I know some people will tell you that your hotel doesn’t matter. That’s just not my experience, especially when traveling with kids. The right room layout can make all the difference when it comes to looking for a place to tuck away a crib. If your little ones are still taking naps then having a few extra amenities are nice. And because bedtime is a little earlier for kiddos than mom and dad, a nice hotel bar to escape to and have a drink is more than an added bonus.
The location was great–less than a mile from Disneyland with shuttles running to and from the hotel all-day every 15 minutes or so. You can ride all day as much as you want. Tickets are $4 for adults, $1 for kids, and free for kids 2 and under.
But before taking that first shuttle ride over we were looking to settle in a bit. The lobby is very nice. Straight through the entrance to the hotel is a bar and a sitting area. To the right a restaurant. Go left and you’re at reception.
As soon as we walked through the doors I thought it was the kind of place I was going to like. In a former life I traveled for business all the time and I loathed the cookie cutter hotels–the type I could sit and have no idea whether I was in Akron or Santa Fe. Hotel Menage had character and it had a chic, trendy style.
I’m not a big TV guy–we don’t have cable and my wife and I are too busy blogging to watch any movies–but the first thing I noticed when we walked in the room was the great big High Definition TV. There were nice appointments. High quality sheets. And, for a hotel, even the artwork wasn’t bad.
I’d say this is an older-style hotel with great updates short of a major facelift. Guest rooms are accessed through walkways along the parking lot on the exterior or the pool on the interior. The design of the room itself was old-school. As you entered into our room there were 2 beds to the right with two night stands. A TV hanging on the wall in front of them. Direct ahead a well-sized sink. Walk through the room to the sink and to the left you have your closet and to the right your toilet and shower.
The towels were sort of small and kind of scratchy. While there was a modern touch to the room, I noticed the telephone–not that I ever used it–looked like it had been there since the opening of the hotel. (The first thing I always do with a hotel phone is unplug the phone line so my kids don’t make calls and the front desk doesn’t call to wake up one of our kids during nap time.)
So there was a mixture of new-school and old-school but the bottom line is that it was clean and it was comfortable and that everyone slept well. To the degree we had to be in the room during nap-time or after the kids were asleep in was pleasant. And that’s more than we can say for some hotels we’ve stayed in.
We had two beds in our room. Our three-year-old was excited to have a big bed all to himself. We put the crib for our 18-month-old in the closet area. It fit perfectly. With some double-doors and a nightlight the hotel could really cater to families with babies by saying they have “baby rooms.”
For our kids the highlight of the hotel was the pool. There are other hotels in the area adjacent to Disneyland with mega-pools that feature water slides and other features. I can’t say there were any water slides, but the pool area itself is a sort of oasis. Lots of lounge chairs, a waterfall, palm trees. During the day they play music to drown out the noise from the city. Our kids had a blast going from the pool to the hot tub. It’s a very family friendly atmosphere. Being less than a mile from Disneyland, just about all the guests are there to visit the park so there’s a very kid-friendly atmosphere. I’ve taken my kids into hot tubs in the past in less kid-friendly atmospheres where I feel sort of bad because I’m afraid I’m interrupting someone’s time to relax. It’s not that way here.
The food in the hotel’s restaurant, K’ya Street Fare, was great and provided a lot of options. We ate there upon arrival for lunch and had basic but interesting sandwiches. There’s a great dinner menu which is very interestingly organized. The sections of the menu are broken up by location: San Francisco, Honolulu, Tokyo, Bangkok, etc. The prices are all very reasonable. I had a poke dish while sitting at the bar one night. Generous portion and just $10.
The best deal at the restaurant is breakfast. Kids eat free and the potions on both the kid and adult meals are very generous. This is really nice as it’s great to start out a full day at Disneyland with a great breakfast. The portions were so generous that our second morning there my wife and I split our order and the kids split theirs.
It was great to have a place so close to Disneyland. It made our times between the hotel and the park almost seamless. There are SO MANY hotels within such a close proximity to Disneyland. Even though we avoided a big chain hotel I can’t say we felt a personal touch. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast of Disneyland hotels.
Our biggest complaint was the wireless internet. We are family travel bloggers. I work as a consultant to merchants and to non-profit organizations. While to outsiders it may look like I am never working, in reality I am ALWAYS working. So having spotty internet service is a BIG problem. The wireless internet was free. But it was virtually non-existent.
At the price-point, with the location and amenities considered, this is a GREAT Disneyland hotel option. It gave us a lot. A comfortable room. Quick access to Disneyland. Good food. A great pool.
As a dad, I love escaping late at night to the hotel bar. But I’m also very sensitive to aesthetic space so the wrong kind of space can put me in a funk. I loved the bar at Hotel Menage. In our two nights there the barkeep took car of me and I was content in the space. When your whole family is cooped up in a couple hundred square foot hotel room, adding space like this to your life can make a big difference.
Would I stay at Hotel Menage again? Yep.
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