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January 19, 2012

Off-Island - Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

DH and I have been fortunate to travel around the world while we were both working in the airline industry, which meant we've stayed at many hotels.  We definitely have our list of favorite hotels, and after our recent trip to Southern California, we can now add the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim to our list.

After doing a lot of research, I decided to stay at the Red Lion Hotel primarily because of the price and proximity to Disneyland.  I had never heard of Red Lion Hotels before, and neither have any of my friends who've recently gone to Disneyland, but after our stay, we've already recommended the Red Lion Hotel to our friends and anyone else planning to visit Disneyland

The hotel is categorized as a "superior" Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel, and I definitely agree that it's superior.

Below is a detailed review of our stay (click on images to enlarge).

Price:
I booked the AAA rate of $85/night for 2 queen beds, which included free Roaring Start Breakfast Buffet at the on-site restaurant Red's Pasta Kitchen (regular breakfast buffet price is $9.95 per adult; kids 10 and under eat free).  This was a GREAT rate compared to rates I found for other hotels for the same type of room and amenities. (Note: Upon check-in you do get a $40 hold on your credit card for incidentals).

Check-in:
Upon arrival we were warmly and promptly greeted.  Cindy Wu, Front Office Manager, even gave us a Red Lion Red Velvet Cupcake for the boys to share (yes, I ate some of it too!).
I thought it was really cute how there's a "Kids Check-In" area!


Room:
We were upgraded to a Parlor Suite free of charge (must be booked directly through hotel front desk; average rate $250/night).  I was very impressed with the room's fresh and modern decor.  I really appreciated the beautiful art work (not faded, and not too "touristy" as in many other hotels we've stayed at), the frosted closet doors, and I even loved the arrangement on the dining table.
The rooms feature a lot of great amenities, such as an iHome clock radio, flat-screen Plasma TV, Bath & Body Works toiletries, a mini-fridge, a microwave, an in-room safe, and plenty of outlets (none that Baby could easily access) to plug in our various chargers.

I'm sure we would've been more than happy with the 2 Queen Beds room, but the Parlor Suite was spacious and ideal for us.  It's great for a large family and/or an extended stay. 

One feature I absolutely loved was the motion detecting light in the bathroom.  This is great for little kids who have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom!

We did have a minor issue with the shower.  It didn't drain properly, so the next morning DH called for maintenance.  We left for Disneyland shortly thereafter and returned mid-day so the boys could nap, and upon returning we saw several towels that we left hanging to reuse were on the middle of the bathroom floor (the drain did seem to work later; we noticed the stopper was taken off, so not sure if that was the "fix" or they couldn't really fix the slow drain and simply left it off).

Also, because our room was on the first floor near one of the exits, we could constantly hear the loud slam of the door. 

And it's not uncommon to hear toilets flushing in other rooms.

Dining/Breakfast Buffet
DH and I thought the breakfast buffet options were really good.  There were lots of fresh fruit, a little cereal bar, an oatmeal station, a toast and bagel station; the hot items included scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, and pancakes.  There were times when some of the hot items were completely empty and guests had to wait a few minutes for the items to be replenished, but overall I thought the staff did a pretty good job monitoring the items.
Although the first morning we weren't offered any water (the subsequent days we were offered water), and there was an instance in which one of the servers took my plate away and ended up putting my fork right in front of Baby (luckily I was watching and grabbed the fork before Baby could), I thought the service was pretty good as well.  The gentlemen who work in the restaurant were always smiling and friendly, and one even tried to track me down to return a disposable bowl I purposely left on the table to throw away (he thought I forgot it).

Breakfast is 6:30-9:30am during the week, 7:30-10:30am on the weekends.

The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner.

If you prefer to eat elsewhere, there is an IHOP right next door to the hotel and numerous other dining options within walking distance or just a short drive away.

Parking/transportation: 
If you have a car, parking is $14/night, but it's possible to find a really good rate which includes parking.

If you are planning to walk to Disneyland from the Red Lion Hotel, it's a pretty quick and easy walk.  We walked the first morning, and it took us approximately 20 minutes, which included a stop along the way to put the boys' gloves and mittens on.  Also, keep in mind that along with pushing Baby in the stroller, we were walking with a 5 year old with PDD-NOS who was easily distracted by many of the sights, and a 3 year old.  Adults on their own could easily make the walk in half the time.

For the remainder of the trip, we ended up taking the Anaheim Resort Tram (ART).  There is a kiosk right outside of the hotel which sells tickets, and a 3-day pass is $10 per adult, $2 per child over 2 (there are also reduced rate and 5-day pass options).  The ART stop is right outside of the lobby, and it usually stops every 20 minutes. 

Other Services and Amenities:
There is a Business Center on the property, which was very convenient since I used one of the computers to check-in online and print boarding passes for our return flight home. 


There is also a Fitness Center, a Gift Shop, a Cafe2Go, a Pool, and many other services and amenities that the hotel provides.

Despite a few minor issues as noted above, overall, we LOVED the hotel. The room, the service, the breakfast buffet, the location...there were simply so many things we loved about the hotel, which is why we're already looking into staying again there on a future visit to Disneyland!

Thank you to the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim for providing a complimentary room upgrade, complimentary parking, and a complimentary night.  All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post. Click here for my disclosure policy.

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