Favorite Off-Site Hotel

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by whoopsiedoodle, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. whoopsiedoodle

    whoopsiedoodle Mouseketeer

    Jun 17, 2012
    I have been reading threads about different off-site hotels and I am just getting more and more confused. So I thought perhaps it would help if I asked for advice based on my personal preferences. :) While we can afford to stay on-site (and still might!) I think I would prefer to spend an extra day in the park and be able to eat and have a blast with the money saved by staying off-site. We have 2 small children (2 and 4 when we go). I am slightly picky about hotels we stay at. I like them to feel clean and newer. I would like there to be a pool that the kids can enjoy but it's not a breaking point. Obviously any food included would be awesome and the option to upgrade to a suite or concierge service would be welcome as well. Wow, do I sound like a total snob!? ANY advice or reviews or anything is welcome and THANKS!!
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  3. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

    Feb 11, 2011
    I would get a suite at HoJo's. Clean, and a great pool. (google is our friend for pictures.) What you save on the cost of an on-site hotel will cover your meals at neighboring restaurants, or in Downtown Disney.

    We've stayed at all three Disneyland hotels and while we love the GCH, we're hesitant to take the grand kids there next March because it will totally spoil them for any other hotel in Anaheim. It's a tough act to follow. Once they've been there, they won't want to stay anywhere else. And yes, cost is a factor. We can justify nice dinners if we don't have so much invested in the hotel room.

    We also like Embassy Suites. Their cooked-to-order breakfasts are included. But you'll need to take a shuttle into Disneyland.
  4. blackjackdelta

    blackjackdelta <font color=darkorchid>Uncle had an "in" with Walt

    Jul 23, 2005
    We like the RI Maingate, hot breakfast, managers specials, nice pool, free grocery shopping, etc. have fun.

  5. mrswh

    mrswh DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2007
    I totally get it. Even though we don't spend much time in the room on a DLR vacation, I need a nice, new hotel (not motel). We have stayed at the Hyatt OC several times, and it is the only offsite hotel I'd consider. It is very nice, recently remodeled, nice restaurant, full service Starbucks in the lobby and outstanding guest service. Check out the 2 bedroom queen suite - perfect for a family of four. King room with bathroom plus another room with 2 queens for the kids, with a living room in between. And only one door that opens to the outside. It is a great setup especially if one or both kids need an afternoon nap. And, IMO, very reasonably priced. I think the Hyatt is nicer than the GCH; we only stay at the GCH bc we are spoiled by the convenience.

    The Hyatt does have a pool - nothing spectacular but good for splashing around. The price you pay for all this is that you would not want to walk to the parks. Too far. They have a shuttle that runs every 30 minutes - very reliable and it's a 5 minute ride. You do have to fold up your stroller.

    I know most will disagree, but I actually prefer taking a shuttle to crossing six lanes of traffic with little kids. And the nicer accommodations were worth it to me.

    I would highly recommend spending a few hours reading reviews on Tripadvisor and looking at photos for wherever you decide to stay. Nothing worse than being disappointed in your hotel when you've been looking forward to a fun Disney vacation! (OK there are worse things, but it can be a bummer).

    Whatever you decide, have a great trip!
  6. viaggiamo

    viaggiamo Mouseketeer

    Jan 26, 2012
    I hear you as well!
    We are coming from Australia and so wont be going every year or maybe even ever again...
    We stay in lovely hotels whenever we travel but I just cannot seem to get myself to pay what GCH is asking.
    My brain feels like it's goingto explode with the options and opposing reviews places are getting.
    And as we are only going to be sleeping in the room, I doubt we'll swim in October, and we want to make the most of every second at DL and in the USA in general. It's a tough call.
    Will be watching this thread with interest.
  7. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

    Aug 23, 2011
    I hear that!

  8. SomeDude78

    SomeDude78 Mouseketeer

    Dec 12, 2011
    Is being within walking distance one of your hotel requirements? If so, then basically all of the options should be considered motels IMO. I personally like FFI myself, with Hojo next door my 2nd choice for offsite walking distance options. But again, both (plus all the rest on those couple blocks of Harbor Blvd) are really motels ... despite the interior corridors at Hojo, everything else (aside from possibly the water play area) about it is still basically a motel.

    For onsite options I bounce back and forth between DLH and GCH but prefer DLH overall. My pair of toddlers adore the property and it's money well spent IMO, particularly if you don't get out there often. If it's just adults then GCH is pretty good, feels more upscale than DLH but lacks much of a Disney theme and the rooms aren't really much nicer if you're talking standard rooms.

    I'm a hotel snob too due to business travel so you're not alone ;) If you don't care about being in walking distance there are much nicer hotels in the surrounding areas like Garden Grove for the same price as the motels on Harbor. For DLR visits I'm okay with motels as I value walkable distance over the property itself, but I can't say any of the ones on Harbor have much "wow factor."

    I vote for staying onsite plus having nice dinners. Hey, it's vacation and they're not mutually exclusive right?!?! :) Whatever you choose, have a great time!
  9. quiltymom

    quiltymom <font color=darkorchid>Ears to you, kids!<br><font

    Mar 22, 2005
    We've stayed there 4 times in the past. It's nice, basic, and a 10 minute walk to the turnstyles (not counting bag check). Basic and filling continental breakfast, enough to eat our fill so we can hit the park running. We decided to try other places once they raised their prices a few years back. We've stayed on the first floor and you can hear EVERYTHING from the room above from people arriving after the parks close. I'm a very light sleeper so this became a big deal for us.

    Also stayed at the HoJo. Very nice place, but for our family a 15 minute walk back after the park closed. Those extra 5 minutes late at night was a killer for us. A bit more deserted of a walk, too, if that matters.

    Last trip we stayed at the GCH villas due to the generosity of a friend. We were SPOILED. Nothing will ever be able to top that experience. We'll never stay there again because it's out of our budget. And since we spent most of our time in the park we didn't even begin to explore the hotel, which was a shame in itself.

    This time we're staying at the Best Western Park Place Inn, right across the street, which was a major selling point. Can't get much closer than that. I've had friends who've stayed there and liked it a lot.

    I should also say that we're a family that prefers to spend our time and $$ in the parks rather than on a hotel. We arrive as early as we can the day before our park visit(s) to let the kids swim, then we hit DTD before turning in early. We're at the parks at rope drop and leave when we're kicked out. We're not overly picky and the kids love any hotel we stay in as long as it has a pool. :beach: So, as long as the place is pet- and smoke-free, clean, and not too noisy I'm a happy camper.

    Hopes this helps!
  10. whoopsiedoodle

    whoopsiedoodle Mouseketeer

    Jun 17, 2012
    You guys are great! I'm so happy I found this site! I will definitely be visiting tripadvisor to view some pics and I'm sure I can find some on here. :) If I can convince DH to splurge and spoil us then I think we will do DLH but then again I just don't know! AHHHH! We live in Idaho so it's not a huge vacation but DH loathes crowds and isn't looking forward to the trip to begin with so a second visit is probably out of the question...unless the kids just adore it ;)
  11. rramstad

    rramstad Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2011
    Jack, do you mean Residence Inn Maingate, or Ramada Inn Maingate?

    Or am I confused?
  12. MommyLove

    MommyLove <font color=magenta>The sleep-deprivation is causi

    Jul 21, 2008
    Having stayed at GC, DLH, and HoJo, I can recommend HoJo to you as a great less-expensive option. It's a true hotel with the inside corridors and the swim/play area is AWESOME. There is also a full pool in a separate area. Mimi's is right next door - a fun restaurant that has a Disneyland feel to it with the decor and the food is YUMMY. The walk is not that much longer than the walk from the DLH and it's a nice walk with greenery. I wouldn't say "deserted", but yes, as you walk further down Harbor there are less people as they go into their closer motels. The kids suite has a king bed separate from a room with bunk beds and a sofa sleeper. If you can't get one of their kids suites (they book fast) I think a two queen room with 2 adults and 2 kids works just fine. Don't worry about any talk you've heard about "freeway side". HoJo's has since done renovations that greatly reduce noise. You can check out their rooms on their site here as well as see videos on You Tube! :thumbsup2

    Hope that helps! :)
  13. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2004
    I agree with you, especially the bolded part. New and modern are not really found in the walkable motels on Harbor. Even the Hojo, which is our favorite is far from new, its very clean but not new. The trade off however to an older, but still well maintained and updated motel is that the rooms are often larger.

    I too prefer certain chains when I travel to other destainations besides Disney. Dh and I often say if only there was a Hampton Inn or Hyatt Place right across the street from DL!

    But I do find that the motels on Harbor, while in the "older" motel category, have mostly been refurbished and updated and the ones I have stayed at have been clean.

    So while I woudln't stay at many motels on other vacations, let alone some indepenant owned place, at DL I do because I won't stay in a non walking distance property and I don't always want to pay onsite prices.
  14. whoopsiedoodle

    whoopsiedoodle Mouseketeer

    Jun 17, 2012
    Walking distance is something that I go back and forth over! I *think* I would prefer walking distance since our kids will still be nap-age and we will probably have to do the mid-afternoon return to the room. I also think it would be nice to be close incase one of them has a full meltdown (cause you just never know!) and needs to quickly be taken out of the situation.
  15. DarthMole

    DarthMole DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    HoJos is a motel? OK, but don't tell my wife because she's not a motel person but loved HoJos when we went two years ago. :lmao:

    Seriously though, if you're picky and looking for a suite and concierge service, then you should just stay on site at DLH or GCH and be done with it. If you're looking for this level of service, then crammed shuttle buses with young kids is sort of a step backwards.

    If you are open to so called motels, then HoJos is not a bad option. You're just not going to get the room service, on site restaurant/coffee and hand holding you may be looking for in a full service hotel. As others have said, consult Trip Advisor. That can't be stressed enough. I've never been let down by doing research there first.
  16. LittleToni

    LittleToni Official Member of the Dis-Boards Lurker Club!

    Dec 6, 2006
    I will never stay more than a 5 minute walk away from DL main gates :) To be able to easily walk to your room in the middle of the day to relax and refresh, and get ready for the afternoon, makes my vacation better beyond comparison :) If you have small children, then I totally recommend you take advantage of this. It will save your trip. I would stay at the Carousel Inn and Suites or Park Place Inn. Both have a pool. Bring cheap foam ear plugs for sleeping (not really needed but I bring them and love it) and you are good to go :) Although after a day in the parks, and the air going in the room, the small amount of extra noise from being so close is negated anyways as you wind down and drift off into never never land :)

    Have a great trip!

  17. Lm3js

    Lm3js Mouseketeer

    Jun 5, 2011
    The Candy Cane inn is nicer than the ones on harbor, has a large pool and good breakfast. It has a shuttle, but is also walkable if your kids are not too little. We typically stay at one of the ones directly across the street from DL as we are not picky (just needs to be clean) and we want a short walk at the end of a long day.
  18. chrissiecutie

    chrissiecutie Once a Princess, Always a Princess

    May 1, 2008
    So as someone with hotel industry experience and a former Guest Services Mgr for a large-ish chain...let me see if I can't help...The official industry definitions are pretty simple. If you walk straight from the parking lot to your room, it's a motel. If you have interior corridors, then technically it's a hotel.

    Now...there are of course varying degrees of hotel & motel. Some motels are really very nice while some hotels are not. In this case, you would want to refer to the star rating. I think you'll find that most hotels/motels within walking distance are a 2 or 3 star depending upon their amenities. Concierge service is really more of a 4 or 5 star amenity, so you will want to look for that rating when choosing a hotel/motel- I'm assuming here that this is one of your priorities.;)

    Personally, I value a clean room with comfy beds just above anything else. This is why my family stays at the HoJo. Well, that and the great rates & awesome pirate water park!:thumbsup2

    I love a hotel/motel with character. And Disney truely has some of the best! I'm thinking the former space age Best Western or the very retro front desk at the HoJo and charm of the Candy Cane. Usually when travelling, I stick to specific chains because I know what to expect. But it's only at Disney, that I will actually stay at a "no-name" hotel/motel.

    I just found the Hilton Anaheim on tripadvisor and they've had a recent remodel to include a kids water park area. This hotel and the Hojo's are the only 2 "non Disney" hotels that offer this amenity. You might look into that one to see if they offer concierge...plus they have a Starbucks.!:woohoo:
  19. lulugirl1968

    lulugirl1968 Earning My Ears

    Apr 24, 2012
    Homewood Suites! (it is a Hilton property)

    2 room suite
    Free, hot daily breakfast
    M-Th they serve a free dinner with beer & wine
    Many restaurants close by, and Target across the street

    It is a mile from D-land, but they have a shuttle that runs every 1/2 hour for a very small fee.

    We stayed in May and loved it!
  20. coopersmom

    coopersmom DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2010
    I am in this same dilemma. If the Disneyland or Grand Californian rooms looked even roughly commiserate with their price tag I would pay the prices, huge as they are, and be done with it, but even the remodeled DLH, which seems far more appealing decor and size-wise, just has a real "motel" quality to me ... And no matter how beautiful the pools and grounds and short the walk, I can't picture paying $400+/night for motel-quality rooms. (Bless Disney for trying, though.)

    Currently we are looking at the Hilton Anaheim or (despite the above) the Disneyland Hotel, though we can get a suite at the former (more than double size room as DLH) for half the cost of the latter.

    I did have a question in here (not just a rant ;) ... Can you rent for cash (like you can in DisneyWorld) the DVC units at the Grand Californian?
  21. blackjackdelta

    blackjackdelta <font color=darkorchid>Uncle had an "in" with Walt

    Jul 23, 2005
    Residence Inn Maingate =hot breakfast Not Ramada, it is VERY basic


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