Disneyâ€™s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., offers service with some style. For example: A security guard who checks IDâ€™s, then calls the desk to alert them to new arrivals. I was met by a bellman as soon as I walked in the giant stained-glass doors. He got me registered, then whisked me away to my room, but not before I fell in love with the floors of this magnificent Craftsman-style hotel. The pattern in the rug in the center of the huge open space, which is cozily scattered with couches for lounging in front of a great stone hearth, continues in the stone floors, which then are surrounded by gorgeous inlaid wood panels. The attention to detail in the floor, as in everything else in this 750-room resort hotel, is amazing.
Designed to bring alive the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, everything from the curio cabinets in the lobby to the suites inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright are dead on in every detail. The Chip and Dale-costumed actors in the StoryTellers CafĂ© give away the fact that youâ€™re at a Disney resort, but thereâ€™s nothing remotely Mickey Mouse about the place, other than a few discrete mouse-shaped cutouts on the lighting at the Hearthstone Lounge. And even though the resort is located inside Disneyâ€™s California Adventure theme park and provides direct access to it, the feel inside is distinctly more regal than roller coaster.
The Grand Californian, which does not allow smoking anywhere inside the hotel, also has 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 1,300-square-foot executive boardroom, the 12,000-square-foot Sequoia Ballroom, and seven breakout rooms with patio. Guestrooms also are prepared for business, with computer and fax-accessible data ports. Another major plus in my book: all guest rooms have triple-sheeted beds. After hitting the theme parks, guests can loll by the hotelâ€™s three pools, or hang out in the Eureka Springs Health Club, which includes two spas. I also was fortunate to dine one evening at the hotelâ€™s Napa Rose restaurant, which features the freshest seasonal ingredients in its California wine country cuisine, and about 50 wines by the glass (more than 300 vintages by the bottle). The restaurant even grows its own herbs in a nearby garden.