Universal Orlando Resort Hotels run the gammut from posh, high end resorts to family friendly, affordable stays. All of the eight hotels have pools, restaurants, free transportation to the parks and other hotels.
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When you stay on site, you have access to exclusive benefits including one hour early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay. Other benefits include: water taxi and bus services between parks and Universal hotels, pool hopping, and a variety of dining options.
How much would your kiddos like a wake up call from one of their favorite Universal Orlando Characters! Time to wake up, it’s a Scooby Doo Day!
My best tip! When you stay at one of the property hotels, you can pool hop to any of the other hotels! Each pool has its own distinct flavor, different pool every day, maybe. Be sure to check in at the resort you are visiting for worry free pool access.
One important feature to consider is the Free Universal Express Unlimited ride access included in your reservation at the Portofino, the Hard Rock, and the Royal Pacific Resort. This unlimited pass gets you on to rides quicker than standing in line, giving you the opportunity to enjoy more of rides. Huge!
Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel
Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel is the premier, luxury Universal Orlando Resort. It is designed to resemble an the old Italian seaside village of Portofino. When you stroll the piazza, you feel like you need to parla Italiano!
With elegant appointments and meticulously maintained grounds your stay at the Portofino Bay will be exceptional.
Dining at the upscale Bice Restaurant, choose patio seating overlooking the piazza, is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. Mama Della’s and Trattoria del Porto are available for casual dining. Splendido Bar and Grill poolside round out the on site dining options. Don’t forget to stop by Gelataria for a sweet treat.
The pool at the Portofino is so amazing. There are organized games for the kiddos, secret grottos, a tiki hut bar, a gorgeous pool, and lots of palm trees.
A few of the benefits of staying at Portofino Bay is the Free Universal Express Unlimited access and priority seating at many restaurants throughout the property.
Hard Rock Hotel
When you disembark at the dock at Hard Rock Hotel, you meander up a serenely inviting path adjacent to the Woodstock Lawn that is juxtaposed with the edgy but elegant rock and roll interior.
Sip a perfectly crafted martini or cocktail of choice at the Swanky Velvet Lounge. Whether you prefer the dark velvet style of the indoor lounge or the stylish veranda seating, you will feel like you are part of an exclusive rock band entourage. If you are there the last Thursday of the month, check out the Velvet Sessions, a rock and roll party with live legendary band performances.
For more family oriented dining, the Hard Rock offers the seated dining at the Palm Restaurant, casual dining a The Kitchen, and poolside at the Beach Club. For a mid-day or late-nite snack, Emack and Bolio’s has just what you are craving.
A few of the benefits of staying at Hard Rock is the Free Universal Express Unlimited access and priority seating at many restaurants throughout the property.
Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort
Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort has that South Pacific, toes-in-the-sand feeling. The inviting tropical décor, first class amenities, and comfortable rooms will have you wanting to extend your stay.
Dining options include Jake’s American Bar for seated dining. The kid friendly Island Dining Room and the poolside Bula Bar and Grill are good family options. The Orchid Court Bar and Grill is just the thing for a relaxing tropical cocktail to cap off a perfect vacation day.
The pool at the Royal Pacific Resort is tiki inspired and very tropical in feel. You can rent a cabana for the day and relax in the glorious Florida sunshine.
A few of the benefits of staying at The Royal Pacific Resort is the Free Universal Express Unlimited access and priority seating at many restaurants throughout the property.
Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort
Delicious tropical décor makes Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort a family friendly, luxury resort. The beautiful pool, the fun oasis-like vibe, and the exceptional service makes this one Universal Orlando Resorts hotels best spots for family fun.
The pool area is spectacular. Enjoy an evening gathering at a firepit sporting comfy Adirondack Chairs while the kids splash in the hidden water slides. This toes-in-the-sand pool area will be your favorite spot to hang out.
The New Dutch Trading Company is their grab-and-go restaurant and Strong Water Tavern has a lovely poolside view. Drhum Club Kantine offers poolside dining and Amatista Cookhouse rounds out the dining options.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
If you are traveling with kids, particularly tweens, Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the hotel for you. The pool area is so much fun with slides and a retro beachy vibe. Rent a private cabana for a relaxing all-day-at-the-pool day. Cabanas come with food and beverage delivery, a large screen TV, and the perfect lounge chair to take a nap.
The retro, Jetson like feel, is fun for kids of all ages. The mod, brightly colored furniture will surely lift your spirits and transport you to vacation mode. The in-resort bowling alley will delight every member of your family.
Dining is also thematic with the Hideaway Bar and Grill and Atomic Tonic offering poolside cuisine. The Bayline Diner offers quick, food court style meals. The Galaxy Bowl Restaurant is located in the bowling alley for kid friendly fun.
Universal’s Aventura Hotel
The Aventura Hotel is a haven for vacationers craving upscale accommodations with a chic, modern feel. This is a good choice if you are visiting without children and are looking for a more serene choice. Families do stay here, but the pool is on the small side, without “fun” activities, making it less appealing for the kiddos.
Even if you aren’t staying at the Aventure, you should head over to the Bar 17 Bistro for a drink and a nosh. The view from the glass walled lounge is spectacular. If you can time your visit for sunset, even better!
The other dining option at Aventure is the Urban Pantry, an Asian and European focused restaurant.
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn And Suites And Dockside Inn And Suites
Universal’s budget and family friendly sister resorts Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites and Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites are a one-stop vacation spot. Beautiful pools, no fuss dining, and fun themed décor says, sit back, relax, and enjoy.
At Surfside, the Beach Break Cafe offers quick grab-and-go meals with lots of options.
Dockside is one of the newest Universal Orlando Resorts hotels, scheduled to open for the Summer 2020 season. This is your opportunity to stay at a brand new resort.
I hope you find The Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando Resorts Hotels helpful and enables you to navigate your hotel selection easily.
PS If you decide you are more of an Airbnb vacationer, check out this post on Airbnb Rental Tips.
If you plan to visit the other amusement park in Orlando, pre purchasing your Disney goodies ahead of time will save you some money.