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“Good Locatin & Service Makes This Hotel Worthwhile”

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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Ranked #15 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Fargo, ND
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good Locatin & Service Makes This Hotel Worthwhile”
Reviewed August 2, 2006

As this hotel has been reviewed many times, earning a Traveler's Choice award in 2005, I'll try to offer those details that seem most pertinent.

I stayed at the HoJo for six days during July in order to visit Disneyland. It was peak season and I happened to visit during the most recent national, record-breaking heatwave. Despite these factors, I quite enjoyed my stay and found the hotel to be nearly worth the money I spent. (I'd call it a break-even proposition, not a bargain.)

First, the HoJo offers a good location if you're interested in staying next to Disneyland. Although it's not right across the street from the theme park, it is between a 7-10 minute walk from the S. Harbour Boulevard. (I timed it during my stay; even on the hottest day it took me no longer than 8 minutes to walk from entrance to lobby: I did not, however, travel with a stroller, small children, or other things which would have slowed me down.) It is also located next door to Mimi's Cafe, which I highly recommend for breakfast and dinner as you go to and from Disneyland.

Second, the hotel is well-maintained for a three-star hotel. The decor was neither tacky nor tasteless, but what I would refer to as mid-range hotel inobtrusive. I stayed in a non-smoking, 2 queen beds, park-view room in the recently renovated Building #1. It was fairly spacious, included a refrigerator, and two sinks for washing up (one inside the bathroom, the other just outside the bathroom). There was more then enough drawer and closet space for the two of us and, I suspect, for a family of five. Water pressure was good, as was the general quality of the water. The housekeeping staff came early and did a good job. The grounds and buildings are being renovated, but these projects did not appear to disturb guests. Check-in and check-out is speedy and pleasant.

Third, the amenities for the hotel were adequate. There were two pools, both busy when I was there. They were perhaps a little small to meet guest demand (but again, we were traveling during the heat wave). TV channels include some cable (I seem to remember Showtime and ESPN.) More importantly for me, the rooms include free internet, and although the rooms aren't configured for extended periods of work on your computers it was convenient to be able to check my email from my room. The check-in area has a computer available for guest use, as well. There's a gift shop in Building #1 with a fairly nice range of food and beverages available, at hotel prices, and it features extended hours (though not 24 hours); the gift shop also has complimentary copies of USA today. There are two guest laundry facilities (Buildings #1 and #2), which were busy when I visited. The waits were not unreasonably long, though. There is no on-site restaurant--go to Mimi's Cafe--or fitness room. Parking is free.

Fourth, the staff is well-trained and courteous. At no time during my stay did I have anything less than a pleasant interaction with the staff. They went above and beyond to answer my questions about running paths. I saw maintenance working thoughout various areas of the hotel, constantly working on improvements. Service personnel were also very professional. And email interactions I had prior to my stay were also handled professionally.

Fifth, a mild critique. I requested, and paid for, a park view in Building #1. The hotel handled by request quite well, but the view of the park was blocked by trees which obscure line of sight for most, if not all, balconies in Building #1. (I was on the fifth floor, and had an obstructed view.) The balconies, by the way, are small, with no furniture. These rooms with a view are more expensive and, in my opinion, not worth the extra cost if it's primarily the view you're interested in. On most nights, people were in the parking lot watching the fireworks and the parking lot offered an equal if not superior view. If you're interested in a park view room because of concerns with I-5 noise, though, the rooms might be worth it. I cannot speak to this, as I visited at a time when the central air was running constantly and provided white noise. I could not hear freeway noise. (Also be warned, though, that I live in a downtown area near a passenger train, so I have a high tolerance for noise.)

Finally, one more critique: prices. Although the per-night price for the Howard Johnson was not extreme for the inflated prices charged by most of the hotels this close to Disneyland, they are inflated for a hotel of this quality. The price was even higher because it was summer, Disney's peak season, and still within Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration. (It is my understanding that the hotels surrounding Disneyland raised their prices based on increased visits to the park that coincide with the celebration.) Under normal circumstances, I would not pay the inflated prices for a three-star hotel; however, its proximity to Disneyland, the time of year in which I could make the trip, and the time between the decision to travel and departure led me to choose the Howard Johnson. It is a "brand" hotel, well-run and maintained, and pleasant to stay at, but there are probably better bargains out there for those folks who are going to spend the majority of their time at Disneyland and other area attractions.

In short, the Howard Johnson hotel is very well-run and staffed. It was a pleasant stay. That said, I do have to note that the hotel is ranked as a three-star hotel and I reviewed it as such. It does not offer all the amenities of a nicer hotel, nor should it be expected to. If I were to get a deal on the price that more accurately reflects its status as a three-star hotel, I would stay at the Howard Johnson again. If not, I think I'd search for another hotel in the same general area but one that offers two of the amenities I missed: a fitness center and a complimentary breakfast. This is not to cast aspersion on the Howard Johnson's operations--excellent staff--and improvements, but to note that the Howard Johnson did not seem to be quite the value for its money that I was led to expect from other reviews posted here.

  • Liked — Proximity to Disneyland
  • Disliked — Inflated price
  • Tips/Secrets — Management is really good at email contact
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank dkpeterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Northern Territory
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2006

My family 2 adults and 2 children aged 9 and 7 stayed here for 11 nights from July 2 to July 13. We had two interconnecting rooms all with double beds which was great. I think if you are staying longer than 4 nights you really need two rooms. We stayed in Building 2 on top floor, unfortunately couldn't see fireworks because of trees. I noticed there is a suite in that building on same floor which would be handy for families. Staff were so friendly. Gift shop has heaps of supplies so we would buy our cereal and milk and have that for breakfast (they even supply the bowls). As being Australians we aren't used to the big eating, and really got fed up with eating out all the time. Hotel is just great, only 8 minute walk to Disneyland and we did it everyday we were there, kids never complained. We come all this way and want to make the most of it. Impressed with Mimis cafe, although we were really hanging out for vegetables and a nice roast, us aussies can only take so much fried food and hamburgers. Tried other restaurants but always came back to Mimis. Aussies beware if you aren't big eaters two adults can easily share a meal as they are huge, and you will still have left overs and even the kids menu my kids ended up sharing as they were big. But the Hojo in general is fantastic, would recommend it any day to families, so much better than paying big bucks to stay in the real flash hotels, as really what are you there for, to sit in your room or go to Disneyland. Hojo is the go and we will definitely stay there again.

  • Liked — The location and staff
  • Disliked — Building is being upgraded so hope it doesn't affect the rates too much.
  • Tips/Secrets — Building 1 is the best building, see if you can get on top floor that way you will have perfect views of Disneyland. There are only two suites so book well ahead if you want these.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank tcgc65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Alberta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2006

We spent 5 days in this hotel and it was a wonderful experience.
The kids loved it as it had 2 very nice pools surrounded with beautiful trees and shrubs. At night we could watch the Disney fireworks from the one pool and from the hot tub! We walked to Disney from the hotel - that's how close it was. The rooms were nice and well kept. There was a laundry room in our building which I used and it was nice and clean as well. We would definitely stay here again!

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
9 Thank Psalm103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterborough uk
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2006

Nice clean room, friendly efficient staff. We had a room overlooking the garden pool and experienced no noise from the very close freeway. Great view of fireworks from the main pool, we got a better view from here than we managed to get at the park. Hotel is in easy walking distance to the parks and there are lots of good restaurants close by. Mimi's was the closest and the food was good even if service was a bit lacking.

  • Liked — clean room and friendly helpful staff
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask for a quiet room away from the highway
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank wow holidays!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, CT
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2006

Let me start off by saying that the hotel is in a great location. Disneyland is within walking distance and there is plenty of food options along the way if you are looking to avoid the high prices of the park food (mcdonalds, mimi's and others). The hotel room was average, nothing fancy by any means but it get's the job done. It is fairly priced for it's location...I actually found it to be cheaper than many of the surrounding hotels. The pools were great and the service was very helpful and friendly. The rooms were clean and simple but not magical by any means. The hotel met our expectations as a place to bath and sleep- was clean and affordable, AC worked just fine and didn't notice the traffic that was outside the window. A great place if you are on a budget and are expecting your experience to come from disneyland itself, not the hotel. If you are looking for your hotel to provide that magical disney feeling or a romantic getaway I would probably suggest trying one of the more expensive hotels. Overall, great experience...Nothing spectacular, but nothing to complain about.

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — High Price for Standerd Room & Average Ammenities due to location
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank ReeciePeicie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Logan, Utah
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2006

We stayed here in june 2006 for 6 nights.We enjoyed the stay.I always wanted to stay here because Mary from Mousesavers recommends it.We booked 1 night through the web site(119 minus 15%for having a annual passport for a park view) and the other 5 nights through getawaytoday. Our room was very spacious .We even brought a camp cot for my son to sleep on and there was plenty of room for it as well.Liked the fact that there was a vanity outside the bathroom, so it was faster to get ready in the morning.The only problem we had was at check out the front desk charged us 139 for that first night.My info was already packed and I wasn't sure were it got put.Needless to say it put a damper on my opion on the hotel .Just make sure you keep all info on you when you check out.Even though we enjoyed the stay, we will find a different hotel closer when we go back in october and february.The hotel is close but you do pass by alot of hotels which look awful nice after a long day in the park.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WendiBG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2006

What a great stay! We were here with extended family for a Disneyland trip. We had three rooms. Two of the rooms had one king bed and these rooms seemed a little small. Our room had two queen beds and the room was very spacious. so everyone hung out in our room when we weren't in Disneyland. The rooms are kept exceptionally clean, staff is very friendly and it is easy walking distance to Disneyland. Lots of restaurants along the way like Mimis, Millies, McDonalds, Captain Kidds Buffet, Dennys and Tony Romas.
The pool areas are perfect with views of Disneyland. Saw the fireworks from the pool on te first night. Water play area for the kids is perfect, the Garden Pool is more tranquil with lots of trees and foilage for cooling down.
We will definatley stay here again and again!

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank Ttwinkerbell
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
Amenities:
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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