Location, location, location. It doesn’t get much better than Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa with a back-door entrance leading straight into Disney California Adventure® Park. Nature is the theme at this 6-story hotel fringed by pine trees and constructed of cedar and redwood, an accolade to turn-of-the-century Craftsman style, and the jaw-dropping lobby hung with Mission-style chandeliers and strewn with comfy seating is a favorite meeting place for guests.
Guest rooms are looking quite spiffy with the hotel’s recent renovation. And as an added bonus they even managed to squeeze in a small sofa in place of the table and chairs in many of the rooms, and in some a sleeper chair as well. Some of the Arts and Crafts-style look remains in the Tree of Life wall mural behind the beds headboard and the lantern lighting. Bedding, made with white sheets and lacking the color pop of a bed runner, is either two queens or a king, but no longer is there a bunk bed choice.
A granite-top bureau and desk along with a cabinet holding a small refrigerator and Keurig coffeemaker round out the furnishings while overhead is a large flat-screen TV. Unlike the Disneyland® Hotel rooms, these do have a balcony with varying views.
Double sinks in a taupe granite vanity with a large, backlit vanity mirror sit outside of a commode and tiled shower area (note that there are no longer bathtubs in many of the rooms; on request only). Additional amenities include H2O spa bath products, robes, hairdryer, lighted makeup mirror, full-length mirror, turndown service, and electronic safe. View Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel’s Standard View Room on the Glass Slipper Concierge YouTube channel.
The Veranda concierge lounge just reopened with a great new look as well. Located on the 6th floor of the resort, it is the perfect spot to hang out and enjoy the multiple food services available. Wall-to-wall windows open onto the balcony with views of the tree tops and the evening fireworks show. Specialty Presidential and Vice Presidential suites as well as concierge guest rooms include access to concierge; standard one, two, and three-bedroom suites do not although concierge can be added at time of check-in for an additional fee.
Breakfast consists of luncheon meats and cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, bagels, coffeecake, croissants, muffins, fresh fruit, hot oatmeal, cereal, and juice. Afternoon snacks are substantial with fresh fruit, goldfish crackers, goat cheese caprese salad, tea sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg salad, turkey and provolone, BLT chicken salad), chips and salsa, raisin scones, fruit tarts, lemon shortbread, apple tarts, assorted cookies, and Smucker’s Uncrustables. In the evening enjoy artisanal cheeses, crackers, breads, fruit, crudités and dip, and two hot dishes such as buffalo chicken rangoon, pineapple barbecue chicken pizza, chicken nuggets, black bean empanadas, egg rolls, etc.. Beer and wine are served by the lounge hosts at both afternoon and evening services. Bottled water is available for the asking, and an espresso machine adds to the enjoyment. Evening desserts served from 8:00 until 10:00 p.m. include chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, macaroons, petit fours, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the lounge is the veranda with its view of the monorail zipping through the hotel courtyard as well as the Disneyland® Park fireworks.
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Cara Goldsbury is the author of The Luxury Guide to Disney Vacations. She is Chief Executive Concierge at Glass Slipper Concierge®, a travel agency specializing in selling Disney vacations, and has appeared as a leading Disney expert on two Travel Channel specials, Disney Splurge! and Disney Royalty. She has also been cited numerous times in national news articles, in such notable publications as The New York Times and Forbes Traveler, as an expert on the Walt Disney World® Resort. Visit her Luxury Travel & Life blog at Cara Goldsbury.com.