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On a trip to Disneyland this spring, my wife and I stayed at the Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites. At Walt Disney World, we would never even entertain the idea of staying off-property. However, at Disneyland we stay exclusively off-property. First, because proximity isn’t an issue at Disneyland; we could see both Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror, attractions in two different Disneyland parks, from our hotel’s front entrance. Second, because the three official Disneyland Resort hotels can be quite expensive.
Now, this isn’t to say we wouldn’t stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel or Disneyland Hotel if given the chance. Heck, we’d even stay at Paradise Pier Hotel for the right price! Even though the rooms in off-property Disneyland-area hotels at which we’ve stayed have been mediocre at best, the price and location have always been right. The Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites certainly wasn’t downright disgusting (the same cannot be said for the Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites), but it certainly was playing fast and loose with the term “suites” in its name. I suppose they meet the requirement if a suite is merely a “large room,” but I think suite connotes a certain level of quality and/or elegance. Perhaps that’s just me.
That said, Desert Inn was not a bad hotel by any means. The room was large and passable, albeit very dated in appearance with the exception of the flat screen television. Our bed was reasonably comfortable, and it was nice having a king size bed, plus a couch and coffee table, as well as a mini-fridge in our room. The room was clean overall, and was perfect for our purpose on that trip–it was simply a place to sleep. The amenities beyond the room were questionable. I ventured to the free continental breakfast one morning but didn’t eat anything after seeing the location where it was served, and the indoor pool didn’t seem nice, either. If you plan on spending much time at your hotel beyond sleeping and getting ready in the morning, you might want to look elsewhere.
The per-night prices of Desert Inn, and similar “budget” Good Neightbor hotels on Harbor Boulevard are typically very good at less than $100/night, especially considering their location. By staying at hotels this close, we’re able to avoid renting a car, instead taking the Super Shuttle from the airport to our hotel. The 3-5 minute proximity to the Esplanade also allows us to make stops at our room during the course of the day to pick up and drop off various items (tripod, coat, etc.) that we don’t want to carry for the entire day. For the reasons of price and convenience alone, I would recommend Desert Inn. I have heard other hotels along Harbor Boulevard offer nicer rooms and amenities, notably the Anaheim Howard Johnson, which has quite a following among some Disneyland Guests.
Below you’ll find a video of a Desert Inn and Suites room, along with several photos.
Please let us know whether or not you’d like to see more resort/hotel photos and video of other Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels in the future by leaving a comment. Likewise, if you have any suggestions or feedback, let us know! (Video of hotel rooms for every Walt Disney World resort is something on which we’re currently working. Here’s a sample from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.)