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Grand Californian Hotel Grand Californian Hotel
 
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1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 67 ( Displaying Reviews: 11 - 20 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   July 2nd -July 5th 2008
Reviewer: North Avenue Irregular San Francisco, CA     October 02, 2008
We have stayed at the Grand Californian Several times, most recently over July 4th in a Park View Room ($359 a night with Premium Annual Pass discount). This is a great hotel. Excellent service all around - from the front desk to the bell desk to room service. If you are fans of Disney's California Adventure Park like us, this is the hotel for you. One quibble - they charge a premium for park view rooms, but the last park view room we had didn't really look out over much. We could see one wing of the hotel, some tree tops and part of the Soarin' building. Better than staring at a parking lot for sure, but not as great as some of the views. Rooms are a nice size and very comfortable. The lobby alone is worth the cost. Convenient park access for both Disneyland and DCA.
 
9 out of 9 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   March 13, 2008
Reviewer: Carole0815 Newburgh, NY     March 22, 2008
This hotel is expensive ($405/night plus tax) but for me it was worth every penny! It was my grandson's birthday, so we received VIP treatment the minute we drove up to the entry gate. When we stopped in front of the lobby, a Disney Host met us outside and took care of our luggage and had the car valet parked (optional at $17 per day). He then walked us into the beautiful lobby and sat us down in a comfy seating area where he registered us, gave us our room keys, and gave my grandson a birthday button with his name on it. I could not have asked for a better reception!

Our room was a Standard with bunk beds for our 3 grandchildren (the 3rd sleeping place was a trundle that pulled out from under the bottom bunk) The room was not very large but it was big enough and nicely appointed. One nice feature was the double-sink outside the shower room. There was a small balcony overlooking Grizzly Peak where the adults could have some private time while the children watched tv inside.

When we returned to the room later in the day, there were Disney balloons for all 3 children which I thought was very considerate.

I definitely will spend the extra money to stay at this hotel again! The location - onsite at California Adventure with its own entrance to the park - is really the big plus.
 
24 out of 25 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   December 17-20
Reviewer: Infinitely Nevada     December 28, 2007
Concierge-park view

Parking-Valet

Too cold for the pool!

$600/night

We had another wonderful stay! First I will state my one and only complaint the concierge was too crowded Tuesday night. I am not sure if they over booked, or if it was because of the weather, but we have stayed here on many occasions and it was never that bad, we couldnt even get in! That said, everyone one pleasant and accommodating and friendly, cast member and guest we just couldnt get in!

Now on to the great stuff. When we arrived our park view was overlooking a lot of construction, now the location of the room in the hotel was amazing, overlooking the lobby...wonderful... however my husband really didnt want a construction view. They were very understanding and we were moved to a room overlooking California Adventure a very nice view, but I think I might have secretly preferred the first one (shhh) ;). The room was wonderful, there are new televisions, comforters on the beds (not the bunk beds). The hotel was so cozy for Christmas! We were SO lucky during our stay they had both a story teller and my sons FAVORITE singer (Kim). One evening, they took a picture of my little boys stuffed animals getting ready for bed and left it on the pillow! SO CUTE

We did room service only once this trip, we ordered desserts. The apple cobbler was delicious. I want to go get one now! My husband liked his brownie and ice cream, but he liked my cobbler more. Both of our boys highly recommend the Mickey shaped jell-o!

We will be returning to this hotel soon.
 
9 out of 11 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   12/9 - 12/12
Reviewer: Boo's Mommy California     December 13, 2007
Our check-in was quick and very informative...my biggest fear was easily taken care of (during reservations, i added a night, but they couldn't make it one reservation despite all costs, room type and everything was exactly the same and no one would guarantee me that i wouldn't have to check in and out and move). Linda was wonderful and took care of my "back-to-back" reservation all at once. It was only noon, but our room was ready. This trip, I was fortunate to get the AP4 rate on a concierge room to splurge and check out the fuss (or otherwise) myself.

The room itself was a courtyard view room, but we were situated right where the opening is for DTD, so we had a great view of DTD, got to hear the music and buzz, plus you could see the fireworks from there! The room itself is just like the other regular rooms we had before such as the plasma, fridges, night stand, etc (theme park view) with the exception that there was a BOSE stereo and the comforters were much more luxurious (different linens, down comforter in between, and brocade top comforter, and much more pillows).
The rooms were tidied up daily (only peeve, and this happens every trip) is that they don't vacuum daily. And we have yet to find the mousekeepers that makes towel animals or arranges toys found in the room.... oh well, maybe one day. But we did get our nightly turn down service (which is not exclusive to Concierge as we have always had turndown service even on our other stays).

The Lounge - now, I have heard many different opinions about the value of what is offered at the lounge. We found it totally worth the price (granted, we got an AP4 rate, but dh said he wouldn't mind paying that premium). We found it appealing because usually our trips are much more leisurely, we do spend time in our room and at the hotel because we are tired out quickly. I think the comments I've read before about the inconsistency of food there to be wrong - or they had just bad timing and didn't read the information sheet. From 6:30 - 10 there is breakfast, from 11-4 there is tea time, from 5-7 is happy hour, from 8-10 is sweet endings. During all these periods, you always have an assortment of beverages, cold food and 1 hot dish (except breakfast). All the food and drink was ALWAYS quickly refilled. The food, fruit and vegetables were always fresh and delicious! There is only 3 hours of the day while they are open that there isn't any food available. But the drinks are there all the time...and it's sooo cute because they are little glass bottles of coke, diet coke and sprite, and little bottles of water with tinkerbell on it!!! You are allowed to hang out there to eat or are free to take to your room!

Staff was very kind and caring and helpful. Even during this stay, i've heard people complain about the staff, but you know what, they are also the same people who i never heard say please or thank you. Even if you paid for the services of concierge, you should still be polite and not demanding....thank you very much.

You can watch the fireworks from the Lounge, the music is piped in and is a wonderful view!

Other: We ordered room service once, we were told it would take 45 minutes, but recieved it in less than 30. It was the filet mingon dinner and a bowl of corn chowder soup (which is my absolute favorite from this hotel)... it was all delicious.

Bell Services: This trip was totally quick and efficient to deliver and pick-up - must just depend as our other trips, it wasn't as quick and efficient. And I don't remember the cm's name that helped bring our luggage down, but he was awesome and helped us with the "puzzle" and fitting all our luggage securely!!

Valet: This trip they were very very helpful. We had extra items in the truck that wouldn't fit into the cab, but they said they would keep it in the garage for us and even if we needed to go out, the would take the items we didn't need and store it for us. That was really nice!

Business Center: limited hours 8-5, i just figured, other hotels offer them 24 hours, but not here. They were friendly, but they charge $1.00 a page to fax!! I had 40+ pages, their scanner was broken so I couldn't just email it, but i guess this is what you call a "business expense", right?

It was a great stay, as usual!
 
23 out of 23 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   09/23/07 - 09/27/07
Reviewer: ekkhogge Honolulu, HI     October 02, 2007
Standard View: The lobby is fabulous and we found the CMs we encountered polite. Our view was of the parking lot in front of the hotel but the view was not important to us. The elevators came quickly and only once were we packed in. For $199/night + 15% taxes and $10(?) resort fee to us it is over priced. For the same time period (including our first night at PPH concierge) we could have gotten a room at Desert Inn for only $59/night avg. We use the room as a place to rest so the ambiance was lost on us. I liked the decor and the room did not feel small to us (3 adults 1 child). We had 2 queens and a day bed. One sink would drain slowly but there was another one that drained okay. Convenient when visiting DCA but for Disneyland our room when we stayed at Park Vue felt closer than our room at GCH. Loved being close to whitewater snacks which we just discovered this trip. Access to character meals was great! Went to the pool only once, didn't use the slides but just the little wading pool for DD (3) and Fiance (31), DD and I did use the other pool (the one not connected to the slides). Nice and warm but it was so cold when we came out of the water. CM offered to change/get towels which was also nice. We moved the beds and the table in the room so we didn't get mousekeeping but managed okay. The fridge is on the small size but adequate.
 
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   06/09/07-06/12/07
Reviewer: kkfire San Diego, CA     July 17, 2007
This is the fourth time I have brought my family to GCH. As always we enjoyed the service and proximity to both resorts. The atmosphere is great, if you are not into everything having a Disney theme. Awesome lobby with a great fireplace, and a great place to relax. There is also a bar adjacent to the lobby for more relaxation. We had a pool view which was nice, but the park view seems to be the best for us. The DD view is also good if you enjoy people watching which my family did quite a bit.
The private entrance into DCA is a great way to avoid the crowds at the front gate.
The pool is nice and big with two pools and a slide on one of them. There is also food and bar service poolside if you want it, with the Whitewater cafe and restaurants right next to the pool.

If you have small children and use the pools, keep a close eye on them even though there are lifeguards present. There was a small girl that almost drowned and the lifeguards just watched as a lady next to the pool had to jump in and save the child. Even after the event, the lifeguards acted as nothing hapened until the child vomited in the pool and they had to shut it down. All that was offered to the parent of the child was a cookie.
I think this is due to the lifeguards being teenagers and not ready for a true emergency. Is it the parents or lifeguards responsibility?
KEEP AND EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN AT THE POOL!!!!!
Other that one incident, we had a great time and enjoyed our stay. I would recommend staying here, but reserve early and be prepared for the prices.
 
12 out of 12 people found this review helpful
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2.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.02.0/5.0   April 27th - April 30th
Reviewer: dawnid Bellflower, CA     June 22, 2007
My husband and I thought we would spend a magical weekend at Disneyland to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, what a mistake. For a luxury hotel and the price we paid, our dollars would have better spent anywhere else. We had a one bedroom suite for just the 2 of us at $800 per night over looking DTD. The only good thing I could say is it was clean, near the parks, and the bed was comfortable.

The negatives were the 2 mini-bars are now 2 empty refrigerators (we are repeat guests and no warning was given that we needed to pack our own snacks). When I called room service to stock it the Cast Member said they were out of most things and I would have to buy their packages of snacks and take home whatever we didnt eat. I didnt need $50 dollars worth of junk food and alcohol so we passed. There was no acknowledgement of the special occasion, our travel agent had notified the hotel I asked at check out and it was on the reservation but nothing was done. Most 4 star hotels would send champagne, a basket, chocolate covered strawberries, balloons or flowers to the room for a milestone event. Turn down service only managed to show up once during our stay. I had to fight to get a King Size bed; I was told it was a family hotel (I guess this means if you dont have kids in tow dont show up). When I explained that it was our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband is 6 foot 4 inches and we dont fit together on a queen it fell on deaf ears. Walt Disney Travel Company told my travel agent that we would be more comfortable with two queens because we could each have our own bed. No joke, come to a Disney Hotel and spend your Anniversary (Honeymoon) in separate beds. I had to talk to the hotel manager to make it happen. The room we did get was down a loooonnng hallway far, far, away from any elevator. To get to Disneyland you could either travel the long hallway back to the elevator, past Storytellers, past the Great Hall, thru the courtyard, back up Downtown Disney to the esplanade or take the emergency staircase and be right next to The World of Disney but they havent thought to put a key entry for guests to reenter by this same door. Some enterprising guest kept the door open with a room towel to reenter. The fire alarm went off at 4am that first night; this is the second time this has happened to us when weve stayed here. There was basically nothing special about our stay that we didnt arrange in advance and purchase ourselves.

We just got back from the Surf & Sand Resort Laguna Beach and their regular room has Disneys suite beat by leaps and bounds. So if your looking just at location and easy entry to DCA this hotel provides that, if your looking for a luxurious stay at a 4 star hotel Id say keep looking its not here.
 
11 out of 18 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   June 12 - 16, 2007
Reviewer: coljnm Orangevale, CA     June 20, 2007
We just completed our first visit to the Grand Californian and we won't be returning. The "we" consists of three families: a set of grandparents, our adult children, their spouses and three grandchildren, ages six, three and one. We had three standard rooms and stayed four nights. The rooms were small and stark for a "luxury" hotel, and very dark - poor lighting everywhere, but especially in the bathrooms. The beds and pillows were comfortable. We had to switch rooms because of the incredible distance to the elevators. We were quite aware of the hall noise.
The parking was not on site (across the street, near the Paradise Pier) unless one paid an extra $30 a day for valet parking. The architecture of the hotel was attractive, but it was so dark and gloomy, not festive or kid friendly like the other Disney hotels: We felt like we were in Yosemite. Storyteller Cafe had a decent breakfast ($16.95 for bacon and eggs) and a $26.95 dinner buffet with salmon, prime rib and a nice array of desserts. The only other moderate place to eat, White Water Snacks, closed at 7:00. Our families take a trip together every year to Disneyland, but in 2008 we will return to the Paradise Pier Hotel. The slightly shorter walking distance from the Grand Californian to the parks was simply not worth the much greater expense and dreary atmosphere.
 
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   5/27-5/31
Reviewer: kmbbrooks Mesa, Arizona     June 05, 2007
What a beautiful resort! The staff was very responsive, the beds were heavenly, the small patio provided some quiet time for my husband and myself. The proximity to the parks was heavenly. My only complaint was that the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night. We didn't try any of the restaurants since we have our favorites already and enjoy them so much we have a hard time trying other places. The lobby is amazing - you melt into the couches and chairs and there is usually someone playing piano throughout the day.
 
2 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   8/20-8/26/2006
Reviewer: neverlander Eugene, OR     March 17, 2007
This was our second visit to the GCH, and we were once again quite pleased with the ambience, location and features of this gorgeous hotel.

Although we checked in on a Sunday (their busiest day at registration), it went smoothly and quickly. Our room was not immediately ready, but was available by 3pm. We were very surprised to find our room not cleaned to our standards. There was food under the beds, hairs in the sink, dust and crumbs on the entertainment center. We should have called and complained, but we were so exhausted and happy to be in our room, we didn't address it. (The room was cleaned well the following days of our visit.) Our room requests were honored, and we received the bunkbed and location we desired. A refrigerator was finally delivered after our third request.

The location to DCA is a big draw for us. With two small children, the convenience of being able to retreat to our room was invaluable. That's probably why we were willing to pay $646/night, which included 6-day park hopper passes for two adults/two children. We would jet up to our room several times a day. We experienced a huge "Aaaaah" factor each time we exited the park and entered the beautiful hotel with cool, fresh air and beautiful piano music. It really was a lovely retreat from the crowds and action within the parks.

On this visit, we ordered room service once, poolside service several times, and Whitewater Snacks several times. We enjoyed being able to pick up muffins and fruit at WW and eat breakfast while getting ready in the morning. However, it didn't open until 7am, which was a little late if we wanted to get to DL early. Room service was fine; the guy who delivered the food even offered to take back our kids' food when he saw that they were asleep. We declined; it was our fault for ordering dinner so late. The french dip sandwiches at poolside (I think they come from WWS) were delicious. I only eat red meat a few times a year, and I ended up ordering two of those during our visit. Once, our kids' chicken strips were very undercooked at poolside. The CM deducted them and also gave us 10% off of our entire bill. Unfortunately, he was only one of two friendly CMs we encountered at the pool during our entire visit.

Although overall the CMs in the rest of the hotel were everything we remembered and expected (friendly, helpful...), it seemed as though the pool area CMs were not even a part of that same staff! We spent time at the pool five of our six days there. Each day, it was more disheartening as we witnessed several CMs (lifeguards, bartenders, waiters and pool assistants) walking around with scowls on their faces, yelling at the kids, snapping replies to the pool patrons, arguing amongst themselves. On several occasions, we were surprised that the reply would be a straight-faced, "It's my job," upon thanking (and tipping) the CMs. Granted, I would not like to wear those ridiculous polyester-blend long pants and polo shirts on a ninety degree day. (Can't Disney allow these folks to dress a little more comfortably?) But I always thought all CMs were required to at least fake happiness. We are excellent tippers and patient patrons (so we believe - we've both worked in the service industry), so I know they were not directing their discontent toward us. It was an overall, general attitude toward everyone in the area. I think they should set up a lifeguard station next to the kiddie slide. Every couple of seconds, the lifeguard from across the pool blows his or her whistle and screams orders at the top of his or her lungs. Most of the kids seemed oblivious while the adults looked annoyed. On one occasion, we witnessed a lifeguard march over to a young boy (about 4 yrs.) as the lifeguard was leaving his shift. He held onto the boy's arm and proceeded to scream in his face several times, "Feet first, feet first!" (The boy had slid down head first.) He looked terrified and confused. (My guess is that he didn't speak English.) The CM seemed somewhat out of control. He finally stormed off when the boy just froze as he continued to yell, "Now GO!" wanting him to take his turn. It was very upsetting, and I did report the incident after we returned home. (I just couldn't get it out of my head.)

Like I said, the pool area's CMs seem to somehow receive different training or treatment than the others at the resort. In every other setting, we have been absolutely impressed by the overall attitude of CMs.

One pleasant encounter I experienced was with the kind man at the gift shop one early morning. My daughter had lost a tooth the night before, and I wanted the tooth fairy to leave her something Disney. In addition to spending considerable time suggesting charms, chocolates, etc., he also dug through his register and found some shiny dollar coins. He seemed genuinely happy to help me find something special.

In sum, we will continue to stay at the GCH when visiting DL. Though not perfect, the pros considerably outweigh the cons for us. We would recommend this hotel to anyone who values such a convenient location and who enjoys feeling pampered a bit while on vacation. If you're on a strict budget, the GCH may not be the way to go for you. For us, it's worth all the saving, and we've been forever spoiled!
 
15 out of 17 people found this review helpful
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