Holiday Inn Anaheim Palms Review

Hotel: Holiday Inn Anaheim Palms
By: Toni Taber
Where: 1221 So. Harbor Blvd.
When: 1 July 2006-4 July 2006
Distance to Disneyland: .25 miles
Shuttle to Disneyland: Yes, $2/person over 3 years
Walking distance: Technically, though not recommended for small children
Rates: $85/night (ranges from $78-$92)
Who: Two adults, three children (ages 4, 2, 1) in one room
Two adults, one teen (age 17) in another room
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

My parents arranged this trip and picked the hotel. They checked in on June 30, 2006 and requested adjoining rooms. They checked in for us on July 1, 2006 as soon as they were able, so we bypassed the check in procedure. The hotel is a standard "motel" type arrangement around a "hotel" style lobby with an in-house restaurant, Poppy's, gift store, ballroom. We took the elevator from the lobby to the fourth floor. There are other elevators closer to the parking lots to use as well once you have a key. The walkways are outside walkways, with fairly standard railings. The hotel has the appearance of an old hotel with a recent makeover. It was clean.

The room was fairly standard, but clean, although my parent's room lacked the sheer curtains ours had. The air conditioning unit was mounted under the window and functioned properly. There was a small round table with a chair by the window, two queen sized beds with nightstand with phone and clock radio between them and a lamp. Armoire with three drawers and television inside. The armoire was not big enough to unpack everyone's clothes into it, so we dedicated it to diapers in one drawer, and The Daddy's clothes in the other two. Next to it was a small desk with a chair, lamp and another phone. The beds were not uncomfortable as we have seen at Townplace Suites or Residence Inn. The bonus was I was able to push one bed against the wall, so I could share with my one year old without worrying if she'd roll out of bed. We brought Ready Bed's (inflatable beds with built in blankets) for the four and two year olds. These were SO worth the money ($29.99 each) compared to sharing a bed with squiggly preschoolers. We still use them at home, too (set up in my bedroom so when they have a nightmare, they go to that bed instead of mine)

The bathroom area consisted of a doorless closet with luggage stand, counter with sink, 4 cup coffee pot, ice bucket, plastic cups wrapped in plastic, small basket with small soaps, small basket with coffee/filters. This was open to the room. Also had a Kleenex dispenser on the side of the counter within reach of the little ones, which they found eventually and pulled out a bunch of tissues before I caught them and removed the Kleenex box. I put a towel in the hole so they couldn't get their hands caught in it.

The pool area was clean. There is a play fountain for kids, and a pool that was about 4.5 feet deep; which was perfect for playing with the kiddos. We brought our own life vest for our 4 year old. The pool area was very active with children when we went, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. This is the only pool in the Disneyland area that is open 24 hours, something you will note if your room overlooks the pool.

From our room, we had a view of the pool area, freeway and the back of Toontown. The freeway was very loud, but tolerable if the air conditioner was on.

From our room, we could see a lot of the fireworks show, but from the walkway, it was amazing. The kids oo'ed and aw'ed with every burst, even from the safety of their room. You can not believe how loud those fireworks are! They apparently shoot them off right across from the hotel, because they are not only loud, but they shake the windows! The second night we were there, the children went to sleep around 8:30 (remember, they are very young), and when the fireworks started, oh my gosh! It sounded like a war was going on. Shockingly, the children were so worn out they slept through it. The Daddy and I started laughing nervously because it was so loud and the show is so long… we were waiting for that one boom! that would wake them up. They didn't wake; however you might want to make sure you get your kids sound asleep before the show or wait until it's over.

The shuttle cost $2/day pass per person over 3 years old, so for us and my parents it cost $12 while parking is only $11.50, and we can fit everyone in our minivan. We've stayed at other hotels (Hilton Suites in Orange and Townplace Suites in Anaheim), and they have had free shuttles. We took the shuttle the first day, and it seemed to run on time. I was not impressed with the shuttle. It felt dingy. The bus drop off areas have very little shade, so we tried to time our return trip to make sure we didn't miss the shuttle, but didn't have to wait in the sun, either. It was difficult to time this once-an-hour return trip, so the second day, we took our own car and parked. If I had no children, I may have walked (if it was cooler weather, too). However, to get to Disneyland, you have to make a steep climb up an overpass to cross the freeway.

The restaurant at the hotel, Poppy's, is only open for breakfast and dinner. Kids eat free, so we took advantage of this and ate breakfast each day and dinner each day. The food was good. Not spectacular, but good, though I must say that the Eggs Benedict I ordered were perfect. It came with fruit instead of potatoes, so the breakfast didn't weigh down on me the way a heavier meal may have. Kids had a nice variety to choose from at breakfast including yogurt and fruit, pancakes, eggs etc . . . My one-year-old had the yogurt and fruit, and the others had pancakes. The dinner variety for kids was also good, though they ordered cheeseburgers each time. The burgers were not dry and hard like they often are at restaurants. They also offer room service, but we did not take advantage of this.

If you're traveling with other family members or even teens, two connecting rooms here can be cheaper than a suite elsewhere. Each door had a doorknob with a lock on their side, so you could open your door and if the other person did not open theirs, you can't go in that room. When traveling with small children and grandparents, this was nice. It gave the children more than one room to run around in, so our adjoining doors were open quite a bit. It also allowed us to nap two of the girls in one room while we were in the other. We just left the adjoining doors cracked, so we could hear them.

This hotel also has KidSuites, which is a guestroom that has been transformed. One section of the room has a partition and doorway and has a television and bunk beds in it for children. The KidSuites have different themes. I have only seen these online, not in person, so have no review.

Although I probably wouldn't give this hotel my whole hearted recommendation, I would choose it over Townplace Suites any day based on beds alone.

Review Written By: Toni Taber

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