My sister and I stayed at the Red Lion on our recent vacation to Disneyland & Knott's Berry Farm. I checked out reviews on dozens of hotels before we settled on Red Lion. I was looking for a hotel rated at least 3 1/2 stars, with 90% or more favorable recommendations, and within 15 minutes walking distance of Disneyland. There were only a few that fit that criteria, and of those, there were things in the reviews that caused me some concern. I finally narrowed down my choice to Red Lion and the Sheraton across the street. But since I got a really great online senior/AARP discount rate at Red Lion (about $60 a night less than the Sheraton), I chose the Red Lion.
On the positive side, we asked for a received a quiet room that was away from street noise, elevators, and ice machines. Check in and check out was quick and easy. The room was clean and, although I am used to a Temperpedic mattress, I found the beds were reasonably comfortable. The in-room refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, clock-radio, and hair dryer all came in very handy. (However, my sister used the coffee maker to make hot water for tea, and had trouble getting the water hot enough.) The TV was a large flat-screen with a clear picture. We didn't use the free Internet access, so I can't comment on it's efficiency. The bathroom had a shower/tub combo and a large marble vanity with a large, well-lighted mirror. We had plenty of room to spread out our girly lotions and potions and curling irons, etc. (We would have prefered a sink/vanity seperate from the bath, so one of us could fix hair while the other showered--but that was a minor quibble.) And they actually provided glasses (not plastic cups), which was very nice when we used one to hold our toothbrushes (platic cups tend to tip over).
Parking (for $14 a day) was easy with in/out priviledges with a parking pass card that raised the entry and exit gates. There was ample parking and we were able to park quite near the back door of the hotel, which allowed us easy access to the hotel with our keycard. (The back door was unlocked during the day, but needed a keycard at night.) At the end of our stay, we simply packed our bags, loaded the car, and exited the parking lot, driving around to the covered driveway in front of the hotel's main doors. We turned in the parking pass, settled our bill, and were on our way.
The Red Lion was indeed within easy 15 minute walking distance of Disney, and the walk was tree lined and pleasant. For those who prefer, there was an ART shuttle stop right in front of the hotel, and the shuttle runs every 20 minutes. For $4 a day, you can ride the shuttle to the park and back to the hotel. There was a ticket kiosk at the hotel.
We dined in the hotel's Italian restaurant our first night, the pasta and breadsticks were delicious, but the waitress poured too much dressing on the salad--I would recommend asking for your dressing on the side. We also made use, one day, of the 24-hour Cafe2Go, picking up sandwiches with whole grain bread, and fresh fruit. It was very handy for quick snacks. We did not use Red Lion's breakfast buffet option ($10) as I don't eat eggs, sausage, bacon, white-flour pancackes, or cereal, and I didn't want to pay $10 just for yogurt and country potatoes. Instead we discovered an IHOP right next door and went there for breakfast (they have wonderful whole-grain, blueberry pancakes). IHOP is a very handy option, although more expensive, if the Red Lion's breakfast buffet does not appeal to you.
We did not use the swimming pool or exercise room, although they looked nice.
On the negative side, we had only minor quibbles. The light in the bathroom was attached to a motion sensor. I like long, hot showers after 15 hours touring theme parks. And I found that the light would turn off before I got out of the shower. Fortunately, there is a light over the tub that did not go out (assuming you remembered to turn it on). When the light over the bathroom mirrors went out due to lack of motion (it didn't sense me behind the shower curtain), I'd open the curtain a little and wave my arms and the light would come back on. A minor annoyance, and not a deal breaker--but be sure to turn on the light over the tub when showering! Another minor annoyance with the motion sensing bathroom light is that it would turn on when you went to the bathroom at night, dealing a big shock to night-adapted eyes. However, I had packed a night light, and I left it plugged into the bathroom. Turning off the motion sensing light did not keep it off-- if it sensed motion. So at night, I left the bathroom door almost all the way closed. When I began to open the bathroom door at night and the motion sensor turned on the very bright light, I quickly hit the switch, located right next to the door, to turn it off again, and was able to use the bathroom in the gentle glow of my nightlight.
My other minor quibble was with the bathroom fixtures. The hardware that held the roll of toilet paper was an open ended curving shape. It was very easy to accidentally pull the entire roll of toilet paper off the hardware when you were trying to pull a few sheets off the roll. When that happend the roll of TP was now rolling around on the floor, picking up whatever germs are on the floor that you've tracked in on your shoes. Eeww! After the first time this happened, we no longer used the toilet paper holder fixture. We simply placed the roll of TP on the vanity counter top and grabbed it from there. Another quibble is the quality of the TP itself. The paper was so thin it was almost see-through. You had to use a lot more sheets than you would have for a better quality, heavier, quilted toilet paper. This irked me considerably. I don't see why a nice hotel, with nice quality linens and towels feels the need to use such cheap toilet paper. What's the point of using super thin TP if you have to use more of it?!
Overall, however, we were pleased with the Red Lion, and would use it again. The minor quibbles were not deal-breakers. The Red Lion was clean, comfortable, quiet, well-located, and reasonably priced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Good Neighbor Disneyland Resort Hotel, the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort is renovated with a contemporary, timeless design, vibrant decor, and state-of-the-art facilities. Enjoy our modern getaway in Anaheim, California. Our sleek, sophisticated interiors, rich color palette, and luxurious finishes create an inspired atmosphere for playing and working. Our innovative hotel is a playful retreat for vacationing families, corporate travelers, and meeting groups. The inviting ambiance and friendly personal service guarantee that you will enjoy your stay! We are a Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Anaheim Hotel, one block from Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Convention Center, and Anaheim GardenWalk. Our convenient Anaheim hotel is a haven of hospitality in Anaheim. Mere minutes from House of Blues Anaheim, Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, The Grove of Anaheim, MUZEO, and the Outlets at Orange. Take a scenic drive to Long Beach, Newport Beach, Los Angeles and Universal Studios Hollywood. Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort's Rooms are Smart, Sleek, and Stylish. Relax in beautifully decorated rooms with progressive design and cool Southern California style. Featuring the only ELSA technology among hotels in the United States, Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort has translation capabilities that make interactions with international travelers much more efficient. The rooms at this Anaheim family friendly and business friendly hotel feature spacious work areas, free high-speed wireless Internet access, Keurig Coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves, iPod alarm clocks, granite bathrooms, and 37" flat-screen TVs. We are an are ideal location for Anaheim family vacations and corporate retreats. Wired with intelligent technology and entertainment, you'll stay connected and comfortable at this Anaheim hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Red Lion Anaheim
- Anaheim Red Lion
- Anaheim Maingate Hotel