Hotel Menage is a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel located about 12 minutes from the parks near the I-5 freeway. The hotel aims for trendy and chic, and succeeds somewhat. This review features photos of the hotel, plus thoughts about our experience of staying here.
Let’s start the review by covering the location. With it being only a 12 minute walk from Disney California Adventure and Disneyland, the location is pretty solid on paper. It’s essentially right across the street from the HoJo Anaheim, both of which the I-5 freeway runs past. For those unfamiliar with the 5, it’s a major highway running through Orange County, which right away should raise concerns about noise. I never had any trouble sleeping or really noticed the sounds of the freeway, but light sleepers might want to think twice about booking this hotel, just the same. Likewise, when walking to the park, you have to cross the I-5 on and off ramps. There are pedestrian traffic signals here, but it still seems like a bit of a sketchy intersection.
So what are the pros and cons of staying at Hotel Menage? Let’s take a look…
I started by calling it a hotel that somewhat succeeds at being chic and trendy. This success is entirely in the common areas, particularly the main lobby where the dining options can be found and just outside there by the 24-hour pool and lounge area.
I’d go as far as to describe these spots as posh, and they are certainly nice places to relax and unwind. The atmosphere all around the lobby is really fun and laid back.
This alone makes it the kind of place two honeymooners or childless twentysomethings might go for an adults-only Disneyland trip enjoyed at a relaxed place. Maybe my mind is in the gutter, but the name of the hotel itself sounds very…um…”adult.”
Think of this as the Trader Sam’s and pool area at Disneyland Hotel, except at a much lower price point and not as geared towards families. This isn’t to say it’s not family friendly, but it doesn’t overtly cater to families like the Disneyland Hotel. Worth noting is that Hotel Menage doesn’t serve a complimentary continental breakfast like many other off-site hotels in the area. Would it really kill them to throw out some bagels and bananas? I mean, it’s one banana, what could it cost them, $10? If you want breakfast here, the buffet will set you back $13/adult.
After seeing the lobby, I was really optimistic about Hotel Menage, thinking it might become a go-to spot for me, especially given the bargain price I scored on the place and its fairly close location to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Unfortunately, this chic and trendy vibe falls apart once you leave the lobby and pool area.
This isn’t to say the rest of the hotel is weak, it just has a distinct “motel” vibe to it, and doesn’t feel like a happenin’ spot once you get to the guest rooms. Whereas my initial impression was that Hotel Menage was brand new when I saw the lobby (I still have no clue when it actually opened…I can’t find any news articles on it, so I’m guessing it’s at least 10 years old), it feels overly worn once you get to the guest rooms.
There’s not really anything wrong with the guest rooms, per se, and they stack up just fine with many other hotels on Harbor Boulevard, they just don’t really feel fresh and modern at all.
The bedding in the rooms is nice and comfortable, and there’s some neat art, but that’s about it. The furniture looks like it has seen better days and is ready for replacement, and there are dings and wear on every wood surface in the room.
Perhaps this all wouldn’t have been any issue whatsoever had the lobby and pool area not set the bar high, but it all really stands out when juxtaposed against those cool, modern areas.
It’s really a “Tale of Two Hotels” (the lesser-known sequel to Dickens’ famous title). Quite simply, the rooms are desperately in need of a refresh to bring them in line with the chic boutique atmosphere the Hotel Menage is trying to create.
The good news is that there’s not really anything wrong with the rooms–they are perfectly passable–and the location is pretty solid, so if you’re not planning on spending every waking hour at Disneyland and are looking for a budget-priced hotel with a stacked set of amenities, Hotel Menage is a great option.
In addition to the aforementioned restaurants, pool, and bars, Hotel Menage has a fitness center (and a fairly nice-looking one, at that), a business center, meeting & event space, and it even allows pets (albeit for a $25 fee plus a cleaning fee; I overheard one pet owner irritated by the string of fees added onto her final bill). These fees seem a bit extreme to me–although I doubt I’d ever take my pet to a hotel, I think every hotel could use more (quiet) dogs. It is scientifically proven that dogs make any hotel seem 27% cooler. Really, the hotel should be paying the pet owner.
Booked directly, Hotel Menage costs around $100-120/night before tax, which actually isn’t bad for what it is. With that said, it’s pretty regularly on Hotel Tonight in the $70-90/night range (I’ve been watching over the past 3 months, and I’d say it’s available 75%+ of the time if you look at least 1 night in advance). If you are comfortable winging it a bit and don’t mind potentially staying at a different hotel on Harbor Boulevard, I highly recommend waiting and using Hotel Tonight to book.
Overall, despite my complaints about the guest rooms not really fitting the tone the hotel has established for itself, I am a fan of Hotel Menage. It fills a nice niche at Disneyland that I don’t see occupied by any other hotel, appealing to young people who want a spot close to Disneyland, but also want to have a bit of adult fun. The only other hotels that I’ve been to that somewhat appeal to this same demographic are Disneyland Hotel and the major brand name Convention Center hotels. In the case of the former, it still skews towards families, and in the case of the latter hotels, they are significantly farther from Disneyland. In the case of all of those hotels, they are much more expensive than Hotel Menage. It’s definitely not a hotel that will appeal to everyone, but if these amenities appeal to you and you’re fine with a “just okay” room, it’s a great option.
Have you stayed at the Hotel Menage? Did you enjoy your stay? 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!