We just stayed here, for 4 nights. What a disappointment! We were repeatedly told by acquaintances "you have to stay at the Grand Californian ("GC") if you go to Disneyland ("DL"). Fine, so we splash out almost $600 per night for a peak season ordinary room. Now when I pay $600 a night, I expect the best - Wynn style. Not here. Disney's message: "Hi, I know we have you over a barrel: we are going to take your money and give you a crappy value back."
The (only) Pro:
1. Location, location, location... sort of. The GC has the best location in the whole DL area. Could it be better? Yes, for $600 /night, I expect premier access to DL, not just to the third rate Disney California theme park. In fact for $600 /night, I expect to be teleported anywhere I choose! Other hotels are brutally located, but with shuttles you can sort things out. A better system would have a regional monorail to move people around.
1. Bad Service - part 1. Let's start with Kevin at check-in. Surly crappy service. I was very nice, but finally had to resort to the "my room rate is not discounted, so nor should your service/attitude". Things shaped up a bit afterwards, but there was no Mickey Mouse happiness. Had to do the usual "wait for my room" after they tried jamming me in a Queen Room (I had requested a King). I was not alone.
2. Bad Service - part 2. Bell staff / porters. We step off the bus from LAX and I have to go out of my way to find a porter. He promises to bring my bags inside while they are stored. He tells me that another porter will bring them to my room. Then he puts out his hand expecting something. Sorry, I tip once service is complete, which means bags are in my room. But the way he was begging for money was pathetic.
And upon check out, you have to wait for the porter to show up to your room to take your bags so he can give you a receipt. A first for me - I usually call the porter, leave my room, and he picks up my bags and stores them at the entrance. Not here. So I took down my own bags...
3. The Rooms: These are plain and lame - they would just make the cut at an average Best Western. An (small) LCD TV does not a 5 star hotel room make. It's all looking tired, tacky. It'll impress people for whom Motel 6 is the normal hangout.
4. The Lobby: I read a few reviews that carried on about the lobby and how grand it is. Uh, not really. It is BIG, but so is a barn. It is drafty and downright freezing cold (apparently all year round, according to staff I asked) (bad design). Oh, and if you want tacky, check out the faux-papier-mache rock "fire place" or whatever it is. Geez, if you are going to build something like this, at least use real rocks!
5. Bar: How long do you have to stand at a bar to get service? I don't know, I left after 10 minutes of waiting.
6. Restaurant: To be fair, we did not try Napa Rose, which is supposed to be quite nice. However, we did try to get into several places in the hotel and Downtown Disney and each time it was 45 minutes minimum and in some cases we were told no room at all - and it was communicated with an "are you nuts to expect a table". Again, if I pay $600 /night, I should not have to fight to get food - indeed, I would expect to have front of the line access. It was embarrassing - it would have been easier to get a meal in the Soviet Union. When we did get in, the food in Downtown Disney was pretty mediocre, and was expensive at that. The old theme: "we have you over a barrel" so be quiet...
If you want to eat, outside the whole DL area is much better. They WANT your business.
7. Billing "mistake": i paid through Expedia - everything included. But on check-out I was informed of $14/day "resort fees". I called and protested, reminding them I had paid in full up front. They concurred and removed the charges. I wonder how many suckers don't bother complaining and getting it removed?
8. Noise! This place is an absolute zoo. There is no peace to be had in any common area. You might as well be in DL itself with another half million people waiting in line. There is no charm, no quaintness. This is NOT relaxing!
OVERALL: My advice? Go to Disney World, rent a house with a pool and forget DL in Anaheim with its lousy infrastructure, including its brutal Grand Californian hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This stunning hotel offers premium accommodations and rich dining experiences in American Craftsman style and elegance. With its world-class spa, an impressive array of amenities and impeccable Disney service, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa defines grandeur in every way. Located in the heart of Downtown Disney District, this hotel is just steps away from exceptional dining and entertainment. And with your park ticket, enjoy an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure Park. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Californian Hotel
- Grand California Hotel
- Disney California Hotel
- Disneys Grand Californian Hotel
- Disney Grand California Hotel
- Disney Grand Californian Hotel
- Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel
- Disneys Anaheim
- Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Anaheim, California