Reviews of the Howard Johnson Plaza hotel please
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I am looking into staying at the Howard Johnson on our next trip. The pool/water slide stuff looks very fun for DD. Just looking for some reviews. I tried to search the boards for previous ones but I guess I don't know how to put in the right criteria. Let me know what you think. I can get a good rate. I keep trying the AP rates and specials for the Disney hotels but it is almost double per night so I can't justify it right now.
I think I am going to book with them. Any info on which building is better? Some are listed as 'freeway side' or something like that and I'm assuming that is to be avoided ;-)
Yes, they have the side that is on the freeway and then rooms towards the Disney side. I don't know if they consider those "premium" rooms or not. I'm hoping it won't be busy in October and we'll be able to get one of those rooms.
Good luck and if you're going before October, please let me know how you liked it.
I stayed there about 18 months ago and can only give it a mixed review. It was a great value for the money but I wasn't not overly impressed with their service.
I will say the security measures while in some ways reassuring in others were more concerning. For example, (since I am an eastcoaster) I arrived late at night. I would say it almost midnight their time. At that point the lobby, which is it's own building, is locked for security. You have to stand outside and register via a little window. My room was very spacious (and I had a space mountain view!!) but as someone that works when I travel, poorly designed. There were no power outlets near the internet outlets. The internet service was horrible. Three service techs to the room over 2 days before they were able to make it work! They do have free computers in the lobby though.
I was also disturbed by the lack of management on site. While it is a short walk to DL, I had a problem with my foot and decided to take the bus one morning. You need to prebuy your bus pass if you want a round trip, the drive only sells one way. The front desk does not have access tickets at any time there is no manager, so I was going to miss parking opening! Also, when the fire alarm went off at 3am and fire trucks actually came, it was poorly handled and not even a "we are sorry for the inconvenience letter under the door. There were also many building maintenance issues while I was there (ie elevators down and people stuck in them).
While it was cleaning and I am on the fence if I would stay again for the big savings, I have decided for "on site" next time. I do think if you go in with lower expectations you would be happier. I had been reading great reviews and so was very disappointed.
We stayed there in July 2007 and really enjoyed our stay there. The room was very spacious. Myself and 3 boys. They gave us a cot for one of the kids and we had a Twin airmatress for the other. ( none of them will share a bed anymore) I had booked us a MK view and we were originally put on the Highway side, but I corrected them right away and we were then assigned on the 4 or 5th floor,corner room. View ofMK and CA. Our last morning we watched from our balcony something being airdropped into the MK. So later my youngest Nephew and I searched for it when we got there. We could kid of tell by location that it was dropped near Frontierland. We found it on the Tom Sawyer Island , which is a Pirate island now. It was behind a fenced area. The location and the hotel were very nice, we never really used the pool or anything. Everyone was always too tired from long days in the Parks. Oh and you don't want the highway side, its traffic all day and night. But the Harbour Blvd side was not really very noisy at all.
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We just got back and I really really like this hotel! I got the AP rate which made it cheaper than the BW Park Place where I have stayed several times. It is quite a bit nicer I think than the other more 'motor-coach' type ones down the street. The extra bit of walking is worth it for getting a nice pool and landscape throughout the hotel area. It is also more of a hotel, we were in Bldg 2, with actual hallways. I like having a sliding door/window that opens to the garden instead of to a walkway. The rooms were very clean and very comfortable and didn't smell like industrial cleaners. This is my new hotel of choice (when not at a Disney one of course.) The pool area and the Castaway Cove water 'park' area are a huge upgrade to what the BW Park Place and Anaheim Inn have to offer. The front desk staff was also very friendly and we were able to check in early. Plus they offer AP specials throughout the year. I'm sold!
Bldg 1 is the one closest to the freeway but if you are on the 'garden' side, it faces the hotel. It is a multi-story hotel type building (maybe 6 stories or so)
Bldg 2 is a four story bldg that is at the corner of the property. All the rooms face the garden area. We were in this Bldg in a room with two queen beds which were very comfortable. The room also had a microwave, mini fridge and Kruege (?) coffee maker (cartridge type.) We didn't hear the freeway really at all.
Bldgs 3-5 are the 'pavilion' rooms. I think they look super cool-- like 50s Howard Johnson style. The upstairs ones definitely looked better with domed ceilings and clerestory glass. I asked about these and was told they are only two double bed rooms. The front desk lady also said if you want those in particular, call the hotel directly rather than the national number.
The grounds and rooms seemed very well kept.
I stayed at HoJo Anaheim in April. I had deluxe 2 Queen bed room in Bldg 2. The room was very clean and comfortable. Balcony faced pool and you could see some of the fireworks from it. Could not hear freeway at all. The internet line is between the beds on the nightstand - so not well placed if you are trying to work. THere are two computers in the lobby for use - I printed out my boarding passes there- but there are no rules for use and you may have to wait a while -through several teens checking their Facebook pages. The lobby also has wifi. I paid the entertainment book rate of $69 a night for this room and you cannot beat it for that price. I stay here if this rate (also an annual pass rate) is available for my dates. If that rate is not available, then I prefer the Candy Cane Inn. It does not have the Pirate themed water play area for kids, but it does have a pool and a "hot" spa and lovely grounds. No chance of freeway noise as you are on opposite side of Harbor Bld toward Katella. CCI has a free breakfast and its own designated shuttle to and from the park. It is about the same distance from the entrance as HoJo's and you do not have to cross Harbor Blvd. I found the walk far more pleasant than the one to HoJo's as it is shaded and not so close to traffic. I find the Staff at CCI to be wonderful- the staff at Hojo's to be pleasant and efficient.