What is your favorite on-site Universal hotel?

What is your favorite Universal on-site hotel?


  • Total voters
    94

pftaylor

Newcomer
Apr 14, 2013
35
Tampa
We have stayed at all three numerous times and often enjoy amenities at all three during our visit. Your room key is valid at all resorts for charging. In fact, we just visited Royal Pacific this weekend. We choose from the three first by cost. Sometimes Portofino is less expensive than the others. Sometimes it's not. But whichever is cheaper gets our reservation. A tangential consideration this time of year might be that the walk from Islands is nearly all downhill. Something we faced after blitzing the parks for two days only to find out that boat service was suspended due to lightning last night.

As an aside, we ate at Mamma Della's at Portofino on Saturday night and did not have a great meal-surprising since the last time we ate there it was so good and reasonable. The pasta was overlooked and nearly flavorless. The sea bass portion was small, and not very appealing visually. The cheapest glass of Pinot Noir was $16. In March the Pinot Noir was $9/glass for Marc West. Our March memory of Momma Della's is that entrees cost between $18-$25. This time it was more like $24-$35 (close to Bice prices). Which still would of been a deal if they were anywhere near as good as Bice. But alas they were not. So Bice gets our vote for high end Italian. Momma has lost her way...
 

Frogki

Veteran Member
Jun 14, 2010
1,523
South West FL
I think it really depends on what type of resort you want/need. I've stayed at the Hard Rock and the Royal Pacific, but my family has never had money for the Portofino. Personally, I loved the Hard Rock Hotel because it had a very interesting atmosphere. Contrary to what others have said, I didn't feel like there was too much going on (and this was during the Christmas season). I was able to go out and soak up the parks and excitement when I wanted to, but when we went back to the hotel room, it was very relaxing - we had a relatively good view of both parks, which was a plus and there was this little cafe (IDK - it was like a quickservice place?) where we ate breakfast in relative quiet. So overall, the Hard Rock is my favorite, but the Royal Pacific is very nice too (especially for larger families). As for the Portofino, I really can't wait to try it because apparently it's great according to everyone here :thumbs:
 

Ercus

Newcomer
Jun 3, 2010
44
LaSalle, Il
I have only stayed at the Hard Rock my three trips down to Florida. Just love everything there and can't even talk to my wife into trying the other two for just one night.
 

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
Like I said, Portofino is by far my favorite, but what I love about UOR is that you really can't go wrong--there are no bad hotels, they are all very very nice. If there's a time I want a hotel and Portofino is sold out, I'm not going to be upset at having to stay at one of the other two. There is no All-Star Resorts or Coronados--all hotels are Grand Floridians and Polynesians at Universal.

Of course, that could change when Cabana Bay opens up, but I have a feeling that will also be a nice option. Not enough to make me give up Portofino though.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,213
Just spent another weekend at RPR and it was fantastic as always. My view of the parks was the best yet. Absolutely loved my room. Ate at Jakes, Bula Bar & Grille, and Emeril's Tchoup Chop. All the food was amazing. It was so good to visit my home away from home again.
 

STL

Member
Nov 1, 2012
508
St Louis, Mo
I voted for Royal Pacific because that is the only one we've ever stayed at. It's just beautiful. We just booked another 3 nights there for September. You can't pass up $112/night AP rate that includes FOTL! :cheers:
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,213
I voted for Royal Pacific because that is the only one we've ever stayed at. It's just beautiful. We just booked another 3 nights there for September. You can't pass up $112/night AP rate that includes FOTL! :cheers:
WHAT. Spill.
 

STL

Member
Nov 1, 2012
508
St Louis, Mo
WHAT. Spill.
We got an AP flyer in the mail that was advertising 50% off the seasonal rate for stays from the end of July through October 3rd. You had to book it by phone no later than May 31st. We jumped ALL over that! If you factor in the Express Pass we "could" have bought (although not the unlimited one) for 3 days it works out that we are paying essentially like $30/night. :lol:
 

1.21Gigawatts

Rookie
Apr 28, 2011
385
Hill Valley 2015
Voted HRH because the music atmosphere etc. is kind of my thing. Could have easily voted though RPR because I just got back from RPR and had a great experience. We had five people and I requested a roll away mattress. It was at my door less than a minute after we got in our room, which by the way was ready for us at 10am. Then we had an issue with our air conditioning not working and our safe was locked in the open position. Both of these issues, although inconvenient, we're solved within 20 minutes of reporting them. For the price I would expect these this kind of quick service ($400/night for pool view) so the parking fee is really my only complaint. $17 a night. Lol, c'mon! Really?

Haven't stayed at Portofino Bay, I want to eventually. Hopefully next year after grad school my income will justify the expense. It would be great to take a lovely lady there for a few nights...
 

Felipe

Premium Member
Sep 2, 2009
6,545
The Forbidden Forest
^ I agree about the parking fees. They're a bit much, especially for outdoor parking. It would be nice if the on-site hotels didn't charge 'em.

They're not uncommon, though. The DoubleTree in front of Universal also charges for parking ($12 I think). Last time I stayed in the area, I actually decided to book a room at the Hilton Garden Inn, which is a tiny bit further away, but it has no parking fee and the room was also less pricey. I actually found the room to be nicer than the last two rooms I've stayed in at the DoubleTree. I had stayed at the HGI before, back in 2011, but they were remodeling and they weren't looking their best. I'm glad I gave them another chance this time around. Nice hotel, close by, and great service :thumbs:
 

Obi Ubamba

Veteran Member
Mar 25, 2010
1,398
Florida
I would say without a doubt Portofino is the best hotel in the Resort. It has the best theme, food,space, pools, and feel of any of the hotels. It is such a great place to relax and unwind after a day at the parks. They are in the process of renovation, which means that the rooms are being slightly modernized and the facades are being spruced up. The piazza overlooking the bay is very scenic and a perfect backdrop for dinner or a drink at one of the restaurants at the hotel.

Hard Rock is my second favorite of the hotels. It is located right next to Universal, and is often cheaper than Portofino. Personally, I am not as into rock and the like so the theme doesn't quite suit me, but for those who are into that Hard Rock is a great option. The rooms are a little smaller and not as nice as Portofino, but they are still above average.

I've only stayed at Royal Pacific Twice so I do not have as much to say about it, but it is a pleasant place that is more like Portofino in terms of it's laid back atmosphere. It is also the closest hotel to Islands of Adventure, which is a benefit to those who love that park.

Overall, you can't go wrong with any of the hotels on Universal's property. If you have the money and are willing to be relatively far from the parks, Portofino is the best choice.
 

doc brown

Rookie
Aug 5, 2012
140
tampa
Tell me if im wrong but I thought the rooms for rpr were supposed to be 149.00 a night for florida res and ap holders