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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Ranked #15 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
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7,227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014

clean rooms, not a very updated hotel. walking distance to Disney but not enough amenities in this hotel. Too far to walk to gift shop as it is in a separate building and no coffee shop. Pleasant stay but probably wouldn't stay here again. Very friendly staff though. pool was freezing cold but have found that to be normal for Disney area hotels for some reason

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Howard Johnson

Thank R L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hojoanaheim, HoJo Anaheim Guest Care Team at Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Dear R L,

We are sorry to hear that you were not completely satisfied during your recent stay with us. We do have a larger property with landscaped gardens, if you need a room closer to the Gift Shop please let the Front Desk know. They would be happy to find a room more accommodating to your needs. Although we do not have a coffee shop onsite, we have Keurig coffee makers in all of our rooms and provide four complimentary cups of coffee per day. Our Maintenance Staff checks the water temperature for our Garden Pool daily and is kept heated at 80 degrees year round. If you find this is not the case, please let the Front Desk know so we can have the temperature adjusted accordingly. Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us, your feedback is very much appreciated! We hope you give us another try to better serve you during your next trip to the Anaheim Resort.

Kind Regards,

HoJo Anaheim Guest Care Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, AZ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014

We have been fortunate that work has allowed us to stay at some luxury properties owned by the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Fairmont. Work and govt per diem limits have also forced us to stay in some real dives. Having sampled both extremes I can assure you the Howard Johnson in Anaheim is a gem!!! It has the price tag of a motel but unlike economy lodgings it has a staff with pleasant personalities and helpful dispositions. It also has clean, well apportioned rooms with amenities not available in comparably sized rooms at 5 star luxury properties. Howard Johnson’s Anaheim provides a customer service experience comparable to the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Fairmont. They have a friendly staff who remembers your name, is willing to help answer all questions and strives to meet and exceed the expectations of their travel savvy customers. We have stayed with them a total of four times after having a horrific stay at the Candy Cane Inn, Hilton and several priceline stays at the Hyatt, Sheraton, and Marriott. This trip we were traveling on business. Luckily we were able to get a rate that was less than the government $119 per diem for a room with 2 queen beds using the Mousavers rate. Thank you Tommy!

Let’s start with what this property does not have:
No valet parking. (So no help parking the car after a crazy drive through the maze of Southern California freeways)
No dedicated concierge desk. (No one to buy tickets to Honda Center concerts or book dinner reservations)
No afternoon tea service or cordials in a club room (so no indoor spot for groups staying in multiple rooms to chat and catch-up).
No turn down service (so no chocolate mints on the pillows)
No towel animals on the beds (for the kiddies when they return from the parks)
No free breakfast

What they do have:
-Free parking, with plenty of luggage carts to help unload the car. Mobility impaired guest can ask and get help but will need to wait. Bellhop service is mainly self serve.
-Free Wi-Fi
-Great friendly check-in staff with personable attitudes and a willingness to help customers with a range of services from buying Disneyland passes to directions to local spots. Thanks Robert & Greg!
-Flat screen TV’s that do not use up precious outlets required to charge up all the phones, tablets, and portable electronic we can’t live without.
-Keurig machines with 4 k-cups provided each day and 2 packets of Lipton tea in every room. (Nespresso people... Keurig is acceptable coffee but there is a Starbucks in DL and another on Harbor & Ball past the HWY 5 next to the Chevron gas station. Keurig blends of varying strength are available in the gift shop. Tea drinkers might prefer to bring their own Harney & Sons or Novus bags of tea)
-mini refrigerators (for milk, yogurt or leftovers)
-Roll away beds in every room (so you can squeeze 2 adults and 3 kiddies into a room. Five adults would be okay but only if you are used to cramped living conditions
-Secured room accessible only to the managers to store laptops, jewelery and other expensive items while you’re away from your room.
-Very nice pool and water playing area.
-They have a well stocked gift shop for snacks, breakfast, lunch or dinner including a small wine selection for the exhausted parents. If you are lucky, Mary will be on duty and make you feel welcome, as if shopping at your favorite local shop!
-They have a well maintained arcade for the tweens/teens.
-Laundry machines for those of us unable to travel with valets and ladies maid
-Easy walking distance to a variety of eateries. If you are desperate for fine dining, rsvp the Napa Rose at the Grand Californian, except for steak which is best from Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. Both accessible by an easy walk away via Downtown Disney.
-Incredibly sweet and accommodating housekeepers! If you are lucky, you’ll get Purificacion and she will kindly clean up the disaster your child made with the breakfast cereal! Be sure to tip your housekeepers! Purificacion always managed to leave my room far neater and cleaner than I ever could! If you are very lucky it will be a slow day and she might even have time to leave your child’s toys on their bed to greet them when they return to the room!
-If you are incredibly lucky the family suite might also be available for your stay!

I promise, you will not get better service at the Grand Californian or any other Disney owned lodgings! If you need to stay at a luxury property, avoid the local Sheraton and Hilton. Book yourself into the Fairmont in Newport and hire a private car to drop you off at the front of Disney’s Grand California. It is also a nice safe spot for private hired chauffeured pickups.

Tips: Ask Mary in the gift shop for epsom salts and ear plugs as soon as you arrive.
You’ll need ear plugs because the place is not a quiet secluded spa like Miraval, it is an internationally popular family vacation spot!
A sound generator app on your smart phone will be requisite because you may hear traffic from the highway dependent on your room and the way the sound waves hit the walls of your building. If you like the white noise from the in-room fan then you’ll be fine.
You’ll need the epsom salt to soak your feet at the end of your first day to help you feet recover from walking on Disney’s cement and asphalt.

Enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: Reserve early.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank mcfazindependent
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

Property: Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Address: 1380 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92802-2310
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Anaheim
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Anaheim
#5 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#23 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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