Sonesta Anaheim Resort is a hotel near Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that’s a moderate/business class hotel with good rooms and solid amenities. This hotel review features room photos, thoughts on amenities, pros & cons of staying here.
Before we get to that, it is worth noting that the Sonesta Anaheim Resort was previously named the Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort Area. Same hotel now, just a different name.
One thing that perplexes me is why this particular hotel is not more highly regarded. I know I pick on TripAdvisor a lot, but it is baffling that this hotel is currently #63 of 115 hotels in Anaheim, below the weak and grammatically-challenged Americas Best Value Inn (#18?!) and a few locations I’d consider sketchy.
The problem, I think, is that it’s an expectations game. If you’re daring enough to book some of these motels, your stay is a resounding success if you don’t get bedbugs. That alone is worth 3 or 3.5 stars. Didn’t get food poisoning from the free continental breakfast? BUMP THAT SCORE UP ANOTHER HALF POINT!
By contrast, Sonesta attracts a lot of frugal business travelers with high expectations. At least, this is my best guess as to how some of these rankings happen. I can’t think of any other logical explanations that don’t involve the Illuminati.
If you want to know how Sonesta Anaheim Resort Areas stacks up to the competition in my opinion (which is probably more consistent than TripAdvisor!), 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.
For this review, let’s start with the hotel itself and the amenities. The photo above is of the ART bus stop, which is right at the hotel. Unfortunately, this one is a bit of a hike from the parks; it was just over a 20 minute walk for me, albeit a pretty easy and pleasant one up Katella.
The two photos above that one are of one of the hotel restaurants, Burger Theory, and the main lobby, which is filled with Disney art. Definitely a nice touch for a family staying here on their Disneyland vacation, but I’m sure business travelers are a bit taken a back by the ‘vibrancy’ of it all. Curmudgeons.
The pool is above average by Anaheim standards. It’s moderately-sized (huge for Anaheim, medium-sized for most other places) but the area is clean, well-shaded, secluded, and has plenty of nice seating around it. This is one of the rare Disneyland area pools that I’d actually use.
The hot tub seemed fine, maybe slightly above average.
The workout room is located just inside from the pool, and is also exceptional by Anaheim standards. Normally, aside from the major name brands near the Anaheim Convention Center that have really nice (nicer than this) fitness centers, either Disneyland-area hotels don’t have fitness centers or they have very basic ones that are essentially converted storage closets that were presumably added so they could get a checkmark on travel aggregator websites.
It only had one weight training station, but it’s one of those mutant mega-things that offers the ability to get a variety of different workouts.
The slate of amenities here is definitely above average, falling somewhere between the motel-style places on Harbor and the higher end Convention Center hotels. Probably the biggest downside of the amenities is that I’d expect this to be in the class of hotels that would provide a complimentary continental breakfast–it does not. It does offer free parking and free WiFi.
Let’s move on to the guest rooms. At first blush, you have a really generic looking hotel room. This is about as bland as bland gets, but at least nothing looks overly dated, worn, or cheap.
Most importantly, the beds and pillows are super-plush and comfortable. The bedding itself isn’t as high quality as you’d find at the Convention Center hotels, but the comfort level is almost there.
There’s also a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker in the room. Fridges and microwaves are commonplace at the motel-style rooms in the area, but absent from many of the higher end places. Personally, I like having these, and am glad when they are provided in the moderate, ‘compromise’ hotels.
As compared to the main area, the bathroom looks nicer and slightly less generic. It’s still nothing special, but it’s fine.
Sometimes I reflect on my life choices and think, ‘where did I go wrong.’ Quite often, those times are whilst editing photos of hotel toilets.
A wide view of the room from the far corner. One thing of note is that it there’s no desk. No big deal to me, as I just used my laptop at the table in the corner. While this room was totally forgettable in terms of style, I had absolutely no complaints about it from a function perspective. It gets high marks for that.
The bottom line is that the Sonesta Anaheim Resort is a very good mid-level hotel with amenities and rooms that ‘do the trick.’ You’re not likely to have a memorable stay here, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as you won’t think back and cringe at anything about the place. You just won’t remember the upsides because it’s a relatively cookie-cutter hotel. As a ‘hotel in Anaheim’, this would rank very highly for me thanks to the value for money it offers. As a ‘hotel near Disneyland’, it doesn’t rank quite as highly due to the distance, but I was still very satisfied and highly recommend it to anyone who wants an actual hotel (interior hallways, good amenities, nice beds, etc.) near Disneyland.
We have tons of other posts to help you plan, including our Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets, a look at Disneyland Area Hotel Reviews & Rankings, our Unique Packing List for Disney Trips, an index of our Disneyland Resort Restaurant Reviews, and a number of other things in our comprehensive Disneyland Trip Planning Guide!
Have you stayed at Sonesta Anaheim Resort? Are you a fan of it? Did you find your room to be quiet? Do you prefer staying off-site or on-site at Disneyland? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!