Castle Inn & Suites Review
Castle Inn & Suites is a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel in Anaheim, 10 minutes from Disney California Adventure & Disneyland. This review has photos of the hotel, thoughts about our experience of staying here, and our take on who might like this hotel most.
If you’ve ever been down Harbor Boulevard, you’ve probably noticed Castle Inn & Suites–it’s the hotel that looks like a medieval castle. Basically, if you’ve ever found yourself lamenting the fact that you can’t stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite (at Walt Disney World–not Disneyland) because you’re not a high-roller like Tom Cruise, this is the “perfect” alternative for you.
Well, sort of. The rooms here are in a castle-like building located in the United States, but that’s about where the similarities to the Cinderella Castle Suite end. Castle Inn & Suites is a kitschy-looking motel with an exterior that looks like a castle that has seen better days.
From the outside, it looks like its best years were about the same time when the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament was popular. Much like that dinner show, which declared bankruptcy in 1997 but has inexplicably been sputtering along since, Castle Inn & Suites also still exists.
Actually, although Castle Inn & Suites does ostensibly appear to be “Medieval Times: The Motel”, it’s actually a fairly solid hotel. Most people who see photos of Castle Inn & Suites’ exterior probably think they know the score here, so to speak. It looks like a motel that was decorated in a medieval style in the 1980s when that was en vogue, attempting to lure families here who might be willing to pay a premium to stay in a castle because their “kids would love it.”
It turns out there’s actually more to Castle Inn & Suites than meets the eye…
Before we get into the actual quality of the hotel, let’s start with a bit of background. Castle Inn & Suites is one of the 39 Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels. You can get an idea of how it stacks up to the competition in our Disneyland Hotels Reviews & Rankings post. If you want an overall comparison of the benefits of staying off-site versus on-site in our Off-Site v. On-Site Hotels at Disneyland post.
In terms of location, Castle Inn & Suites is on Harbor Boulevard near the intersection with Katella Ave., meaning that it’s not directly across the street from Disneyland. Still, it’s pretty close, being just shy of a 10 minute walk to the Esplanade. Of course, walking is for peasants. I assume you knights of the round table reading this can probably just ride your destrier to the parks in like 45 seconds.
The fact is, Castle Inn & Suites main selling point for many–and the reason others (myself included prior to staying there) are dismissive of it–is going to be its exterior appearance. That’s its defining characteristic, and why most people will book it over alternatives. Once you pass through the curtain wall, through the ward, and into your chambers (can you tell someone just Googled “Castle Terminology“?), you’ll find there’s more than meets the eye.
For starters, WiFi and parking are both free and both work, in the sense that the WiFi is fast and the parking is plentiful. This isn’t the norm at all Disneyland area hotels, so that’s nice. There’s also a halfway decent (by Harbor Blvd. standards) outdoor pool and hot tub, guest laundry, and in-room coffee makers with coffee. I don’t know why I’m pointing out the coffee, as 99.99% of hotels have this, but Castle Inn mentions it 3 separate times on their amenities page, so I’m guessing they think it’s a big deal? (It’s not.)
Then there are the guest rooms. I didn’t hear any noise outside my room and the AC unit wasn’t obnoxiously loud, two things which are also not the norm at hotels near Disneyland.
Now, the rooms themselves don’t look like they have been updated recently (the bedspreads are a giveaway), but there is something nonetheless nice and endearing–at least to me–about these rooms.
For starters, the room interiors have aged much better than the exterior. I really like the framed castle art in the rooms. I know this is such a minor thing, but it stood out to me, and didn’t in any way feel hokey or dated. To the contrary, it classed the place up a bit and gave it some character.
Likewise, the carpet was textured and looked nice. The entire room looked nice, actually. Even though I knew based on the design that it probably hadn’t been remodeled any time recently, it was still clean and had a quality look to it. It’s as if the hotel were dated, but almost by design and in a manner that didn’t make it feel tired.
The bedding is passable. Certainly nothing “fit for a king”, but also not peasant rubbish. It won’t be your best night of sleep ever, nor will it be your worst. Nothing noteworthy.
The sink is outside the bathroom, which is pretty common of the hotels near Disneyland. Both areas are incredibly basic, albeit clean. Nothing particularly noteworthy here, either.
You might think I’m being generous to the room because I went in with low expectations. In all honesty, I figured the hotel was simply a gimmick that would rest on its medieval style with the rooms and amenities being paltry.
That’s not the case at all. While the rooms certainly aren’t the nicest in the area–not even close–they don’t feel like an afterthought. They are reasonably nice and most guests will find them suitable as basic hotel rooms go.
The fact with Castle Inn & Suites, though, remains that it’s a hotel defined by its style and, in most cases, that is going to be the main selling point. Staying here is something that will “make” a trip to Disneyland for some kids (I recently overheard a little girl say to her father, “can we stay in Cinderella’s Castle next time we come?” when passing by the hotel).
The overarching point of this review is that Castle Inn won’t disappoint in terms of the rooms if you are considering staying here for the sake of your kids (or for the sake of the adults in your party who obsess over the royal baby despite living in a country that fought a war for independence from the monarchy). If you don’t care for the medieval style, you more than likely won’t end up here. This is the case mainly because of pricing–you will generally pay a bit of a premium for Castle Inn & Suites’ style as compared to other similarly-situated hotels near Disneyland.
Rack rates at Castle Inn & Suites are sort of kooky, at least in my experience. In checking rates now through September, they are all pretty much in the range of $150-170/night base. Some summer weekends are less expensive, some more expensive.
Christmas week has significantly cheaper rates, with prices around $120-130/night for the holidays. I can’t explain some of the summer pricing, but I assume rates are lower the further in advance you purchase. With many Disneyland-area hotels, the best approach is to book as early as possible for the best rates, or hope for availability at the last minute for something cheaper. With the latter approach, you’ll need to be flexible in where you’re willing to stay.
Overall, Castle Inn & Suites is a hotel that I’m betting most people book to make the trip special for their kids who will be thrilled by the idea of sleeping “in” a castle. The bad news there is that you’ll pay a bit of a premium for that (roughly $20/night on rack rates). The good news is that the premium isn’t a staggering amount, and more importantly, the hotel rooms are fairly appealing, well-maintained, and clean, albeit a tad dated. Given that Castle Inn & Suites could likely rest on their laurels of being “the castle hotel” and still have a high occupancy rate, it’s nice that they actually do make an effort and have fairly solid rooms. You won’t feel like actual nobility at Castle Inn, but you won’t feel like a peasant, either.
Get discounted pricing on a Disneyland vacation package that includes your stay at Castle Inn and park tickets via Get Away Today. We always recommend them to save money on Disneyland tickets, and this is a great way to get an even better deal by purchasing a bundle that includes hotel and tickets. Click here to price out your dates!
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 Castle Inn & Suites in Anaheim? Did you enjoy your stay? What did you think of the guest rooms? What about the medieval style? How did your kids react to “staying in a castle”? 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!
Well, have to say, we are a bit worried now having read reviews of peoples rooms being taken over by other guests, wallets going missing . . . We are staying here in June and a serial reviewer of everything on everything i very much hope that our stay will be positive with no one entering our room or taking our things. This is the least you expect from a hotel. That the room is yours for the duration of your stay and that your stuff is safe! I will be warning my family members that are coming with us. I’ve been known to leave secret filming devices in the past and i wont be hesitating to use these on this occasion so be warned!
I thought this was a really good for your price resort. The 3 of us all thought the staff were very nice and loved the location. It wasn’t a perfect resort but for the price extremely reasonable.
This used to be my go-to hotel for trips but after my last visit it became a “NEVER AGAIN”…
Suffice to say, upon returning to my room after an all-day extravaganza in the parks I found my keycard did not work, and worse there were other people inside my room…
they had checked out my room to another group…never mind my belongings were still inside the room (I don’t spread out my stuff, it was all pretty much inside the bag I had brought)…
So I’m making a scene at 1am trying to figure out if all my belongings are gone, what the heck the people inside my room are doing there, etc etc…the desk clerk wasn’t particularly forthcoming on how this could have happened and understandably I was pretty upset…
After talking to the supervisor of the desk clerk on the phone I managed to get inside to find my belongings…but they essentially kicked me out of my room…they did put me in another room (a larger one at that) but this was my last night staying there, I was checking out in the morning anyway so any ‘upgrade’ was for a few hours of sleep at best (and I didn’t sleep much anyway, being pretty hot under the collar on how I was treated)…
the kicker was this sorta happened to me a year or so earlier when they gave me a keycard to my room and I went there to find other people’s belongings spread out…I returned to declare there must be some sort of mistake and they got me into another room and I chalked it up to an honest mistake at the time however…
That story is insane. I can’t believe something like that could actually happen, and almost as bad that the new guests wouldn’t have noticed your stuff and said something to the front desk.
I can top this posting.I was staying at Extended Stay ,got back to my room about 7:00 P.M. to find someone in my room.He had been living in the motel but had been evicted for non payment.The t.v. was on and he was sitting there using his laptop like he didn’t have a care in the world.I called the front desk and was told I had given him permission.I don’t think so as I had my cat in the room with me.and some very expensive articles.Police were called ,I was offered another room,that was the only compensation I received.The manager had to scan the lock to find out who let him in but wouldn’t tell me who it was.The only comp I got was the manager took the phone charges off my bill.He had made several calls.
We stayed here in July recommended it to my son who left the hotel today they accidentally left a wallet the hotel would not help out in anyway even though they know who cleaned the room very discouraging!! Had our rooms booked for December we will be staying at a different hotel. Even if they would have helped a little bit but just told you are SOL!!!
Hello!!! I’m loving this blog!!! I’m planning to go to Disneyland with my 3 kids (8,5 and 2 years old) but my husband would be there working, so technically I’m going alone… Which hotel do you think in your opinion, is the best option for me? I want an hotel near the entrance…. I was thinking about a Disney resort, but I just read some of the good neighbors hotels are at the same distance than the expensives Disney resorts…
Hi Vanessa, I think our new Disneyland Area Hotel Reviews & Rankings post should pretty well answer your question! https://www.disneytouristblog.com/disneyland-anaheim-hotels-reviews-rankings/ 🙂
Your comment about certain members of the party “who obsess over the royal baby despite living in a country that fought in a war for independence from the monarchy” has my whole family laughing. Great post, Tom! I hope we can venture out to Disneyland in the near future.
Thanks for the post. I have a question about the hotel tonight app. I downloaded it and noticed it says the room only guarantees to fit two people. With a family of four (two small kids), do you have info on how hotels deal with it? Have you had experience adding another person or two to the room?
Love your blog! Going to Disneyland next month!
Thanks for the review! My mom and I will stay there for our Disney vacation, I’ll let you know my thoughts when we get back!! 🙂
These hotel reviews for the Disneyland hotels are perfectly timed for my family. Like you, we are from Indiana (Fort Wayne area); we are also DVC members, and frequently visit WDW. My wife and I have unexpectedly gotten a large chunk of time off this summer, and are trying to plan a road trip with our two kids (ages 7 and 11) to Disneyland, with stops along the way to see some other sights and destinations that we have never experienced. Of course, as I’m trying to plan this trip, all I can think of is National Lampoon’s Vacation… so I’m really trying to do my homework to avoid that experience 🙂
I love the idea of “winging it” and snagging a hotel for a discount when we arrive through Hotels Tonight… but I have to admit, that makes me incredibly nervous! But since Tom says it works great, I may just have to give it a shot… Your advice has never steered me wrong in the past 🙂
If winging it would make you nervous and uncomfortable, and not able to enjoy the trip as much, then don’t do it. No savings are worth that.
One thing that might make you more comfortable is to download the app, and start checking hotels near “Disneyland Dr.” (NOT Anaheim) on a daily basis for a couple of weeks now. That will give you a good idea of what’s available, and perhaps ease those fears?
Great write up abou this place.
You know what would be a great addition to the reviews? A map link to the location so we could quickly get a feel for it’s location.
I love the idea of a map! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before. Once I catch up on these reviews (I have about 5 more to write), I plan on doing a “rankings” post and I will make a map and include that in the post.
Thanks for the idea!
Rankings would be great, I’m hoping we can get out to CA for the 60th anniversary festivities and the hotels are one thing I know nothing about.
Nice review! Could you review the best western park place inn and mini suites?
I want to review that at some point. Right now, my “new” hotel stays are mostly places on the Hotel Tonight app and even then I watch for a while and don’t pull the trigger until I see a really good price on a day when I’m already at Disneyland, since I don’t really *need* a hotel near Disneyland anymore.
With the parks open until midnight regularly again, and my desire to shoot the fireworks and take other nighttime photos (and not want to make the long drive home), I’ll probably book other hotels here and there…maybe in July once the nighttime skies start looking a little better.
Thanks Tom! Cant wait to read it!
My husband and I stayed at the Best Western Park Place last fall. We liked it, I would stay there again; it was nice and clean (always my biggest worry about hotels). I think it was recently renovated, the bathroom seemed fairly new. The breakfast is next door at Captain Kidd’s, so not great but we just grabbed fruit to go.
Thanks Lauren! Well i’m glad the rooms are clean at least! Is the breakfast really that bad? Is it a hot breakfast?
Yes, there’s hot food, egss, bacon, pancakes, etc. but there’s also cereal, fruit, bagels, things they can’t mess up 🙂
I got a good discount from AAA at this place that made it the same price as the other places I was looking at like Tropicana Inn.
Nice review. Do you happen to have any pics of the pool? My kids are pool people (honestly, I could probably drive down the street and stay at the Holiday Inn Express that has a pool and they would think it was the best vacation ever, lol) and the pool is one of the main factors for us.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of people at the pool each time I stopped for photos, so I didn’t take any. Didn’t want the awkward looks.
Here’s a good shot of it, though: http://images.oyster.com/photos/pool–v3388158-w650.jpg
IMO, none of the pools (save for maybe the HoJo) at the Harbor Boulevard hotels are anything special. It’s mostly a question of whether they are usable, dirty, super-small, etc. This one was fine–not too small and clean.
Thanks. Not to small and clean is what we look for. 🙂