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“Transported to Italy”

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #71 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Tampa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Transported to Italy”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

My family stayed here with for 4 days in the summer. We chose this property over the other 2 primarily because of the theme (and the wifey wanted it). To begin, arriving at the hotel is quite nice. There is a very picturesque winding road that makes feel for a moment as if you traveling the countryside. The theme is in full effect once you get to the motor yard & resort entrance. I don't want to write a great bunch so here are the highlights:
1) Great theme throughout! The property is expansive & we spent a portion of one day just walking about
2) Love the rooms. Bed were comfy, if just a bit too soft (if that's possible). The bathroom is absolutely massive. You could most likely fit a rollaway bed in there. Check traveler photos to see what I mean. We actually upgraded to a 2 room kid suite for the last night and it is was just as nice with very large floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bay.
3) Water taxi to and from the parks was nice & the boats are mostly timely. Takes a little longer at night after dinner so plan accordingly.
4) Only at at Sal's on site and the pizza was great. We chose to eat in City Walk every night.
5) Pools. 3 great options. The "family" pool was awesome, the service was very attentive helping us with chairs and towels. The "uppity" pool was quite regal and nice as well. The 3rd is on a hillside and is secluded. The kids had this one almost all to themselves and had a blast, not themed but secluded.
Tips:
1) If this is your first time to Universal, please take a day to "do" the resort. It deserves its own day and maybe another half.
2) Take advantage of the Express Passes. Skip the lines repeatedly!!! You can also use the passes on the day you checkout!!!
3) As a resort guest you are entitled to visit the other resorts at you leisure, including the pools. How awesome is that! Stay Portifino & swim at Hard Rock. Just take your room key. Be careful at night though, your room key will not get you into all of the exterior doors.
4) Last tip: if you are worried about the price, compare a regular Orlando hotel and then add the express passes. It almost the same. The express passes can be about $80 per person.

Room Tip: If you stay near where the boat docks it may save you a couple of mins by beating out the hotel gues...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank TampaFL4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 10 June 2014
Thank you for your highlights and tips to other travelers! We aim to exceed our guests’ expectations and are happy that your stay was a memorable one. As a Florida resident, we hope that you have many opportunities to return to Orlando so that we may welcome you back again. Until then, ciao!
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (736)
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Union City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

The Hotel had undergone a recent renovation, & it boasts with beauty & 5 star amenities. All the rooms are beautifully re-done with high thread count sheets & duvet covers. The staff is extremely helpful & very professional. You really feel pampered & taken care off. The hotel has 2 large pools - 1 with sand & kids area & the other - more tranquil adult pool. Mama Della restaurant offers the best Italian food you have ever eaten (& we are spoiled by NYC restaurants). Not to mention, the nightly opera performance, which you can enjoy from a harbor piazza or from the comfort of your balcony. And, the hotel is 5 min walk to the parks (a beautifully groomed trail that takes you along the river through a butterfly garden & bamboo forest.) Overall, a 5 star hotel. We tie in Disney & stay at Portion Bay Hotel every year (some times more often). November is the most beautiful season for us as we catch the most amazing display of Christmas decorations, & still enjoy the pools & warm weather. I would highly recommend.

Room Tip: ask for Bay View room with a balcony
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anyacoro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 10 June 2014
Thank you for your review. When you still want to comment months after a trip, we know you truly had a wonderful time! We are glad that you enjoyed our lovely rooms, friendly team members and our signature restaurant Mama Della’s, which we have to agree… is superb! We hope that you can visit us again soon to enjoy all that the resort has to offer. Until then, ciao!
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Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

We selected the Loew's Portofino Bay Hotel since it was recommended by American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. It also permitted pets, as we were bringing our small bichon frise. As part of the FH & R, you are entitled to an upgraded room, if available. However, at this hotel, there are designated "pet rooms", so an upgrade was not an option. Also, you get a $100 food and beverage credit; however, at this hotel, you had to use the restaurant, not room service. I find that very curious, as most hotels want you to spend time in your hotel room with your pet.

The hotel is old and not well maintained. It took a very long time to cool our room, as the outside temperature was near 90.

Breakfast was disappointing also. We asked for an "EggBeater" omelette, and the omelette maker didn't know what "Eggbeaters" was. Loews did not have them. Ritz Carlton's do, Four Seasons' do; this hotel is not in that class. Not sure how it ever made it to FH & R.

Instead of staying at Loew's, go to the Ritz Carlton. Cost about the same. Unfortunately, it was overbooked on the day of our stay. They also take small pets.

Room Tip: There isn't one.
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Green Features: The hotel did have a green plastic bag for recyclables.
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank pattyanddick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 10 June 2014
Thank you for your feedback. We are concerned to hear your comments, as it is our intent to keep our product at a luxury level at all times and we have recently undergone a major renovation to both the interior and exterior of our resort. I do apologize for the miscommunication about your $100 Food & Beverage AMEX credit. You are indeed entitled to utilize room service as part of this credit. The complimentary breakfast for two each day, however, can only be used at Trattoria Del Porto. The breakfast benefit is where room service does not apply. To better improve our service, our Executive Chef, Leon, would like the opportunity to speak with you directly in regards to your breakfast request. If you would like, please contact him at your earliest convenience at lteow@loewhotels.com.
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Our problems began when the early check-in assured by amex didn't happen. With three young children and a three month old baby , this was torture. No privacy for my wife to breast feed and poor facilities for nappy changing etc. The attitude of the front of house staff was one of haughty arrogant dismissal. When we eventually checked in we decided to eat at the poolside bar 'Splendido'. We sat there without any service for twenty minutes, the only attention we got was from the rubbish falling from the fully laden bins which were wheeled through the dining area. We then decided to seek sanctuary in our room. Whilst waiting in the lift lobby one of our children was stumbled over by an inebriated client. The hotel reminded me of a very attractive but useless individual with a keen sense of entitlement i.e entitled to your custom. The duty manager did his best to remedy the situation but was let down by his team.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank JIMMYS771
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We are so glad we were privileged to stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando in April of this year. The place is beautiful, the staff was friendly and very helpful. From our room we could the the fireworks at Universal. The pools were beautiful. Getting to and from the parks were easy, you could ride a water taxi or walk and both were really pleasant. The restaurants were very good.

Room Tip: Ask for a bay view.
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Green Features: Did not see anything that seem to be environmentally friendly.
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your comments! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We take great pride in offering convenience to the thrills of the theme parks, as well as an oasis where you can relax. We hope that you consider staying with us again next time you visit Central Florida!
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warren nj
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

this was a 5 star hotel overlooking the harbor. 5 min walk to boat transportation to take you to the park. great water views along the way-even sang happy birthday to my husband. hotel was spacious, clean, mattress super, large bathroom. k-cups coffee pot in room. love seat to watch tv from. large picture window to sit by and the view. resturants within walking distance. mamma dellas made the best homemade lasagna we ever tasted. strolling muscians singing happy birthday again! check in was a breeze, happy staff excited to help with anything, 4 pools were a beautiful site-felt like we were in the mountains, waterfall and sandy beach. Wow-we are going back! harry potter world in being connected by train, opening soon. felt like we were italy. great

Room Tip: 3rd floor overlooking the harbor, sunny side
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Green Features: best hotel for great helpful staff. just show your room key at sit down fantastic resturants-15 min wait only.
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank iffy2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience. The relaxing ambiance of our re-creation of an Italian village makes us a unique oasis in a theme park resort. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and the dining options we offer. We are excited for the opportunity to welcome you back and hope to see you soon!
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York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I stayed here with my family for four days before staying in a condo. The hotel is great for first arrival into the orlando after a long flight, not too far from the airport and quite easy to find. Reception staff ok but unfortunately we didn't get the room we had requested and were told the hotel was full and there wasn't much they could do. Found it hard to believe that the hotel was completely full. Hotel itself is great although perhaps looking a little tired in the bathroom of our bedroom. Restaurants on the pricey side and closed relatively early, much more reasonable to eat at universal city walk. On the whole very good though, would stay again.

Room Tip: Club rooms worth the money
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank FieldH0use
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Property: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Address: 5601 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819-7880
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#15 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#18 Green Hotel in Orlando
#27 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#45 Business Hotel in Orlando
#54 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#80 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando 4*
Number of rooms: 750
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy a luxurious escape inspired by the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy. Perfectly appointed rooms and suites, gorgeous vistas and incredible cuisine welcome you to celebrate la dolce vita-the sweet life. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is in the heart of the excitement of Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk. Guests of this hotel enjoy exclusive theme park benefits. Skip the regular lines at most attractions with FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access - a benefit worth $89 per person, per day**. You can also take advantage of Early Park Admission one hour before the theme park opens, and more! (valid theme park admission required.) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Loews Portofino Bay Resort
Portofino Orlando
Portofino Bay Hotel Orlando
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel At Universal Orlando Florida

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