Before we headed off to Disneyland Paris, I made the mistake of having a look at the reviews of our hotel on Trip Advisor. They were… “mixed”, to put it mildly. Actually, that would be putting it rather positively.
Many of my readers would baulk at the idea of going to EuroDisney anyway (they don’t like you calling it that by the way), and there’s absolutely no way I would have considered it if it wasn’t for the kids. Having looked the prices of the packages available to us, converted them to Rands and then wept for several weeks, there is no point in my suggesting that the place we eventually chose was based on anything other its 2 star “economy”. At least we knew it wasn’t going to be the Cape Grace or the Table Bay. But even though it was simply going to be a base for us to explore and enjoy the Disney Parks, some of those reviews were rather off-putting: “dirty laundry littering the corridors”, “unfriendly and unhelpful staff”, “like a prison” and my particular favourite, “terrible rat infestation”.
It was all unfounded though. We couldn’t have booked a better place (mainly because we couldn’t afford to). Sure, the room was basic. Sure, I had to do some rudimentary plumbing work when we first arrived, but after that it was perfect. We probably spent about 6 waking hours there during our 4 day stay and the rest of the time either sleeping or enjoying the Disney experience (more of that later). The only issue was the number of chavs – Brits, Spaniards (el Chavs) and French (les Chavs) – that were also using the place as a budget base and were probably the ones writing all the somewhat unfair reviews on Trip Advisor.
And so, herewith my review of the Santa Fe Hotel in Disneyland Paris, which I will send to Trip Advisor:
“It was with a heavy heart that I read the several negative reviews on here ahead of our stay at the Santa Fe. Despite being prepared for the worst when we arrived, I found the place basic, but perfectly suited to our needs of a warm, dry place to sleep on the doorstep of Disneyland.
The room had hot water, an awesome shower and two beds, just like they said it would. There was a TV which showed most of the major news channels, plus some kids stuff and there was a roof, which was very welcome as it rained the first day we got there and our stuff would have got wet.
Basic, yes, but then we only paid two star prices – I wasn’t expecting the Palace of Versailles. Unless the bus driver had taken a wrong turn somewhere, obviously.
So, the room was just what we needed, but certainly no more. If we’d wanted more, we would have chosen a more expensive hotel which offered more. That’s how it works.
We found the staff friendly and helpful, the bus service to and from the Parks was excellent and we only saw one rat (although it could have been a large mouse, much celebrated by all in Disneyland). Either way, hardly an infestation.
The breakfast, singled out by so many as a bone of contention, was – surprise, surprise – basic, but good. Once again, I might have expected more from a 3 or 4 star establishment, but I might also have expected to pay more as well.
In fact, my only real issue with the Santa Fe were those guests who were too tight to shell out for a more expensive hotel, yet expected all the facilities and extras that come with… er… a more expensive hotel. My advice to this hating underclass would be to save up a little more of their unemployment and housing benefits before booking their next holiday, or perhaps simply to adjust their unrealistic levels of expectancy, although, having been paid, fed and housed by the state for doing nothing all of their lives, I think that might be a bridge too far.
In summary (something it actually was on a couple of days during our stay), if you want basic, economy accommodation and a perfect base for exploring Disneyland Paris, the Santa Fe is it.
Just don’t expect dancing girls and a personal jacuzzi in your room, cos that’s strictly 3 star up, ok?”
Honesty. It’s always the best policy.