Peachhead™ Approved Vacations: Anaheim, CA – Hotel Menage
I was recently invited to Anaheim by the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau to experience all of the wonderful things Orange County offers to families. I arrived at the Hotel Menage(a Casa Resort in Anaheim), an affordable boutique hotel just down the street from Disneyland with rooms starting at $99.00 and suites starting at $250.00. Right when you walk in you feel as if you are in a chic hotel. They have great music playing, a cool lobby bar, and a very hip business center which I like to call the "Red Room.” The “Red Room” is beautifully decorated. It has computers and printers that guests can use--complimentary--and great music playing in the background. It's a very nice atmosphere to be in when having to do work while on vacation. The guest rooms are nicely decorated with flat screen TVs and free wi-fi in the rooms. As this hotel caters to families, they have cribs and high chairs available. The hotel also has on-site laundry facilities so you can pack lighter. The hotel’s restaurant K’ya Street Fare has one of the most eclectic menus I have ever seen and nothing on the menu is over $10.00. Choose from the Build your Own Burger bar which features 60 accoutrements, or The Deli bar which calls for giant piled-high fresh sandwiches made to order, or from the dinner menu which has a variety of food items from all over the world: Vegetable Stir Fry from China, Chicken Satay from Thailand, Gumbo from New Orleans, Shrimp Ceviche from Mexico, and even Ahi Poke from Hawaii. Yes, something for everyone. They also have Gluten-Free items on the menu. My kids loved their burgers and I loved my smoke salmon plate, which was a very generous portion for only $8.00.
The outdoor tropical pool is open 24 hours and has a great vibe, with cool canopies and round beds, as well as lounge chairs. They have an outdoor thatched roof bar at the Hawaiian Palapa Bar, with a wonderful happy hour that consists of $5 specials. The pool has an amazing view of the Disneyland fireworks and everyone comes out to watch them. The pool area also has a Jacuzzi and a large water fountain. The pool plays great music poolside; however, if your kids are light sleepers and either go to bed early or nap in the afternoon, you may want to ask for a room not facing the pool.
The Hotel Menage thinks of the little extras. They have a room on the first floor that has a microwave as well as vending machines to buy laundry detergent, candy, and even microwave popcorn. This hotel is also a great place to hold business gatherings and/or special occasions as they have very different and unique meeting rooms with different themes. Among the different themes rooms are the Zen room, the New York loft, and the Retro Room with bean bags. The Retro Room is great if you need a place to have kids hang out during a wedding or event.
Whether you are visiting Anaheim for a family adventure, business event, or special gathering, Hotel Menage is a wonderful place to stay.
Anaheim has a new evening attraction called Battle of the Dance, a dinner show combined with dancing and variety acts. Your evening begins in the spacious lobby and reception area where they serve you a variety of appetizers and entertain you with dancing and variety acts while waiting for the main theatre to open. There is also a full bar available to purchase drinks. Next you are led into a large theatre where you enjoy your dinner while watching the show. The show consists of a variety of dances including Latin, Flamenco, Bollywood, and Celtic. The dancing is truly incredible. The way they move their feet so fast and so in synch with everyone else is amazing. There are more than 30 dancers from the US and abroad and while they don’t all speak the same spoken language, they use the universal language of dance to create a mesmerizing show. The costumes are beautiful as well. The evening culminates with a dance-off, which reminded me of West Side Story. In between the dances, there are variety acts. The first act was something I had never seen before and was completely blown away. Sonny Fontana created amazing shadow figures in every shape imaginable, from animals to people (Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna). It was absolutely incredible. The next act was just as amazing. Chipper Lowell, a magician/comedian, had everyone in the audience laughing non-stop. He has a very quick wit and his magic was so entertaining. I would love to see an entire show with him, and I guess I am not the only one. Beginning December 15th (for a limited time), Battle of the Dance will offer a comedy & magic show at their theatre called "BLiNK! – An Evening of Award-Winning Comedy and Magic” Starring Chipper Lowell and featuring award-winning magical artists from around the world. I will definitely be back to see this show.
The following day I was invited to Disneyland to see everything they have in store for the holidays . Disneyland is only .25 miles from Hotel Menage so you can walk there, take a shuttle, drive your car, or take a taxi. We took a taxi back to the hotel and it was only $7.00. Disneyland goes all out decorating for the holidays, such as the Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square. This is a great place to take your annual holiday photo. You can also get great holiday photos at Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle and It's A Small World. The Haunted Mansion Holiday is also decked out for the holidays. During the holidays, there are special shows at Disneyland. Be sure to catch the Christmas Fantasy Parade, the nightly snowfall on Main Street and the amazing "Believe….in Holiday Magic" fireworks show. This is by far the most spectacular fireworks show I have ever seen. For more information on Disneylands Holiday specials, click here
During the day, I love going to the GardenWalk for shopping. They have some great stores as well as a variety of restaurants, and many of them have happy hours. There is also a movie theatre. This weekend I discovered they also have a bowling alley, but not just any bowling alley. It is called 300 Anaheim, and it is by far the hippest bowling alley I have ever been to. They have giant screens across the lanes showing either sports (every man’s dream) or music videos. The lanes are lit up and they offer bumper bowling. They play fun music and they also have an extensive menu, including a large, warm chocolate chip cookie. It was one of our favorite warm cookies. After bowling, we played pool and then air hockey. What a fun day. This bowling alley is a great place to have a party. They even have a separate room with a bar and lanes for private parties and music.
Our last night in Anaheim we visited Medieval Times. This place takes you back to 11th Century Medieval Spain. You are entertained during a two-hour live jousting tournament, with amazing horsemanship, while enjoying a four-course meal. When you first arrive you are given a colored crown which represents the team that you will be cheering for. Before the show begins, you can visit the medieval torture museum where they showcase different instruments used for torture. You can also visit the horses and the gift shop while you wait for the seating. During the wait, there is a pre-show where they celebrate special occasions and make a variety of announcements and “crown” guests celebrating their special occasion. Once the show is ready to begin you are led into the large arena where you are seated at tables by the color of your crown and dinner is served while you are entertained by the show. Food is served on metal dishes and bowls and you eat with your fingers (no utensils). I have to say, I was really surprised at how good the food was. The chicken was flavorful and came right off the bone and the sparerib was just as tasty and tender. The warm apple pie for dessert was yummy. Throughout the show you are cheering for your colored team. It was so much fun to see my daughter get so excited during the fights…she was cheering, covering her eyes, and just beaming at how much fun this was and you should have seen the smile on her face when the knight handed her a flower. Priceless.
Anaheim is a great place to visit for the day or even a weekend--only 45 minutes from Los Angeles, and so many things to see and do. We were limited on our time but there are so many other places to visit while in Orange County. Here is a link to the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, where they list all of the wonderful places to visit in the area: http://anaheimoc.org.
I want to thank the Anaheim/Orange County Visitors Center for hosting my stay and activities and Disneyland for inviting me to their special holiday event.