Review: Red Lion Hotel Anaheim provides Disneyland visitors with quiet comfort at a convenient cost not far from the parks

in Hotel, Reviews

red-lion-hotel

When visiting the Disneyland Resort, it’s more than tempting to stay at one of Disney’s on-property hotels, just steps away from theme park entrances and the shops and restaurants of Downtown Disney. But that close proximity to the excitement comes at a hefty price, with all of Disney’s Anaheim accommodation prices often soaring into hundreds of dollars per night.

But while nearby Harbor Blvd and the rest of the area surrounding Disneyland are full of less expensive hotel options, budget-conscious travelers looking beyond Disney’s boundaries may find that many inexpensive offerings are downright cheap in every way.

Standing out from the many less desirable options is the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim, roughly a 10-minute walk down Harbor Blvd from the Disneyland Resort. This value-priced hotel provides its guests with enjoyable atmosphere and a quiet night’s sleep, reinvigorating any exhausted Disney theme park goer.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Regularly posting nightly rates of under $100, the Red Lion Hotel is far less expensive than comparable official Disneyland hotels. Where Red Lion doesn’t have the same Disney character charm and artwork, it makes up for it with a surprising amount of class, from its multi-colored illuminated exterior to the modern, clean design of its welcoming lobby.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Rooms at the Red Lion Hotel appear recently updated to reflect today’s design appeal. Soft shades of orange, red, and brown are accented by cream colored walls. Furniture is pleasing to the eye as well as functional, with comfortable mattresses, sheets, and pillows, and a large desk area that’s perfect for getting work done on the go. Free Internet access is included with a stay at the hotel and while it’s not the speediest in the world, it allows guests to get the job done.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Amenities include a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator – not a bad assortment for a room that’s less than $100 per night.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Bathrooms are nothing special but also not bad, with a strong shower and ample counter space.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Guests with a pool view will also find themselves overlooking both Disneyland Resort theme parks, with sights including the backsides of the Tower of Terror, Radiator Springs Racers, and the Matterhorn.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Only two areas of the Red Lion Hotel deserve a little sprucing up. Hallways leading to the rooms are noticeably dated. It seems they didn’t get the same recent updates and upgrades the rooms and lobby received.

Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Worse yet, the breakfast buffet in the hotel’s downstairs restaurant is rather bland. Though it features a wide assortment of standard breakfast foods, from pancakes to eggs to sausage to bagels, they are all rather flavorless and guests would be better off walking to IHOP next door.

But it’s the rooms of the Red Lion Hotel that are the most important and no Disneyland visitor will be disappointed by a stay there when looking for a less expensive option than Disney’s own hotels. And with Disney’s complementary Toy Story parking lot shuttle located nearby, even guests who aren’t fond of walking 10-15 minutes to get to the parks can make it there with ease.

More photos of the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim:

15 Comments

  1. EricJ

    East Coast folks are too used to “staying on property”, the first thing most need to learn when going out West is that Disneyland is in the middle of a city and there ARE no “on-property” hotels except for the three Deluxe equivalents–And that while you might or might not stay at the Hotel Plaza Blvd. “Good Neighbor” hotels in Orlando, in Anaheim, it’s pretty much your only Value/Moderate choice. Get used to it.
    Which means that–unlike choosing a property hotel, where they’re all good :) –you have to use more research choosing the good family hotels from the cheap next-door-to-gate ones.

    I’ve only stayed at the Howard Johnson’s (which I actually liked, but wasn’t as “walking distance” as would’ve been nice after DCA), and one time had a discount deal on the Ayres (great business hotel, but on the convention/stadium side of town), and heard the Candy Cane is usually the established fan favorite, but the Red Lion looks pretty nice at that.

    1. Growing up going to Disneyland, I always thought that it was funny how their are so many on property hotels in Walt Disney World. Personally I like that Disney doesn’t provide Value Resorts in Disneyland because then it gives a feeling to every hotel in the resort that represents beauty and class. Im not saying I don’t like the Value hotels, I just really like the look and feel of the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian. I just try to put the Paradise Pier Hotel out of my mind.

      If you are like us and don’t want to stay in an expensive hotel for your trip to Disneyland I highly suggest the Hilton Anaheim, for walking distance and beautifully redone rooms.

      1. John

        I second the Hilton Anaheim. I stayed there for a convention and afternoon trips to the park. Room was comfortable and clean. Walking distance to the hub entrance was manageable. The main restaurant in the hotel has delicious food too.

  2. frostysnowman

    Actually, I’d take some bland, free food over eating at that IHOP. The last time my family and I were there (2010) we paid close to $70 for breakfast for four. It might be the most expensive IHOP anywhere!

    Eric made some good points about the hotels in Anaheim; there are no value or moderate resorts on property there, so Harbor Blvd. is the main option for those types of rooms. We’ve stayed at the HoJo (just OK) and more recently the Fairfield Inn (better, with much larger rooms and even closer to the parks). I recommend the Birnbaum guide to Disneyland for a full run-down of all the options and prices; they include other options in addition to the park hotels and Harbor Blvd. hotels as well. Personally, I like being able to walk back to my hotel on Harbor Blvd. after a day at Disneyland or DCA. The landscaping and vacation-y feel feel quite festive when you walk down that road.

  3. Glendon

    I will def consider this hotel for my next DL trip although I really liked the location and room at the Holiday Inn Express by Gardenwalk :)

  4. Cold Churro

    Those that think Red Lion is “close” to Disneyland will be sorely disappointed when they make the trek back to the hotel after walking around the park all day.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      It’s not “close” but it’s not far either. After walking around the parks all day, what’s a little more walking at the end? It’s basically the equivalent of walking from the front of Disney California Adventure to the back… and then a little more. After a very long day of being on my feet (Transformers grand opening followed by an afternoon and night at Disneyland), I had no problem walking back to this hotel.

    2. EricJ

      Again, I thought HoJo’s was “walking distance” until I came back from DCA…And it wasn’t until halfway through the trip that I discovered the local Anaheim tourist bus shuttle (something like $10 for a week pass) that runs between most of the third-party hotels in town.
      Probably the closest equivalent to that bus service Orlando property guests rely on, and no matter how “close” you may think your non-gate hotel is, it comes in handy.

  5. Anthony

    When is the room rate $100 or less?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      When I stayed there in May, the nightly rates were around $85-95.

  6. Christopher C.

    Ricky,

    The Hotel Menage (kind of a funny name) is very close to DL (5 min. walk) and is very similar in modern aesthetic and price as the Red Lion. I would recommend highly.

  7. Alice

    We’ve stayed at the Red Lion multiple times on our DL vacations, and it’s our favorite. Rates are excellent, and the rooms are fine (we’re not in our room much anyway!). This review says the breakfast is bland, but it works for us. When you have a kiddo who really just wants a bowl of cereal or a few pancakes for breakfast, the Red Lion breakfast is perfect. IHOP is so expensive – easily $40 – $50 when you include tips and beverages for a family. Plus, the Red Lion breakfast is always quick. The walk to the park is a bit far (“2 blocks” feels more like 10 when you’re tired), but we always buy ART passes for our stay. The wait for ART is usually only 10 or 15 minutes. If we’re impatient, then we walk, but if we’re tired, we take ART. There are several convenience stores nearby to stock up on snacks and drinks. Can’t beat the Red Lion!

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