windows face the playground. Kids are having fun till late every evening.
One side of the tall building looks at the I-5 freeway. The other side faces Disneyland. Enough said. Make sure to book a room on the highways side if you like watching cars!
The walk to the park gate is very quick. Waiting for the shuttle may take you longer than walking to Disneyland.
There are plenty of dining options around, but although the website claims that Mimi's restaurant is part of the hotel, it is across the street. It doesn't seem related to Howard Johnson at all.
Other than hanging out at the swimming pool, there aren't any options for parents to do at the hotel while kids are asleep. There is a small video arcade on the first floor and the hotel lobby squeezed between a hotel shop and elevators is underwhelming.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel And Water Playground - Anaheim / Disneyland Park
- Howard Johnson Anaheim
- Howard Johnson Hotel Anaheim California
- Anaheim Howard Johnson