Walking in The Grand Californian, I instantly felt at home. And no, it’s not because the woodsy theme reminds me of Colorado, it was the bellman who greeted me and walked me to the front desk. Then, I met Connie as she checked me in. It was like I was talking to a long lost friend! Did I mention I checked in at 10pm? Within the first 7 minutes of stepping foot into the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, I knew this was going to be a good stay.
Typically when I write hotel reviews I look at the pros and cons. To be honest with you, there was only one negative for me. It could be because I’m being picky since I’m gluten free. The other "negatives" were things beyond my control and part of covid-policies, so I'll leave them out. This time, I thought I’d go over some reasons why I loved staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Let’s get started!
The biggest draw to staying here is the proximity to the parks. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is located between Downtown Disney and California Adventure Park. In fact, this resort has its own private entrance to Disney’s California Adventure Park! Only guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resorts are allowed to use this entrance.
Getting to Disneyland is just as easy through an entrance into Downtown Disney. From there you can either make your way to the main gate, or walk over to the Downtown Disney monorail station that will take you to Tomorrowland in the park. This makes going back to your hotel for a nap or afternoon swim much easier. Downtown Disney is literally steps away from your hotel! You’ll find some of the best restaurants here as well as great shopping options.
I found the room to be very spacious and comfortable. There were slight Disney theming references throughout the room, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Storage isn’t an issue here! I loved that the bed was raiders so that I could put my suitcase underneath so it’s out of sight and out of mind. I was pleasantly surprised to find a good variety of charging options near the nightstand. There was also a Keurig machine to satisfy my coffee addiction in the morning. I slept very well after a long day at the theme parks. The bathroom wasn’t large, it had adequate counter space for me to lay out my make-up and toiletries.
If it had been a bit warmer, you probably would have found me at the pool! Grand Californian Hotel & spa has not one, but three pools! The inner child in me squealed when I saw the 90-ft winding waterslide. Poolside cabanas are available to rent.
Now let’s rip the band aid off - it’s time for my one negative. I wasn’t thrilled with the gluten free offerings at Hearthstone Lounge (the restaurant lounge/bar) or GCH Craftsman Grill (the quick service option). Maybe the normal foodie would be okay with the food, but having to stick to a gluten free diet, my choices were slim. Then again, I’m used to the chefs at Disney World doing backflips to make whatever meal I want. That being said, I still managed to find something to eat.
I had better luck with Room Service in the mornings. I was able to get gluten free Mickey waffles! I will say in the theme parks, it was another story! I found a good variety of gluten free options.
Overall, Disney’s grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a great option for those who want to have easy accessibility to the theme parks! I was always greeted with a smile and warm hello. At the end of a long park day, I could relax in a clean comfortable room with a glass of wine.
Would I stay here again? Yes! This hotel would be perfect for my family. We like to be near all the action, but still like to take breaks during the day.
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