When going to Disney I always recommend staying on property for the magic and extras such as Magic Hours. However, it’s not always in the budget to do so. And that’s okay, you don’t have to stay in a Disney owned hotel to have a fantastic trip. Recently we went on a quick trip down to Disneyland, a celebration for our family after a rough pregnancy. Since it was a quick trip we wanted to save as much money as possible and choose to stay in one of the many Good Neighbor Hotels surrounding Dinseyland.
Good Neighbor hotels are not owned by Disney but must meet certain standards to attain that distinction. They are all within a mile of the gates and many are a short walk. For our trip I choose to stay in the Anabella. It is located on Katella across the street from California Adventure Park (the back side). Though there is a shuttle stop just outside we choose to forgo the pass and walk. The walk was only 20 minutes and not bad at all even at the end of the day.
We were impressed upon arrival, the Spanish theming, lush gardens, and courtyard helped you feel secluded from the other hotels around you. Upon check in we were pleasantly surprised to find that thanks to our Disney Travel package the parking fee had been covered AND we were given vouchers for free breakfast.
The hotel is currently renovating its rooms and ours had yet to be done but it was still nice, clean, and comfortable. It had wood floors that, even being on the lower level, were clean enough that I felt comfortable allowing my baby crawl on and never had dirty feet. The bathroom had fresh tile but had a few fixtures that were ready to be replaced. Beds and pillows were great and so comfy after a long day in the parks.
To dine you may eat at the Nectarine Cafe. For atmosphere is wonderful, exposed wood beams, outside patio overlooking the pool with the bar servicing the pool. However, I must say this is where I had my biggest disappointment with the hotel. We had lunch here while waiting for our room to be ready (we arrived early). Though our waitress was very nice she was less than tolerant of our 3 children. I am not saying this just because they are mine, but our kids are incredibly well behaved when we go out to eat. But from the first moment she treated them like they were going to burn the place down. First asking if they would eat the crayons they gave for them to color with. I thought she was joking but as the meal progressed learned she wasn’t. We endured a meal of snippy comments, taking extra silverware so they wouldn’t ‘play’ with it, and even dirty looks at the ‘mess they made’. My response to all this is “you work in a hotel next to Disneyland, I’m pretty sure kids are to be expected”. The food was average and we only had lunch there.
Aside from the waitress the staff was knowledgable, polite, and courteous. They sped up our room since we’d arrived so early and housekeeping always did a fantastic job. I would stay again but would be sure to request and updated room and avoid the Cafe.