Today we’re hitting you with an Element Anaheim review. This review features a hotel selection variable we personally never would have considered before…free breakfast. Traditionally walking distance, followed by a balance of luxury and affordability, square footage, amenities and even on occasion the view have all been factors in determining our vacation hotel, but after an extended stay at the Element, we’re adding breakfast to the list. The Element meets every item on our hotel check list AND has hands down the best free hotel breakfast close to Disneyland.
We paid for this room out of pocket and this post contains our personal,
unbiased impressions of the Anaheim Marriott Hotel.
This post contains affiliate links which may provide a small commission to us, at no added cost to you.
Element Anaheim Quick Review
WHAT WE LOVED
- Big, healthy breakfast!
- Within walking distance (Go magic triangle!)
- Large, clean rooms with kitchenette
- Walk in shower
WHAT WE DIDN’T
- Overly soft pillows
- Some ambient noise from the freeway
- Motion sensor lighting in bathroom
- Lots of loud kids
Element Anaheim Review: Best Free Hotel Breakfast Close to Disneyland
The Element Anaheim, by Westin, is a Marriott hotel. If you’ve poked around here much or follow us on Instagram, you know we love our Marriott hotels. From the luxe JW Marriott (our fave for couples) and five-star Anaheim Marriott (great deal when there’s no conventions in town!) to the best hotel near Disneyland for large families. We’ve checked out nearly every Marriott hotel in the area and this one definitely has our stamp of approval.
WHERE IS THE ELEMENT ANAHEIM LOCATED?
The Element Anaheim is located less than a mile east of the Disneyland Resort, just off Disney Way. Like many nearby hotels, the Element is immediately west of the I-5 freeway, which does create a bit of ambient traffic noise.
This hotel is within our “magic triangle.” The magic triangle contains hotels that are all within one-mile of the Disneyland resort and require only one major street crossing (Harbor Blvd.).
Though we’ve stayed in many hotels outside this area, proximity and the ability to walk almost always win out over any other potential variant. Typically when we’ve stayed somewhere else, it’s due to a super screaming deal, like the one we nabbed at the Anaheim Marriott recently.
HOW TO TRAVEL TO DISNEYLAND FROM THE ELEMENT
You’ve got three options for making your way from Element Anaheim to Disneyland.
- Walk. It’s a simple walk down Disney Way to Harbor Blvd. The Disneyland main gate is less than a block north, on Harbor. There one large intersection (Harbor Blvd.) on your walk to the Park. It is about a 15-20 minute walk, depending on how fast you move. We walked to the park and back in under 20 minutes (morning and night) on our last stay.
*Note. While you can walk north down Manchester, we don’t advise that route (particularly with kids). There is a stretch along the road with no sidewalk and with cast parking just down the road, it carries a fair amount of swiftly moving traffic.
- Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART Shuttle). ART is a hop on, hop off, shuttle that connects hotels, restaurants and Disneyland seven days a week. Tickets may be purchased for single or multi-day use, using an app on your phone. The stop is right outside the hotel parking lot.
- Uber. Uber is a great option for those who don’t want to walk, but also don’t want to wait for a shuttle. The trip takes about 5 minutes. Cost is variable, especially with high California gas prices. We’ve seen it as low as $5 and as high as $20. Fair warning, the drop off/pick up area at Disneyland is less than ideal with few areas to take a seat. Since waits for an Uber are pretty long toward the end of the night, we’d almost always prefer to keep moving our feet.
What is the interior of the Element Anaheim like?
The 174-room Element Anaheim debuted in late 2021, so it’s a fresh, brand new hotel. The hotel is well-kept and will likely keep that new-hotel feel for some time to come. With a variety of rooms and styles, this family-friendly hotel is great for larger families or groups.
Element Anaheim Lobby
The lobby at this hotel is bright and cheerful due to the abundant natural lighting and clean, modern lines. There’s plenty of seating where you can sit and relax, as well as a couple of computers available for guest use.
There is a small bar in the lobby that’s set up for coffee, tea, flavored water and
There are lots of natural design elements throughout the hotel, like this art piece located adjacent to the registration desks.
Element Anaheim Beds
The Element Anaheim features an assortment of suites, including a Studio Suite (sleeps 5-6), family-friendly Kids Suites (sleeps 6-8), which offer bunk beds for larger families, and a One-Bedroom Suite (sleeps 5-6). In this Element Anaheim Review, we will share photos from a Kid’s Suite and a Studio Suite.
We’ve had the opportunity to view two of these room types, though we typically stay in the Studio Suite. The Studio Suite is the most popular room type. It includes two queen beds and a sofa sleeper. At almost 400-square-feet the Studio Suite is by far the smallest style room at the Element.
The queen beds at the Element are incredibly comfortable. The sheets and blankets were soft. The pillows? Well, Justin thought the pillows were a bit too soft. Good news. They provide enough pillows on the bed that everyone can double up!
All of the rooms at the Element Anaheim have a sofa sleeper.
Element Anaheim Bathrooms
The bathrooms at the Element are spacious and clean. We really liked the smell of the tiny toiletries offered on site, which contributed to the spa-like aesthetic.
We loved the walk-in shower. The shower pressure was fantastic and the water heated right up.
The bathroom is well lit, which is great in the morning. The bathroom lights are set on a motion sensor, which sounds great, but the proximity to one of the beds was close enough that the lights were triggered a few times during our first night.
Element Anaheim Kitchenettes
Each suite includes a small kitchenette, that’s surprisingly functional and well-equipped, with tableware, silverware and several pots and pans. The kitchenette features a sink, stove top, microwave and small refrigerator.
The garbage and recycling are located under the sink, just like they are at many homes.
There is a closet at the entry, which serves as both clothing storage and a spot for your luggage. The hotel safe is also located in this closet.
Element Anaheim Review: Let’s Talk Breakfast
Booking a room at the Element Anaheim, includes a complimentary breakfast. We don’t know about you, but “free” breakfast usually includes a yogurt, maybe a muffin and a slightly messy self-service waffle bar. Let us assure you the Element’s breakfast goes above and beyond, it’s especially wonderful for those who’re looking to start their day with a more healthy option.
Breakfast service runs from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. so you’ve plenty of time to enjoy a full meal, before running to the parks.
Here are a few of the breakfast highlights:
- Make-your-own parfait yogurt station
- Whole fresh fruit
- Toast and bagel station
- Scrambled eggs or scrambled egg whites, spinach frittata
- Rotating station (waffles, crepes, breakfast burritos, etc.)
More often than not, we run to the parks for breakfast on the go. We’re trying to cut back on the snacks (yeah, it’s a rough life!), including those at the Park. We’ve found the best way to ensure that we’re not as tempted as we might be, is to have a big, healthy breakfast. And, while we might like to start our day out at the Grand Californian’s Storyteller’s Cafe, it’s a bit steep at $60 a person.
The Element Anaheim’s breakfast is easily the BEST free hotel breakfast close to Disneyland.
Element Anaheim Amenities
The Element has a fair number of amenities on property. We really love the outdoor space, which includes a small, but serviceable saline pool and a fantastic seating area with barbecues.
Outdoor Amenities at the Element
We haven’t tried out the pool area (it’s been a bit cold on both our visits), but we understand these pools are much gentler on the skin than a regular chlorine pool.
Justin is a talented grill master and loves to cook in our outdoor kitchen at home, so this is one unique amenity we might take advantage of on an arrival night or even just for a bit of down time. Have you ever utilized something like this while on vacation?
Element Anaheim’s Sundries Market
Inside the hotel, guests will find a small market filled with drinks, snacks and even some food items that could be taken back to the room and cooked up in the microwave. The market is open 24-hours, so it’s perfect for late night arrivals or midnight cravings.
Fitness Center at the Element Anaheim
For those who’re looking to keep up with their fitness routine (not us), there is a 900-square-foot fitness center on the main floor that’s open 24-hours. The fitness center includes both weights and cardiovascular equipment. There’s plenty on-hand so there should be some availability, even when the the hotel is fully booked.
There’s a Bottle Filler at the Element!
We’ve been really trying to use refillable water bottles whenever possible. We’ve tried carrying them into the Parks a few times, but struggle with the limited number of bottle fillers available.
The Element Anaheim actually has a REAL bottle filler right outside the fitness center. This is a great stop to top off BEFORE heading over to Disneyland!
Element Anaheim’s Bikes to Borrow
There’s a bike stationed in the lobby of the Element Anaheim. While most people probably think it’s just a part of the decor, it’s actually a part of the Element’s Bikes to Borrow program. This program offers complimentary “bike rentals” to guests of the hotel. It’s a fun idea, we wish there was a large city park nearby.
Proximity to Anaheim GardenWalk
The Element Anaheim is a five minute walk from the Anaheim GardenWalk, a restaurant and entertainment space. There are a number of well-known restaurant chains and a movie theater.
Parking at the Element Anaheim
The hotel has a fair amount of surface parking, as well a single-level underground parking garage. Parking is over $20 per a day, which is pretty standard for many hotels near Disneyland Resort. Guests who book through our travel partner link, will enjoy a discount on parking.
Would We Stay at the Element Anaheim Again?
If you couldn’t already tell based on this Element Anaheim Review, we love this hotel. Not only is it a lovely hotel, it really does have the best free hotel breakfast close to Disneyland. It’s the breakfast that pushes this hotel pretty close to the top, when selecting a place to stay for our family. In fact, we’re booking our next stay there!
How to Get the Best Deal on a Room at the Element Anaheim + the Best Free Hotel Breakfast Close to Disneyland
As out-of-state Disneyland annual passholders, we’ve stayed in more than our fair share of Anaheim-area hotels. We’ve gotta tell you that one of the best deals we’ve scored was our stay at the Element Anaheim.
We get asked all of the time how we can possibly afford to hold an annual pass, travel from Utah every six weeks and stay in nicer hotels, like the Element. Well, it’s not exactly a secret. We plan ahead, look for deals and book hotel stays through our travel partner Get Away Today.