Hello world! If you are new to the blog, which probably all of you are since it is brand spankin’ new, welcome! I hope to entertain, make you hungry, and hopefully find out about a a lot of new places I should try since I’m relatively new to the bay area. So please share them all with me!
Today’s topic is the Veranda Lounge at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, California.
I was very lucky to have been invited to tag along for a family trip and I tried to snap pics of all of the highlights throughout the few days we were at the hotel. We stayed one night at a club-level room which includes access to the Veranda Lounge.
A regular room at the hotel will run you $417 as of the moment I’m typing this up. Rooms with club-level service start at a whopping $694. That is a $277 difference! That might not sound like a good deal. But let’s dissect this a bit.
They just completed a hotel wide renovation which includes a makeover of the lobby, rooms, pool, public areas, and outdoor spaces. The six story lobby in particular stood out to me creating a massive atrium-like feel. The decor is full of wood and stone, reminiscent of a lodge found in the mountains. There’s a huge fireplace in one area and a kids tv area in another, with miniature rocking chairs so the kids have something to do while the adults check into their rooms. A lot of thought has been put into the flow of service. One last amazing feature that can’t be forgotten is the hotel is located inside Disney’s California Adventure Park! That means you can roll out of your bed and sleep walk through a special entrance to the park!
On the surface, the room seems pretty ordinary. I’ve never stayed at a Disney property, nor have I gone on a Disney cruise before. From what I heard and read about, the Disney cruises and other properties are quite immersive in Disney content and I just imagined me eyes bouncing about the room between Mickey’s and Mini’s and everything in between. Instead, the Disney theme is present, but not over the top and the longer you look, the more little touches you start to notice.
With the renovation, each room has been updated with new countertops, artwork, headboards, everything, you name it. The blossoming orange tree mural splitting the room in half with Chip n’ Dale playing around in the branches really stood out to me.
The Veranda Lounge
Let’s dive straight into the reason you are still here, the food! The Veranda Lounge is located on the sixth floor of the hotel (the top floor). Your club-level room keycard will give you access to the lounge. It too has been refreshed with a new look, furniture, and art. Upon entering the room, you are greeted with white walls and a feeling of spaciousness and airiness. The simple and relaxing, yet sophisticated vibe is further enhanced by the wall to wall windows overlooking a tree line, and monorail. Outside resides a balcony perfect for resting your tired feet, sampling some complimentary refreshments, and enjoying the beautiful view. I hear it is a great spot to watch fireworks from Disneyland!
They serve breakfast, afternoon and evening snacks, and dessert at night. There’s also wine, beer, and other non-alcoholic beverages you can grab. We visited the Veranda during all times of the day so we got a pretty good idea of the types of things you can expect on any given day. I won’t go into every single thing we sampled since that would take days, but I will highlight some of our favorites. They are open 6:30am – 10:00pm. The images covers one breakfast, two afternoon, and two evening lounge visits. Here’s the breakdown:
Breakfast : 6:30am – 10:00am
Before we ventured into Disney’s California Adventure, we stopped by the lounge to give us energy for the day ahead. Every other day they have a “build a donut bar” which sounded pretty fun. It wasn’t meant to be though since we went on their off day. But they did have a lot of other goodies.
Some of these items are easy to snatch and snack on in the park like my beloved childhood Frosted Flakes.
The muffins were pretty tasty and also provided substance for a long day at California Adventure.
Afternoon Snacks : 11:30am – 3:30pm
After the first leg of the day was completed rest in the lounge was welcomed.
A variety of sandwiches are offered including ham, brie, and fig and turkey and spinach.
Always a highlight for me is chips, salsa, and fresh guacamole. I always eat more of this combination than I should!
The white chocolate cookies were a favorite sweet bite as well as the chocolate chip scones.
They had so many sweets offered that my body could not try all of them. If only I had extra space…
Evening Snacks : 4:30pm – 7:00pm
The evening served I would say appetizer like food. You could certainly make it your dinner, but I wouldn’t say it was a complete meal.
Carnitas! The carnintas came out nice and moist. Not to be outdone was the charcuterie board with lots of nice sliced meats including a duck option and a favorite of ours that had truffle.
One of the nights they had a potato bar. Yes that’s right, get either mashed or relive your school days with tater tots and pile on the toppings. My cousin Jorgina and I could not be more excited for this one.
Hands down the most exciting and delicious part of our lounge visits had to be Chef Bernice and her slow cooked pork belly. She works in the Storyteller’s Cafe restaurant on the first floor of the hotel. Every once in a while they serve something special up in the Veranda Lounge. We happened to catch them on pork belly night! I think I ate over a pound of pork belly. It was served with a spicy tomato based harissa sauce with chili peppers. So. Damn. Good. If I remember correctly from what my cousins Michael and Jorgina gathered, Chef B. only used salt, pepper, and garlic to season the pork belly. Simple is better sometimes.
Dessert : 8:00pm – 10:00pm
The standout dessert had to be the Espresso Chewy Cookies, made with heaps and heaps of chocolate. I channeled my dad in using a few napkins to snack on these suckers later.
One last cool thing they had was a hot chocolate bar. It poured on us our last day there and it was nice to get a sweet hot beverage to warm us back up.
So was it worth it? Well, since I had essentially 7 different meals and only stayed at the hotel for one night, I would say it was worth it! We had 5 people in our room so that’s $55 extra per person. That’s $7.85 per meal per person. They also had some nice and convenient things you could take during the day like cereal boxes, cookies, and hot chocolate. Not saying we did that a whole lot…but we saw…other…people…do..that… In the end, it was super convenient to be able to walk straight back to the hotel from California Adventure and we definitely took advantage of it. The added Veranda Lounge meant we had a central location to relax and get something to eat and drink. I could get used to that! I’ll definitely consider staying here again, especially if I have kids one day. And that does it for my Disney adventure. Hope you enjoyed it!
Have any of you ever stayed at a theme park hotel? Would you consider staying at The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa?
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
1600 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802