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“Huge disappointment”

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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Ranked #18 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 5, 2005

After reading so many great reviews of this hotel my family and I booked a stay for our June Disney trip. The hotel did not live up to the hype. The rooms are clean and fairly spacious, but are seriously outdated. With the freeway right next door it is extremely loud in the room. There is no way to leave the door open for air and the air conditioning unit in our room was so noisy it was unusable. Parking is sparse. We had to park quite a long distance from our room, but it was included in the room rate. The toilet flushed very slowly and completly clogged on the second night of our stay. When we called the front desk to report this, we were told that maintence had gone home for the night. Only after prompting were we offered another room. Our new room was on the opposite side of the hotel with our park view now gone and the noise of the freeway increased seven fold.
I will not stay in this hotel again, nor would I reccomend it to anyone. For very close to the same rate it is possible to stay at a much nicer hotel with park views. That is were we plan to return, next month.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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14  Thank redzee886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 13, 2005

Dear TripAdvisor Member, Glendale, AZ

Thank you for your review of my hotel, I sincerely apologize for the problems you experienced while staying as my guest.

I am pleased to know that the front desk provided you with a 30% discount for one night. The front desk also offered you two other rooms for your use in addition to your original room, one on the same side of the hotel but a different floor as well as a room on same floor but the opposite side of the hallway. Since you children were all settled in you selected the room on the same floor.

I inspected the air conditioning unit in your original room; the unit has a variable speed fan and I found that there was a problem when the lowest speed was selected although the A/C unit operated quietly on medium to high speeds. My maintenance staff as replaced the motor in that room so that other guests will not be troubled.

The hotel does have ample parking and has been recently remodeled; we used a palate of gold, sage, and beige which some people associate with the avocado green and harvest gold of the 1970’s. Our pictures on the Internet are updated and accurately depict our rooms.

Once again, I apologize that we did not meet your expectations. I invite you to contact me if you would like to further discuss your experience.

Best regards,

Bill Cleaver
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,232 - 7,238 of 7,624 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 5, 2005

The Howard Johnson at Anaheim is conveniently located, about 10' walk from Disney (depending if you are lucky with the traffic lights) and 15-20 minutes from the Convention Center. The only thing is that I found it fairly noisy, since freeway #5 is just across the bridge, and another 5-way road is behind the car-park, but I guess it depends where your room is located! Anyway, you don't go to Anaheim to stay locked in your hotel room, do you?
The good thing is that I found the staff far above the average, pleasant and keen to help their guests in any way. For instance, a friend of mine could not connect is computer in his room to send pictures to his kids (something wrong in the way the internet thing was configurated in his computer), and the Mr Call-me-Bill-Gates at the Howard Johnson (forgot his name, sorry) tried and tried again, and eventually managed to fix it, after 2 days of various attempts. In most hotels, including big 5-stars ones, "sorry, it comes from you computer, can't help anymore" would have been the answer. That makes all the difference!

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled on business
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2005

We stayed at this hotel May 20-23, and then 27-28 (cruise in between). The rooms were very clean and spacious. Hotel staff was extremely helpful and friendly. When we got to the hotel early on the 27th, we were able to store our luggage until check-in so we wouldn't have to leave everything in our car. The hotel was about a 7-10 minute walk from the Disneyland Resort, and it was no problem to go back to our room to get freshened up, take a rest and head back to Disneyland.

I would definitely stay here again if we ever come back to Anaheim.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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6  Thank Sprocket04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2005

Hi all,
We have just spent 18x nights at the Howard Johnson in Anaheim. We stayed at this hotel last year as well. It is the best!! I am very picky when it comes to hotels as I work for a 5 star hotel in New Zealand. We did all our bookings through Willie, and I cannot speak more highly of him if I tried, he was very friendly and professional, and always made you feel like you are the only guest he was dealing with, so thank you Willie, you were great.

For our first 5 nights I had requested a room on the 7th floor of building one, which we had, but I had no idea they had sky lights in them, sadly I am not a morning person, and the light coming in the room so early was not what I called a relaxing time, however this was totally on my request and nothing to complain about as far as the hotel is concerned, the room itself was spacious, with a lovely view of disneyland.

When we returned from Vegas we stayed for 13 nights and I had requested the same room as we had last year, building 1, fifth floor, which we got. This room is awesome, it has everything the room on the 7th floor had without the skylights, which made for a very happy girl second time around.

I cannot fault this hotel at all, service, cleanliness, distance to disneyland and large choice of restaurants and the pool area, it is just awesome. My son came and joined us for 3x nights and he was in building 2, and that room was also spacious and very clean, with a lovely view of the pool.

As we are from New Zealand and have been there for 3x years running now, we will not be going back next year, but are going to take our now 3 year old grandaughter over in 2007, and we will definately be staying at the Howard Johnson.

Thank you to all your staff they are awesome.

Gail and Rick Curwood
New Zealand

8  Thank gailrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2005

My family made its first trip to Anaheim last week and we stayed at the Hojo based on TripAdvisor reviews. We were not disappointed. Check in was smooth, the room was clean and very nice overlooking one of the hotel's two pools, and it was an easy walk to the Disney parks and Downtown Disney.

I give the hotel high marks for quality, especially the grounds (which were kept immaculate by a small army of groundskeepers during the day) and the well-used pool areas that were kept clean and stocked with fresh towels. My daughter loved the children's pool area with Speedy the Turtle and always seemed to find friends with whom to play.

We shared Building Two with quite a few Aussies, who were friendly and entertaining during the entire week. Now I want to visit Australia just to spend more time around those great folks.

The convenience store at the Hojo is well-stocked and the ladies behind the counter couldn't have been nicer.

We didn't encounter any of the noise from I-5 (which truly does run just past Building Two), but a hallway separated our room from the noise. We paid a small surcharge ($5 per night) to upgrade to a pool view room and I would heartily recommend that based on our experience. The noise problems seem to be with rooms facing east.

Another benefit is the convenience of Mimi's Cafe next door to the hotel. It's a great restaurant for breakfast or dinner and it is less crowded because most of the Disney crowd doesn't pass that far.

As for drawbacks, I can only name two. One is that there seemed to be no ventilation in the hallways of Building Two. It was always warm and humid (and the traffic noise from I-5 WAS evident there). Because there are only two "large" buildings at the hotel, this may not be a problem with many.

The staff also printed my bill with the incorrect rate ($42 higher than quoted) at checkout, but the error was happily corrected when I displayed a copy of my reservation information. Always hold onto those confirmations! One of the staff members said the computer system had recently been updated, which may be a legitimate excuse because I made reservations in February.

The ultimate test of any hotel for my family is whether we would stay there again. In the case of the Hojo, the answer is definitely yes.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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12  Thank PalmettoBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2005

Stayed at Howard Johnson May 9-14 with my mother. We had a clean room with a wonderful view. We were on the top floor of the main building. We could see the matterhorn, the monorail, and disney California Adventure from our room.

The walk to the park is short, especially when you consider that shuttles drop you off a little ways from the entrance too, so the walk was really nothing. Mc Donald's was close and they do have a dollar menu. Mimi's has good food.

The pool area was nice and always had people in it. The store had a lot of things that you may need including juice and milk. Our room was cleaned well every day and the front desk was friendly.

Would definately stay here again. Loved it and had a great time.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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12  Thank agamblething
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2005

I was looking for a budget hotel and found a really nice hotel on a budget price. Granted, it is no Hilton but it is definately not a dump and well above average. The rooms were clean and ours was very large. I was traveling with my sister and five year old son and we were all very pleased. Since my sister and I frequently fight over the bathroom it was nice to have a vanity outside of the bathroom in addition to the one in the bathroom. What suprised me the most was while the room decor was average the bathroom was really nice. Beautiful tile work in the tub area.

We did not get to use the pool area since the weather in SoCal at the time was a little chilly (June gloom) but we are excited to return sometime during the warmer months after walking past and seeing Speedy's Sprayground.

Lots of free parking. Across the street from Disneyland (we could see the monorail and the Matterhorn when we walked out of our building.) We were next to the freeway so there was some noise. Also we stayed in the top floor of one of the two story buildings that had big arched windows at the top of high ceilings-no shades. This made it a little bright on mornings we would have like to have slept in. However, if you are staying there in the fall or winter when it is not as light as early or you don't mind being up at 6am the windows are rather nice and make the room very bright.

Best of all we only paid $50/night.

This is an excellent hotel for anyone looking for a lot of bang for their buck!

  • Stayed: June 2004
    • Value
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14  Thank fink369
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 92802-2310
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: $178 - $298 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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