The Westin Anaheim Resort is a new luxury hotel near Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. It’s one of only a few AAA Four Diamond hotels within walking distance of the theme parks. This review features room photos & video, thoughts on amenities, and pros & cons of booking at this hotel versus its competitors.
Let’s start with location, as the Westin Anaheim Resort scores some serious points there. If you visited Disneyland Resort in the last few years, you might’ve seen a large crane behind Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure (DCA). This caused some comically-absurd “rumors” about what was secretly being built that would make even a bus driver blush.
In actuality, that crane was for construction of the Westin Anaheim Resort, which was being built in plain sight on the other side of Katella Avenue, right next door to the Anaheim Convention Center. Amusing anecdote aside, this underscores the Westin Anaheim Resort’s great location–it literally overlooks DCA, meaning some guest rooms and the rooftop have great views.
Unfortunately, that does not translate to proximity to the parks in practical terms. Meaning that if you want to walk to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure, you’re looking at about a 15-17 minute walk. Even though Pixar Pier is right there, you have to walk all the way around DCA along Katella and Harbor Boulevard.
Aside from that major intersection, it’s a relatively easy walk. (Unfortunately, the Westin is on the “wrong” side of Katella–but not by much.) Walking is far faster than driving or waiting on a bus or Uber/Lyft from the Westin to Disneyland. You can also walk to Downtown Disney in about the same amount of time by heading the other direction.
Also unfortunate is that not every room at the Westin Anaheim Resort has a great view of Pixar Pier and Disney California Adventure. Our room on the opposite side of the hotel overlooked a parking garage, backstage access to the Anaheim Convention Center, and some dumpsters.
We also didn’t have a balcony, which was honestly fine given the view. To each their own, but I don’t typically like to savor the scene of dumpsters and parking structures for hours on end.
Joking aside, the Westin Anaheim Resort is clearly aimed at conventioneers and special events guests. That much is clear from its location, but also the clientele, amenities, and spaces.
During our stay, we spotted no fewer than 4 different wedding parties. I suspect if an event were being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, those celebratory smiles would’ve been replaced by corporate leaders in lanyards. To be sure, there are also tourists visiting Disneyland staying here, but the Westin definitely doesn’t have the same vibe as other hotels near Disneyland.
The different target audience can also be felt throughout the Westin Anaheim Resort.
Family-friendly hotels in Anaheim opt for more “durable” furniture and finishings, and often are more utilitarian and functional in nature. By contrast, the Westin is high end through and through, with sophistication and extra attention to detail everywhere you look.
This is not to say that the Westin Anaheim Resort is a poor choice for families or kid-unfriendly. That’s not the case–there were plenty of families with small children here during our stay. The target audience is just different, and with that comes a different atmosphere.
In other words, the Westin is perfectly suitable for families, even if it’s not catering directly to them. This hotel is good for families wanting posh accommodations, not ones aimed at children. It’s one of only a handful of hotels in Anaheim that puts adults first, rather than kids. If you want the opposite, almost anywhere else will be a better option.
About the only hotel near Disneyland that’s comparable to the Westin is the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort (pictured above), which is another AAA Four Diamond property. Even the Grand Californian and Disneyland hotel are very different than the Westin.
In one regard, the Westin Anaheim Resort outshines every other hotel near Disneyland: dining. There’s no fewer than a half-dozen stand out restaurants at the Westin, each bringing something unique to the table.
For atmosphere and big views into Disney California Adventure, there’s RISE Rooftop Lounge. This bar has a variety of seating options around fire pits overlooking Incredicoaster and Pixar Pier. You can also catch vague views of World of Color or Disneyland’s fireworks from afar.
On the lobby level is the Westin’s signature restaurant, the Tangerine Room. This location toes the line between trendy and casual, with a menu of modern Californian dishes celebrating local, seasonal ingredients from Anaheim-area providers and an extensive global wine list.
The modern lobby lounge at The Westin Anaheim is Bar 1030. This features cocktails, specialty teas, small bites, and light Californian fare. If there’s an event in Anaheim or at the hotel–which is pretty much always–you can count on Bar 1030 being packed with attendees.
If you want to dine poolside, there’s Bella’s Splash Pool Bar. Another option is Blossom Market & Cafe, which serves up coffee, juices, and smoothies along with grab and go items like sandwiches and salads.
The Westin Anaheim is something of a mixed-use facility, with a couple of additional restaurants flanking its front entrance. Whether these are part of the hotel or not is a matter of perspective. Regardless, these are Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Puesto Mexican Restaurant. We’ve yet to dine at either, but both have garnered rave reviews from friends. (Fleming’s is a chain, so perhaps you’ve dined there in another city.)
There’s also a poolside bar which, obviously, means that there’s a pool.
The pool itself is unremarkable, which is consistent with other hotels in the area. Perhaps there’s an Anaheim ordinance of which I’m unaware that pool areas at hotels in the city must be a disappointment. (I’m joking–there are a handful of hotels with more ambitious pool areas.)
The pool seating area is considerably more impressive, with a variety of comfortable lounge chairs and other seats.
There are also private cabanas that you can rent for $250 per day. I’m sure these will be popular at some point, but it was mildly amusing to see these when there was literally not a single other person around. Literally the entire pool was our “private” space, no $250 upcharge necessary.
Another amenity is the excellent fitness center with (literally) dozens of brand-new workout machines, which is among the best in Anaheim. We used this for about an hour each day of our stay, and there were a grand total of ~4 other people in there during this time. I suspect that when conventions are in town, the utilization rate is a bit higher.
The hotel also attempts to appeal more to families with its Westin Family program. There are little extras given to kids, and the hotel has a self-guided scavenger hunt as well as a daily schedule of family-friendly activities (we saw a pool party–I’m not sure what else there is). On balance, I’d say that the Westin Anaheim does a better job of appealing to families than the JW Marriott. Both are still primarily higher-end convention center hotels, but the Westin smartly tries to cater to multiple demographics, not just business travelers.
The Westin Anaheim is in line with the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort. As compared to its counterparts at Walt Disney World, it’s typically above the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, Swan & Dolphin, and Swan Reserve.
We stayed at the Westin during the fall off-season, at which time the cash rate made more sense than using points. I’m slightly hesitant to even post the nightly rate ($240) for the Westin during our stay, since anyone reading this a year from now…or even in a week during the peak of Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons…or pretty much any time when conventions are happening…could pay considerably more.
With that said, prices are still reasonable so long as you book an off-season date when there are no events in town at the adjacent Anaheim Convention Center. If you’re considering the Westin Anaheim as part of a Disneyland vacation, you can book a hotel + ticket vacation package via Get Away Today to save more money. In addition to the package discount, some hotels have ‘4th night free’ promos. In addition to their normal discounts and special packages, you can save an extra $10 by using code TOURIST at checkout.
The Westin Anaheim Resort has a variety of standard guest room options and suites.
The Westin Heavenly bedding is top notch, with a plush pillowtop mattress and head-absorbing pillows. Without question, we found this to be the highlight of our guest room at the Westin.
Beyond the beds, other in-room amenities at the Westin Anaheim include Keurig machines with Starbucks coffee, a mini-fridge, robes & slippers, iron & ironing board, safe, 55″ television, Plug-In High Tech room (not sure what this is), and radio.
Bathrooms offer a hairdryer and individual toiletries, including soap, lotion, mouthwash, shower cap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
Aesthetically, the rooms are otherwise fine.
Don’t get me wrong–these rooms come across as higher end, but if you were to show me the above photo (a fair representation of our room) and ask what tier of hotel I thought it was, I doubt I’d guess luxury. There are some nice little touches, but the Westin rooms don’t reach quite the same level as those at the JW Marriott. Perhaps the sophistication here is a bit too subtle for my tastes.
It’s also possible I’d feel differently if we had one of the rooms with a balcony overlooking Pixar Pier or really any view other than the parking structure. In hindsight, I definitely wish we paid the slightly premium for the rooms with balconies at the Westin Anaheim Resort, as those are incredibly unique and unlike anything else near Disneyland.
Perhaps had we done that, I’d be more forgiving of the room itself. We also did not have access to the club level lounge, which also likely would’ve changed our perception of the hotel.
On a positive note, the bathroom is spacious and features a walk-in rain shower as well as a large bathtub. The vanity is large, lighting abundant, and finishings are high end. Along with the Heavenly beds, these bathrooms are another highlight of the Westin Anaheim.
For a better look at the layout, here’s a video tour of our room at the Westin Anaheim Resort from Sarah:
Ultimately, there’s a lot to like about the Westin Anaheim Resort, especially if you’re planning on spending a lot of time at the hotel, but not necessarily in your guest room (unless you book one with a view or balcony). The dining slate alone is unrivaled, and other common areas are incredibly nice. Other amenities include a formidable fitness center, nice pool area, and pretty much what you’d expect of luxury accommodations.
The rooms leave me torn. While I was frankly a bit underwhelmed by our standard “no view” room and think most guests booking the Westin with the expectation of luxury accommodations would feel similarly, there’s also the reality that the hotel has a range of upgrades. Moving up to a room with a better view or a balcony would’ve cost an extra $20 to $30. Upgrading to a park view room with a balcony would’ve been another $100.
So there are better options than our view of the dumpsters, they just cost a bit more–changing the value calculus, but also perception of the quality. Even as it stands with our stay in the dumpster-view room, we were really impressed with the Westin Anaheim Resort and rank it highly on our list of the best hotels not just in Anaheim, but in all of Southern California.
Have you stayed at the Westin Anaheim Resort? What did you think of the hotel? Highlights and/or lowlights? Doe the accommodations look appealing to you, or is this not to your tastes, preferences, or needs? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!