Dreams do come true at Disneyland for both kids and adults-not only in the infamous theme parks but in the three spectacular Disneyland Resort properties as well.
At the Disneyland Hotel in particular, my recent visit revealed an elevated level of luxury that enhances to the magical experience at the "happiest place on Earth."
Originally constructed in 1955, the Disneyland Hotel has undergone quite a renovation over the past two years that has significantly upgraded the hotel exterior in its entirety along with all of the guest rooms and on-site facilities. These changes, however, have maintained the venerable hotel's classic charm revered by so many, including me. Copious upgrade-driven renovations continue at the property, but there's no need to wait until they're fully complete to bask in the luxury, Disney-style!
Housed in three towers, the hotel's 988 guest rooms, including standard rooms, suites and concierge-level rooms, combine contemporary décor with distinctive touches of whimsy. For example, the headboards feature a magnificent carved rendering of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. To keep Disneyland's storied history alive, each room is also adorned with beautiful black and white photographic art prints of the park, Walt Disney and other quintessential Mickey Mouse imagery that all made me wax nostalgic.
All rooms boast one king-size bed or two queen-size beds and come standard with complimentary newspaper, phones with voicemail, cable television, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, in-room safes, make-up mirrors and in-room dining. Other particularly notable features include flat screen TVs, mini-refrigerators, coffee makers and complimentary wireless and high speed Internet access.
Suites are great options for larger families with the choice of one, two or three bedrooms. To amp up the excitement even more, book one of Disneyland Hotel's themed suites, such as the Mickey Mouse Penthouse or the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite.
For families or individuals seeking luxury and preferential guest service, the Disneyland Hotel also features elite Concierge-level rooms that have upgraded in-room amenities, as well as complimentary access to the exclusive concierge lounge. The lounge provides a range of drinks and snacks along with continental breakfast, breakfast bar and evening wine and cheese reception. The concierge lounge is also an excellent vantage point for the park's fireworks show and offers the accompanying music from the park in stereo.
The hotel's Club-level rooms also provide VIP benefits and luxury amenities such as priority check-in, a separate staff to provide recommendations during the stay, nightly turndown service and DVD players with complimentary movies.
Additional services and benefits available at the property include valet parking, a full business center, monorail transportation to the park, wheelchair access rooms, TDD machines for the hearing impaired, and a complimentary state-of-the-art health club. The grounds also feature lush landscaping, a wedding gazebo and convention center.
Disneyland Hotel's Never Land Pool area boasts 5,000-square-feet of aquatic paradise where kids splash and play in droves. The hotel is now in the process of adding a new swimming pool and water play area, which will include slides and a splash pool modeled after the 20th Century Disneyland Hotel Monorail Station (set to open in Summer 2011). It's also renovating the Never Land Pool and surrounding pool deck area. The end result is sure to be a show stopper.
As expected, the Disneyland Hotel also offers a myriad of other kid-centric services like a child activity center and learning programs that duly enhance a family vacation.
Those kids always hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite Disney characters are in luck at the hotel! Besides the ability to dine with the characters at various restaurants on-site, Disney's brightest stars are also seen meeting and greeting guests in the main lobby at various times throughout the day. Guests can also arrange to receive a wake-up call from Mickey Mouse himself to kick off their adventure at the Magic Kingdom on a joyous note.
The concierge desk can also help make celebrating any occasion even more special-or easy. They can facilitate a myriad of Disney gift packages and experiences that can be delivered to the room or arranged in conjunction with the parks or hotel. Another special service is the ability to make purchases in the park and have them delivered to the room. No need to carry that massive stuffed Disney character around all day! Love that!
Staying at the hotel also provides special VIP access to the park. On certain days, guests of the Disneyland Hotel who have purchased a valid three-day or longer Disneyland Park admission package are eligible to enter the Park before it opens to the general public.
While staying at Disneyland Hotel, there is a wide range of dining options to select from to satisfy every palate in the family, from fine cuisine to informal food-to-go. Steakhouse 55, set in a décor designed after the Golden Age of Hollywood, is fine dining at its best. The Coffee House gourmet coffee shop offers a wonderful reprieve amid specialty coffee drinks and fresh baked goods.
Kids absolutely love the on-site Goofy's Kitchen, which is an all-you-can-eat buffet (offering decidedly kid-friendly fare like PB&J pizza) that includes dining with a bevy of beloved Disney characters. It's an up-close-and-personal experience families will never forget! In Summer 2011, the hotel also plans to add a new "smart casual" Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar called Trader Sam's, which will be reminiscent of the colorful characters found on the Disneyland Jungle Cruise. How fun!
As expected, the hotel is working toward creating its own "green" destination experience with a number of changes sure to please the eco-minded traveler. Besides new double-pane reflective glass windows that reduce the hotels energy consumption and better assure comfortable room temperatures, guest rooms also feature occupancy light sensors, low-flow toilets, energy-efficient light bulbs and paint that is low in volatile organic compounds. In line with the company's focus on health and safety, Disneyland Hotel proudly offers a smoke-free environment both inside the hotel and around the grounds.
In all, the Disneyland Hotel has become a bona fide destination for those seeking elite family travel.