Residence Inn Anaheim Resort/Convention Center Review

Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center is an extended stay hotel near Disneyland and Disney California Adventure typified by its large suites and full kitchens. This hotel review features room photos, thoughts on amenities, and pros & cons of booking at this hotel–currently the newest hotel near Disneyland at roughly one year old–versus its nearby competitors.

The Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center is about a 12 minute walk to Disneyland, and roughly equidistant to the Anaheim Convention Center. It has a good location at the corner of Katella and Harbor, with a CVS Pharmacy next door, a Walgreen’s across the street, and a Pizza Hut Express connected to the lobby. This all makes it an conveniently-located option if you want a place to buy groceries or sundries (or late night pizza!).

In case it’s not evident from the name and Marriott association, this hotel is the sister property to the SpringHill Suites at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center we reviewed recently. It has a lot in common with that hotel (right down to both being constructed by the same developer). There are also plenty of differences, which we’ll cover both in this review…

Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center is a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel, meaning you can book it as a vacation package directly from Disney, but we never recommend doing that. For the 40th time, this is merely a paid marketing deal, not Disney’s seal of approval; some of the qualitatively-worst hotels in Anaheim have Good Neighbor status.

If you want to know how the Residence Inn compares to the competition in my opinion (which is based on the perspective of someone who has stayed in 40+ hotels near Disneyland), check out our Disneyland Hotels Reviews & Rankings post. You can also read our overall comparison of the benefits of staying off-site versus on-site in our Where to Stay at Disneyland post.

Going off of the names alone, I was pretty enthusiastic about the adjacent SpringHill Suites before our stay, but much less so about this Residence Inn. I mean, springs and hills are things everyone loves and can get behind. Residences? Not so much.

Extended stay hotels remind me of corporate consultants (and not a cool one like George Clooney in Up in the Air; more like John C. McGinley in Office Space). All of the actual extended stay hotels at which I’ve stayed have been boring and utilitarian. Like most of my preconceived notions, my expectations here did not match the reality.

It should’ve come as no surprise that, like the Hyatt House across the street, the Residence Inn redefines what it means to be an extended stay hotel. Or, at the very least, changes my perception of them. Apparently, this evolution is an industry-wide thing.

In doing research out of curiosity, I found many articles about how these hotels are innovating to maintain a competitive edge against Airbnb, making efforts to grow this lucrative and in-demand segment of the hotel industry, and also meeting the higher expectations of young professionals and leisure travelers.

It’s easy to see all of this evident in the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort & Convention Center. The downstairs lobby is modern and sleek, complete with a large common area for breakfast (or enjoying a late night meal from the Pizza Hut Express connected to the lobby) and a trendy-ish bar.

This bar feels hip enough for the young business traveler ready to let loose after a long day of learning about the latest cutting edge tech at a Xerox expo, while still being approachable for the parents who likewise want to unwind after a long day in the parks. It’s actually impressive how the bar toes that line.

The breakfast offered in the mornings is more utilitarian than it is cool, but is one of the better free breakfasts among the hotels near Disneyland. The room where this breakfast is served is huge, and there are a lot of options.

I made myself a breakfast burrito (the chicken sausage was actually good), got some name-brand yogurt, and fruit. The waffle-making station also looked solid, and had a ton of toppings, so you could basically make a dessert waffle for breakfast. Since they fail to serve ice cream in the morning, this is a nice alternative.

In terms of other amenities, the whole healthy/active living thing is promoted at Residence Inn, with an Under Armour Connected Fitness partnership that provides running running routes. More importantly, the fitness center here is second to none. Huge, and with a ton of equipment and televisions.

Unfortunately, it was filled with people even at 7 a.m. when I went to take photos, and I’m not quite creepy enough to take photos of people working out. Pools with people swimming in them, sure, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I have (a shred of) my dignity.

Speaking of the pool, it’s likewise among the best in Anaheim. Located on the rooftop, and presumably offering views of the Disneyland fireworks, this pool area is huge and nice.

This area features a splash pad area for kids, a large pool, cabanas, small pool bar/booze kiosk, and purports to have the largest whirlpool in Anaheim. (I have no reason to doubt that claim.) This rivals the best pool areas near Disneyland.

Of course, all of these amenities would be meaningless if the guest rooms failed to deliver. I’m happy to report that they very much deliver.

Now, I should point out up front that we stayed in a 1-bedroom suite, as opposed to the studios offered at its direct competitors: the SpringHill Suites Anaheim Resort/Convention CenterHyatt House Anaheim Convention CenterHyatt Place Anaheim Convention Center, and Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance.

However, this is because the pricing was identical for a studio or 1-bedroom. This was not just a fluke when we booked–in searching for other dates, the lower end 1-bedroom and studio rooms are exactly the same cost for all dates I checked. (I should also note that the light is funky in all of these photos but doesn’t appear this way to the eye.)

Even though the 1-bedroom is only slightly larger (505 sq. ft. versus 475 sq. ft.), I would’ve expected at least a bit of a price difference. I’m not sure why anyone would choose a studio over a 1-bedroom when given the choice, but I won’t complain about the prices being identical.

Having two televisions in the room with a second one being partitioned off from the bedroom is a huge plus. I was able to get up early, turn on the news, and use my laptop on the couch without disturbing Sarah. This couch also pulls out into a sofa sleeper, meaning you can sleep a maximum of 6 people in the 1-bedroom queen room. (As compared to 4 in the 1-bedroom king.)

Oddly, there is no desk. The couch worked just fine for me, and the bar in the kitchen likewise would’ve done. Interesting choice for an extended stay hotel, but I guess it demonstrates that this is predominantly marketed towards families, not business travelers.

For most families, the nearly full kitchen in all rooms is going to be the main selling point of the Residence Inn. This means a full-sized fridge, stovetop (no oven), microwave, dishwasher, and even a toaster.

That’s right kids, a TOASTER. So be sure to save up those free pieces of bread you collect at the Boudin Bakery Tour and bring them back to your hotel to make some magic happen.

The room is nicely designed and feels modern thanks to the carpet, lighting, artwork, and other detail touches. The color scheme is a bit muted and subdued for my tastes (c’mon, this is CALIFORNIA!), but this style probably has been focus-tested as the most universally-appealing/least offensive of hotel room styles.

As with the SpringHill Suites, the biggest stumbling point of the guest rooms is the bedding, which are a bit firm for my tastes. My guess is that these beds are exactly the same as those. (I think the pillows were nicer at the Residence Inn, but the rest felt the same.) Now, I’m not saying this bed is subpar. It’s “just okay.”

I wouldn’t not book the Residence Inn on the basis of bedding, as it still gets the job done and is perfectly fine. It’s just not quite as posh as I expected, and is not on par with the rest of the otherwise exceptional accommodations. After the hotel and room hits so many high notes, it feels like a bit of a letdown that the bedding wouldn’t also be top-notch. It’s like breaking off for a 95 yard run, but stepping out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Still impressive, but why not leap into the end zone?

The bathrooms at the Residence Inn are a definite plus, and in the same upgraded style as others around Anaheim. Nice basin sink, marble counter top, and highly effective lighting.

Shower is also a walk-in as can be expected from pretty much any new hotel being built today. The bathroom was not as spacious as the Courtyard Theme Park Entrance, but otherwise was very strong.

Even if I were to set aside the 1-bedroom nature of this room (because in 6 months, that pricing might not be identical), this room would still rank very highly.

My personal style preference skews towards the Courtyard Theme Park Entrance but the 1-bedroom nature of this room puts it over the top overall. Anyone who will use that full kitchen would definitely favor this room.

Prices obviously vary by date, but in my random searches for rates this fall and winter, I found this Residence Inn to be within $20/night of both the SpringHill Suites next door and Hyatt House across the street (much of the time, the price was exactly the same for all three hotels). It was typically significantly cheaper (a difference of ~$60+/night) than the comparable Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance and itself significantly more expensive (~$40/night difference) than nearby budget options like Alpine Inn or Desert Inn. In light of what it offers relative to the competition, I’d consider this pricing very competitive.

The Residence Inn does charge $18/night for self parking in their garage, which is (unfortunately) about the standard in this area now. If you book a discounted vacation package with Get Away Today, the parking is half price, which is nice. Click here to check Get Away Today for current deals at the Residence Inn Anaheim Convention Center and compare its pricing to other hotels near Disneyland.

Overall, the Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center totally defied my expectations for an extended stay hotel. Across every demographic I can think of, this hotel performs incredibly well. We liked it as a young(ish?) childless couple, and families looking to save money by cooking their own meals or having more space would absolutely love it. When I assemble my new rankings for hotels near Disneyland, I fully expect the Residence Inn to be in the top 3, if not #1 overall. Barring a spike in prices or great deal elsewhere, it’s my top recommendation for families visiting Disneyland.

As for figuring out the rest of your Disneyland trip, including how to save money on Disneyland tickets, our Disney packing tips, the best restaurants for dining at Disneyland, and a number of other things, check out our comprehensive Disneyland Trip Planning Guide!

YOUR THOUGHTS…

Have you stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Convention Center? What did you think of the room layout? Did the full kitchen or divided bedroom appeal to you? Was the bedding satisfactory? Did you enjoy your stay at this hotel? Thoughts on the breakfast? Considering the Residence Inn? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!


15 Responses to “Residence Inn Anaheim Resort/Convention Center Review”
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