Disneyland Paris Hotels: Impressions

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Disneyland Paris has 6 hotels within walking distance of its parks. This post features our thoughts, pros & cons of each hotel, photos, and recommendations of where to stay at Disneyland Paris. While we have not stayed at all of these hotels, we have visited and spent time at each, touring all of them and having drinks or a meal at the hotels, at the very least.

Since it’s unlikely that we will ever stay at all of them (for reasons set forth below) and because we have received a lot of questions from people wondering where they should stay when they visit Paris in response to our Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide, we thought we would at least put this together to provide a synopsis and our thoughts about each Disneyland Paris hotel.

If you are considering one of the hotels at which we have not stayed, we highly recommend getting a second opinion, as we are the first to admit that visiting and touring a hotel is hardly an adequate substitute for staying at a hotel. While you can learn a lot about a hotel just by spending some time at it, you still only have a partially-formed opinion.

With that said, let’s take a stroll around the hotels at Disneyland Paris…

Disneyland Hotel

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If money is no object, Disneyland Hotel is without a doubt the hotel at Disneyland Paris for you. This is the flagship hotel, and many of the higher-floor rooms offer views over the train station and down Main Street at Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. For me, seeing that castle from the balcony of a room is what totally sold me on this hotel. I can only imagine how awesome watching Disney Dreams from your hotel room must be.

Then I saw the price. With rates starting in the $700/night range and exceeding $1,000/night, a stay at the Disneyland Hotel is going to be a substantial splurge for most guests, and puts it squarely in the “someday when we win the lotto” category for us. Disneyland Paris touts the hotel as a 5-star luxury hotel, and although the hotel is quite nice and a well-done execution of the Victorian theme, I’m not sure if I’d label it either a luxury hotel or a 5-star hotel. It’s a beautifully themed hotel with some lavish and ornate details, but that doesn’t make it 5-star or luxury (statuses I think very few Disney hotels can claim–perhaps I’m a bit hard on them).

From what I have seen, the hotel could use a bit of a refresh and modernization, as it feels slightly dated in unintentional ways and there are signs of wear in common areas. In fairness, it isn’t remotely as bad as some of the other hotels at Disneyland Paris, and the huge selling point here is really the location and that view (for some rooms). And what a view it is. I would go as far as to say it’s arguably on par with Hotel MiraCosta at Tokyo DisneySea, which is really saying something. Although not technically inside Parc Disneyland, it’s a 1-minute walk to the turnstiles–about as close as you can get.

Hotel New York

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If Disneyland Paris hotel ratings are relative, Hotel New York makes Disneyland Hotel look like a 17-star, super-duper luxury hotel. As you can read in my Hotel New York Review, based upon my stay there over the winter, this is one of the most disappointing hotel experiences I’ve ever had, and the prices that this supposed 4-star hotel with “contemporary urban décor”, as Disney claims, are ludicrous given the quality of the hotel.

The decor is the biggest offender, which only passes for “contemporary” Manhattan styles if you’re taking cues from a season 1 episode of “Friends” or “Seinfeld.” Seriously, I would be shocked if the design here has been touched much since the hotel opened in the early 1990s, and it really shows. The one upside is the short 10 minute walk to Parc Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios Park, but that’s about it.

If you’re at all familiar with the problems that have plagued Disneyland (Resort) Paris throughout most of its existence, this probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. With top to bottom refurbishments tentatively scheduled for several of the resort hotels over the course of the next several years, hopefully Hotel New York will see its Art Deco style refreshed with actual contemporary flourishes and a feel of timelessness, as the concept of the hotel and its theme are actually pretty intriguing. However, as of right now, I cannot fathom staying here, especially with better, cheaper options on-site.

Newport Bay Club

Newport Bay Club is probably the hotel about which my opinion is the most unreliable, as is the opinion of anyone who has stayed at this hotel prior to late-2014 or early-2015. The hotel has been undergoing a significant, multi-year refurbishment since late 2013, and if the concept art and photos from the completed rooms are any indication, this is going to become a great place to stay at Disneyland Paris once totally finished.

When I was here last year, many areas of Newport Bay Club that weren’t covered by scaffolding or closed off for the refurbishment (the term “refurbishment” is actually an understatement considering the scope of the project) were in really sorry shape. The exterior was both filthy and dilapidated, and the interior looked worn and tired in places. Thematically, the yacht club theme was on-point, and I expect this theme to be conveyed even better once the overhaul is complete.

This is the largest hotel at Disneyland Paris, and only about a 15 minute walk to Parc Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios Park. The first phase of the refurbishment is now finished, but work remains ongoing. It’s my understanding that the refurbishment is to be completed at some point in 2016, but I’m not entirely certain when (if anyone knows, feel free to leave a comment). If you are visiting Disneyland Paris in late-2016 or 2017 (I suspect this is where we will stay for our trip for Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary in 2017), I would put Newport Bay Club on the short list of places to stay, as it looks like this hotel will be phenomenal once complete–perhaps superior to even the Yacht & Beach Club at Walt Disney World–but I would be reluctant to stay here prior to the refurbishment being totally finished.

Sequoia Lodge

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This is the first Disneyland Paris hotel at which we stayed, and, as you can read in our Sequoia Lodge Review, I absolutely loved it. To me, it’s Wilderness Lodge meets a post-modern design stylization, and it works really well. This was the first hotel at Disneyland Paris to receive a top to bottom refurbishment, and I think it looks excellent now.

A common complaint you’re going to find about Sequoia Lodge is that the rooms aren’t the prettiest, and frankly, this is a common complaint among Disney’s ‘rustic park lodge’ themed hotels. It’s simply difficult to merge upscale and rustic elements, so it’s a hotel that might not be for everyone. Personally, I had few quibbles with the rooms themselves, and thought they did a decent job with managing theme and quality. Not the best, but sufficient.

That aside, if you enjoy the rustic lodge theme, Sequoia Lodge really cannot be beat. Of the more upscale, higher “keys” hotels at Disneyland Paris (Disneyland Hotel, Hotel New York, Newport Bay Club, and Sequoia Lodge) I would say that Sequoia Lodge presently offers the best bang for buck. The amenities are nice, the hotel is well-maintained and has been refreshed, and it’s only a 15 minute walk to the parks. I would certainly recommend it above Hotel New York and (for now) Newport Bay Club.

Hotel Cheyenne

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Occupying the 2-key tier of Disneyland Paris hotels (roughly akin to a Value Resort by Walt Disney World standards), Hotel Cheyenne is themed as a wild west frontier town, with each building of hotel rooms being a different building (or buildings) in the town. Personally, I think this works really well from a thematic perspective, and I far prefer this approach to the clusters of resort buildings at the Walt Disney World Value Resorts that are simply cartoonified with oversized icons. This feels like it’s actually themed instead of just decorated.

It’s about a 20 minute walk from the parks (a free shuttle is also available), so it’s not as close as the higher-tier hotels, but considering that it’s a ‘value’ hotel, being within walking distance of the parks, period, is nice. While we have yet to stay here, if I were considering budget accommodations at Disneyland Paris, I would choose Hotel Cheyenne–hands down–over Hotel Santa Fe. For what it is, I think this is a very well done hotel.

Hotel Santa Fe

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It sort of boggles my mind that Hotel Santa Fe made it off the drawing board. I can’t quite understand how someone didn’t speak up and say, “this looks like a cluster of prison buildings” when it was pitched. Nevertheless, it does exist. It was designed to evoke the feel of a motel on Route 66 in the American Southwest, such as those you’d find in Santa Fe, New Mexico with typical Pueblo Revival architecture. It succeeds in that style to a degree, but “success” there isn’t necessarily a great thing, as many Route 66 motels are derelict and depressing. Adding to Hotel Santa Fe’s problems is that its clusters of room buildings are basically boxes with windows.

The end result is a resort-hotel that feels very cold and uninviting from the outside, and really unlike any other Disney hotel I’ve seen in that sense. Despite my thoughts on the cold exterior, this might be one for families to consider due to the newly renovated Cars themed rooms. Personally, that’s not enough for me to get past the rest of the hotel, but in the interest of fairness, I know a lot of people disagree with my take on this hotel. When I’ve expressed my unfavorable opinions on it in the past, many have said how much they like Hotel Santa Fe, and that’s in large part due to those Cars rooms, so your mileage may vary on this one.  It’s another ‘value’ resort, also about a 20 minute walk to the parks. We have not stayed here, and I would not even consider doing so.

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Overall, the hotels at Disneyland Paris are a bit of a mixed bag, but they do seem to be on an upward trajectory and things should continue to improve leading up to Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary. Regardless of thoughts on any specific hotels here, we do recommend staying on-site for the Disneyland Paris leg of your visit to France. The resort is actually in Marne-la-Vallée, not Paris, meaning it’s a bit of a commute from the city center. While rack rates at these hotels are often quite expensive, Disneyland Paris does run a lot of special offers and discounts that can make the prices much more appealing.

For the basics of planning a visit to Disneyland Paris, check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide. Want to see more photos or read about Disneyland Paris in agonizing detail? Check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Report!

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YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you stayed at any of the hotels at Disneyland Paris? If so, what did you think? Agree or disagree with our assessment of the hotels? Any other thoughts or tips to share? Any additional questions about the hotels at Disneyland Paris? Your comments are half the fun, so please share any questions or feedback about dining in Disneyland Paris that you have in the comments!


11 Responses to “Disneyland Paris Hotels: Impressions”
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