Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

A craftsman-style retreat in Disney
VERIFIED LUXURY

If Disneyland is called the happiest place on earth, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is among the top five. A craftsman-style playground for visitors of all ages, the property features more than 900 rooms that have been given top-to-bottom makeovers, a mini waterpark, a host of dining options and an entrance to the Downtown Disney District that’s so close to the check-in desk that you can almost smell the pretzels.

Cast members — Disney-speak for hotel staff — with iPads expedite check-in, while the concierge offers up suggestions to keep the kids occupied and makes reservations for dinner.

Mandara Spa offers treatments for couples and solo travelers. Services will help you recuperate after a day of riding the nearby attractions.

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Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The warm, rustic touches offer a distinct nod to iconic designer Frank Lloyd Wright and California architects Greene & Greene.
  • The main lobby, already a popular gathering spot before the makeover, has become even more gravitating thanks to fresh carpet, new furniture and snazzy hardwoods that beg for a pre- or post-theme-park meet-up.
  • When the young ones tire of riding Flik’s Flyers and the Golden Zephyr, they can relax at the hotel, where four pools come together to create a pseudo waterpark that could probably charge an admission. Nice touches — a fountain, cabanas decked out in 55-inch TVs and chaise lounges, newly laid stone and a pool concierge — ensure the space makes even more of an elevated splash.
  • Service has always been a hallmark of a Disney resort stay. And standard remains true at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It doesn’t matter if you get turned around in a hall or encounter an issue connecting to the internet, the congenial staff promptly handles the situation.
  • The lobby connects you to the Disney theme parks. One hallway leads you to Disney California Adventure and another entrance guides you to Downtown Disney. We can’t overstate what those conveniences mean for a family of four or more.


Things to Know

  • Find great seasonal offerings in the lobby. When we visited over the winter holidays, we heard carolers and sipped a warm drink from a hot chocolate and cider bar.
  • One guest perk is that you can have theme park purchases sent directly to the Anaheim hotel so that you won’t have to carry souvenir-filled bags while enjoying Disneyland.
  • If you want to make the stay extra special for little ones, arrange for a Disney In-Room Celebration. The hotel will surprise your child with Frozen, Mickey or other character-themed décor and gifts in the room.
  • Though Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a decidedly more woodsy than whimsy feel, designers didn’t hesitate to sprinkle subtle reminders that you’re still in Mickey Mouse’s backyard by sneaking the famed ears into the carpet, artwork and other corners of the property.
  • In select park-view rooms, you can sit on the balcony and watch the nightly World of Color, which projects Disney characters onto a 19,000-square-foot veil of mist in a show of water, pyrotechnics and laser lights.

The Rooms

  • Every unit has been gutted to the studs, giving spaces that range from standard rooms to three-bedroom suites a slightly more cosmopolitan feel (oak headboards, copper elements, USB connections).
  • The four signature suites are more like intimate bungalows. The sense of coziness hits you from the foyer and only continues in rooms with brightened vanities, walk-in tubs and enough space for a small family reunion.
  • If you’re staying on the sixth floor, you may also have privileges at The Veranda, the dazzling new concierge club at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Charles Mackintosh-inspired haven consists of contemporary lighting, stunning artwork, a more efficient dining configuration and a bigger patio.

The Restaurants

  • Storytellers Cafe delivers all-day dining. Though the à la carte lunch and dinner buffet are popular choices, things are their most spirited in the mornings for the Chip ‘N Dale Critter Breakfast. This all-you-can-eat meal cooks up endless smiles with classic Disney characters parading around while you eat.
  • For a more traditional time at the table, make reservations at the resort’s signature establishment, Napa Rose. While chef Andrew Sutton’s menu might change every week, you can always expect a sense of romance in the air to go along with the aroma of steelhead trout, pot roast and other upscale takes on California cuisine.
  • If you prefer to go a little more casual, try the Napa Rose Lounge, which has seating inside next to the fireplace or outside on the terrace and serves appetizers and dessert.
  • Located in the corner of the lobby, the Hearthstone Lounge is a full bar and a popular gathering spot to enjoy wine or Lagavulin.
  • If these don't entice you, make the short walk to Downtown Disney and enter a retail realm filled with culinary options, including Earl of Sandwich, Rainforest Café and Tortilla Jo’s.

Amenities
24-hour room service
Bar
Fitness classes
Gym
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Restaurants
Spa
Getting There
1600 South Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, California 92802
TEL714-956-6425
NEARBY AIRPORT(S)
LGB (22-30 min)   LAX (35-50 min)  
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