Staycation, all I ever wanted
Mark and I popped in at the Grand Californian Hotel last Thursday for a quick little one-night respite from adult responsibilities. This was the first time we’d been back since our annual NYE staycation, meaning we were obviously long overdue.
The Grand recently finished up a hotel-wide renovation, and their new digs are mighty snazzy. They did a great job making the hotel feel more modern (platform beds, luxe built-ins) but without erasing the woodsy charm (Chip & Dale, forest-y feels).
We love, love, love what they’ve done to the place — and I’d say that’s quite the feat amongst a community of Disneygoers who tend to hate change.
Pro tip: if you feel like splurging on your next Disney staycation, go for the “Premium Theme Park View.” Chances are you’ll get view of Grizzly Rapids and Guardians: Breakout, like we did on this trip, or even Mickey’s Funwheel and the World of Color area, like we did during our NYE stay.
Mark usually does this last name swap-er-oo to troll me, so it’s crazy to think it’ll be the real deal in about 10 months!
Also, how adorable is this new orange tree mural? Can you spot Chip & Dale?!
Outside the room renovations, they also spruced up the Veranda — the club level lounge formerly known as the Craftsman Club. (To get an idea of what it looked like before, you can check out my last Grand Californian review.)
If you pay for a room that is “club level” this is what you get: all-day access to the Veranda for self-serve food and drink. They have breakfast items in the morning, light snacks during the afternoon, and then dinner items from about 4:30pm on. Plus the cutest little desserts you ever did see! And wine. And an awesome espresso machine.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re major fans. The old Crafstman Club didn’t feel outdated, but now that we’ve see what’s been done with the place it’s hard not to be awed by the upgrade.
Before the remodel, the balcony connected to the Veranda felt a bit like an afterthought. Now it’s fully embracing the inside-outside vibes with retractable windows and seating that faces outward. At night, you can watch the Disneyland fireworks from the balcony, so it’s awesome that they’ve made the whole area more welcoming.
The El Capitan Suite
Last but not least on this grand circle renovation tour, we have the preeminent El Capitan Suite! Mark and I had the crazy luck of staying here for one night back in December, and it was pretty unreal.
First off, it’s HUGE. We’re talking the size of a modest LA home. Inside of a hotel. Totally bonkers.
Fixings include: a massive living room with a stone fireplace, kitchen with a custom Sub Zero fridge, dining room, office, balcony, master bedroom, master bath with a huge shower and tub (and a Japanese style toilet!!), plus an adjoining room with two queen beds.
And mirrors everywhere. Perfect for Porg.
Can we stop a moment and admire this private balcony? Sigh.
The master bedroom is all craftsman charm and rustic appeal. It’s paired with an insane bathroom that’s honestly bigger than the entire standard room at the Grand. It also has its own entrance from the hallway, so you can enter and leave without having to go through the rest of the suite.
I mean, even the closet is ridiculous.
And this spa bathroom! So many heart eyes for everything.
You better believe I took advantage of this tub situation. They provided L’Occitane toiletries (which are most definitely not the norm in Disney hotels) and it was heaven.
Clearly a *pinch me* moment.
Anyway. Enough swooning. Words can’t really convey how much love I have for this hotel. It may seem silly to wax poetic about overnight accommodations, but lemme tell you: I’ve racked up so many remarkable memories within the walls of the Grand. NYE celebrations with family, staycations with the dude, our engagement.
There are just so many happy moments in this place. But then… that’s the whole power of Disney, right?