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“Someone Left Their Swim Trunks IN the Jacuzzi” – Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel Anaheim Review

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


A quick, family trip to Disney in Anaheim gave us the opportunity to stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel Anaheim, which is only a few blocks from Downtown Disney.

We met my brother-in-law and his family for a Goofy’s Kitchen breakfast (review coming soon!) at the Disneyland Hotel.

Our house is about 70 minutes from Disney when there’s no traffic. Our breakfast reservation was 11:00 AM on a Monday morning. That would be a three-hour trip during morning rush hour. So we decided to take a mini-vacation and spend Sunday night in Anaheim.

Disney properties are god-awful expensive and we had an expiring free night from my wife’s IHG Rewards Club Select Card.

Lucky for us, we found the Holiday Inn & Suite Anaheim for a free night!

Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel Anaheim Location

Location is a major plus for the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim. The hotel is an easy walk from the Disneyland compound.

We loved walking to and from Downtown Disney. Especially considering we ate like complete fools during our trip (as one is wont to do visiting Disney).

Sports fans: the hotel is about 15-ish minutes from Angel Stadium (baseball) and the Honda Center (hockey).

Figure about 30-40 minutes to John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA) or Long Beach (LGB). LAX is 35 miles away — which can take 40 minutes or two hours.

The published parking rate is $18 per day. IHG Platinum & Spire elite status members pay only $9 a day. (You can get IHG Platinum status simply by holding the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.)

Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel Anaheim Lobby

The lobby has plenty of Disney touches and offers a nice area for kids.

 

The lobby is seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim lobby area
The kids area inside the lobby is seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
My daughter sitting down to watch a basketball game at the kids table in the lobby 🙂
Books available in the kids area inside the lobby is seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Read your little one a story!

For the most part, the hotel does a very good job of catering to families.

The Hotel’s General Appearance

The hotel leaves much to be desired if you expect acceptable upkeep. The property looks worn and tired.

A damaged wall is seen near an elevator at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

A damaged sign is seen near an elevator at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Um…
A worn window well is seen near an elevator at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
This window well could use a fresh coat of paint…

Our Guest Room

We were a little late booking our room. No king size beds were available, nor were any IHG Platinum status upgrades.

Two double beds were totally fine, however. My wife and daughter took one bed and I had my own.

A two bed guest room is seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Two bed guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim

The room was a little dark. Aside from that minor quibble, though, everything else was fine. The beds were comfortable and the room was clean.

Maybe it’s just me — but all the pillows I’ve ever slept on at IHG properties were amazingly comfy. The Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim kept the streak alive!

A television sits atop the room’s dresser.

The television and dresser are seen inside a guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The television and dresser inside our guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim

There’s also a desk. Its lamp features two 110V outlets.

The desk is seen inside a guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Our room’s desk

Our room contained a mini-fridge and microwave — which are always nice amenities. Fellow parents know how what a godsend these are when traveling with little kids.

The microwave and mini-fridge are seen inside a guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The microwave – refrigerator combination is perfect for families!

Power-wise, there were no built-in USB ports in the room (which maybe is a good thing?). Make sure to bring your charger(s) with you. (Or get a travel surge suppressor-power strip combination like this device both René and I use.)

Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim Hotel Pool and Water Play Areas

The hotel features two aquatic areas.

One is sort of a mini-water park.

The waterpark play area is seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The water play area at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim

The weather was windy and little chilly (for Southern California 😉 ), so the machines above weren’t operating. I bet they’re plenty of fun during a nice, warm day.

My daughter — like every kid — had to visit the pool. Even though it was cool outside.

So we put on swimsuits, grabbed our waterproof cases, and headed down to the pool area.

It’s a great setup with a number of chairs, some tables, and poolside food and beverage service.

Deck chairs and patio furniture are seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Lounging - patio furniture are seen at the pool area of the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

A giant Connect Four board is seen at the pool area of the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Connect Four!

We walked to the heated pool’s stairs — and stopped. The water was so cloudy that we couldn’t see more than a couple of inches deep. I don’t know if the chlorine was off, the pool filter was broken or jammed, or some algae decided to spend a weekend at Disneyland.

The pool and pool hut are seen at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
The swamp pool

I told my little girl the pool was broken (she’s young enough to accept that answer). We decided the jacuzzi was a better, warmer option.

Here’s the good news: the hot tub’s water was perfectly clear!

The bad news? There were some surprises in and around the jacuzzi.

Off to the side lay what appeared to be a t-shirt.

A discarded piece of swimwear is seen near the jacuzzi hot tub at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Erm, okay…

With the exception of a tour group that entered the pool area after us, we were the only ones there. So it wasn’t like someone was in the water and left their shirt to retrieve later.

Weird, but fine.

Then came the dealbreaker.

Discarded swimsuit trunks are seen inside the jacuzzi hot tub at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Gross!

A pair of swim trunks rested on the jacuzzi’s floor.

Did someone get this Holiday Inn resort confused with a Hedonism resort? Was there an excretory system accident? Some sort of assault?

Call me naive or a prude — but how does one just accidentally leave a swimsuit in the pool?

Between the murky pool and discarded swimwear, our aquatic appetite was gone.

Onyx Restaurant at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim

Speaking of appetites, we visited Onyx — the hotel’s restaurant and bar — for dinner.

Onyx Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Onyx Restaurant

We were very impressed.

First of all, there’s a television at every table. Plus, USB ports if you want to charge your mobile device (but you must supply your own USB cord).

A television and USB ports are seen at Onyx Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Our table’s television and USB ports at Onyx

The staff was very friendly and happy to help with food recommendations.

Kids eat free off the children’s menu. So my toddler opted for macaroni and cheese. My wife and I split some chicken fingers and house chips. Both were delicious.

Chicken fingers, chips, and mac & cheese from the kids' menu are served at Onyx Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Chicken fingers, chips, and mac & cheese!

My wife couldn’t decide between two items and let the server decide. She was not let down.

A Thai chicken stirfry is served at Onyx Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Delicious Thai chicken stirfry!

She said the Thai chicken stirfry was one of the best dishes she’s ever had anywhere.

I went with a burger and fries. While not the best burger ever it was very, very good.

A hamburger and fries are served at Onyx Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Tasty burger and fries!

Before heading back to our room, we flagged down the restaurant manager to compliment her on the wonderful food and staff.

Quick Note About the Gift Shop

There is an onsite gift shop with souvenirs and snacks. However, the store’s owners don’t allow room charges. (So lame.) This really stinks because my IHG Rewards Club Premier Mastercard earns 25X per dollar spent during IHG property stays. I instead paid with my American Express Gold Card because I hoped against hope the store would code as a grocery purchase. (It didn’t.) But I also enjoyed knowing the store would pay a higher swipe fee. (Petty of me, I know.)

I recommend going to the Shell station convenience store a couple of hundred feet to the north. Prices are cheaper and you can use a credit card that rewards gas station purchases.

Watch Disneyland Fireworks from the Hotel!

The hotel is a few blocks off to the side of the Disneyland fireworks’ staging area. The hotel allows guests to enjoy the show (check here for times) from a viewing patio in its conference center wing. Just take the elevator to the second floor of the conference center and look for the balcony.

Two guests watch fireworks from a balcony at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
I know it looks like the end of the world or a fireball exploding. But I promise this is the Disneyland fireworks show.

You won’t see every firework and effect — many of them are displayed inside the park. But the balcony permits a great view of the really big fireworks.

This was my daughter’s first time seeing fireworks — and she loved them.

We suggest bringing beverages and enjoying the show!

Checking Out

When asked the customary, “How was your stay?” I showed the swimming pool and jacuzzi pictures to the front desk staff.

“Someone left their swim trunks in the jacuzzi,” I said.

“Ew,” one of them said. “Sorry about that.”

I politely explained we couldn’t enjoy the aquatic facilities because they weren’t exactly acceptable. I asked if the hotel would credit our Onyx dinner. (The Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago immediately credited a meal when I gave them a heads-up that my shower wasn’t hot.)

“It’s already been charged to your credit card,” he said.

“What about some points so we can come back and try the property again?” I asked.

“Your room was free because of the IHG card.”

I guess I got what I paid for.

As a whole, though: each staff member I encountered at the front desk or in the hallway was kind and welcoming.

Will I Stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim Again?

Maybe?

Its proximity to Disney is great. For someplace to eat and sleep, it’s fine. I hope the pool situation literally clears up. But I won’t rush back to stay there.

— Chris

 

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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3 Comments

  1. My son and I stayed there once..using points. Never again. We checked in and went right to the park. Came back and crashed. The AC came on and ran all night. I guess there must have been mold in the system because we woke up feeling dizzy and with a headache. It was horrible. We left room to eat a breakfast and felt a bit better, back to room to finish getting ready and started to feel sick again. Got out of there quick! And of course it was a free night….could never recommend

  2. I don’t know. Not really sure what is grosser about swim trunks in the hot tub off somebody’s body vs on his body. Also not terribly surprised that they aren’t paying that close attention to the area on a cold day when nobody is using it. Of course they should if keeping it open for guests, but asking for free dinner seems a bit much.

  3. Chris did mention the weather was somewhat windy. I can understand someone carrying their t-shirt and swim trunks to the pool area to change in the locker room. Perhaps they decided, like Chris, it was too chilly and windy — sat down for a while — didn’t notice their shirt and trunks blew around in the wind — and then left to go do other things?

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