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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Ranked #18 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
222 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 402 helpful votes
“Lives up to the reviews”
Reviewed April 21, 2005

We stayed at this hotel about 15 years ago (it was good then) and have tried several others in the vicinity. We chose it this time because of Trip Advisor reviews and it lived up to expectations.

We asked for a park view room and got just that - the corner room on the 6th floor of building 1. I met the previous occupant on his way out of the hotel and he declared it to be a "great room". It was.

We had a balcony with a view across to the Matterhorn and were close enough to wake to the sound of the Disney railroad bell. I had hoped it would offer a great view of the fireworks only to be told that there were no fireworks that week! Can't win 'em all.

Check-in and out was quick and easy. There was an on-site shop and amusements for the kids and a good pool area for lunchtime breaks from the park. Rooms may be a bit on the tired side (I understand there will be refurbishments) but they were of a good size with adequate facilities.

Best of all is the short walk to the park.

Mimi's restaurant next door was excellent and we had breakfast on the small patio. I liked the gingerbread-house look. Millies further along was not as good and further along Harbour Bvd there was a McDonalds, IHOP and DEnnys - plenty of alternatives to eating in the park.

Stayed April 2005
10 Thank adrianhobson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 20, 2005

We had our 2nd stay at HOJO and it was just as pleasant as the first. The rooms were clean, plenty of towels, friendly staff at check in and the gift shop.

We will definetely book here again when we come back.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2005

Aaargh...the noise!

Avoid Building 2 and 1 - We tried both in 24 hrs and checked out early.

Our room on the ground floor of Building 2 felt unsafe. Very isolated with a sinister looking service alley between it and the freeway. The noise was unbearable so we were moved to the top floor of building 1. This was was better from a security point of view but the noise of the freeway still woke us early.

Enough was enough and we fled to the Disneyland hotel. Can't compare the two in price but the extra expense was worth it to get a quiet, secure room nearer to the attractions.

Whoever designed the HOJO should be shot. I know that there arent quiet places in LA but to build a hotel immediately next to the freeway and not make any effort to soundproof it seems crazy. I pity the staff. They must have to deal with complaints like our everyday.

If you're on a budget then stay at the HOJO but make sure your bring earplugs / drugs / alcohol. Otherwise my recommendation is to look elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank roseyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground, responded to this review, April 25, 2005
Dear TripAdvisor Member, Cambridge, UK

Thank you for your review. William Pereira designed the Anaheim Howard Johnson hotel. William Pereira was a legendary architect who was highly influential in the shaping of Orange County, California. Perhaps best known for designing the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, his greatest achievement lies in what was his pet project for the latter half of his life - the master planning of the Irvine Ranch in central Orange County. Development of the Irvine Ranch as per Pereira's master plan began in the early 1960s with the construction of the University of California at Irvine. Pereira's buildings at UCI featured unusual concrete-formed exteriors with three-dimensional tessellating patterns. Pereira also left his unique touch on other campuses, most notably with his library building at UC San Diego, now known as the Geisel Library. Pereira was a friend of Walt and Roy Disney, and he designed some of the original hotels surrounding Disneyland, including the Disneyland Hotel itself. William Pereira was an architectural genius who has left a lasting impression on every square inch of ground he has built on.

International travel especially when it is accompanied by a sever case of “jet lag” can be difficult and can influence a persons observations. I hope that you were eventually able to adjust to our time zone and that you enjoyed your California holiday.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 18, 2005

I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights, April 16-17 with my 13 year old son. I booked online using the hotel's direct site and received a lower rate than several of the travel website's. I was pleasantly surprised upon arrival that the location was so near to the entry gates of the Disney parks. It can be a bit tiring walking back to the hotel after a long day spent in the parks, but it never took more than 10 minutes.
We dined at Mimi's (located just across the side street from the hotel) the first night and found the food tasty and fairly economical. Friendly staff and fast service for a busy Saturday night. The following night we dined at Tony Roma's (located approx. 3-4 minutes down Harbor Blvd.) and that was equally as nice. We also had lunch at McDonald's (a short block away)on our second day.
I reserved our room online just 2 days before arrival and the only accomodation available was a smoking room on the 2nd floor of Bldg. 1. The entire floor had a very strong odor of tobacco, and the room was just as bad (even the pillows contained a strong odor of smoke). Although the room was very clean, the tobacco odor was almost overbearing. Luckily, I was able to change rooms the next morning to a non-smoking room on the 6th floor in the same building. The room was larger and nicer, with the extra sink located in the bedroom area. Both of our rooms were located on the freeway side, but the heavy sound of traffic didn't seem to bother us. There was no problem listening to the television for the short time we turned it on while there.
My son loved the game room, and the Gift/Sundry shop was extremely convenient. We purchased delicious muffins from Mimi's each night and bottled OJ and fresh banana's from the downstairs Sundry shop each morning (it opens at 7a.m.) so our breakfast expense was minimal as we also used our bottled water and made coffee using the coffeepot and packaged coffee provided in the room.
The swimming pool, jaccuzzi and large patio area near Bldg. 1 was very clean and well-used by many of the guests, yet never overly crowded while we were there.
Because we drove to Anaheim, the free parking was appreciated, and the fact that cars are parked away from the lodging makes it quiet. Many of the nearby hotels/motels have parking directly in front of the ground level rooms.
All in all, I'd strongly recommend this hotel and will most likely use it again in the future.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 18, 2005

We do quite a bit of traveling and were MORE than pleased with this Howard Johnson Hotel.
Staff Member Matt - came to my room to configure my laptop at a moments notice. He was kind, friendly and helpful as were all the staff members.
The rooms were exceptionally clean (which is hard to find now days)
There were plenty of towels at the pool.
Clean pool area with plenty of chairs and tables.
Close to Disneyland Main entrance.
We noticed a guard walking the parking lot to ensure the cars were safe.
Free parking.
Very informed Staff - with plenty of maps and attraction pamphlets available.
We will be back again for sure!
I HIGHLY recommend this Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 16, 2005

I have to admit the Howard Johnson beat my already high expectations. If your looking for a clean, well priced, place to stay at Disneyland then this is it. The walk is no more than 5 min, and is close to Disneyland. The problem that I had was when I first considered price vs. location I thought the Howard Johnson was the better deal even though it was an extra 5 min than the hotels right in front of the park. I still think that if money is a selling point then go with the HoJo for sure, but keep this in mind: By day two I would have paid $30 extra per night to save my legs the extra 5 min of walking. Never thought I’d say that, but it's important to consider.

The staff met all my requests that I had e-mailed them leading up to my stay (but couldn't put me into a Disney view room because none were available).

DON'T ORDER FROM PAPA JOHNS - The hotel has a little place card in the room that advertises Papa Johns pizza, but when we tried to order from them they wouldn't deliver because we didn't know the address. Apparently the drivers couldn't find the HoJo on Harbor blvd. even though they advertise there (see my review on Papa Johns Anaheim).

Mimi's Cafe is great and fast (don't let a wait fool you) people get in and out fast cause they are on their way to the park.

Don't eat the buffet at Captain Kidd’s; even though we knew it would be awful, it failed to meet our expectations.

The hotel does not have a business center for use, it would have been nice to have access to a computer to check a web site, or write an e-mail. The front desk staff were able to refer us to a place up the street that had internet access for $2/10 min.

Best Value in this hotel for sure!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 11, 2005

We initially reserved an "office room" that had a refrigerator and microwave, but later was able to switch that to a Disney view room for the same price. We stayed at building #1 on the 7th floor and could see the Monorail tracks, the top of the white/gray mountain (is that called the Matterhorn?), and the Tomorrowland bronze-colored structure from Disneyland. In the distance, I could see the Paradise Pier ferris wheel and the Screamin' roller coaster from DCA. The place is clean-clean-clean. Even the corners of the bathroom mirrors were clean. Kudos to Esther (I think that was her name) the cleaning lady assigned to our room who was very thorough and prompt in cleaning our room. We left our room to eat breakfast at around 7:30, by the time we came back by 9am our room was done! It was too chilly for me to even consider taking a dip in the pool, but I think some with hardier consistencies enjoyed it because the pool had its share of swimmers. A huge plus was the game room where my son and I spent some waiting time. The gift shop is great! From ice cream bars, to toiletries, to souvenir items I think they have it all. For those of you who can only sleep in total darkness, ask for a room that is NOT on the 7th floor of building 1. My husband hardly slept the 3 nights we were there because our room had these pretty glass arches that let light in. It seemed like the sun rose earlier in California and set later too! It can also be an issue if you try to ask preschoolers to take a nap in the afternoon. It's really bright in there. But our room looked exactly like the room that's posted on their website. I just didn't realize the arches were going to be a problem for my boys.

15 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 Romantic Hotel in Anaheim
#5 Family 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
Howard Johnson Hotel Anaheim California
Anaheim Howard Johnson

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