Anaheim Travel Guide
In the past couple of years, Marriott Hotels have rolled out quite a few important, and relevant, new amenities and services. So many, that we're kind of in disbelief at how far Marriott has come, aside from that whole hotspot blocking biz of course.
Just 10 years ago, Marriott Hotels felt very out of touch with the emerging breed of savvy travelers who want new technology and good design. Marriott Hotel furniture was often depressing, the carpeting was usually an eyesore, while lobby socializing was nonexistent, and the services were almost always at an added fee. There was also a complete lack of innovation. Just sell a room, check in the guest then collect their money.
But today, even though Marriott would never be considered a boutique or lifestyle brand, it is giving guests a thoroughly modern experience. Here's how:
The WiFi is free-ish (so long as you are a member of Marriott Rewards and book directly through Marriott), the furniture is still corporate but definitely more appealing (and in some cases, even stylish), the technology in the rooms has been upgraded to include flat-screen TVs and plenty of outlets, and you can even check-in and check-out of your room through the Marriott Mobile App. They've also shown their softer side with employees, by introducing these tip envelopes.
One hotel that's got all that's new and shiny about Marriott to show off is the Anaheim Marriott at Disneyland.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Indigo Hotels / Anaheim Hotels / Disneyland Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The Hotel Indigo is thataway!
Indigo's parent company, InterContinental Hotel Group, has converted the Holiday Inn Express at 435 Katella Avenue, near the convention center, into The Hotel Indigo Anaheim, a"retro-style" hotel with 104 rooms, a pool, a fitness center and restaurant, The Chambers Bar & Bistro. (The rebranding was made possible by New Century Enterprises, LLC who poured about $5 million into the property.)
As with all Hotel Indigos, the surrounding area and its history play an important in the hotel's identity. But how does this work when the surrounding area is ruled by Mickey? Well, Indigo went way back for inspiration. Apparently, the hotel is located near what used to be a wagon trail that connected several ranches responsible for producing nearly half of America's walnuts in the early 1900s. Seriously. So the Hotel Indigo Anahemi now features mosaic murals with blooming walnut trees. (No nutcrackers in the minibars though.)
Additionally, the hotel's restaurant is an homage to the Chambers Ranch which was home to the families who made their living growing walnuts.
The Disney Blog has the detes on what sort of "buried" treasure the 11th floor suite holds:
The Pirates experience begins as you ring the doorbell, which plays, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me,” and enter the living room. There you will find Old World rugs covering dark-stained hardwood floors, with wooden beams overhead. The Spanish colonial-style furnishings could be part of a pirate’s plunder, yet the room also provides landlubbers’ comforts including a wet bar, 42-inch plasma TV and surround sound stereo system.
If you're staying at the Disneyland Hotel, you expect to see some Disney figurines here and there. But the penthouse suite is all tricked out with Mickey, with those famous mouse ears found on everything from the ceiling lighting fixture to the carpeting.
The mouse pad is done up in the colors Mickey usually sport—black, white, red and yellow—and you'll find rare photos and sketches from the Disney library adorning the walls. On display in the master bedroom are maquettes—collectible 3-D models used by animators to create a 2-D character—from Mickey's most notable roles.
In the mood for a lil' bit of Disneyland magic? Maybe some Angels baseball? Or do you, perhaps, have a crisp Benjamin lying around and you want to spend those dollas on a hotel room and an $11 bottle of wine for you and your honey?
The newly-renovated Hilton Anaheim's gotchya: throughout the rest of 2009, the hotel is offering 89 of its rooms every day for the semi-ridiculous price of $89 per night.
The massive 1,572-room hotel located just next door to the Anaheim Convention Center and about a block from Disneyland was given a complete overhaul that wrapped up in January. And to fill up those crisp, clean new rooms, the hotel is running an 89@89 Promo (looks like someone went a little cray-cray with the numbers line on the keyboard) via their Advance Purchase Rate i.e., you have to book your room at least 21 days in advance to snag one of the cheapie rooms.
It's probably in your best interests to stay away from Disneyland and all of its hotels this week, as things are so chaotic over there right now that they've gone and arrested Tinkerbell. What is this world coming to?
Yesterday, we caught wind of the plans for Disneyland hotel workers' protests to go down last night. The issues involve about 2,300 unionized hotel workers at three Disney-owned hotels: the Paradise Pier, the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel.
Just before noon, a decent-sized quake--5.8 on the Richter--struck the Los Angeles area, sending shocks from Los Angeles to San Diego and as far away as Las Vegas. The epicenter was 29 miles from downtown LA near Chino Hills in San Bernadino County.
No major disasters have been reported yet but a couple thousand donut fans were affected in Anaheim.
About 2,000 detectives were attending a gang conference at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim when a violent jolt was felt in the main conference room. Mike Willever, who was at the hotel, said, "First we heard the ceiling shaking, then the chandelier started to shake, then there was a sudden movement of the floor."
But what about the donuts? Are they ok? (We kid, we kid.)
Since Anaheim is also home to Disneyland, the park rides have been evacuated and will be inspected for any damage. Fortunately, everything else in SoCal seems ok--a little rattled but ok.
Any Los Angeles hotels affected by the earthquake? Let us know.
For those who frequent Disneyland, the Hilton Anaheim recently got some room renovations. The hotel is located about a mile from the park and judging from some reviews on TripAdvisor, the Hilton was desperately in need of renovations. As one reviewer wrote:
I was shocked by the shabbiness of the room that I was assigned. The prior reviews are valid - this hotel is like something out of the 70's - beige wicker - pale pink florals.
Beige wicker, yikes! We actually got our hands on a pic of a room before renovations. While we didn't spy any pink florals, there was some suspicious beige furniture.
Thankfully, the Hilton will be getting a more modern look. This is a shot of one of the renovated rooms. The hotel has nearly 2,000 rooms (it's also located next to a conference center) and about 240 of the rooms have been renovated. The rest of the rooms will be done floor by floor with all rooms expected to be finished by August 2008.
If you book here and want to stay in a renovated room, call the hotel and ask for one. (We don't trust computers to handle these sort of requests). There will be a $30 premium for a renovated room. But at least you won't have to look at beige wicker.
The LA Times reports that Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is expanding by adding 250 more units and 50 time-share units. So basically, you can live near Disneyland for parts of the year. Of course, why you would want to do this is beyond us since Anaheim is kinda gross.
But if this is your biggest dream, then all you have to do is become a member of the Disney Vacation Club for a $16,700 one-time purchase price, plus annual maintenance fees of at least $600.
Or you can just continue to stay in hotels:
· Greenpeace activists change the lightbulbs at Hong Kong's Disney hotel [NetCot]
· Moms panel wanted at Disney World? [Yacht Vacations & Charters]
· There are drawbacks to staying outside Disney World in hotels, namely crappy shuttle service [Chicago Tribune]
· Disneyland Tokyo Hotel undergoing renovations [MiceChat]
· The "Magic Your Way" Disney Deal [PRNewswire]
Star magazine is reporting that during Oprah's brief visit to the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim she made crazy diva requests and put off hotel staffers, leaving them to call her "spoiled, haughty and a diva."
Oprah rented a $3,000 a night suite during the taping for one of her shows which was being shot at nearby Disneyland. She requested that her room have the following when she arrived:
· Medium Stainless Steel dog bowls
· Refrigerator stocked with 10 Cokes, 10 Diet Cokes, 10 Sprites, 10 Dasanis and 10 Perriers
· Counter stocked with 10-room temperature Dasanis
· Cheese and Crackers from Napa Rose restaurant
· Two bottles of 2004 Stony Hill Chardonnay and two bottles of 2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir
· 16 Napa Rose wineglasses
· Tea service for five guests, "please use Napa Rose china, use stainless pot for hot water"
· Welcome fruit pedestal to be placed on dining table.
Whoa, that's a lot of stuff. But apparently Oprah had other rules about hotel employees. They could not enter the room unless one of Oprah's people were there. She also made a fuss over the bottled water which was not at room-temperature. And she made her breakfast order be completed within 10 minutes.
Still despite the demands, Oprah couldn't hang in this touristy joint. She left after one night. So what do we take away from this story? If Oprah doesn't like the $3,000 suite in the hotel which is probably one of their best rooms, then we don't want to stay there either. And dammit, that water better be at room temperature.
· Grand Floridian reviews [HotelChatter]
Water falls from a light fixture in a guest bathroom at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, thanks to another guest on the floor above. Not quite the water park these guys were probably looking for.
· Water in the Marriott Hotel Bathroom [YouTube]
A tourist from Mexico visiting Anaheim (land of Disneyland) is suing the Fairfield Inn there claiming that she received 650 bed bug bites during her stay last August.
Eunice Juarez has traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas, and said she saved for nine months for the August vacation, according to a televised news report.
She said she suffered the bedbug bites on Aug. 8, on the fourth night of the family's stay at the hotel....
Juarez also claimed her sons had about 500 bites between the two of them and that the bites were so severe they had to "seek medical attention at a clinic in Mexico." Er...Mexico? Not exactly our first choice for medical help. She shoulda stayed in the US to take care of those bites.
However this marks a first time that we've heard of where a hotel is trying to deal with the situation honestly. In a statement released by the hotel, they said staffers were on hand at the time to help the woman file a claim and get initial medical help which the hotel paid for.
· Tourist Sues Anaheim Hotel, Claiming 650 Bedbug Bites [NBC4.TV]
· Fairfield Inn Anaheim reviews [TripAdvisor]