The Grand Californian is a AAA four-diamond hotel, but the hotel's not had a major renovation since its 2001 opening. In hotel years, that's eternity. While the Grand Californian's Arts and Crafts look should feel classic, it never should feel tired. Yet, having spent some time in its rooms last summer, that's how they felt. Tired. The beds just aren't as comfortable, nor the bathrooms as effortlessly functional, as competing hotels at this price point offer.
Of course, location is valuable, too, and the Grand Californian's position on the edge of the Disney California Adventure theme park would allow Disney to continue charging a premium for this hotel indefinitely. But without a refurbishment that brings the hotel up to today's four-star comfort standards, Disney would be making a brand equity withdrawal with each high-priced reservation it booked. Disney's smarter than that. So it's time to renovate.
New furniture and bedding brings a modern feel while respecting the hotel's classic Arts and Crafts inspiration. New fixtures in the bathrooms should help make them more functional and comfortable, as well. Everything's getting replaced.
While the focus is on the guest rooms, Disney also will be upgrading its Craftsman Club concierge lounge and bringing new furniture into the iconic lobby. The first renovated rooms will accept guests this spring with renovations scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
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