Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Hotels' started by Skipper Justin, Aug 20, 2016.
This is the official thread for comments, questions and diatribes.
Stay here. Haven't stayed at sapphire falls yet but this is the best resort on property. I could go on about how much awesome this place is but instead will go with the only negatives, it's a longish walk to the parks and it can be a bit of a walk to your room.
So great, it would take a really long essay to describe how fantastic it is. THE BEST.
Even if you can't stay here, take one of the boats to this hotel and just enjoy it for an evening. Spend a while gazing at the great recreation of this Italian village.
And if you are looking for something outside of the CityWalk restaurant offerings, I highly recommend trying one of Portofino Bay's dining options. I would personally suggest giving Mama Della's a try. In contrast to the upscale modern design of Vivo's, Mama Della's is like stepping into an Italian grandmother's living room for a home cooked meal.....and it's amazing and delicious.
And, if you're a bit budget conscious, order a pizza & a glass of wine from Sal's , located on the Piazza, and enjoy your meal dining on the Piazza (or indoors if you want AC) overlooking the beautiful ambiance of Portofino Bay, and listen to the Italian singers on the balcony at sunset. It doesn't get better than this.Plus, the pizza is as good as pizza in the northeast USA Italian communities.
We stayed at Portofino for the first time this past weekend. Previously, we always stayed at Royal Pacific. Portofino had a good rate, so we gave it a try.
Beautiful hotel. Big rooms, huge bathrooms. We had a lake view.
We arrived in Orlando late Thursday night and stayed off property. Early Friday morning, we checked out, grabbed a quick breakfast as McDonald's, then drove to Portofino.
We parked under the porte-cochere, carried in our bags, and checked in. We were going to use the self parking. Room wasn't ready, as expected, so we took the bags to bag check. Then had to go to the EP kiosks, then over to the ticket booth to get out park and HHN passes, then we found the steps to go to the ferry.
We headed to the parks and made it there right at 7 for easily park hours. We spent a few hours in the parks and my phone rang. I figured our room was ready.
When I answered, they asked if I drove a Toyota Highlander. I then realized why they were calling... We totally forgot to park the car and it was still under the porte-cochere.
We hopped on the next ferry back and moved the car and apologized several dozen times. They could have, and probably should have, towed the car. Instead, they went through security videos to figure out when we parked, then looked at who checked in around that time.
^ That is quite the story re. your car. What a hoot.
After this last vacation, we've spent over 60 nights at Portofino. The employees have always been exceptional, super friendly, and courteous. We're Lowe's Gold Members and when we check in, the reservations clerk usually calls the manager & they come over, introduce themselves, and give us a really nice personal welcome. I can't say enough good things about these people. As they say, "La Dolce Vita" (The Sweet Life)
Complete agreement. Been staying there for years and its always been perfect. Only downside is at one time (during the dark days) we could book at last minute and still get an upgrade to a suite (Loews Platinum) Since the Parks are so much busier now, we have to book months ahead to get our upgrade or the suites won't be available. What also makes it great is that many of the employees have been there for years so its like going back to visiting friends. Can't say enough good things about Portofino.
I have a quick question about booking. I've never stayed on-site but I'm planning to stay on site later this year. I was looking at the booking options and saw that when you checkout you pay a deposit and then have a leftover amount. So could I pay the deposit when booking and then just pay the remaining amount before check-in? Or am I misunderstanding.
When you make your reservation online they will charge you a 10% reservation deposit. When you check in they will record your credit card on file. Then they'll charge your card (minus the 10% deposit) when you check out if you stay 7 days or less. (Note: If you want room charge privileges, they will ask you at check in whether you want a $100 or $200 per day credit card hold)....Same if you use a debit card.
Okay so we just pay the rest at check in? Great thanks!
No, You pay the rest at "check out". But they put a hold on your card prior to that. (Are you staying more than 7 nights? They do things a little different if you are?)
Oh I gotcha now! No I think we are doing 3 nights
Fine. That'll be the way it works then...... Little tip; Sign up to be a Loew's You First member. There's no charge and you can receive nice benefits down the line for future Loew's hotel visits......... If you are staying 3 nights, you'll actually get Express for 4 days. You get Express for the day of arrival "and" the day of departure, plus the days in between. If you get there early on your arrival day, before rooms are ready (official check in is 3:00 PM, though sometimes rooms are ready before then), you can leave your luggage at the baggage area, and they'll give you your room cards, which you then take to the lobby kiosk to take your Express Pass pictures. Then you can use Express at the parks(and even early admission at the parks) until they beep you that your room is ready.
That is some great info. Big thanks!
...You're very welcome.
New Electric Car Chargers in the parking lot at Portofino.
I have never stayed at Portofino so maybe things are different there but the other three onsites I have stayed at hold one night as a deposit no matter how long I booked for then billed the rest at checkout.
They just started doing the 7 day adjustment last year. So now they bill you after 7 days (room plus room charges) (giving you credit for your 10% pre payment), and take it off your credit card automatically,then, say your total stay was for 10 days, then they'll bill you again for the final 3 days at check out. They did that last Oct. and again this past May. But before last year it was just a straight 10 day billing.
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