Disneyland Good Neighbor: Anabella Hotel Review
The Anabella Hotel is a Disneyland Good Neighbor within walking distance to the theme parks and Anaheim Convention Center. This review includes photos of the hotel, plus thoughts about our experience of staying here. It’s a great hotel for convenience to both Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.
I’m a big fan of The Anabella. That’s right, The Anabella. Self-important “The” in the name aside (which always reminds me of dreaded Buckeyes fans), Anabella Hotel is an excellent option for a visit to Disneyland, especially if you intend upon spending some time at your hotel. The Anabella has nice rooms, solid amenities, and a certain “local” allure to it.
One thing that perplexes me about Anabella Hotel is its poor performance on TripAdvisor. It currently ranks as the #47 hotel in Anaheim with a 3.5 score. This puts it ahead of countless other hotels that are far inferior to it, including a few that I’d consider downright shady. I’ve said in the past that I don’t put a ton of stock in TripAdvisor for various reasons, and this is part of the reason why.
The best that I can surmise is it’s about expectations. Take a look at Anabella Hotel’s website. Now take a look at the website of Alpine Inn, the #12 hotel per TripAdvisor. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with Alpine Inn’s site (well, aside from the SpectroMagic and other Walt Disney World photos), it’s just much more modest by comparison, coming across as a family-run “inn.” Anabella has a pretty site with flashy photos and describes itself as a “peaceful oasis,” “tropical paradise,” and having “elegant accommodations.” Perhaps this leads to guests having expectations that the Anabella does not meet?
I’m not sure, but I am sure that Anabella Inn is a substantially better hotel than Alpine Inn, despite both being comparably priced and in similar locations. Aside from us getting really lucky or others getting really unlucky with the Anabella, that’s about the only explanation I have. From an objective perspective, the Anabella has a solid list of amenities and the rooms have quality finishings, so that’s not the issue. Subjectively, perhaps it’s a matter of inconsistent service or cleanliness?
In any case, trying to, essentially, review the reviews of others is a fool’s errand, so let’s just stick to what I think of Anabella Hotel…
For starters, The Anabella Hotel is a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels, and is classified by Disney as a “Moderate,” which is pretty much how every off-site hotel is classified. You can get an idea of how it stacks up to the competition, plus our overall comparison of the benefits of staying off-site versus on-site in our Where to Stay at Disneyland post.
We stayed here for the first time during the last D23 Expo, and it was pretty much the perfect hotel for that event. It’s a moderate walk–about 15 minutes–to Disneyland from the Anabella, but it’s closer to the parks than the Convention Way hotels (especially if you cut through the Grand Californian). It’s also about a 5-minute walk to the Convention Center, which makes it ideally located if you’re heading to both the Convention Center and the parks.
In terms of amenities, Anabella Hotel skews more towards the major hotel brands near the Anaheim Convention Center than it does the mom & pop hotels in the area. It has a quiet pool and a regular pool (that’s actually fairly nice), a workout room, gift shop, business center, salon & spa, guest laundry, and restaurant & bar.
Now, some of these amenities aren’t exactly impressive–like the “business center” pictured above or the on-site shop–as compared to the major brands, but others hold their own. The poolside bar and restaurant is reasonably popular, the fitness center is good, and the pool area is an enjoyable area to relax. These amenities, as a whole, probably fall somewhere between the mom & pop hotels and the major chains.
The local flair is largely a result of its California Mission style and little ‘villages’ that are named after areas of California. This coupled with manicured landscaping, brick pavers, and an abundance of flowers makes the hotel feel like a lightly-themed resort. It reminds me of a low-budget Coronado Springs Resort, actually.
Moving on to the guest rooms, I think these are put together well for the most part. They have actual furniture like a couch and a chair so you can sit (besides on the bed) and decompress after a day in the park. I also think the hardwood (laminate?) floor is a nice touch, and gives the room a classy vibe. The Anabella touts the rooms as having upscale amenities and designer furnishings, and while I don’t think they quite pass as trendy, they are high quality.
Like virtually every hotel that fancies itself as…fancy…The Anabella Hotel has a trademark “sleep experience,” known as Divineâ„¢. I have no clue what a sleep experience is (dreaming?), but the bedding is incredibly comfortable, resulting in Tom’s Truly Epic REM Adventureâ„¢ during our stay here. I get that bedding is important, but it baffles me that hotels go to such extremes to hype it up. I assume people know hotel claims are puffery, and if a prospective guest really cares about bedding, they will look to reviews, and not just take the hotel at its word. Right?
It’s hard to get a sense of this space, but it’s like a little bedroom/nook off to the side of the main sleeping area with another bed (or uncomfortable couch). This space is well-utilized given its small size, but it’s ultimately awkward for actually watching sitting and watching television. I believe this room is called the Casita Suite and while the extra space is good to have, and it’s really no loss if you don’t end up in one of these rooms.
The bathrooms are a bit of a mixed bag. I’m seldom impressed by the bathrooms at any of the hotels in Anaheim, as they are mostly variations of the same underwhelming thing, but this is actually different. Here, different is not necessarily better, but it’s not worse, either.
There are two areas to the bathroom, and while larger than the norm, it feels like the space is not utilized effectively. We felt cramped at times while both of us were getting ready. I will say that the granite in here is a nice touch.
Rack rates at the Anabella range from around $120/night to $200/night, depending upon season. The lower range here seems more or less fair, and you can get a suite that will sleep more people for about the same price. The $16/night parking charge and the $5 resort fee are the biggest downside to this. The resort fee is annoying, but at least it’s only $5, and the Anabella does at least have some resort-quality amenities. However, it’s the parking fee that’s really frustrating, as the Anabella has ample space and plenty of parking. There’s no need for them to charge for parking, especially when hotels having smaller footprints on Harbor Boulevard don’t.
The Anabella Hotel is on Hotel Tonight with regularity–probably around 90% of the time or more if you look 2+ days in advance–with rates ranging from around $90 to $140/night on there. Even with the added charge for parking, it’s a steal at <$100. If you are comfortable winging it a bit and don’t mind potentially staying at a different hotel near Disneyland, like Park Vue Inn, Tropicana Inn & Suites, or Castle Inn, I highly recommend waiting and using Hotel Tonight to book. You can book via Hotel Tonight up to a week in advance, but the Anabella is one of the hotels that will reduce its rates the day before or day of, so you can save even more by waiting.
Use code TBRICKER1 to save $25 on your first booking via Hotel Tonight.
Overall, The Anabella Hotel really appeals to me for some of the same reasons that I like Park Vue Inn a lot. It takes the California Mission style of Park Vue Inn to the next level, with pretty grounds and little “villages” named after areas of California. Beyond that, the rooms are nice and the amenities offered here are very good. Too big to be properly considered a boutique hotel, The Anabella Hotel nonetheless offers the Southern Californian charm only found at a local hotel, while providing nearly the level of quality as the major hotel brands near the Anaheim Convention Center.
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!
Have you stayed at The Anabella Hotel near the Anaheim Convention Center? Did you enjoy your stay? Did you enjoy being nickel and dimed? What did you think of the guest rooms? Considering this hotel? Do you prefer staying off-site or on-site at Disneyland? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!
Please kindly delete Anabella Hotel listing from your site as the hotel closed down few years back and completely got demolished.
I’ve stayed at the Anabella many times and am always impressed. I’ve stayed in the exact same room pictured in this post, and it worked out great! The extra “room ” or “nook” would be fine for a child or single person, but isn’t big enough for anything more. We actually used the space to store our luggage and sprawl out some of our things. The pool is great and the restaurant is delicious! Easy walk to downtown disney and the disney parks.
I agree about the pool, restaurant for breakfast and bar. Every night after a day at the park we’d head to the pool. I’d go order dinner for the six of us from the bar, then join our kids, my parents and my husband in the pool/hot tub. Fun way to unwind and talk about our day and plans for tomorrow. 20 -25 min later a waiter with a giant tray would walk out to the pool deck and announce, Mrs X, your dinner! We’d wrap up in our robes and eat poolside at nice tables until it got dark. This was a few years ago, but we totally loved our ajoining rooms for our family of six. This was one of our really good memories of Southern California.
I have stayed here twice and will Never go back. Both times I stayed in different rooms and found that the windows do not lock. Anyone can walk up and slide them open from the outside.
I took my grandson to Disneyland the second time – after we had checked out of room (within 1 hour) we went to spend time at the park before our trip to the airport and realized he had left a toy we had purchased (buzzlightyear) in the room. I called the hotel and was repeatedly told that the maid never turned anything in.
I took advantage of the “4th night free” promo in early November (11/8/15-11/12-15), and stayed in one of the “concierge rooms” (the King & Full one), which got me an included breakfast (2 meal tickets a day–pity I was traveling solo!). I was extremely satisfied with the hotel and room–plenty of space, clean, not too much noise (except for one morning where I could hear someone above me)–I even had a little patio (that I never really used :p). I only ate at the restaurant for breakfast but it was nice, and the hotel is right next to another restaurant as well, so food options were great. Whenever I go back, it will be very tempting to stay here again, especially if I do another 5-day stay!
You are right down the street from GCA, but it’s still a bit of a walk to get to the park entrance (I tried to find my way through the GCA but kept getting turned around, so just stayed on the road until it was time to turn right and cut through Downtown Disney :p). However, the whole stay was less than $600 (including taxes and resort fees), which would have only gotten me a night or two at DLH or GCA, so I was more than willing to make the hike (even though I was usually too tired to hit Trader Sams by the end of the night, whereas if I’d been staying at DLH I would have totally spent more time there before turning in). For me, that’s an acceptable price-point, and a good “step up” from staying in one of the cheap motels in the area, IMO!
Thanks so much for this review. I have us booked here next week, and the TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews were scaring me.
Question: when you say you can cut through the Grand Californian to get to DTDisney, or CA, do you mean using the special entrance that their guest use? (I read that they have an exclusive guest entrance, but it sounds… well… exclusive to guests 🙂 )
I must say that that ginormus mirror in the bathroom is freaking me out. No one wants that when they get out of the shower.
Where did you book to get it at about 100 a night? We are looking to book for D23 this year. Thanks.
There’s no way you’ll get it that cheap during the D23 Expo. That’s probably when its rates will be the highest of the year.
We stayed at the Anabella in January. I was disappointed as two friends actually recommended it to me. The rooms are noisy because it is more motel than hotel and you can hear everyone arriving and leaving plus deliveries. The rooms were just okay. The bathroom was nice but the bathtub filled up when you took a shower and the shower head spray was spotty. The furniture was dated. The little casita was a nice addition for kids. They tried to charge me extra for an extra car even though we had 3 cars and four rooms. They were annoyed that I brought it up. The walk is way longer than you’d think and the only other option is the ART bus which is full before it gets to you. I would not stay there again.
My extended family of 10 stayed here in Winter 2014 and we booked 3 rooms. 2 rooms were side-by-side and one was in a totally different building. My in-laws were given a giant suite with 2 king beds, hardwood floor and many updates, despite booking the same room and paying the same price per night as us. My family of 3 stayed in the Casita suite which looked very similiar to the pictures in this post. The beds were comfortable, the pillows were not. We didn’t have high expectations and we’re fairly easy to please since the only time we spend in our room is when we’re sleeping. We had an older room with much wear and tear, old carpet, ancient televisions, etc. I consider our complaints minor and mostly in regards to noise. The walls are pretty thin. The mini bedroom/nook my daughter slept in was adorable, but it backed onto the parking lot and she was woken up at 6am every morning to the semi-truck’s back-up beepers. This nook has its own tv and window, so it doesn’t feel so much like a closet and she can store her own clothing and suitcase in her room (no closet though).
The gym is a bit of a joke, the equipment doesn’t work very well and the sensored lights kept turning off while I was riding the exercise bike. I had to hop off the bike 3 times in 30 minutes to wave my arms on the other side of the room to turn the lights back on. lol
There was a nerd convention while we were there and 2 of the weekend evenings the main pool was blocked off for an event. We were re-directed to the “adult pool” which usually doesn’t allow children at all. This pool IS NOT HEATED. And there’s no hot tub in this area.
It didn’t take us long to walk to the parks if we took a shortcut through the Grand and Downtown Disney.
The restaurant in the hotel was nice, we ate breakfast twice and it was “okay” for the price. We much preferred the restaurant across the street called Coco’s Bakery.
While we were staying here, we thought we wouldn’t return to this hotel, but after coming home and talking it over we probably would stay again if not only for the room price, short walk to the park and for access to Coco’s Bakery.
We have stayed at The Anabella countless times and have enjoyed each visit. When I stay there with my mom and my 5 year old daughter, we book the Casita suite (the room you pictured with the extra bed). My daughter and I stay in the main room, and grandma can retreat to her own space. As for the walk, cut through Grand Californian if headed to DCA and if headed to DLR, take the monorail right inside Downtown Disney.
I would never seek to take a contrary stance to one of your reviews, after all you did turn me on to the fried chicken at the Plaza Inn, however I have stayed at tHE aNABELLA. First, it’s a very long walk to the actual gates, somehow made longer by the fact that you have to hear fun park sounds as you drag your kids the mile or so from the wrong side of Katella. Then the room I stayed in was not great (though they may have updated since). But finally, I had a twenty minute fight with them after my five year old daughter mistakenly watched 7 seconds of a pay movie in their Kid Suite. I ended up paying for it by the way. I’d rather sleep on the ground.
Hello! The Anabella doesn’t offer Pay Per View movies. Also, when walking to the parks, we recommend taking Disneyland Drive instead of Harbor Blvd. It will save you a lot of time. We hope you’ll give another try sometime in the future!
The Anabella makes you put one full night down as a payment when you book… I already have multiple reservations for a probable December trip, all at places with no deposit necessary. I would hate to have to track refunds from them all!
I was waiting for this review, so thank you for posting it! Also, nice shirt.
Wow!!! Three hidden Toms for the price of two!!! What value!!!
It is very interesting how the lighting and differences in post-processing affect the look of bathroom in the two bathroom photos.
It just occurred to me that perhaps you might want to include commentary in your various hotel reviews regarding whether internet is included in the basic hotel cost and, if not, what the rough price would be. Similarly, whether local phone calls are free. Many (most?) of your non-US readers would not have US-based cell phones.
Bathroom lighting is really a challenge to correct. I try to get the colors back close to natural, but it isn’t always easy.
I try to include info about WiFi, parking, and breakfast in every review, but hadn’t thought about local calls. That’s never something I have even thought to ask the hotel. Thanks.
I hope the Park Vue Inn lives up to the Bricker hype haha, I just cancelled my reservation at the Carousel for a reservation at the Park Vue. Not being nickeled and dimed certainly appealed to me and free quality breakfast is a pretty good amenity too.
Just remember–it’s all relative. Even the best hotels in Anaheim aren’t as good as many other real world locations. I think Park Vue Inn has a lot to offer for the price, but keep in mind that part of what it has to “offer” is a 5 minute walk to Disneyland. 😉
Okay, I’d never heard of a resort fee until reading your hotel posts, and now I’m wondering how much I’ve been paying, and for how long.
Thanks for doing these posts. I usually try to stay at Park Vue or Candy Cane, but have been looking to branch out. Your reviews are helpful!
Well, neither Park Vue nor Candy Cane Inn have resort fees, so perhaps you’ve lucked out. To my knowledge, resort fees originated in Las Vegas, and have been slowly adopted by some hotels in Orlando, Anaheim, and other popular ‘resort’ destination. You won’t find them at 95%+ of hotels in the world.
I stayed here a few years ago as part of a last-minute trip for Mickey’s Halloween Party. Since we usually stay at the cheapest of cheap motels nearby, I was pretty excited to stay at a “swanky” place like The Annabella. Unfortunately, we had only been in our room for a few minutes before we discovered the largest cockroach I’ve ever seen. That sucker was about 4 inches long, and I’m pretty sure it hissed at me. Called the front desk and, to their credit, they immediately sent someone from maintenance. The maintenance guy killed the thing by stomping on it (CRUNCH), then wiped up the whole mess with a guest washcloth from our bathroom (!), leaving a huge cockroach corpse stain on the carpet for the rest of our stay. Management never said a word about the incident and didn’t even check up on us afterward. We never saw another roach, but I still woke up several times in the night with that creepy-crawly feeling. I’ve stayed at the worst of the worst places in the Disneyland area, but at least nothing there had ever hissed at me! (Not even the prostitutes at the Alamo.)
I attend a convention in Anaheim each year and the Anabella is our go-to hotel for the show. It’s much cheaper than the Hilton or Hyatt yet offers the close proximity and nice “sleep experience” that we like, along with a better bar (I absolutely love the Tangerine Grill in the evenings!).
I have a feeling that some of the lower review on TripAdvisor come from some of those convention goers that are trying to compare it to the Hilton as opposed to the Disneyland vacationers comparing it to Harbor Blvd. hotels.
The rooms are nice and roomy and most have an extra bed either like the one you showed or an actual twin bed tucked away in a corner. I’ve had some issues with the cleanliness of the bathrooms before, but never any major problems.
My biggest gripe is the placement of the toilet. It seems every room I’ve ever been in has the toilet placed too close to the wall (even though there’s plenty of room between it and the tiny pedestal sink), so you almost have to sit sideways on it!
This is good to hear. I will be staying there at the end of August for a week. When we booked, the Anabella was running a special of for every 3 nights you stay, receive a 4th night free. We are staying for 8 nights, so with the 2 nights free our rate only came out to be about $93 dollars a night.
I’ve been debating whether it is worth it or not to get ART passes or not. The 15 minute walk each way certainly isn’t bad, but I imagine after several straight days of walking the parks it might be nice to have the option to take a shuttle. Do you know people are able to just board the shuttle if needed, and pay on a per trip basis rather then paying for the entire week ahead of time?
Don’t worry about the ART passes. Just walk to the Grand Californian and follow the signs to Downtown Disney. You will beat the shuttle. Plus the hotel has a ART pass machine by the lobby. You can buy a week or day pass there. The only time I used ART was when we went to Knott’s Berry Farms.
Agreed. The ART is not that efficient, so it’s not worth “saving the steps” unless you’re 20 minutes or more away (via foot).
Thanks for the review. I’m booked to stay here for D23 this year.
Stayed here May 17-24th for the 60th at Disneyland. Was nervous about staying here after reading reviews on TripAdvisor but was pleasantly surprised. Everyone was nice and very helpful. I was on the middle floor and the biggest complaint I read about was the thin walls and noise from people walking above. Both were true but no worse than any other hotel I have stayed. Plus I think I got a pretty good deal at 127 a night with the 4th night free.