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Hotel Menage (formerly Holiday Inn at the Park)
Description:
1221 S. Harbor Blvd, Anaheim
Average Reviewer Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 1 ( Displaying Reviews: 1 - 1 )
3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   September 14 & 15, 2007
Reviewer: Andrew (andrew@mouseplanet.com) Palo Alto, CA     September 28, 2007
Our rate was the lowest publicly available, $112/night. We'd previously stayed at this property during its remodel in late 2006. We arrived at 1:00am Saturday morning and found the close-in parking we'd used last December blocked off for valet, but there was no valet on duty nor signage indicating parking rates. Check-in was easy, and we were given a room on the 5th (top) floor.

The lobby is, for want of a better word, unusual. Exposed, painted, textured concrete floor, gauzy floor-to-ceiling drapes, interesting corner chairs. It's very dark at all hours. There's a small lounge/bar and a restaurant, neither of which we patronized during this visit. The elevators have not been upgraded or even remodeled since the Holiday Inn days.

Our room was on the freeway/Disneyland side, and while freeway noise was quite loud on the exterior walkway it was almost completely eliminated once we shut the door. As promised, the room was in very good condition and featured new furniture, including a new bed and flat-panel TV. The bed, a prime source of annoyance and in fact pain on our last trip, was quite comfortable and there were even enough pillows. Furniture and decor are pretty much just as they appear on the hotel's Web site. While the sink area was new, the W.C. (toilet/shower room) hadn't been noticeably touched in the remodel with the exception of a new shower head/handheld shower unit. The overall impression we got was of a remodel 90% completed, with little patches of spackle on the walls where holes had been patched but not painted and final adjustments still to be made.

The location of the hotel, on the southeast corner of Harbor and Ball, makes it tricky to actually get to the Resort. If you don't want to take ART or walk, you can either exit on Ball Road, carefully timing your exit from the parking lot to allow you to cross six lanes of eastbound traffic and get into the leftmost left-turn lane, and make a U-turn on Ball. Then take Ball to Disneyland Drive, turn left and enter the parking structure. OR...
Exit on Harbor, turning right and proceeding all the way down to Katella. Turn right on Katella, right on Disneyland Drive and then use the Magic Way entrance to the parking structure, if it's open. If not, continue on Magic Way, turn right on Walnut, right on Ball and right again on Disneyland Drive and into the structure. The first option is quicker if hairier.

On Saturday afternoon, we took a break from the park and came back to the hotel to try out the pool and hot tub. This was definitely the highlight of our stay. The pool and hot tub, along with the surrounding patio area, have been extensively remodeled and updated and look just beautiful. The only negative is the solid wall of medium brown staring down at you--we agreed the walls could use some punches of color.

On Sunday morning, we could have checked out via the television but I found a nasty surprise when I reviewed our folio: a $10/day charge for self parking. Remember, there was no parking rate sign when we arrived, and nothing in the check-in paperwork saying anything about a parking fee. This effectively takes the rate from $112 to $122; more than competing hotels for that weekend.

We went down to the desk to check out in person and ask about the parking fee. And here is where the confusing, inconsistent little details about the weekend came into focus. According to the duty manager, the hotel owners (Casa Resorts) are "trying to make the Hotel Menage a five star hotel, and all five-star hotels charge for parking." That's an exact quote. We did not feel like arguing the point and were running a little late anyway, so we settled our bill and left.

However... sure, five-star hotels charge for parking. They also have modern high-speed elevators, room service, real cream for the in-room coffee, real coffee for the in-room coffee, toilets that don't keep running until you jiggle the handle and a multitude of other amenities that are just not there at the Hotel Menage. The place feels like what it is: a decent, comfortable if unexceptional hotel with a lot of HGTV on top. It's not a five-star resort and, with its good if not great location, doesn't need to be one.

So, would we stay there again? We would not make a special effort to stay there, but we would consider it if the rate is competitive with other area properties. I am sure that's not the reaction the hotel owners are hoping for, but that's what they get from me.

Note: This review has been shortened from its original form to fit the MousePlanet review system. You can read the original here: http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?p=1131718#post1131718