If you want highly themed surroundings, top notch accommodations, the best pools, excellent staff, and early entrance privileges to the theme parks, you will find all those things by staying at a official Disney Resort hotel. Readers frequently tell us how they love to stay in the "Disney bubble" during their visits. But of course all this comes at a large premium. Even during the times of year where Disney's prices are at their lowest you're still probably going to pay over $300 a night for a room. That double what you're going to pay at an offsite hotel. No matter where you stay in Anaheim, offsite or onsite, you're going to pay a resort tax fee and parking.
Offsite hotels at Disneyland Resort are way more practical than the same accommodations at Walt Disney World. At WDW offsite hotels you're looking at a 15 to 40 minute drive depending on the park, and you'll still be on the hook for parking. At Disneyland Resort not only are most offsite hotels affordable, but some even have less than 10 minute walking times from a room to the front gate of the park. Some hotels on Harbor blvd are closer to the front gate than Disney's own hotels.
Recommended off-site hotels in the Disneyland Resort area
Homewood Suites - Located about 2 miles south. Across from a Target (so you can get groceries). Suites available. Nice pool. Park Vue Inn - Across the street from Disneyland on Harbor. Short walk to Disneyland. Outdoor pool. Howard Johnson Anaheim - Across the street from Disneyland on Harbor. Nice rooms. Very nice pool and water playground. Sometimes offer discounts for DL annual pass holders. Desert Inn and Suites - Directly across the street from Disneyland on Harbor, less than 5 minute walk to the front gate. Indoor pool. Tropicana Inn & Suites - Across the street from Disneyland on Harbor. Pool and hot tub. Best Western Anaheim Inn - Across the street from Disneyland on Harbor. Sheraton Park Hotel at Anaheim - Highly rated in the Unofficial Guide. Nice rooms and pool. The Anabella - Highly rated in the Unofficial Guide. Nice rooms and pool.