Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is Disneyland’s flagship resort hotel. The lobby alone is enough to make your jaw drop with the vast arching beams overhead. Themed to the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900’s, the level of craftsmanship and detail is evident in both the large and small details throughout the hotel. The Grand Californian also boasts a special Guests-only entrance into the Disney California Adventure theme park.
The Grand Californian has 948, 44 suites, and 71 villas. The standard rooms accommodate up to 5 Guests, and many of the rooms offer beautiful views of Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney, or one of the three pool areas. The typical standard room has two queen beds and is between 356 – 380 square feet. The beds are very comfortable, and all Guests receive nightly turn-down service. (For those of you unfamiliar with turn-down service, they will “turn down” your bedding, close the draperies, turn on the light, and leave little chocolates on your pillow. If you think this is totally unnecessary, try it for a week and then go back to a resort without it. I promise that you’ll miss it a lot!)
There are plenty of recreational options as well. There is, of course, the Bali-inspired Mandara Spa. You can experience Storytelling at the Great Hearth and a fascinating tour called the Art of the Craft Tour which will give anyone a great appreciation for the effort that went into designing the hotel. There is Pinocchio’s Workshop, a supervised kids’ activity center. And there are three amazing swimming pools, including a 100-foot water slide styled around the stump of a giant fallen redwood tree.
The hotel offers some great dining options:
- Napa Rose – The hotel’s flagship restaurant and Signature Dining experience, the restaurant features expansive windows overlooking Disney California Adventure and an open air terrace with fire pits.
- Napa Rose Lounge – Located adjacent to Napa Rose, indoor and outdoor seating is available on the terrace.
- Storytellers Cafe – This restaurant offers a breakfast with Disney Characters every morning, and “home-style” favorites at lunch & dinner. The decor includes beautiful murals depicting scenes from famed Californian stories.
- Hearthstone Lounge – This lounge is designed in a lodge like atmosphere and indoor fireplace which features a hearth and a porch which overlooks Disney California Adventure and outside fireplaces.
- White Water Snacks – This quick service snack bar evokes the atmosphere of a campground picnic pavilion complete with nearby waterfall and located nearby the Redwood pool.
As you would expect at Disneyland’s flagship hotel, the staff is top-notch. The beauty and comfort of the hotel, plus the convenience of being literally steps away from California Adventure or Downtown Disney (and only a five minute walk to Disneyland) make it evident that the only downside to the Grand Californian is simply that once you have stayed here it may end up being the only place you ever want to stay when you visit Disneyland!