Wednesday 24 January 2018

Which Is Our Favourite Disneyland Paris Hotel?

One of the questions I'm most often asked about Disneyland Paris is "Which is the best hotel to stay in?"

Now I wish I could give you a definitive one-size-fits-all answer to that question but if I could...then I guess there'd be no point in having so many of them available! The fact is that which hotel is best will depend entirely on what you want from a hotel.

Some of the Disneyland Paris hotels have amenities that others don't such as swimming pools. Some have different themes running through the decor and ambience than others. Some are closer to the park. Some have better breakfast options. Some are cheaper.

It all just depends on what you're looking for in your Disney hotel and how much you want to pay for it.

I would love to be able to give you a personal run down of my thoughts on each one, and I HOPE to be able to do that by this next year as I should hopefully have stayed in each of them by then!

But right now...out of the 6 main Disneyland Paris hotels, I have only stayed in 3 (number 4 next month though!)

But what I can do is give you a run down on our experiences in those, and which my favourite is so far....the answer may just surprise you!

Before I move on to the specifics, I should quickly explain how Disneyland Paris ranks their hotels - instead of the traditional Star ratings assigned to hotels, Disneyland Paris gives them each a Key rating based on criteria such as the distance from the park, the amenities available and some would say - the luxury level of the hotel. So when you see me reference Key ratings below, this is what I'm referring to.

Hotel Santa Fe

Where Is it?: Disneyland say that Santa Fe is a 20 minute walk from the park gates. I would pretty much agree with this.

What's The Theme?: It's a sort of Mexican theme around the hotel I guess. The restaurant is called La Cantina, it serves Mexican food - the rooms have names like Rio Grande, there are lots of cactus type decorative bits and pieces around. Yes, the theme is Mexican. There is also a Disney Cars theme running throughout the hotel and in the bedrooms - they have things like traffic cones lamps etc dotted about which is fun for the kids!

First Impressions: I was surprised when we first arrived here to find that the main hotel building with the reception, restaurant etc was separate from the bedrooms. But I have since discovered that this is the case in around half of the Disneyland Paris hotels. However, I wasn't expecting it so it threw me a little and I found it quite difficult to figure out where our particular building was and how to find our way back to it each night when every building looked exactly the same. Luckily we weren't far from the main building, I don't think I'd like to be any further away.

When we first went into the room, I thought it was very basic but the theming was fun for the kids although not a style I particularly loved myself. It was very orange and the lighting was a bit odd!

I was also not keen on being on the second level, as the lift wasn't working well and we did get stuck in it on one occasion which really freaked our baby son out!

Comfort Level: The room was certainly basic as I said, but the beds were comfortable and it was warm. It provided everything we needed and it was clean. I couldn't really expect anything more!

Anything We Didn't Like?: Other than the location of our particular room, there was nothing that really stood out for us as dislikable.

Would We Stay There Again?: If the price was really tempting and the price of the other hotels was much too high, then yes. But I think it would always be one of my lowest choices.

OUR Rating: Taking the low cost into account, I'd give it a 2.5 out of 5. It's really not bad at all.

Hotel Cheyenne

Where Is it?: Disneyland say that this is a 20 minute walk from the park. I'd say its actually a little shorter, around 10-15 minutes or so. I timed it one day and it took exactly 15 minutes for us to walk at a leisurely pace from our bedroom to inside the Disney park gates, even after queueing  to get inside.

What's The Theme?: The Wild West! And I have to say, the theming is done VERY well here. Again the buildings that contain the bedrooms are separated from the main building, and every one of them is done out in the wild west theme meaning that together they look like a real Wild West Town! Each building block has different names such as Sheriff or County Jail etc, and it's just really effective!

Inside the main building is very well themed too, with the Chuck Wagon Cafe being the restaurant. The bedrooms have names like the Texas rooms, and are decorated in cowboy style with Toy Story theming - including a Cowboy boot lamp, curtains in Woodys shirt fabric, and pictures of Woody & Jessy on the wall along with Woodys face on the lamps too. My sons loved this, and I really enjoyed it too - it was well themed but it wasn't too overwhelming either...the room still looked like a place you'd want to stay, perhaps more so than Santa Fe.

First Impressions: Very positive! The Wild West look of the area was what stands out in my mind, it caught all of our imaginations and the room looked lovely when we walked in. Very impressed!

Comfort Level: The beds were perhaps not the most comfortable in the world, and I do remember the room feeling pretty cold in the evenings but overall the room was big enough for our family of 5, clean and tastefully decorated and we really enjoyed our stay here.

Anything We Didn't Like?: The beds could perhaps be a little more comfortable but its nothing to write home about

Would We Stay There Again?: Absolutely! In fact we have booked to return later this year.

OUR Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sequoia Lodge

Where Is it?: Disneyland say this is a 15 minute walk from the hotel, and I'd say that this is PROBABLY true except that we had a very hard time actually getting out of the hotel! We have a double pushchair that didn't fit into most of the lifts to get us down to the main entrance level, and so we usually found ourselves getting lost trying to get to that main entrance - instead we had to go around the back which added time on to our walk. It took us around 20 minutes or so and a fair bit of inconvenience every day.

What's The Theme?: I guess its a Canadian theme? But in all honesty I'm not too sure. I remember there being a lot of trees, and it all felt quite rustic. That's as much as I can tell you! The rooms did have a slight Bambi theme with some photos on the wall and pictures along the border, but that's about it.

First Impressions: I remember thinking that our room was quite small, and that the hotel all seemed very dark. I saw mention of a childrens area but when I found it, it was simply a tiny area with a drawing table - there was never anybody there when we tried to use it, and nothing for children to do there. I felt over all that this was a pretty boring hotel for children.

Comfort Level: In our first room it was a little cramped, but the beds were comfortable. We were then upgraded to a suite which was huge and really lovely, with incredibly comfortable beds. The suites are obviously the maximum in comfort.

We were also there as Golden Forest Club guests which means we had access to the Golden Forest lounge where complimentary drinks and snacks were available, and we also had a hot breakfast in there each morning - I must say the Golden Forest breakfast was exceptional, and the lounge was also a lovely thing to experience. Well worth the upgrade price.

Anything We Didn't Like?: I really wasn't a fan of the darkness of the decor in the hotel, and I felt it needed much more in the way of "Disney" just didn't feel like we were in Disneyland there! Unlike the Cheyenne and Santa Fe, this hotel does have a pool - but we didn't use it. It's just not something we're interested in when in Disneyland.

Would We Stay There Again?: In a standard room - No. I just didn't enjoy it, and I would rather stay at the Hotel Cheyenne for less money. However, I would consider staying again in as a Golden Forest Club guest - but probably only in a suite and only at a time of year when this was cheap.

OUR Rating: 2 out of 5.

So based on these scores - our favourite of these three hotels has not been the highest Key ranked Sequoia Lodge, but instead the budget option Hotel Cheyenne.

Here are some of the reasons for this:

Distance Doesn't Really Matter To Us 

There are Disney shuttle buses available from each Disney hotel which run regularly throughout the day, but we usually choose not to use these as they can get very crowded and irritating. We prefer to enjoy a leisurely walk through the Disney village instead as there is plenty to see and do there, and it adds to the overall atmosphere and experience for us.

So yes on a very cold day I can see why a closer hotel would be appealing, but I also feel that I WOULD miss the regular walks through the Disney village if we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel - yes we could go there just to walk around, but I enjoy the walks through it each morning in anticipation of the day ahead and each evening on the way home to wind down. I think I would miss that.

We are also young people with no mobility issues, and after all of the junk food we enjoy at the parks - I like the walk! If I didn't I could hop on a shuttle bus, but the walking is enjoyable to me. So for those reasons...the distance of the hotels doesn't matter to me, not when its only a pleasant leisurely 20 minute stroll at most.

We Have No Interest In Hotel-Based Entertainment

Don't get me wrong, if I'm staying somewhere else then yes absolutely - a hotel with a pool or other fun amenities is great! A good restaurant would also be a real selling point.

But in Disneyland Paris? Not so much for me. When we're there, we like to use ALL of our time in the parks - we have absolutely no interest at all in going swimming when we could be at the parks, and we're always too exhausted from our busy days at the park to go swimming in the evenings.
Even on rainy days...we'll be at the park. So a swimming pool doesn't swing anything at all for me.

The same goes for hotel restaurants - we like to eat in the Disney village for our evening meal as we prefer the options there, and we like to eat quick service lunches at the park. We're not breakfast people at all so we always prefer to take some pain au chocolat in our bags from home, and eat them on the stroll to the park each morning. So nope....the quality of the hotel restaurant doesn't matter to us at all either.

I Can't Look Past The Price Differences With The Other Hotels

Even now that we have Annual Infinity Passes which give us 50% off the hotel prices, I have trouble justifying the huge jump in price for the "better" hotels to myself.

The increase in price for our next trip from the lowest ranked Hotel Santa Fe at £180 for 3 nights and Disneyland Hotel for £650 for 3 nights was just too high for me to consider. We settled in the middle at Newport Bay Club for £280 instead - even though £650 is the best price you'll ever get for 3 nights at the Disneyland Hotel for 5 people, I just cannot see how a place to sleep can ever be worth almost £400 more. We WILL try it once just to be able to compare, and perhaps if money was truly no object to us things would be different, but when the price difference could pay for another Disneyland trip later in the year...I know which I'd rather spend it on!

So what about you? Which of the Disneyland Paris hotels have you experienced and which has been your favourite? If you haven't stayed there yet, which takes your fancy most? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. We’ve stayed in Sequioa Lodge twice. The pool swings it for me! It’s a better pool than the ‘better’ hotels, we love the slide! We went at 8am every morning before the parks open. I love Cheyenne - we went there for dinner and the whole hotel reminds me of Back to the Future part 3 so I am so tempted to book there next time but the pool is the decider. I think there should be an option to buy a pool pass for the other hotels.

    1. Ah we just can't get any motivation up for the pools in the Disney hotels! We're too intent on park time haha. If you have the annual passes, you can use the pools at any hotel - I'm not sure if thats limited to particular passes though! x

  2. Just about the theme. It is sensed being in the Yosemite National Park

  3. I loved Cheyenne too, I think it has my favourite theming overall (a good balance of being coherent and fun!) - though I'd love to one day stay in them all for comparison! We are staying in Santa Fe later this year though, for cost reasons! Either way I'm not too fussed as, like you, I'm planning on spending all the time possible in the parks!


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