Ok I have to be honest. I didn’t really intend to write a full site report on the Hilton Anaheim, mostly because I didn’t look at ANY of the meeting space. Seriously, didn’t step foot in it. Usually I make it a priority to sneak in and take a peek, even when I’m not attending or managing a meeting. But for whatever reason I didn’t this time.
However, I did spend 6 nights (not consecutively) at this hotel and so to spend almost a week somewhere and NOT write about it seemed to just go against my soul. So here we are.
First off, why 6 nights? Well technically it was 3 nights one week and 3 nights the next week. The first stay was for my trip to The Special Event conference, which was at the neighboring Marriott (which I’ve already written about). But since I’m a Hilton loyalist and the hotels are right next to each other, I chose to stay at the Hilton.
The second set of days was because after attending TSE, my husband and I headed around southern California for a vacation – first down to San Diego to visit with friends, then up to Los Angeles to see my husband’s brother and his girlfriend (hi Julia! One of my loyal readers!), and then back to Anaheim for a two-day visit to Disneyland. I mean, why not, right? So it made sense to stay at the Hilton both times, since what was a good location for the conference was also a good location for visiting the happiest place on Earth (minus the whole measles thing).
To summarize the Hilton Anaheim, this is a hotel that doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It’s a weird mix of business travelers (it’s so close to the convention center and has 100,000 square feet of meeting space within its own walls) and families going to Disneyland, as it’s the closest Hilton to the park. Which means breakfast in the hotel restaurant is a mix of suits and Mickey ears, no joke.
This hotel is also enormous. There are 1572 guest rooms and there’s a good chance yours will be a loooooong walk from the elevator, like ours was on trip #1. The hotel is also a bit dated – I understand it’s about to undergo a pretty extensive renovation this year, but when we visited everything was okay, but could use some TLC, especially areas like hallways and elevators.
Service was also a bit hit or miss. The first night we checked in we were pretty exhausted – it was 7 PM pacific but to my husband and me it felt like 10 PM. We happened to arrive with a wave of other guests and there was only one front guest agent on duty so it took forever. Once we got to the front of the line we were cheerfully informed that the city of Anaheim had scheduled a blackout in order to work on something in the street from 11 PM to 5 AM so would we like some free glowsticks? I understand that this is something the hotel has zero control over, but it wasn’t exactly great news. There would be no lights (obviously), electricity, wifi or hot water for the duration, and only 1 elevator would be running. The reality for my husband and me was that we fully intended to be asleep before 11 PM and didn’t need to get up until after 5 AM, thankfully, but it was still a pain.
There was also an issue getting my complimentary internet access (free because of my Gold HHonors status). Instead of a password they told me to use my last name and room number. However I have a hyphenated last name that really seems to confuse people, because I couldn’t get that to work, so I had to call the internet service desk (which isn’t on-site) – it was resolved with a 5 minute phone call but I was tired.
I forgot to take photos of the room, but this is about what it looked like:
The next morning, however, saw one of the hits of service at the Hilton. We were taking advantage of our free continental breakfast vouchers (Gold status perk – 2 per room per night which means, yes, we did eat breakfast 6 times at the hotel!) and the server immediately upgraded us to the full breakfast buffet when she realized we had stayed the previous night, since the blackout was an inconvenience. Again, not something they had to do but it was a nice gesture.
Other servers at the restaurant weren’t that great and since we experienced 6 of them I feel like I had a good sample size to evaluate. One we never actually saw – since the vouchers for the continental breakfast give you access to the buffet technically you don’t need to see the server before you eat, but we had no one to turn our vouchers into, until a bus boy took pity on us.
The pool seemed nice – I didn’t spend much time there besides eating lunch during TSE (which is when I took this lovely sunny photo):
Also I did like this weird fire feature they had by the pool at night:
Didn’t check out the gym or the meeting space. The lobby is huge, as you can see.
Location wise, it’s right next to the convention center, which makes it a top choice for business travelers. However on trip #2 we were definitely tourists. Prior to booking this part of our trip I had done some Trip Advisor research and noticed that families visiting Disneyland either loved the location (it’s so close!) or hated it (it’s too far!). But here’s the skinny: It is literally a block away from Disneyland. In fact, on trip #2 we had a “Disneyview Room” and could see the backside of Cars Land. The only caveat is while you are so close to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, technically the entrance to both parks is a bit further away – you have to walk all the way around. For my husband and me, this walk from hotel door to park entrance was no more than 20 minutes. As someone who has been to Disney World a few times, I thought this was amazing. You can’t get to any part of Disney World in 20 minutes or less by walking, usually. So I definitely didn’t think it was too far to walk, but I also didn’t have strollers or toddlers or elderly relatives with me.
I would recommend the Hilton Anaheim to business travelers who need to be by the convention center. It’s an average Hilton – not amazing, but not terrible. For families looking for a hotel near Disney, if you are a Hilton loyalist with points to burn (we used points for stay #2), I say go for it. It’s the closest you can get to the parks on Hilton points. If you’re paying out of pocket it might be more worthwhile to check out other properties that are either closer (there are some non-chain hotels that are even closer, plus there are always the official Disney hotels – not really worth it), or cheaper (to pay cash for the room we had while staying there would have been $140/night, and mid-January is considered the off-season).
Have you stayed at the Hilton Anaheim? What did you think?