Anaheim, California, like the rest of Southern California presents many sites to see, attractions to visit and things to do. With so many options presented, making a decision can be tough. For example, my family was faced with the question of whether we spend more time at Disneyland or take a day to see California Adventure. Difficult choices! When trying to plan out the perfect vacation choosing the right hotel is probably the most crucial decision and could make or break the trip. We knew that the Anaheim Marriott was one of the most popular and highly regarded hotels in the area, and were excited to stay there and decide for ourselves whether it was up to snuff. Below is a detailed review on many different facets of the hotel, I hope you find them helpful. A quick note: The Anaheim Marriott paid for our room and the meals that we tried at nFuse Bar and Restaurant, but no compensation was exchanged for this review, and all viewpoints and expressions are that of Posh Journal.
Anaheim Marriott Location:
The hotel is tucked between Disneyland which is a just a few blocks away and the Anaheim Convention Center which is right next to the hotel. Most people visiting Anaheim have their sights set on Disneyland, and finding a hotel that’s walking distance or with shuttle service makes logistics exponentially easier. Foregoing all of the driving, the parking, the extra corralling and headaches, and instead just walking or letting someone else drive you is very enticing and a big draw for the Anaheim Marriott. It could relieve a lot of stress from your trip, both in the morning to beat the rush and again at night. For those visiting the Anaheim Convention Center (for BlizzCon, Disney’s D23, VidCon or one of the many other big conferences), the Anaheim Marriott is a stone’s throw away. If you’re up for a stroll there are a variety of restaurants at all price ranges very close by. Knott’s Berry Farm is another legendary amusement park that you can get to in a jiffy.
Anaheim Marriott – Hotel Lobby
Normally I would bring up a hotel’s lobby much later in the review, but this one warrants an earlier mention. Upon arriving at the hotel we entered the sweeping, upscale lobby which made a great first impression on us and put us in the right vacation mood from the start. I loved the high ceilings, artsy wall fixtures and lighting, but also how many different hang-out spots there were with couches, chairs and tables. It was itself a destination, not just an area to pass through. During our stay I found it to be a nice getaway for me to do work (especially after grabbing a Starbucks from inside the hotel… I’ll touch on that more later). The lobby had a definite energy with people always hanging out or passing through on their way to the bar, pool, restaurants or gym, and it made the hotel feel very alive with some Grand Central Station excitement and appeal.
Anaheim Marriott – Room
Our room was spacious and like the lobby had a very modern feel to it, from the wall art to the lamps and the flat-screen TV. The desk area was very nice and had a great lumbar chair. The bed, comforter and pillows were extremely clean and some of the most comfortable that I’ve slept on in my travels. They were similar to hotels in the $500/night price range. After a long day at Disneyland or a convention I would hate to sleep on a sub-par bed and I wouldn’t anticipate to see too many people having an issue with these.
A few other plusses about the room: it had a decent amount of TV channels (including HBO), plush bathrobes, and a coffee machine with complimentary coffee.
It had a large balcony with chairs, and a view of the mountains, Angels Stadium and a few other landmarks. I appreciated that there was a deadbolt very high up so we wouldn’t have to worry about the kids getting out there. Very smart and kudos to Marriott for doing those small things that make a huge difference.
One opportunity for improvement is the bathroom. It did have quality soaps and lotions and a bathtub that the kids liked, but the décor and color of the bathroom was lacking and it did not have the flash or beauty of the room or the rest of the hotel.
Anaheim Marriott – Pool
The pool at the Anaheim Marriott is fabulous. It is a large L-shape and half of it is under a giant wooden canopy where folks can swim or relax without taking in any sun, while the other half is in the open under the sun. This proved great for us, as we both like the sun but in limited quantities (my husband has never had a tan in his life, he goes from white to red). There was ample space around the pool with plenty of beach chairs and recliners. Nice jacuzzi hot tub, too. My favorite part of the pool is that it had a massive shallow water area where our two toddlers (ages 2 and 4) could walk around and touch the bottom without issue. It made our pool time that much more relaxing and they had more fun, too. We went for a night swim and thought the blue lighting made the whole area enchanting and gave a kind of Gatsby or Disneyesque feel that was memorable.
Anaheim Marriott – nFuse Restaurant
Hotel restaurants are always interesting to check out. From our experience too many have average food, décor and service yet manage to get a lot of business based simply on convenience. nFuse was on the other end of the spectrum and is a place we would actually visit even if we weren’t staying at the hotel.
Here’s a breakdown:
nFuse has three different areas to eat: a comfortable (yet chic) lounge area, a swanky formal restaurant area, and an outdoor fireside/poolside area. I have been to other restaurants that offer this too, but none that have the same full menu offered in each place. You could go to nFuse a few days/nights in a row and experience each different area, yet not have the area dictate what you can eat.
The art, flowers and lighting give a contemporary feel, yet the restaurant is very spacious and comfortable. This is something my husband loved, as we felt like we could enjoy a fancier dining atmosphere but weren’t cramped (like most fancy restuarants, where you don’t always feel comfortable brining small children).
The food offered for lunch and dinner was amazing. The food consisted of local, fresh ingredients and fusion elements too with chefs that took great risks and clever combinations. The kids wolfed down lobster mac and cheese and carne asada nachos (some of the best I have ever tried). We went for the ahi tower (yellow fin tuna, avocado, mango, wasabi aioli, citrus ponzu, wonton crisps) which was so fresh and zesty. We also ate the rack of lamb (with Dijon and zinfandel reduction) that had amazing gamey elements and a buttery and smokey taste that left me wanting more. I asked to speak with someone from the kitchen and the restaurant manager happily came out and spoke of their food with such pride and excitement. He said “Comfort California” is the best way to describe their unique menu.
The breakfast buffet was very good with many hotplate options, omelette stations, and more. Here are a some pics, we shamelessly overindulged:
Service at nFuse dinner was phenomenal. Our waiter was attentive and funny. Service at nFuse breakfast was ok. Our waiter was friendly but he was taking on a lot of tables and a stretched a bit thin, so coffee refills and getting our check took an extra few minutes.
The nFuse bar had a ton of beers, some great brews local to California. They also had an impressive selection of whiskey as displayed on their whiskey wall. I liked that the bar was pretty happening with a good crowd, yet I had no trouble finding a place to sit down. There was a section with a big screen TV for sports fans, but it didn’t take over to make it a sports bar. The nFuse lounge next to the bar also gets some very good live music talent such as Katie Stump and Jesse Macht.
Anaheim Marriott – Elevator
Why am I mentioning the elevator in our review? Because it was possibly my kids’ favorite part of the hotel. It was the first button-less elevator I have ever been in. From the lobby just type in your floor number and it will direct you to whichever elevator will get you to your floor fastest. Hop in and get to your floor lightning quick. I have only mentioned hotel elevators when they’re bad and take forever; this is the only one we’ve ever talked about after our stay. It’s just one more thing that brings convenience and fun to your trip, and shows how this hotel wants to set itself apart. Here’s a quick video:
Anaheim Marriott – Gym
The gym is a gem. Clean, modern, big, it’s what I’m hoping to find when going for a workout. The cardio machines are plentiful and partitioned off in a room adjacent to the main gym area. Free weights, high-end machines and more cardio equipment are in other room with good sized TVs and wall-sized of mirrors. The gym is open and airy. There are complimentary headphones, towels and fresh fruit.
Anaheim Marriott – Concierge Lounge
Fried shrimp with a delicious mango sauce was what was served in the lounge the night we stopped by, along with cheeses, fruits, nuts, drinks and more. The lounge was well staffed and they were rotating the food much faster than similar lounges I’ve been to, so food was always hot. The lounge had a comfortable feel to it with internet access on a couple of computers and a TV area. There was a nicely stocked cash bar.
Anaheim Marriott – Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Hertz, FedEx Office
Having Starbucks right in the hotel is clutch. I need my morning fix and as if the hotel’s lobby right next door wasn’t an enjoyable enough place to sip on my drink the Starbucks itself is one of the nicest I’ve visited, fireplace and all. Pizza Hut onsite is a big plus too, especially when in a rush or after an exhausting day.
We didn’t use the Hertz rental car or FedEx Office so I can’t speak to them too much, but having both right in the hotel is impressive.
Anaheim Marriott – Service
I think the below picture is pretty indicative of the service you can expect at Anaheim Marriott.
The hotel was well staffed with genuinely friendly people. Check-in, check-out, concierge and housekeeping were all kind. Marriotts have a solid reputation in this area but I think the Anaheim Marriott goes above and beyond a bit, especially in how they treated my kids. It wouldn’t surprise me if they have extra training / standards for interaction with youngsters since the hotel caters to so many families.
The banquet halls were huge and had character from the colorful carpets up to the lighting on the ceiling. There were luxurious bathrooms in this area (fit for a bride).
Parking is in a connected lot for a fee. This isn’t ideal of course but very common in California.
WiFi is available in the lobby, and in the rooms for a fee.
There is also a very large giftshop.
Overall Summary: A very memorable hotel. Even down to the elevators the Anaheim Marriott tries hard to make your stay in the hotel an experience in and of itself; a place you’ll remember and want to come back to rather than just a convenient place to stay. I advise you to stay an extra day and soak up the pool, and to try at least a couple of meals at nFuse (you’ll be hooked). The hotel has charm and elegance that will work for a couple on a getaway, lots of amenities that work great for business travelers and convention-goers, and as in our case is on the money for families with kids. I highly recommend staying at this hotel.
700 West Convention Way Anaheim California 92802 USA