As Ben mentioned in his thrilling review of the Holiday Inn Express in New Mexico, our goal isn’t to review every mediocre roadside or convention center chain hotel. However, sometimes there are mainstream hotels that folks have questions on. Any business traveler, and many people with families, will traverse through Anaheim at some point in their lives. Or in my case, stay at the Hilton Anaheim 5 times now…
So, based on that, I thought it might be of interest to do a Hilton Anaheim review for those visiting Disneyland or California Adventures. Or have this review of the Hilton for those like me who head to the city to sit in a windowless exhibit hall all day. Work travel can be so glamorous.
I’m going to tackle this for both business travelers and families who may be looking for a good Disneyland hotel option. At the end of this post I’ve included a few bullet points for what’s relevant for families and business travelers.
Hilton Anaheim Review:
I hopped off the plane at L.A.X. with a dream and a cardigan. Oh wait..that’s the Miley Cyrus song (judge away). I actually arrived at my favorite airport (not sarcasm), John Wayne International – SNA, after a quick non-stop from Phoenix and hopped in an Uber. Because if you can fly non-stop to SNA never, ever, fly into LAX to get to Anaheim or anywhere else in Orange County.
Because my conference was actually at the Disneyland Hotel I took an Uberx directly there. To get from John Wayne to anywhere in Anaheim should run you right around $20 in an Uber and 20 minutes, as long as there’s no traffic. After the oh so fun conference day wrapped up I grabbed my bag from the bell desk at the Disneyland Hotel (whose common areas seemed pretty worn around the edges) and took a quick $5 ride to the Hilton.
Area and Transportation
The Hilton and Marriott are the two absolute closest hotels to the conference center and in fact are directly across from each other. If you are walking to the convention center every day I’d definitely suggest the Hilton or Marriott. But there are at least 15 other chain hotels in a close proximity so no matter your chain loyalty you have a lot of options. I saw, just on a short walk to eat dinner at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, 3 different properties under the Hilton umbrella. Including a Homewood Suites that looked very nice and modern and would suggest checking out.
To get from the Hilton Anaheim to Disneyland you have a couple options:
- Walk. It is a 1 mile straight shot up Harbor to the Disneyland entrance. I have done this walk multiple times to shake my legs out after a long day at a conference. It’s easy but I know some little ones already do enough walking at Disneyland so this may not make sense.
- ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation). ART is a super easy to use shuttle system to take you to/from Disneyland and major hotels in the area. You board the shuttle at the convention center stop and it drops you at Disneyland. The fare for 1 day currently is $5.50 for an adult and $2 for a child. ART can also take you to other attractions around Orange County such as the South Coast Plaza mall, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the Honda Center.
- The Disneyland Toy Story Parking lot. Right across Harbor Blvd from the Hilton you can walk to this parking lot and get a free Disney shuttle bus if you’d like.
Overall there are plenty of chain restaurants and attractions nearby and the ART is an easy way to get to/from places if you don’t rent a car. Plus, always Uber or Lyft.
Check-in and Lobby
This is a Hilton so nothing too aspirational here. But I walked in the lobby, and having already stayed before, knew to walk directly to the left for the check-in area, and the designated Hilton Honors check-in area was to the left once I was there.
I took this picture at 7am in the morning. When I checked in the afternoon before the line was about 40 people long, and the Hilton Honors line about 3 people long. So definite time saver!
As a Hilton Gold member I was offered free breakfast in the hotel restaurant or 1,000 points since they did not have a club lounge. Because my conference offered breakfast already I just took the 1,000 points. I had selected my room already on the Hilton app so I was on my way rather quickly. Random item of note: typically you get two water bottles with Hilton status. I didn’t receive these, and was in the middle of a work issue so completely forgot to ask.
This Hilton has a large lobby area with a decent number of amenities and tons of seating. Since it’s a convention center hotel the seating is often packed but I tried to grab a few snaps of the different areas. Food options included:
- Full sized Starbucks
- Mix Lounge which is the main bar area and seen directly when you walk in the lobby
- Mix Restaurants which is off to the side and reviews are not good for.
- A mini food court towards the convention center with a Sbarro, Baja Fresh, Just Grillin’ and Submarina
- Pool Bar and Grill which is only open May-September although I saw a few folks drinking beers they had brought in on it. Considering it was rainy and gray not sure why.
I headed up to my room on the 14th floor and recalled how annoying this Hilton is for having massively sprawling floors. But after a short-ish walk I arrived to my room
Once I arrived I realized that unfortunately the room I had selected on the app was a handicapped accessible room. I have nothing against larger bathrooms with handrails but was hoping to show a standard room for you all. This having been my fifth stay at the Hilton Anaheim I can reassure you all the finishes are the same, the bathroom is just a smaller and more standard sized single sink/toilet/tub setup.
Overall the room was clean and well kept. Very standard Hilton room. There were no outlets by the bed without me unplugging the alarm clock and moving the nightstand away from the wall to access. Which would be very convenient for someone that is handicapped of course. That is always a huge annoyance but it’s possible this room in unique since it was ADA compliant and unfortunately I don’t recall that detail either way from my past stays.
Also, it had the standard Hilton toiletries which I despise and makes my hair feel super brittle. I’m surprisingly not picky as a female with long hair about hotel shampoo/conditioner but I really despise Hilton’s Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. Both how well they work and how small the bottles are.
Outdoor areas and Gym
I’m sure these areas are lovely on a warm summer day when taking a break from Disneyland. On a rainy, chilly, January day, not so much. These outdoor facilities are actually on the 5th floor with the parking garage taking up floors 1-4.
The gym I would’ve loved to review (and have used it in the past) but then I saw the below sign. When I stayed in the past I wasn’t Hilton Gold and had expensed the gym charge. This time I saw this and decided it wasn’t worth expensing to snap a few pictures. Unfortunately after I got back I discovered Hilton Gold’s get complimentary access to the gym. Would’ve been nice for the hotel to mention that at check-in…
That being said, from the last time I used it this is not your standard hotel gym. It has an indoor pool, tons of machines and weights, plus fitness classes, which is a nice perk.
Bottom line for families:
- If you have status with Hilton it’s a great option close to Disneyland to earn Hilton points
- The pool and swim playground look like they would be nice in the summer
- There are multiple ways to get to Disneyland
- The food court and Starbucks means plenty of cheap food options for kids when they need something
- That being said, it really isn’t that unique of a property
Bottom line for business travelers:
- All you’re seeing is the inside of the convention center and this hotel anyways
- If you’re walking to the convention center this is the closest Hilton option
- The health club is great if you can expense it or get free access with status
- Don’t expect a club lounge
- Overall, it works
Next time I may look into the Homewood Suites since it looked very new and nice compared to the Hilton Anaheim which is fine but certainly not the most up to date property I’ve stayed at.
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