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View Full Version : Ramada Maingate vs. Fairfield Inn


rramstad
05-16-2012, 10:13 AM
Hi guys.

We have narrowed things down to either the Ramada Maingate and Fairfield Inn Marriott on our next trip coming up in July. (We've considered a bunch of other places, but these are definitely the two front runners.) We're a group of six, three adults, three kids, and will use two rooms.

I'm wondering about pros and cons of each.

In particular, we have three kids (12, 9, 6) and definitely will be getting some afternoon pool time. The ratings we've seen online seem to indicate the Ramada has a really great pool, which is why it is in the lead at the moment. I'm curious if anyone has opinions on the pools at the two hotels.

We also definitely plan on taking advantage of the complimentary breakfast, but have some picky eaters, and also will be getting up early for Magic Morning once during the stay. Any comments on the range and amount of food, and timing, of the complimentary breakfasts they each serve?

The odd thing right now is that the two hotels are basically the same cost, when we get deluxe rooms at the Ramada so we can have queen beds. It seems that the Ramada is a lower star hotel than the Fairfield, and that normally the Ramada would be cheaper. The general comments I read online seem to indicate that the Ramada has thinner towels, older beds, and that sort of thing as opposed to the Fairfield Inn. Are those comments still accurate given the Ramada's 2011 remodel and update?

More to the point, in most cases, to me, this would be a slam dunk in favor of the Fairfield -- it seems to be closer to the entrance to the parks, it's operated by a larger higher end chain, online comments seem to indicate it's better maintained -- but the Ramada's pool is really the X factor here, and I haven't found a really good description of either complimentary breakfast or the timing of it. (We had a classic situation with one hotel last year, for a lacrosse tournament, where they started breakfast at 8 AM, and like six lacrosse teams were all trying to eat breakfast and make it to the fields by 8:30 for 9 AM games. It was a ZOO!)

DisneyMomof2inSLC
05-16-2012, 11:07 AM
I stayed at both of them last year. We stayed at Ramada Maingate in May and Fairfield Inn in December. The Ramada seemed like a closer walk and had a nicer pool. The room was okay, we had the premium room, but it seemed average to me! The breakfast was not anything spectacular, and had to be brought back up to the room to ate due to space.

The Fairfield Inn, has nicer rooms and seemed more bright and cheery compared to Ramada. The pool looked okay, but not as nice as Ramada's. They don't have a continental breakfast, but are right next to McDonald's.

If it were me, I'd stay at either again. The beds were fine at both places. I'm actually staying at Fairfield inn again in September just due to the price I got on a jet blue package. I'd choose based off of price and the pool.

rramstad
05-16-2012, 11:18 AM
Interesting info, thanks. Great that you've been to both recently.

So Fairfield doesn't have breakfast included, that's interesting (for some reason I thought they had a very light continental breakfast, my error).

The Ramada reviews online are very confusing. It seems like they must have some renovated rooms, and some not, because there are a lot of people who say great things, and a few people who say terrible things, and then a few people who say that they got a really bad room at first then complained and got a reasonably nice one. I'm just guessing, but it's interesting.

I feel like I'm going in circles a bit, we'd probably be OK at either property, but would still love any and all opinions on the two hotels.

(Or convince me to book CCI!)

Priory
05-16-2012, 11:23 AM
I am staying at the Ramada Maingate next week. One thing I noticed when looking at the photos on trip advisor is that the rooms seem to be dramatically different from one to the next. It was like looking at photos of several different hotels. Personally, I plan to spend as little time in the hotel as humanly possible, so I don't care what kind of room I end up with - but I thought it was interesting.

DisneyMomof2inSLC
05-16-2012, 11:23 AM
Ramada isn't completely done with their remodel. I find it kind of strange, because I think it's been going on for a couple of years! I would definitely request a remodeled room if you choose them.

longtimedisneylurker
05-16-2012, 12:28 PM
So Fairfield doesn't have breakfast included, that's interesting (for some reason I thought they had a very light continental breakfast, my error).

My mother-in-law is a big Marriott hotels person. She always comments about the Disney Fairfield Inn being the only Fairfield Inn that doesn't serve continental breakfast. I don't know that it truly is the only one, but clearly it's the only one that she has been to that doesn't. The Hojo next door is the same way. These are chain hotels that typically have continental breakfasts but with the allure of Disney across the street apparently don't bother to add the amenity at these particular locations.

lk2500
05-16-2012, 12:40 PM
My mother-in-law is a big Marriott hotels person. She always comments about the Disney Fairfield Inn being the only Fairfield Inn that doesn't serve continental breakfast. I don't know that it truly is the only one, but clearly it's the only one that she has been to that doesn't. The Hojo next door is the same way. These are chain hotels that typically have continental breakfasts but with the allure of Disney across the street apparently don't bother to add the amenity at these particular locations.

I think the FFI is one of the larger hotels bordering DL. Could be one of the reaons they don't do the breakfast?

I've only stayed at the FFI in 2008 and 2010. I haven't used the pool but I always see tons of kids in there. Just try to get a room on a mid-upper level away from the parking lot and park because it can be noisy at night.

longtimedisneylurker
05-16-2012, 12:56 PM
I think the FFI is one of the larger hotels bordering DL. Could be one of the reaons they don't do the breakfast?

Yeah, makes sense. I just think it's funny because I guess people who travel more or know the chain just expect the Fairfield to offer free breakfast since the others in the chain do. We stayed at the Fairfield once several years ago, liked it well enough, didn't care about the lack of breakfast, and didn't use the pool. We did get a noisy freeway facing room not very high up above the dumpsters so between the freeway noise and early morning garbage trucks didn't get a lot of sleep a couple of the nights. Haven't stayed there since because Hojo has become our preferred place. We stay at Candy Cane when we can get a decent rate and want a change of pace.

My mother-in-law stays at the Fairfield a couple times a year. Other than mentioning the lack of a breakfast, she has commented on how expensive the parking has gotten (we went so long ago there was no nightly parking charge). Also, when she went at a really busy time once, they were required to have the car valet parked, I'm not clear where this meant the car ended up, but she was a little frustrated about not having easy access to her car.

lk2500
05-16-2012, 01:02 PM
My mother-in-law stays at the Fairfield a couple times a year. Other than mentioning the lack of a breakfast, she has commented on how expensive the parking has gotten (we went so long ago there was no nightly parking charge). Also, when she went at a really busy time once, they were required to have the car valet parked, I'm not clear where this meant the car ended up, but she was a little frustrated about not having easy access to her car.

We had a bit of trouble finding parking in June 2010. We'll be there again at the end of this June and I'm hoping the parking won't be any worse, not looking forward to having to use the valet service either. As far as parking cost, it's pricey but a small fraction of the total cost of our trip after you add up flights, hotel,food, theme park tickets, etc... for a family of 4.

So the highway side is noisy as well? Good to know, guess I'd rather face the park for the view then.

SeattleTink
05-16-2012, 01:12 PM
I know this is a hard decision. I have stayed at both properties.

FFI is a nice property. We totally enjoyed the room, the beds and location.

We also really enjoyed our stay at the Ramada. The upgraded premium rooms are nice. Beds are comfy.

If the price was the same, I would pick Ramada. It will be cheaper. They don't charge for parking, FFI does $8 a day (last I checked). Ramada has free breakfast (which recently was just improved by the addition of waffles, scrambled eggs and sausage). FFI has NO breakfast. Also, Ramada is closer and has a much nicer pool.

If it were me, I would easily pick Ramada.

Good luck deciding.

longtimedisneylurker
05-16-2012, 01:18 PM
They don't charge for parking, FFI does $8 a day (last I checked).

Mother-in-law says it was up to $11 per day in February. Also, if you want to leave your car parked after check-out time, you have to pay the $11 for that day too. Still cheaper than parking at the park.

mexican-mouseketeers
05-16-2012, 01:18 PM
We just stayed at the FFI and had a great experience.

There is no free breakfast, but they have make your own waffles for 2.50 and they were quite big. They also sell some breakfast foods that you could either eat there or take to your room.

Our room was very nice, it came with 2 queen size beds and a sleeper sofa, so it was nice to not have the girls share a bed.

One day we had an issue with the seal around the door and they sent a guy to fix it in less than 5 minutes.

We requested extra towels and got them for every day of our stay.

The walk to the parks was quite easy, and it has a restaurant on the parking lot (Millie´s) that we did not like very much, but it is next to Mimi´s which we loved.

Would stay there again in a heartbeat.

lk2500
05-16-2012, 01:22 PM
Hi guys.

We have narrowed things down to either the Ramada Maingate and Fairfield Inn Marriott on our next trip coming up in July. (We've considered a bunch of other places, but these are definitely the two front runners.) We're a group of six, three adults, three kids, and will use two rooms.

Does Ramada Maingate still have rooms available in July? It looks like the end of June is booked.

We just stayed at the FFI and had a great experience.

There is no free breakfast, but they have make your own waffles for 2.50 and they were quite big. They also sell some breakfast foods that you could either eat there or take to your room.

Our room was very nice, it came with 2 queen size beds and a sleeper sofa, so it was nice to not have the girls share a bed.

One day we had an issue with the seal around the door and they sent a guy to fix it in less than 5 minutes.

We requested extra towels and got them for every day of our stay.

The walk to the parks was quite easy, and it has a restaurant on the parking lot (Millie´s) that we did not like very much, but it is next to Mimi´s which we loved.

Would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Definitely another plus for FFI, we experienced great service there as well. We hated our 1st floor room near the parking lot so they moved us the next day to an upper level room above the pool which was much better. Also had trouble printing off some e-tickets for another park really late one night (the lobby printer ink was low) so they let me print them behind the front desk.

rramstad
05-16-2012, 01:25 PM
I know this is a hard decision. I have stayed at both properties.

FFI is a nice property. We totally enjoyed the room, the beds and location.

We also really enjoyed our stay at the Ramada. The upgraded premium rooms are nice. Beds are comfy.

If the price was the same, I would pick Ramada. It will be cheaper. They don't charge for parking, FFI does $8 a day (last I checked). Ramada has free breakfast (which recently was just improved by the addition of waffles, scrambled eggs and sausage). FFI has NO breakfast. Also, Ramada is closer and has a much nicer pool.

If it were me, I would easily pick Ramada.

Good luck deciding.

I really appreciate the opinion and the help. Folks who have stayed at both are just super super super helpful!

Actually the Ramada is running slightly more expensive than Fairfield, for us and our dates, when comparing like with like (two queens per room). This is mostly because Fairfield is on the Disney system and we can get a package deal for all six of us staying five nights for $3138 including six day park hoppers through Disney. The Ramada price with taxes and fees comes out to $1724 with separate park hoppers $1466 ends up being $3190. So, essentially the same cost, but like you, the impression I get online is that typically the Ramada is cheaper than the Fairfield, so it seems the Ramada is raising rates more in the peak season (nothing wrong with that, if you can get them).

With the kids, the ability to get a filling breakfast -- either quick and dirty on the way out the door, or a bit more leisurely -- without having to get everyone organized and sitting down in a restaurant or even in a line at McDonalds -- well, it's huge. The pool is super important too, as we are staying a bit longer than we normally would precisely because we're hoping it'll be nice and sunny and we can get some quality pool time in.

So, that's why I'm flailing... it feels like I should be able to get the Ramada for less $$ than we are currently quoted, it's the same price as Fairfield and even a bit more $$ than Candy Cane Inn would be (which people say very nice things about, but it's farther, and smaller pool, and less fancy breakfast).

rramstad
05-16-2012, 01:28 PM
Does Ramada Maingate still have rooms available in July? It looks like the end of June is booked.

Yep, we got a (refundable) reservation last night using the special promotion code on the web site -- pay for a standard, get a deluxe room.

(standard = two doubles, deluxe = two queens)

The web site was a bit weird in that when we specified 3 adults 3 children, it let us through to a page where there were no options shown, even though we had specified two rooms. We changed it to 2 adults, 3 children, and the site behaved completely differently, letting us make our reservation. After the fact we realized they probably thought we were trying to cram 6 people in one room or something... and that our reservation was probably looking like we had ten people!

(I made this post because I was second guessing our choice after reading some of the "halo" vs "horns" reviews for the Ramada on Travelocity. Some people who presumably got non renovated rooms were very unhappy with the Ramada.)

rramstad
05-16-2012, 01:33 PM
Oh, and for the completists, the Fairfield by itself, with a senior discount, same configuration is $1688 with separate park hoppers $1466 ends up being $3154, so actually a bit more than the package, so if we went Fairfield, we do a package (which I'd book through Costco and get about $180 in meal vouchers, we don't usually eat in the park much, but these would be a nice perk).

Whew. It's like launching the space shuttle! LOL

Disneygrandmareno
05-16-2012, 05:05 PM
Love the Ramada. We have stayed there every year for about 25 years mainly because of the pool. It has been a great pool from when our kids went there to now our grandkids. They also have extra towels out by the pool. The new remodeled rooms are in the section on the right as you head to the back of the hotel. I have never stayed in one of those rooms but have booked one for September. The morning breakfast is out by the pool so you can sit by the pool in the morning, just enough variety for everyone.

Isatricia
05-16-2012, 09:06 PM
We stayed at the Fairfield a month ago and really liked it. We went to the store and bought snacks and breakfast items that we liked so the lack of a continental breakfast did not bother us. The room was quite spacious. The beds were comfortable and we had no trouble sleeping. The sinks and vanities are not in the bathroom, which is very nice and I wish all hotels had them. We heard no noise from other rooms or from the road. We were on the 2nd floor.

The pool looked nice - just a basic pool - but good sized compared to most of the placed we have stayed across the country. We never found the time to use the pool though we had planned to take breaks in the afternoons. It just didn't happen. The girls (6&8yrs) were having too much fun in the parks.

If you book a package through Disney (we booked through Costco), you do NOT have to pay for parking. We had no trouble finding parking.

BamaBoy
05-17-2012, 09:24 AM
Mother-in-law says it was up to $11 per day in February. Also, if you want to leave your car parked after check-out time, you have to pay the $11 for that day too. Still cheaper than parking at the park.

So in other words, on the date of check-out I can leave my car parked on-site for an additional $11 and leave it there until the parks close that night?

longtimedisneylurker
05-17-2012, 09:33 AM
So in other words, on the date of check-out I can leave my car parked on-site for an additional $11 and leave it there until the parks close that night?

It's what my mother-in-law did recently. I suppose it might be a space-available type thing.

Jacie
05-17-2012, 10:33 AM
We are staying at the Ramada in October, so I can't say form experience how it is, but reading the reviews it seems that they have been more positive since the remodel started, and a lot of their negative come from pre-remodel and in non remodeled rooms.

I follow them on Facebook and they are SO kind and so helpful. They answer your questions quick, and will help with most anything. They also have trivia and games on their facebook page where you can get discounts off your room. They also run new specials on their rates every month or so. We stayed at the BWPPI last time, and the Ramada was super close to that, and the BWPPI was basically as close to the pedestrian entrance as we could be.
The pool looks like a ton of fun, and people on their facebook page reiterate that.

I'm really excited for our stay there, just based off their facebook page (The friendliness, helpfulness, pictures, and reviews of other guests.)

marciemouse
05-17-2012, 01:57 PM
We've stayed at the Ramada twice in the last year, and I am responsible for two of those great reviews on tripadvisor. We had fabulous experiences both times, getting good deals (the 25% off prepay special plus a coupon from tripadvisor) on a remodeled room.

We've never stayed at the Fairfield, but I'd venture to say that their rooms are probably nicer, and certainly larger, than the rooms at the Ramada. Plus with that sleeper sofa, you can sleep five in one room without smooshing in a rollaway.

We've always had good luck with the Ramada breakfast. Nothing spectacular but definitely enough to get us rolling in the morning.

The Ramada pool is perfect for kids. My daughters love it! I like that it's zero-depth entry, so my not-so-great swimmers can swim without me having to get in.

Love that parking and wifi are free, and no additional resort charges at the Ramada. They'll give you late check-out based on availability, too. We've also received early check-in. Plus, the staff are some of the friendliest people around.

They also offer coupons on their facebook page, which could get you an extra discount on your room.

The walk to the parks is VERY close and easy, even with little kids.

Good luck!

mattfusf
05-19-2012, 10:18 AM
Does staying at either of these locations entitle you to Magic Mornings? I'll only be staying one night with a 2 day park hopper, which doesn't include the early entry on the ticket itself.

If so, do I just show the room key with my ticket?

Thanks

Matt

longtimedisneylurker
05-19-2012, 10:33 AM
Does staying at either of these locations entitle you to Magic Mornings? I'll only be staying one night with a 2 day park hopper, which doesn't include the early entry on the ticket itself.

If so, do I just show the room key with my ticket?

Thanks

Matt

No. You need to stay onsite, Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel, or Grand Californian to get the hotel magic morning benefit.

mattfusf
05-19-2012, 10:34 AM
No. You need to stay onsite, Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel, or Grand Californian to get the hotel magic morning benefit.

Thanks, I thought I had read that some of the Good Neighbor hotels also got MM.

mommamonster
05-19-2012, 10:57 AM
Thanks, I thought I had read that some of the Good Neighbor hotels also got MM.

If you book certain packages with good neighbor hotels, you can get one MM entry. For example, my family booked 6 day park hoppers and a hotel stay at FFI through Costco and we get one MM which is printed on the back of our park hopper tickets.

longtimedisneylurker
05-19-2012, 11:14 AM
If you book certain packages with good neighbor hotels, you can get one MM entry. For example, my family booked 6 day park hoppers and a hotel stay at FFI through Costco and we get one MM which is printed on the back of our park hopper tickets.

It's not the package that gets this for you. 3-day or longer tickets (a few exceptions exist such as promo military tickets) come with one MM whether bought a la carte or as part of a package. PP has a 2-day ticket which does not come with an MM and PP is not staying onsite so does not have access to MM.