Portofino Bay | Inside Universal Forums
  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.

Portofino Bay

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,565
Portofino used to be much more reasonable price wise, especially if you got the 6 or 7 day booked discount. But it's prices have jumped more than the other Universal resorts the past few years. That said,
it's still a much better value than any of the Disney deluxe resorts....and you can't beat the Hotel unlimited Express pass. Portofino is a really wonderful resort overall.
Portofino can still land some really nice AP discounts now and then, been seeing some good ones around Horror Nights. An agreed about the value, even with PB still being the most expensive hotel at the resort (so far), it's still more affordable than most Deluxe hotels at WDW.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,279
Pittsburgh area
Portofino can still land some really nice AP discounts now and then, been seeing some good ones around Horror Nights. An agreed about the value, even with PB still being the most expensive hotel at the resort (so far), it's still more affordable than most Deluxe hotels at WDW.
Definitely. I'm hoping for some good discount numbers for my holiday season vacation in mid November. too early so far for AP stuff. That said, I really miss the You Too Rewards program. They really took care of you on that, but never replaced it with anything when they terminated the program.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,200
I’ve never stayed at Portofino due to the cost, but hard rock was even more expensive due to only pool rooms available. Royal pacific wasn’t even available. Almost stayed at the endless summer resort for night 1, but cabana bay was only $40 more and I wanted to be in walking distance of city walk. I’ve never liked the shuttle bus system.

the free express pass still made it a bargain if you consider the cost of 4 x express tickets.

pricing was much cheaper last week when I looked originally. Oh well snooze ya lose
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,279
Pittsburgh area
I’ve never stayed at Portofino due to the cost, but hard rock was even more expensive due to only pool rooms available. Royal pacific wasn’t even available. Almost stayed at the endless summer resort for night 1, but cabana bay was only $40 more and I wanted to be in walking distance of city walk. I’ve never liked the shuttle bus system.

the free express pass still made it a bargain if you consider the cost of 4 x express tickets.

pricing was much cheaper last week when I looked originally. Oh well snooze ya lose
Yes, pricing has been jumping overnight. I got my Sapphire AP rate when I took a good guess on mask policy changing a couple weeks ago. I booked my room and by the next day the rate jumped up considerably for the same dates,
This is going to be a crazy summer. Talking to my brother today about vacations, he said he'll probably wait till next year now since hotel rates are jumping so much. He likes to vacation in the Keys, so he checked the deluxe hotel he usually books for July.. In 2019 he paid $400 a night. Now they want $850 a night for weekend nights. it's wild.
 
  • Like
Reactions: faceleg

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,611
Cincinnati, OH
Portofino used to be much more reasonable price wise, especially if you got the 6 or 7 day booked discount. But it's prices have jumped more than the other Universal resorts the past few years. That said,
it's still a much better value than any of the Disney deluxe resorts....and you can't beat the Hotel unlimited Express pass. Portofino is a really wonderful resort overall.
This is why I'm thinking of staying for the first time at Portofino later this year Just to get the Express. Express by itself is $90 per person and that helps defray some of the cost of staying onsite. I am also considering Royal Pacific as I love its aesthetic.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,279
Pittsburgh area
This is why I'm thinking of staying for the first time at Portofino later this year Just to get the Express. Express by itself is $90 per person and that helps defray some of the cost of staying onsite. I am also considering Royal Pacific as I love its aesthetic.
I like Royal Pacific, which seems more of a family resort than Portofino, which is very much slanted to an older adults crowd, like me. I've stayed at both, well over 100 nights at Portofino and about three dozen at Royal Pacific. But, in
my view, Portofino overall is a notch or two above Royal Pacific. And the regular rooms aren't even close. Though, when RP is doing a deal on their suites, it's certainly a great value that's really sweet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coasted

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,611
Cincinnati, OH
I like Royal Pacific, which seems more of a family resort than Portofino, which is very much slanted to an older adults crowd, like me. I've stayed at both, well over 100 nights at Portofino and about three dozen at Royal Pacific. But, in
my view, Portofino overall is a notch or two above Royal Pacific. And the regular rooms aren't even close. Though, when RP is doing a deal on their suites, it's certainly a great value that's really sweet.
Good to know. I haven't been at either one but thought maybe Royal Pacific would feel more resort-ish than Portofino. However, I do think that Portofino looks really nice. I'll probably compare the rates at the time I book. Again, getting Express as part of the room is incentive enough as that would save me $180.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,279
Pittsburgh area
Good to know. I haven't been at either one but thought maybe Royal Pacific would feel more resort-ish than Portofino. However, I do think that Portofino looks really nice. I'll probably compare the rates at the time I book. Again, getting Express as part of the room is incentive enough as that would save me $180.
Portofino is almost always more expensive, exception when a big convention books RP. RP advantage is that it's so close to the parks, 5 minute walk and you're there. RP has one really good pool. Portofino has two really good pools with completely different ambiance. They also have a third smaller pool, that's private since hardly anyone goes there. Since Emeril's left RP, their restaurants don't stand up to a really good selection at Portofino (three excellent sit downs). Plus Portofino has the really excellent Sal's quick service with perhaps the best pizza at Universal. And there's absolutely nothing at Universal as stunning, and relaxing as the main Piazza, plus there's another half dozen piazza's, some very private and hidden away. And massages too if you're into that high priced option. The rooms at Portofino, with bathrooms the size of a Motel Six room, are the best of any at Disney or Universal. But I'd say families with kids prefer Royal Pacific. You don't often see many young children at Portofino. It has a more aloof, quiet, reserved atmosphere. RP is more fun in your face, but that's what kids like.....Both are excellent resorts. Much depends on your age demographic and whether kids are with you on the trip. If you have young kids, RP is
probably the bet.....And you can't beat hotel Express. No limits on how many times you ride any attraction. And, if it's not one of the busy season weeks, the wait is usually just 5 or 10 minutes for most every ride......Don't miss the Italian singers at dusk, from the Piazza balcony. They've been suspended for covid, but I'd guess they'll be back soon.
 

OrlandoGuy

Member
Sep 29, 2014
683
Chicago
Good to know. I haven't been at either one but thought maybe Royal Pacific would feel more resort-ish than Portofino. However, I do think that Portofino looks really nice. I'll probably compare the rates at the time I book. Again, getting Express as part of the room is incentive enough as that would save me $180.
@Mad Dog is spot on but to offer another perspective...

I actually agree Royal Pacific gives the more “resort” feel. To me, it’s much more relaxing (the vibe at Portofino is a little too stuffy for my taste, especially given you’re there for the comparatively laid back parks) yet still allows you to feel like you’re in the action by being closer to the parks.

Location is also much better. I know that the Portofino being quiet and disconnected is a legitimate appeal but RPR is walking distance to IOA (helpful for Early Admission) and the restaurants/bars at Sapphire and Aventura. It’s also a lot easier to navigate, whereas Portofino is endless hallways branching out from just one main hub (which itself is far from the boat or walking path)...not fun when you’re on your way into the park or coming back from a long day.

You can’t go wrong either way but something to think about as you keep looking into room rates...
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,200
I've stayed at the RP and really enjoyed it. It's my preferred hotel on property due to location and free express pass. (although I've never stayed at Hard Rock). I'll make sure to post my Portofino thoughts after I stay.

Typically its the most affordable of the 3 "premier" locations.

So here is how I priced this out.... the $

The cost of Express for early summer, with a 2 week notice is $250 per adult. So, yeah $1,000 Plus Tickets to the Parks which are $150! ... I know it makes me want to throw up too.

So that works out to $1,800 after taxes.

I was able to get 1 day park pass and 1 night stay at Portofino for $1,100.00. instant savings...I then booked one night at cabana bay for 200. (Could have done Endless Summer for $40 less..not worth it IMO)

So total cost for two nights, and Express was roughly $1,300. Vs paying ....

$900 for 2 nights and 1 park at Endless Summer with no Express Pass.... If I wanted fast pass...$2,100 after tax for that package.

Moral of this story.....Don't wait until the last minute to book your vacation. Flex pricing really screws you.
I've stayed 4 nights and visited 3 parks for the same cost as this 2 night 1 park trip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coasted and SkiBum

therock

Newcomer
Jul 29, 2018
37
In the past you had to print your express passes at a kiosk inside the hotel, but now your room key is your express pass. Its best to put it in a lanyard and have it easily available to scan, since it gets scanned on every ride. Your family does not have to be with you at check in, as the front desk person just asks the name and age of each person staying in the room and they give you a room key card for each person. The express pass is good for your check in day and your check out day. So I would check in early before going to the park that morning. They will text you when the room is ready. I would recommend taking the boat instead of walking from Portofino Bay, especially since you'll be walking so much already in the parks. Check out is very easy as you just reply to the text they send you at check in and just tell them you want to do express check out.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,279
Pittsburgh area
Found a deal for one night club level during my HHN trip for $280. Has anyone stayed club level before. Is it worth it?
Never stayed Club Level there, but for that price I'm sure you'll get your money's worth. That's damn good for a one day Club rate at Portofino. They have a nice outdoor terrace seating area
adjacent to the Club indoor room that's for those with the access.
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,049
Upper Lower
Never stayed Club Level there, but for that price I'm sure you'll get your money's worth. That's damn good for a one day Club rate at Portofino. They have a nice outdoor terrace seating area
adjacent to the Club indoor room that's for those with the access.
That is like a $4-500 room right? Maybe pull a mad dog and get an upgrade to a balcony? Sweet
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,870
Florida
Found a deal for one night club level during my HHN trip for $280. Has anyone stayed club level before. Is it worth it?
There are snacks and a special club room, with breakfast...it's fine

You get personal concierge service...if you're into that

I was hoping the club room was where I could wear my monocle, have an old fashioned, smoke a cigar, and talk about the stock market

The other family in there seemed very uncomfortable though

Overall, it's a nice way to beat the lines for breakfast and have a spot away from the hustle and bustle down below.

I only eat coffee for breakfast and the Starbucks is downstairs....sooooo....
 
  • Haha
Reactions: JoeCamel

Coasted

Member
Jan 28, 2017
519
Found a deal for one night club level during my HHN trip for $280. Has anyone stayed club level before. Is it worth it?
I believe the club room at Portofino (a few years ago anyway) is away from the club rooms and on a different floor … though really depends if you have time to actually go there and relax … and whether are around for the breakfast / early evening light food. That said, $280 sounds like a great price.

I’ve stayed club at RPR, the club room was on the same floor and only metres away and a great change, before rushing back to the parks.
 

1.21Gigawatts

Rookie
Apr 28, 2011
408
Hill Valley 2015
I've stayed club level at Royal Pacifc and Portofino Bay,. Club level food offerings are a fraction of what they were 3-4 years ago. Breakfast is the most disappointing, they used to offer sausage or bacon with scrambled eggs which was AMAZING! You're lucky to get a hard boiled egg an bagel anymore. Its barely worth it anymore without an AP discount IMO. Beer and wine is nice though lol