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 Center, Hyatt House Anaheim Convention Center, Hyatt 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!
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!
As a (pre-Covid) frequent business traveler who stays in Starwood/Marriott frequently, I always choose Residence Inn over Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, or other brands in the chain. The room layouts and food options are so much better within the last few years. Most of the time I notice the studio and 1 bdr options have a similar price like you saw. I think even though they don’t explicitly cater to business travelers, they get a lot of them, and the lack of desk is less of an issue because of the kitchen bar setup. In a non-tourist area the breakfast and happy hour events are packed with business people.
At DL when I use points I’m still choosing Courtyard Theme Park entrance for the location – that extra “1 block” walk makes a big difference at the end of the day. However good to know there’s another Marriott option nearby (and better than the run down Sheraton) when needed. The kitchen is a game changer for a lot of people – but not really for us at DLR since there are so many places we want to eat. 🙂
Could you tell me why booking the hotel and tickets directly through Disney’s website is a bad idea? As opposed to buying hotel and tickets separately, I mean. Is it just due to the cost?
Yes, it’s JUST due to the cost. Do you hate saving money?
Is this the one on 640 w Katella?
Any reason this place is over $900usd for most days i looked at Jan-march 2019? I thought it was budget friendly? This may change your ranking?
Is this the same as Residence Inn Anaheim Maingate?
1. Laundry in the rooms or service?
2. With small children and the need to walk to Disney – is it safe at night? I don’t see a shuttle service provided. Any info on that?
Hi, this year we are considering a split stay between this hotel & then one for Universal the following week. This hotel seems to tick all the boxes we’re from the UK and won’t be driving and have never stayed on the west coast before so are unfamiliar with the area, we have done Disney/Universal many many times in Orlando. We would like at least a day with a good shopping mall (ie Apple store etc) would it be possible from this hotel via public transport or would it be easier for the following week from a Universal studios hotel (any recommendations greatly accepted) thanks for any advice!
Thanks your review was very helpful, we are a family of 6 and after looking at quite a lot of reviews online of other hotels close to Disneyland I’m glad I decided to book to stay at the new Residence Inn. the full kitchen, was definitely a draw card as a family amongst other things. Looking forward to visiting in July.
I’m curious to hear about how your stay went. We’re staying there in a couple of days.
I just returned from a 2 night stay. It was just me in the room, as I was traveling for work. I had a fantastic stay, and would 100% stay here again. The pool area was awesome. Great for a grownup who just wants to hang out, and great for kids to swim and play. I need to eat gluten free, and there was plenty to choose from for breakfast. The eggs weren’t the greatest, but nothing a little salt and pepper couldn’t salvage. The walk to Downtown Disney was short and pleasant. Bottom line? Stay here! You won’t regret the decision.
My husband and two children recently stayed at The Residence Inn August 2-5, 2017. We were very pleased with the staff, cleanliness and newness of the hotel. Access to and from the site, to the bus stop and CVS (for forgotten purchases)-were an added bonus. The children enjoy d having their own TV in the living area and slept fine on the pullout sofa. The kitchen was stocked with dishes and had all he basic essentials to make our stay enjoyable. The kids really lived the rooftop Texas-sized pool and spray pad. I enjoyed the wait staff for serving drinks. The morning Buffett was nice to. We looked forward to staying here again in the future!
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Hi! We stayed here back in January and also thought it was a great option. We were a family of 4 travelling (2 adults, 1 child, 1 baby) with grandma and the 1 bedroom option was perfect. We totally agree with Corene above…the sofa bed was horrible!! I tried sleeping on it one night and was incredibly uncomfortable. I also found when sleeping in the living room the AC was annoying and loud clicking on and off. Our solution was to make the room into an ice box before bed and turn it to fan overnight. This was in January so not sure this would be an option during warmer months! My mother-in-law moved slept on the sofa bed for the rest of the trip and didn’t find it as bad as I did (I’m a horrible DIL, aren’t I? lol 😐 ). We really wanted to stay here because my husband has Celiac so the option of the kitchen to prepare his meals was a bonus. We didn’t end up cooking much as we had issues trying to order groceries (another story) but the breakfast buffet ended up being great for him. They were very accommodating for him with GF cereal and GF Udi’s bagels that they will provide when asked. They would also bring him out eggs from the back for him before they hit the buffet to ensure they weren’t contaminated by other guests before he took them. We were also able to take yogurt and put fruit in a coffee cup to take back to our room to have as snacks later. This was a lifesaver for my husband as DL did not end up being as good as I thought for someone with Celiac! One negative of having a kitchen….we had a fire alarm at 11pm at night when we were all in a dead sleep after a long day at the parks. We had to evacuate into the parking lot and wait. I found the communication from the staff extremely lacking about what was going on. Other guests were telling us it was okay to return to our rooms. I was not prepared to do that with two young kids until I had heard this from staff. Turns out it was someone trying to cook a steak! Hence the downside to rooms having kitchens. Lol! Also, as well as all the positives you mentioned in your review, I also liked the sliding doors vs the swinging doors for the bedroom and bathroom as they are extremely quite when closing. Might not be a big deal for some but with a 6 month old sleeping right next to the bathroom door it was great that she wasn’t woken up by a clicking door in the middle of the night! We will definitely be looking at this hotel again for future trips!
Very helpful! We are saving up Marriott points for a DLR stay in Sept 2018. I’m looking at the properties across from the gate, but anything good in the area is fair game. Leaning toward a property that includes breakfast though, so no courtyard.
You probably rack up a bit of points with your stays and credit cards, no? Helps a ton!
I was just looking at this last night. How does the pool compare to the Courtyard Theme Park? The Courtyard looks like it’s got an awesome pool, and it’s closer to the parks, so I’m leaning that way, even though the Residence Inn is cheaper and has more space.
(Plus, it looks like the walk from the Courtyard to Disneyland goes right past Panera, which unfortunately has not made it to my part of Canada yet…)
Thanks for the in-depth review Tom! I am even more excited now for our trip to Disneyland in October because we are staying at the new Residence Inn.
We are staying in a Family/Kids Suite that almost looks like it is themed to Monster’s Inc in the kids’ room. I’m curious how the flow of the rooms compares to the suite in which you stayed.
Regardless, I’m glad to hear that the pool and workout room are better than I had read in reviews and that the rooms in general matched up to the nice pictures online. I’d also read that the breakfast was amazing in some reviews and insane and chaotic in others so thank you for weighing in on how the breakfast rates.
I’m very interested in seeing how you rank the Residence Inn against some of the other hotels in the area – particularly the Courtyard Marriott.
Thanks again for being my new go-to source for everything Disney.
Keep in mind that the bar is really, really low for pools and workout rooms in Anaheim. My rating is relative to the competition. Others are probably reviewing both based on their experiences in other cities–which very well might be better.
Tom, as someone who often travels with 5 or 6 people, I would love it if your reviews would specifically point out whether the couch in these suites folds out. Having a third sleeping surface is important for bigger parties or kids who won’t share a bed. I assume many of these hotels do, but it would help me narrow down which hotels could hold my whole party.
Agree with the previous poster about mentioning whether the couch pulls out into a bed. We are a family of 6 with very young children and it’s pretty difficult to find a room that sleeps all of us. After reading your review, I immediately googled the hotel to see if the couch pulls out into a bed.
Sorry, totally forgot to include that. I just edited the post to reflect that the couch *does* convert to a pull-out sleeper, meaning the 1-bedroom queen room can sleep 6.
Having just stayed here a month ago, I will caution you that while the couch does pull out into a bed, the mattress is extremely thin & incredibly uncomfortable! We had 2 teenage boys who needed their own beds, but the sofa bed was completely un-usable. So insanely uncomfortable. We used the firm couch cushions to fashion a makeshift bed on top of the pull out, which wasn’t perfect, but made it somewhat functional, but would only work for one person. I do not agree that these rooms actually sleep 6, at least not comfortably. Five would be more realistic, but understand that one person will be in a semi-comfortable makeshift bed, or just sleep on the couch as it appears in the photos above. Poor choice for a new hotel that looks so good. The couch is great as a couch, but shocking as a bed. I cannot believe that they cheaped out on the sofa bed choice given that it is being used as a selling feature! Also no in room safes, and very little storage. The 3 drawers you see in the photo are only about as deep as a laptop, so could do with much more storage as well. We found the regular beds to be comfortable & bathroom was great. All the space in the place was great too. But that awful sofa bed would put us off staying here again, unless we only needed the 2 queen beds & could just use the couch as a couch.
Always enjoy your blog. We stayed here on our first family trip to Disney and really enjoyed the kitchen and two rooms (put the crib in the living room). Not having a bath for our toddler was a bit tricky (although you can get them in the bigger family rooms). We also found that light at Katella to be really long-did you find this? Or is it just when you have a toddler who hates the stroller that it seems long? Read in another comment that some people like to use the Downtown Disney entrance instead when they stay on Katella. Would love to hear your thoughts on that. I think the price is great for the quality of room (clean + amenities) that you get. Our most recent trip we stayed at the Courtyard (also on your recommendation) and LOVED it and really, really loved the location. Felt much closer than the RI without that light (or was it that our toddler was older and didn’t mind the stroller as much)? Missed having the full kitchen but thought the location made up for that. Again-would love your perspective on the location between the two as I’m not sure if ours is objective. Thanks for all the hard work you put into the blog!