The one-bedroom villas here sleep a total of five people, with a fold-down sofa and another bed neatly tucked underneath the TV in the living room, a clever addition. Another highlight was the main bathroom. Not only did it have the Jacuzzi bath that all DVC resorts feature in their one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas, but the walk-in shower was an absolute joy. We both came away wishing that all of the other DVC resorts had facilities like this.
So what about the rest of the resort? The Grand Californian is perhaps the best located of the three Disney hotels at Disneyland, with its own private entrance to Disney’s California Adventure. That entry is a really nice treat, and helps to cut out the long queues to get into the park. If you want to head for Disneyland Park, then that’s only about a five minute walk away, a very pleasant stroll through parts of Downtown Disney. The only downside is that you have to pass the always tempting World of Disney store on your way to and from the park!
If you’ve seen Walt Disney World's Wilderness Lodge, then you have a good idea of what to expect, as both were created by the same architect. The difference here is that it is in Arts and Crafts style, rather than a rustic, National Parks-style lodge. The lobby is a wonderful place to unwind and relax, with lots of places to sit and watch the world go by. There's a huge fireplace to sit in front of, and a pianist who comes out to play from time to time, which add to the relaxing atmosphere. I’m so glad that, on this vacation, we finally had the time to sit and just take everything in.
Just off the resort lobby is the Hearthstone Lounge, a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a drink or a light snack. It was somewhere that we’d never managed to find on our previous visits, but we were very impressed with its decor and atmosphere.
One of the other highlights of the Grand Californian is the resort shop, Acorn’s Gifts and Goods, as we’ve managed to find some lovely items of clothing during our last couple of visits.
I can't finish without mentioning the resort restaurants, even though we didn’t get a chance to enjoy them on our most recent trip. For a more informal meal, with some characters involved, head for the Storytellers’ Cafe. We’ve enjoyed a couple of excellent meals here for both breakfast and lunch. Next door is the exquisite Napa Rose, perhaps the finest dining on Disneyland property. It’s equivalent to the Signature restaurants at Walt Disney World, with prices to match of course, and a constantly changing menu of various delights.
The Grand Californian, for us, is the ultimate resort at Disneyland. It’s perfectly located, beautifully themed, and with the addition of the villas, it's become an amazing "home away from home" for DVC members. If planning a Disneyland visit. it’s well worth seeing if you can get a spot in the villas, either with your DVC points, or through a regular hotel reservation.
Grand Californian Hotel - one bedroom villa
The main bedroom in the one bedroom villa. - photo by chezp
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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Club level at the Grand Californian
1 Mar 2014 at 10:05am
Hey there!!! We are staying at the GC next week and finally sprung for the club level. Can anyone provide any tips or tricks about getting the most...
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Hidden Gems at Grand Californian
15 Feb 2014 at 1:27pm
Staying at the Grand Californian this coming May! :D We have not stayed here before and this is my family's second trip to DLR. Just curious if there...
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