In a recent post, I mentioned that the last time I visited Disneyland (many moons ago), we stayed in the Walmart Parking Lot in a rented motorhome.
As you can imagine, spending three nights at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa this time around during the holiday season was quite the upgrade –also a big fat checkmark on my dream hotel bucket list.
From the stunning accommodations and rich dining experiences onsite, to the impressive array of amenities and impeccable Disney service, here are just seven reasons why Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was everything I had hoped for and so much more.
1- The Lobby
The second we stepped into the front entrance, our jaws hit the floor. The lights were slightly dim, allowing the enormous Christmas tree to sparkle amidst the massive vaulted ceilings and large stone hearth with a welcoming roaring fire.
In the corner, a group of zen-looking parents took a load off to enjoy the bar’s signature holiday cocktail of spiced rum and apple cider as their wee ones happily watched a Disney film nearby in teeny-tiny rocking chairs.
Our two little travellers found some empty seats and sat back to enjoy the show while Daddy checked us into the hotel, which didn’t take long at all.
On the way to our room, we followed the delicious aroma of freshly baked gingerbread to the biggest gingerbread house we had ever set eyes on. That same gingerbread house would be used as a backdrop for festive singers and carols by a baby grand piano during our stay.
While it’s a busy lobby with visitors and guests alike from all over the globe, it’s so soothing and peaceful that you feel as though you’re in a spa. Even if you don’t book a room, it’s worth visiting the lobby — especially during the holiday season when it’s decked to the nines in festive decor.
2- The Rooms
You know that moment when you put the hotel key in the door, open the handle, and hope for the best? At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you can rest assure your room will be up to your expectations, as the premium accommodations are exactly what you expect from a Disneyland Resort Hotel. Each type of room comes with a special variety of amenities with additional perks available to guests staying on the Club Level.
Our room had two queen-sized beds, which was perfect for our family of four, and a partial view of the courtyard. Depending on the room you book, you could also overlook the woods, pool, Downtown Disney District or Disney’s California Adventure Park. Just remember, the better the view, the higher the price point.
After a long day at both parks, it was so nice to take soak in the tub and then sink into the super comfy beds.
3- Magic Morning Perks
The top highlight of our Disneyland vacation was our ‘Magic Mornings.’ Any guest staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, including Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, is granted early admission, during every day of the hotel stay, to select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park one hour before the park opens to the general public.
There’s no better feeling than having a hot coffee in one hand and excited child in the other, while you skip through the empty park to go on all the rides — line or minimal-line free.
VM Tip: I highly suggest heading to Carsland and Tower of Terror first if visiting California’s Adventure Park or the Peter Pan ride and Space Mountain if going to Disneyland. Both are two of the most popular attractions. More about that later 😉
I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it was to have the refuge of such a luxurious and comfortable oasis just steps from California Adventure Park. I’m pretty sure we walked around 10Km a day with our kids — being able to have a time out at the hotel without venturing far was a major plus. There’s also direct access to California Adventure Park from this hotel and Disney’s Downtown District.
5- The Pool
When booking a hotel, the first questions our girls alway ask is whether or not there is a pool. At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, guests can choose from a variety of different relaxing pools, including the peaceful oasis of the Fountain Pool and outdoor hot tub, the Redwood Pool with waterslide, and the refreshing Mariposa pool and outdoor hot tub. Please note: Pool and slide hours may vary depending on inclement weather.
For those wanting a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage, there is bar service while you rest your tired feed and soak up some sun on the most luxurious plus lounge chairs. You can also treat your family to a poolside cabana, available for an additional fee. These poolside retreats feature a flat-screen television, wireless Internet, a fan and a safe for storing your personal belongings.
6- The Dining
From poolside to hearthside, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features award-winning food and wine, cozy lounges, Character Dining and much more. During our stay, I had the pleasure of dining at Napa Rose — an absolutely gorgeous, award-winning restaurant and lounge that offers California-inspired cuisine in an elegant setting.
I dined on the Grilled Diver Scallops, with wine country corn, lemon marmalade, and bacon bubbles, followed by a shooter of Portobello Mushroom Bisque with brandied thyme ”froth.”
There was also the signature Pizzetta of “La Quercia” Smoked American Prosciutto going around — naturally, I had to try a slice of that.
And for the main, I ordered their sustainable seasonal fish that was served with a Mediterranean-inspired flare. It was absolutely delicious.
My girls and husband didn’t join me for this meal, but there were lots of families enjoying meals together in the dining room. I also noted an extensive kids menu that offers plenty of healthy options. After a long day at one of the two theme parks, it’s a nice way to unwind, relax and enjoy a great meal with loved ones.
7- The Details
From the nightly turn-down service with the tastiest chocolates on your pillow each night, to the complimentary soothing peppermint foot rub, cooling body lotion and thick terri-cloth bathrobes, it’s the little details of this resort that really warm your heart, making you feel at home away from home.
In addition to the seven points I make above, there were also plenty of amenities at the hotel that we didn’t get a chance to explore during our three-night stay, including Pinocchio’s Workshop — a supervised children’s activity centre for kids 5 to 12 years of age, the luxurious Mandara Spa and a full gym, just to name a few. There’s always next time, right?
Since starting the blog, we’ve had the pleasure of staying at some gorgeous renowned hotels and resorts, but this was definitely in our top-3 of favourites. Again, even if you don’t plan to stay here, it’s definitely worth a visit — especially during the holiday season.
For more information about Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, visit www. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/ca/grand-californian-hotel/.
Want to know how to save on your family’s Disneyland vacation to make staying at this gorgeous hotel more affordable? Listen up:
There’s currently a special discount that’s exclusive to Canadians that runs until Feb. 28, 2017.. Experience more magic for less with special savings on multi-day tickets and upgrades to Park Hopper tickets — all with Magic Morning early access (Magic Mornings are the absolute best). Save 25% on 3-Day or Longer Tickets and Enjoy More of the Disneyland Resort.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.valleymom.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/AB0_0175.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]One of Vancouver’s top Mommy Bloggers, Kristyl Clark resides in the beautiful Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada surrounded by lush countryside, urban shopping centers, wineries and parks. This work-at-home mom of two little Valley girls is proving there is nothing bland about the burbs. This adventurous family seems to always be out on some sort of crazy quest, from helicopter rides and wild river rafting, to top-secret paranormal investigations and living the high-life sampling the fine wines and foods of the Fraser Valley region. Kristyl also publishes a monthly column in Black Press publications throughout Metro Vancouver titled ‘Pink Laundry’. The ValleyMom.ca blog inspires her loyal fanbase through the trials and tribulations of suburban family living, guiding readers to local hotspots and hidden gems in her Canadian backyard.[/author_info] [/author]
Disclaimer: While this is not a sponsored post, our stay at this hotel was complimentary. All opinions are 100% my own.