Spanish Mission-Style Suites by Famed Theme Park
Arching into the inky night sky behind the Anabella Hotel’s illuminated bell tower, the ever-rotating apex and brilliant electric colors of Mickey’s Fun Wheel peer over the tower's sloped shoulders as the wheel continues its leisurely revolutions. As night falls, the sky behind the emblematic ferris wheel erupts with the bright blossom of Disneyland fireworks, another dynamic reminder of the Anabella's across-the-street proximity to the iconic theme-park campus. Below, the hotel’s comfortable cluster of buildings—two-story, mission-style structures that juxtapose the property’s tropical foliage with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs—frame the Anabella's 7-acre complex, harboring park-bound families and business travelers alike.
During the day, Anaheim’s inexhaustible sunlight pierces the Mission Suite’s shuttered windows, blanketing the main room’s contemporary furnishings with light. Out on the shared balcony, the air hums with the chirps of nearby birds, drawn by the tropical trees and flowers within arm’s reach. Each suite’s layout is arranged to accommodate up to four people (this Groupon covers two), with furnishings including a pillow-top king-size bed, a loveseat sofa sleeper, a private bedroom with a day bed, and a mini fridge for stashing emergency juice boxes for cranky dads. Honey-toned granite bathrooms provide ample space for sprucing up, and an on-site coin laundry renews sullied garments (washer and dryer cost $2.25 each).
Though parking lots dot the grounds, as travelers walk the meticulously manicured property, the babbling sounds of a cascading fountain, the vibrant hues of flowerbeds, and the tropical gardens enveloping the central swimming pool and whirlpool absorb the senses. Next to the main pool, the Tangerine Grill & Patio provides poolside food and drink service to sunbathers relaxing in the comfy lounge chairs assembled around the water. Open daily for a breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant serves up California-style cuisine inside its lofty, white-stucco dining room and on a patio embellished with cushioned wicker seating, burnt-orange accents, and retractable cabanas. Not far away, a separate adult "quiet pool" sits concealed between the lobby and street-side fitness room.
Anaheim: Theme Parks and Sunny Surroundings
Dreamlike universes awash in Mickey ears and Goofy lobes, the impeccably maintained parks of Disneyland serve as irresistible portals into the imagination and innovation of Walt Disney. Visitors from all walks of life converge on Disneyland to enjoy nostalgic entertainment in a wholly immersive environment.
Although the perimeter of the Disneyland Resort lies just across West Katella Avenue from the Anabella, the entrance to the Disney campus is roughly a 10- to 15-minute walk from the hotel, whose concierge can also direct guests to a public shuttle to take guests to and from the parks all day ($4/adult and $1/child younger than 10). Complimentary trams shuttle visitors from the Mickey and Friends parking structure ($15/day) to a promenade guiding adventurers directly to the heart of the resort, where megaphones encourage each guest to enjoy the “happiest day of your life.” The nearby Downtown Disney District, a free outdoor promenade, serves as the jumping-off point for the separately ticketed Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. A Disneyland Park admission pass also includes access to the Disneyland Monorail.
Even with Disney’s one-day park-hopper pass ($99–$105), it's impossible to see everything the parks have to offer, but ticket packages allow multi-day, multi-park memory-making opportunities that go beyond simple photo ops in front of the pink- and powder-blue façade of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Complementing the Mickey meetings and classic attractions—such as Space Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure, and It’s a Small World—of Disneyland Park is Disney California Adventure Park, “imagineered” and completed in 2001. Roughly the size of Disneyland Park and every bit as engaging and glamorous, DCA is geared for all ages and sports attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the California Screamin’ rollercoaster, and the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, an entire concourse dedicated to the behind-the-scenes experiences of making Disney movies. Unlike Disneyland and most public libraries, DCA sells beer and wine to patrons of age.
Although Anaheim is undeniably influenced by Disneyland, a roughly 30-minute drive south traversing Beach Boulevard transports travelers to Huntington Beach, a 3.5-mile stretch of pristine shoreline on the Pacific Ocean. Free to the public and awe-inspiring to the eyes, Surf City is a West Coast surf hub close enough for a relaxing day trip and far enough to provide respite from theme-park tourists.
Just off I-5 and 10 minutes by car from the Anabella Hotel, the Discovery Science Center ($17.95 for an adult admission, $12.95 for a child's admission) beckons visitors with its minimalist structure, kid-oriented exhibits, and interactive, educational fun. In nearby Garden Grove, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. plies palates with celebrated microbrews, pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, and other tasty treats from a massive, crowd-pleasing menu.