Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the most upscale of the three on property hotels at the Disneyland Resort. Guests can expect high service and lodging when enjoying a stay at this luxury hotel. You've likely heard that the Grand Californian was already one of the best hotels near Disneyland, so see for yourself in our Grand Californian hotel review.
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa went through a complete renovation in 2018 updating all of the common spaces and redesigning the hotel rooms. This massive Grand Californian renovation was the largest refurbishment since the hotel opened in 2001. Our hotel review and photo tour includes all of the images of the hotel since this renovation!
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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Perks
Staying at the most upscale hotel on Disney property is going to come with some great perks and amenities. Here is the list of things you can expect included with your visit:
- Convenient Park Entry and Re-Entry through the private entrance into Disney's California Adventure Park
- Easy access to Downtown Disney
- Guest Services Desk
- Merchandise Delivery
- Business Center
- Dry Cleaning Services
- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
- In-Room Celebrations
- Key to the Magic- your room key allows you to charge merchandise and dining to your hotel account.
- Laundry Room
- Lobby Piano
- Meeting and Banquet Facilities
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- On-site Character Dining
- On-site Shopping
You read all about character dining including the two options available at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in our character dining guide.
Disney Grand Californian Hotel Rooms
The Disney Grand Californian rooms were recently updated in 2018 and have all the best improvements you would hope for in a renovation. The rooms are open, airy, beautiful, and most importantly functional while remaining luxurious.
The bed is now lifted a couple feet off the ground so that you can store your bags underneath. This is a system made popular on cruises and fits well in these rooms where storage was semi-limited in the previous version.
The latest in technology was added into the Grand Californian Hotel rooms with a 55-inch smart television, Keurig Coffee maker, built in USB chargers, and lots of outlets for all of our devices.
The bathrooms also feature high water pressure showers and beautiful new countertops.
“Our renovation adds more luxury to this iconic Southern California hotel, while staying committed to its signature Arts & Crafts design,” shared Dan Coleman, General Manager of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. “We want our guests to feel they are staying in a Disney hotel that’s distinctly situated in beautiful California. The revitalized design helps convey this feeling and allows us to continue exceeding guest expectations.”
Hidden Grand Californian Hotel Room Details
The new room design takes inspiration from the woodland Disney creatures and the Craftsman style seen throughout the entire hotel. In the headboards, made of quarter-sawn oak wood, you will find Chip n' Dale hiding among the designs. Some of the rooms have hideaway murphy beds that open to reveal Bambi artwork.
These characters were fun, but for me, as the author of Disneyland Secrets: A Grand Tour of Disneyland's Hidden Details, I really appreciated the wide variety of discreet historical touches found throughout the room's artwork. There are a couple of posters which pay tribute to the different origins of Disneyland.
One poster features the Dominguez Grove Oranges in honor of the Dominguez family who owned much of the land. Ron Dominguez was a teen when Disneyland opened and went on to become a high ranking Disney executive and was named a Disney Legend in honor of his many years of service.
You'll also see a sign promoting Silver Lake Citrus in honor of the Los Angeles neighborhood that was home to the Disney Hyperion Street Animation Studio.
Next you'll see my favorite two posters honoring Walt Disney's roots. The first shows the Wonderful California Limited railroad going through an orange grover to honor the Disneyland Railroad.
The second of my favorite and final painting is of the Griffith Park carousel where Walt Disney dreamt of Disneyland watching his daughters while they rode the horses. He wanted a place where the children and adults could have fun together and that was the impetus of the idea for the incredible place that is now Disneyland.
If these poster prints were for sale I think that they'd make my list of the best Disneyland souvenirs!
The countertops in the room incorporate glass pieces from wine bottles in keeping with the Napa Rose (this is one of the nicest Disneyland restaurants) upscale Wine Country feeling throughout this Disneyland hotel. There is also copper texturing above the coffee bar paying homage to the early Arts and Crafts style houses in Pasadena built by Greene and Greene.
Disney Grand Californian Hotel Concierge Level Perks
My favorite change with the 2018 renovation was the update to the concierge level amenities. Now when guests book a Grand Californian Hotel concierge level room they can proceed directly to the 6th floor to avoid the regular check in front desk. There they will find two Cast Members ready to greet them in a seated luxurious check in process.
Also on the 6th floor is a fantastic change to the Grand Californian Hotel concierge lounge, officially called The Veranda. The new lounge features updated decor, more comfortable seating, and a much better food selection.
The lounge also provides a fantastic view of the fireworks and monorail track that passes through the Grand Californian. I could sit there all day and watch the world go by if it weren't for the fact that I could be in Disneyland.
The design of the new updated lounge is inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a leader of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Grand Californian space specifically takes inspiration from the Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow. One key aspect taken from the Tea Rooms is the open bright decor with big windows.
Unlike the rest of the resort which features work done completely by Californian crafts people, the lounge has art pieces completed by artisans from throughout Europe to honor Mackintosh. Seen above is a set of painted ceramics themed to the iconic Redwood Forest from the Brother Bear film.
Grand Californian Hotel Lobby and Pool
The main lobby of the hotel features a beautiful fireplace and plenty of benches and furniture to lounge on. In fact, this lobby is so spectacular that many guests not staying at the hotel come in just to view the lobby from the entrance in Downtown Disney. During the holiday season you can admire their enormous Christmas tree in this lobby, meet Santa, listen to bell rings and carolers, and view their enormous gingerbread house.
The pool features beautiful hardscapes including a wide variety of different stones.
This pool also includes waterslides all with a California Redwoods theme.
There are also poolside cabanas to feel like a VIP and truly enjoy your vacation.
Whether you're interested in sunbathing, going down waterslides, or enjoying the poolside bar this pool really has it all.
Dining at the Grand Californian
Disney's Grand Californian has some of the best dining options available in the Disneyland Resort. There are three main options for dining including upscale dining, poolside dining, and character dining options.
Guests can enjoy an upscale dining experience with phenomenal chefs at the Napa Rose. Guests can enjoy the restaurant or hang out in the Napa Rose Lounge which offers walk-up seating. The food selection here has regional food inspired by California produce, meats, seafood, and an enormous wine list. This award winning restaurant is a favorite of many guests whether you are staying at the hotel or not!
Storyteller's Cafe offers buffet options for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a rotating menu with daily lunch specials so guests can mix up their lunch choices. Both breakfast and brunch feature Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip n Dale, and Pluto.
For more casual dining options, guests can enjoy the GHC Craftsman Bar and the Hearthstone Lounge for quick eating options. The GHC Craftsman Bar features patio seating and options closer to the pool. The bar has more than just drinks but great food and snacks. The Hearthstone Lounge offers a cozy option to quick eats and drinks that many guests enjoy.
There are two different character dining options offered at the Grand Californian hotel: Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures and Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet. You can read all about each character dining experience and our review in our guide to character dining. The Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures is an upscale version held at the Napa Rose. Mickey's Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet is a character brunch at the Storyteller Cafe.
Spa Services at Disney's Grand Californian- NEW Spa Coming in 2020
Disney's Grand Californian is getting a newly designed spa space called Tenaya Stone Spa coming in Spring 2020. This will be a full service spa that will be inspired by nature and Californian heritage. Guests will be able to choose from a wide selection of body treatments, facials, massage and salon services.
The spa is being designed by Disney Imagineers and is taking inspiration from the title ‘Tenaya' in which some indigenous cultures can mean ‘to dream.'
Video Tour of the Grand Californian
Here's a video tour of the Grand Californian Hotel:
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