By Maria Ottomanelli and Alexandra Kang
Walking into one of the newest, most modern resorts in Anaheim, The Westin Anaheim Resort, we immediately felt the splendor of the Mediterranean architecture designed by Michael Hong and experienced the aroma of the white tea signature scent. Everything about the hotel felt quite natural, with wood accents, open space, serene lighting, beautiful artwork and floral arrangements. The Westin brand mission is to be a leader in hospitality and well being by creating a place with the following six objectives.
- Sleep well -sleeping well is quite easy on the Heavenly Bed manufactured by Simmons exclusively for Westin Hotels. It’s so popular that guests have ordered a bed for their home after their stay.
- Eat well
- healthy, fresh and delicious at the Tangerine Room located within the hotel.
- Move well-The resort has an amazing gym with the Peloton bikes, yoga classes and a heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi.
- Feel Well-The rooms are very conducive to really experiencing a relaxing getaway with the exceptional service provided, the modern technology (soft touch lighting, music), comfortable furniture and tub or rain shower (depending on which room you book).
- Play Well-The proximity is very close to one of the best amusement parks in California – Disneyland, where you can play all day.
- Work Well- Work space is not the traditional table facing the wall. There is a round table in the room facing the center of the room to make the work space feel comfortable and confident.
The first night we arrived we were invited to the RISE Rooftop lounge for refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic artisanal drinks infused with natural ingredients. The Westin program, Crafted, focuses on using fresh and natural, local ingredients.
Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar
After networking and drinks we headed over to Puesto, a family owned and operated Mexican restaurant, located on the grounds of the Westin Anaheim Resort. We ordered the guacamole and chips, passionfruit and mango shrimp, filet mignon taco and a side of beans. Everything was made with fresh, local ingredients, the portions were just right and the food was delicious.Now after a full belly we headed to get some zzzz’s on the heavenly bed.
After a wonderful night’s sleep we headed to the Westin Club Lounge for a quick breakfast which included a nice selection of fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, baked goods and amazing coffee. Now we were fueled and ready to experience a day at Disneyland.
So Cal Private Tours
Very excited to be going to Disneyland for first time and experiencing a VIP Tour was amazing because we were able to see and learn so much in one day with our knowledgeable tour guide. I highly recommend it if you’re not a planner because they schedule everything and tell you the best rides so you don’t waste time.
The first stop on our VIP tour of Disneyland was the Indiana Jones Adventure which was in our TOP 3 of favorite rides at Disneyland. As you enter the ancient cursed temple make sure to avoid the booby traps found along the way, such as the serpents, spikes, and cursed diamonds. Once you get through safely get ready to experience the exciting journey of Indiana Jones on a 12 person vehicle for a fast-paced thrill ride.
Tomorrowland showcased our #2 favorite ride which was the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, an interactive ride that lets guests shoot laser guns at the various targets for the highest points against your partner since this is a 2 person ride. The kids especially loved the hands on experience.
Finally our favorite ride was The Star Wars Rise of the Resistance at the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You really have a sense of being part of the Star Wars experience as you maneuver through sound effects, laser beams, attacks and enemy territory. This is the most popular ride at Disneyland and requires a virtual reservation to actually get into the ride. Make sure you check the link below and download the app because the reservations go fast! The ride is for 8 people per car – 4 in the front and 4 in the back.
Blue Bayou Resort
After a wonderful morning in the park we stopped for an amazing lunch at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, the most coveted restaurant and for good reason. Loved the chicken gumbo, filet mignon with lobster tail and mint julip drink. Cool fact – The Pirates of the Caribbean ride goes through the middle of the restaurant making it feel like you are part of the ride.
Blue Bayou Restaurant
After a full day at the park we were looking forward to our amazing dinner at Tangerine Room which offers a seasonal menu with local flavors and ingredients. Our chef planned an exquisite menu that we were excited to experience. The Eat Well Menu included a golden beet vichyssoise for the amuse bouche, pacific diver scallops with chanterelle mushroom, bittersweet cara cara oranges for the 1st course, a white port poached pear salad for the 2nd course, I had the bison striploin for my entree and ended my meal with a salted caramel pot au créme/espresso brownie crumble. Everything was delicious and cooked to perfection.
This meal at the Tangerine Room was my absolute favorite and I kept thinking my Chef husband would love the food and I want to bring him here to taste this delectable meal.
We started our day with an awesome yoga class on the rooftop which was located on the 8th floor of the Westin Anaheim Resort. The relaxing music and the sight of the open sky made us feel like we could conquer anything had in store for us.
We were now ready to explore the museum called the Discovery Cube, perviously called The Discovery Science Center which originally started as a store front in a mall. It is geared towards children K through 6th grade however there are activities for younger children as well. The exhibits are based on themes, there is physics, ocean, space, dinosaur, sports, culinary, nutrition, recycling, aviation, programming, and much more. There are also traveling exhibits – for the holidays they will have the gingerbread programming theme. The exhibits are interactive and educational – kids could assemble race cars with the separate pieces and have the flexibility to use big wheels vs. small wheels, a different color car and one or two passenger cars. After they assemble their race car they can test them on the various tracks to see if they could make it to the finish line or they can make the necessary adjustments to be able to make it to the finish line. The kids are introduced to real life experiences such as shopping and recycling. The museum is educational, fun and the kids love it!
After the museum we had a foodie tour booked at Anaheim’s Packing House which was filled with lots of sweet surprises. We had a nice sampling of some of the many restaurant options available. Never thought I would like a cauliflower taco however it was very tasty at Urbana. We also tried the shrimp tempura roll and double avocado roll at Orange Tei. Loved the shrimp tempura roll! Another tour stop was Healthy Junk which is a vegan only restaurant and our vegan pizza was made in a wood fire pizza oven from Italy.. It was difficult to believe the buffalo and bbq wings were vegan because they tasted like chicken. They were full of flavor! Also, I enjoyed a refreshing virgin Pina Colada at Hammer Workshop & Bar! There are 27 restaurants and 2 retail shops in the Packing House with a great variety of international food including vegan options and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Now we headed back to our next hotel which was the Element Anaheim Resort Convention Center by Westin (as a Marriott Bonvoy Elite member). It is situated near Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center which makes an ideal location for a family getaway. The eco-friendly hotel offer an apartment concept with a fully-equipped kitchen, suites with bunk beds, automatic lights in the spa-like bathroom and healthy food options when you prefer to eat out rather than cooking. Additional hotel amenities include bike rentals, access to the 900 square foot motion fitness center and heated outdoor pool. This is definitely a great option for families who want to be close to the major attractions.
During on last night of our trip we enjoyed a 5-course dinner at a farm-fresh restaurant called Poppy & Seed. The vibe and greenhouse decor is fun, relaxing and classy making our dining experience in this upscale American restaurant a memorable one. My favorite dish was the squash ravioli with sage, brown butter sauce, walnuts and herbs (herbs are grown on the premises). It was pleasant meeting and talking with the Executive Chef/Owner Michael Reed and his wife Boss Lady/Owner Kwini Reed and the Chef de Cuisine Jesse Baxter who were all passionate about what they bring to the table.
Thank you to everyone that was involved in all these great experiences! For our first trip to Disneyland Westin made our experience magical.