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“Great hotel, disappointed in the staff”

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Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Ranked #19 of 118 Hotels in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 2, 2007

I must say, with reading the previous reviews I was expecting a great place to stay. The hotel was great. We got a room on the 6th floor of the high building faccing towards disneyland. The walk to the park was nice and easy. What I was disappointed with was the staff. When I first arrived, I walked in to an empty lobby, which was nice cause we got to be helped right away. the girl who helped us, I wish I remembered her name, was a short blonde curly haired girl. She seemed upset that she actually had to help someone. I guess it must have been a slow day and she wanted to just sit around and do nothing. She was not very personnable, which kind of put a downer on our cheery mood of finally being at disneyland. That night I went down to ask some questions, and the gentleman seemed to not know very much. He was constantly asking the manager for the answers. I don't know, maybe he was knew. I must say check out was easy. All we did was went to the front, handed them the keys, and got a receipt. It took less than two minutes. I want to come back next year, but maybe the front desk staff needs to be taught to be more customer friendly.

  • Stayed: May 2007
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5  Thank TheDrivingMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,028 - 7,034 of 7,677 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2007

We had another wonderful week long stay at the HOJO's. Again, the property was neat as a pin, and the staff very friendly. It takes us right a 7 minutes to walk to the park, but sometimes at night we catch the ART shuttle if we are tired. We enjoyed a great breakfast at Mimi's next door. I have no complaints about this property. For the price, it is next to impossible to beat!

A big THANK YOU to Willie and his staff for a well run property, that makes for great vacation memories!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank Aubree4Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2007

I'm a trip research fanatic. This is my 7th time to Disneyland, second time with my children. Last time I stayed at Marriott Residence Inn Anaheim Resort area. Great choice but wished in retrospect that we weren't at the mercy of the shuttle schedule.

This time, primary objective was walking distance to Disneyland. There are a ton of hotels in an easy walk to the gates but unfortunately, aside from the Disney Properites (specifically the Grand Californian) everything is pretty mediocre. But hey, you are there for Disneyland, not to stay at some posh resort by the pool all day.

At the last minute I changed plans from a 1-bedroom suite right across from the gates to the HoJo. Reason? Ho Jo had a nicer pool. I think it has the nicest (although pretty basic) pool area of any of the walking distance hotels I've seen or read about. It was also cheaper since it was just a regular hotel room.

Nostalgic point was this was where I stayed with my parents nearly 30 years ago! And it hadn't changed except for some basic cosmetic updates.

We never used the pool. Too busy going to/from the parks. Room was very clean. Two bathroom sinks (although one outside the bathroom). No DVD player. Very basic. Nice little balcony with great view of fireworks. THAT was the big plus.

The walk is what I would consider on the edge of 'easy walking distance'. Our 5 and 7 year old made it fine, even in the evening, but it is not close enough to allow multiple trips to and from the park during the day as the walk will eventually wear you down if you go back and forth several times.

Beds were semi-comfortable, or average (3 stars), ain't no Westin heavenly bed, that's for sure. But walls are thick (cement?) so no noise, good staff, good pool, next to good restaurant (Mimis), so overall thumbs up if you're not that picky, want walking distance, and a better pool area than those closer motels with pools that make you feel like you are sitting in a parking lot. Value is so-so (but a deal compared to $400/night for Disney Grand Californian.) They are obviously charging as much as they can get away with, but I wouldn't classify it as overpriced.

If walking long distances (10+ minutes each way) in hot sun (assuming late Spring though Summer) and a larger pool area is not important, I'd opt for one of the closer motels.

Otherwise this is one of those choices that will have no surprises. Nothing phenomenal to rant about (except view of fireworks) and nothing really bad to say. They've got a good formula for reasonably priced accomodations in a well-maintained, aging complex, that offers a tad more of e hotel/resort feel than all the cheesy motels closer to the gates.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank jellyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2007

The location of HOJO is fantastic, particularly for small kids. Thre room was very clean. There are only 2 laundry rooms for the entire hotel complex so dont leave your laundry until the last minute.
Mmimi's cafe has the freshest, tastiest and most well priced menu around

  • Stayed: April 2007
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3  Thank 40ish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2007

We have just returned from a 3 ngiht stay at Ho Jo. The hotel is very good.
We are a family of 5. 2 adults and 3 children and therefore booked 2 adjoining rooms.Our main objective was to have good accomadation ,close/walking distance to the park at an affordabale price.
The rooms were clean and very roomy.
Staff are very helpful,plenty of meal options around the area,pools are good.Would stay here again.
Only drawback no safes in the room but available at reception.

Stayed: April 2007
4  Thank RanAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2007

We were going to be visiting disneyland, and since I am a "trip rewards" member (and had enough points for a free stay) we decided to stay here.

I was a bit nervous about the freeway noise that people have mentioned- so I booked a room that overlooked the park and had queens (insted of a freeway king room). We arrived and went to check in. The check-in area was nice and clean and had a cute tropical fish theme. Yes- the building has a dated look- but since it was by someone famous they have kept all of the structure the same- but updated everywhere else. Cute mosaics on the floor and cute "Trendy Mod" lighting and accents. Everyone was SUPER nice and gave us everyhing we had requested at reservations and they were fast and prompt.

Our room was in the large tower (building 1, room 615) on floor 6 (there are only 7 floors so we were high up) the elevators were clean and fast and ran just fine. Our room was not RIGHT next to the freeway side- but since there was only 2 rooms closer, we could hear the freeway- but it was not as bad as people make ti out to be. If you are a super ligth sleeper- bring ear plugs, but we had not used the AC and we slept just fine without any "noise buffers".

Our room overlooked the park and right out the window was the matterhorn peak and you could see (and somewhat hear) the tomorrowland area. Also the monarail passed by every few moments.

The Room was done in a cute citrus yellow orange motif, with nice art on the walls (1 monet and one mordern block art print) there was plenty of lamps and lights. One nice option was the balcony. The door was not a slider, but a door in the wall that walked out to the balcony- so no windows that opened which means no ratteling sounds when the fireworks go off or there is a door closed elsewhere in the hallway.
The bathroom was very clean and fresh, and all the bath products were in a "orange" scent- but it really smelled like 50\50 bars- yum! (the mouthwash made me hungry for dessert!).
Also- a bonus- they have soft water and the shampoo is reallly decent. You know how some hotel shampoos make you feel like you wanshed your hair with hand soap? (come on ladies- you know what I mean!) this stuff was not like that. My hair was the softest and cleanest that I have ever had from a hotel shampoo and conditioner set. Very nice!

We were in a non-smoking room and i believe that it was always that way- it was fresh and clean- no hint of smoke at all (unlike other "non smoking rooms" I have stayed in other hotels).
The shower had a nice HIGH shower head (we are both over 5'8 so that is important) and the shower drained very well (also a issue for us) there were pleanty of towels and washclosthes.

The beds were kinda firm, but nice, adn the pellows were fine- but I am a pellow freak- soI had my own- but they were still nice enough for me. the sheets and comforter were pleanty warm (and it was not a warm not) and we did nto need to sue the heater or AC during our stay. My only issue with the beds, is that a nice cozy matterss pad would be nice- there was one, but it was a bit thin and I like a bit more "kush for my tush" when I seelp than a sheet and a thin mattress pad- but I have slept on ones that were not as nice- so I had no real issue with it.

The rooms were nice and quiet and not once did we hear kids or people in the halls. We were right acorss the room from the ice machience room, but other than a small "ice falling" sound here and there, it was quiet. Our fridge was off, but we were expecting that, and turned it on and fa few hours later it was super cold.

Mimis was GREAT! it is a short walk (like 45 seconds) from the hotel lobby. it si not a "street" that you reall y cross over- it is more like a driveway with a median- not a big deal like other posters have said. it was a GREAT price. DL is SO expensive, but we got muffins for 1.75 ea and they were the size of "costco" muffins (BIG!) but homemade! we got oatmeal, fruit, juice and muffins and with tip hte both us were full for about $19. beats DL prices!

The walk to DL was SO fast...... why people would complain about that I have NO Idea! But let me say this- if you want to whine about a 7 minutes STROLL, than I would not reccomend you go to DL where you will be walking for 12+ hours.
Do not be fooled by those posters that say it is far!
This is a easy- flat-paved sidewalk. It took no more than 10 minutes and that included waiting at the stoplights to get across the street and strolling hand in hand. even walking back from DL that day (when we were totally tired) it was a short walk and not a issue at all!

Checkout was sad- we didn't want to leave.
it was fast, and they were once again super nice. (they were also Very nicely dressed I must say!) The Guest shop was great, but we didn't need anything, but if we did- they would of had it! the pools looked nice, but we were not there long enough to use them- there was also free internet, and 2 Macs in the Lobby for our use. The landscaping was great (very nice job guys!) and it felt tropical and fresh- and there was a fountian here and there. must better than your average hotel in the DL area.
I would for sure stay again, and will be back to vist them again in a few months.
We got to stay for free with my Trip rewards points, but I would be MORE than happy to pay full asking price to stay here again!!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank LoLoSLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2007

My family, consisting of husband and six year old daughter, just returned from a one week stay at HOJO. We constantly check Trip Advisor for opinions and thought we would share our experience. We have travelled to several all-inclusive resorts over the years and knew this would be a different, not at all pampering, vacation.

The loacation could not be better. A very short 5 minute walk to the front enterence. The street that HOJO is located on is quiet and set back a bit from the busier hotel zone. Be prepared to hear and feel the fireworks each night. A great view from the hot tub.

The staff was helpful and printed off maps and directions. We made a trip to Huntingon Beach-Beautiful and very easy to drive to. We also drove to San Diago's Sea World and it was another easy to navigate trip.

The hotel has two pools but only one seems to be used. The main pool area was clean, the hot tub nice and hot, and always clean towels. Our daughter enjoyed playing with other children and we enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub. Those travelling without children may find the central pool more quiet.

The only thing I found missing from the hotel was a restaurant. Mostly because I am not acustom to hotels without one.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay and would return again to this hotel.

Stayed: April 2007
5  Thank TeacherPrinceGeorge
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
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: $168 - $267 (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
Anaheim Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson Hotel Anaheim California

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