The Pursuitist review of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was originally published on April 12, 2018. We revisited the Grand Californian property in February of 2020, and we continue to strongly recommend this hotel. Please contact Disney and verify current opening details and rates.
Travelers staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the AAA Four Diamond Hotel, can discover reimagined guest rooms, lobby, pools and more. Just in time for Pixar Fest and Pixar Pier, this is the ideal time to visit Disneyland Resort and stay at the remarkable (and magical) Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort has emerged from an exciting, hotel-wide refurbishment. Featuring completely redesigned guest rooms plus a refreshed lobby, pool area and concierge-level lounge, Grand Californian is better than ever. The most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening elevates the premium guest experience and brings a contemporary approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.
“Our renovation brings an even more upscale experience to this iconic Southern California hotel, while staying committed to its signature Arts & Crafts design,” said Dan Coleman, General Manager of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. “We want our guests to enjoy the unique experience of 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.”
The unbelievable Grand Californian Hotel will have you in awe during your entire Disney vacation. It has the fabulous Mandara Spa, specialty restaurants like Napa Rose and Storytellers Café, and numerous many other amenities. Additionally, the Grand Californian offers an exclusive theme park entrance to Disney’s California Adventure Park, providing easy access to Cars Land and the World of Color show at Paradise Pier.
Make sure to upgrade to The Veranda, the concierge floor, at the Grand Californian. Within the concierge lounge, continental breakfast is available in the morning, tea sandwiches, scones and fruit are available in the afternoon, with appetizers, beer and wine in the early evening. Desserts, cookies, and other sweets are available in the evening. Beverages and fruit are available all day. Disneyland’s fireworks are visible from the patio outside the Concierge Lounge.
Designed by Peter Dominick, who also designed Walt Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge, the stunning Disney’s Grand Californian also incorporates elements of the great National Park Lodges into the design – the Great Hall especially is reminiscent of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.
Named a AAA Four Diamond hotel by the Automobile Club of Southern California for the sixteenth year in a row, the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the first Disney resort hotel in the world to be located inside a theme park.
If you’re looking for things to do in California or already planning a vacation to Disneyland, the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is our recommended destination to capture the magic in a luxurious environment.
New Guest Rooms
Every single element in the redesigned guest rooms is new—from flooring and walls, to furnishings and bathrooms. Upon entry, you will notice beautiful hardwood-inspired flooring transitioning into soft, bright-toned carpeting. Linens and pillows are restyled in a bright, white palette and upgraded bathrooms include new fixtures. The room decor features all-new furniture made of quarter-sawn oak, specially designed for each room, as well as California-inspired artwork.
Lastly, all rooms are powered with the latest technological features and premium amenities, including 55-inch smart TVs, Keurig coffee makers and built-in USB chargers. Many rooms also offer breathtaking views of Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney District.
Great Hall Lobby
The already stunning six-story Great Hall lobby has been upgraded with new, stylish furnishings and design elements. To complement the existing Arts and Crafts motif, new contemporary designs can be found throughout the furniture pieces, upholstery, woodwork and carpeting.
The concierge-level lounge has a new name—The Veranda—and a new design that draws inspiration from the architectural and furniture designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a visionary of the Arts & Crafts movement in Glasgow, United Kingdom. New hardwood flooring, custom-designed rugs, finely-crafted artisanal furniture and specially-commissioned art adds to the sophisticated tone of the lounge. Club-level guests may enjoy complimentary refreshments, as well as views of park fireworks in this exclusive setting.
Napa Rose, located at the hotel, is Disneyland Resort’s flagship restaurant and one of the best restaurants in California. Napa Rose offers exceptional ambiance to compliment the amazing culinary experience. Fine wine and fine food, beautifully balanced by the California-inspired Arts & Crafts cozy environment. Headed by executive chef Andrew Sutton, the restaurant offers a frequently-changing menu of seasonally-inspired dishes; its award-winning food is matched by an impressive wine list focused on, though not exclusive to, California vineyards.
Each of the three pools have been redesigned with a variety of natural stones and brick to not only create a warm and welcoming environment, but also define the distinct pool settings. In keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the hotel, the stone work was hand-laid by master stone masons.
Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa is located inside Disney California Adventure Park, providing guests with a special entrance to the theme park. Guests staying at the hotel also enjoy Extra Magic Hour, which provides early entry to select Disneyland or Disney California Adventure attractions.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.”