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“Fantastic hotel in an amazing (convenient) location”

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #71 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Canvey Island, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fantastic hotel in an amazing (convenient) location”
Reviewed 18 June 2014

If you are heading to Universal or Universal Islands of Adventure in Florida and are looking for a place to stay which is walking distance to the attractions, then look no further than Loews Portofino Bay. The hotel is built around a lagoon and designed in a very "Italian Lakes" village way.

We stayed in a Despicable Me family suite, which was superb. Huge double bedroom (kingsized bed) with a separate "Gru" door leading to another bedroom with two rocket beds and minions everywhere. My 10 year old was in heaven. The bathroom was the only minor gripe......shower over the bath rather than a separate cubicle....there certainly would have been room for one as the bathroom was huge too.

The front desk were friendly, helpful and very professional, we ate at Bice on our first night, amazing food and service but perhaps a bit high end price wise though the food and service were worth it. We also ate at Mamma Dellas which was very authentic italian and delicious. Service, food and ambiance were first rate. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Perhaps the restaurants were a little more pricey than those on City Walk, however, we ate in Bubba Gumps and Jimmy Buffets and were more than a little disappointed with both food quality and service....very much pack em in and kick em out and an average quality pile of fried food so if you prefer a delicious, well served meal in lovely surroundings then my advise would be to pay a little extra and stay in the hotel.

Have nothing but praise for the whole of the hotel, as guests, you get fast passes for the rides in both Universal and Islands of Adventure (excluding Harry Potter) and access to the parks an hour ahead of opening....these in themselves would set you back an average of $80 per person per day(depending on the season) if you buy them at the park entrance.

We are Disney Vacation Club owners but would have no hesitation staying at Portofino Bay either at the beginning or end of a Disney Holiday.....in fact I can't wait to book again!

Room Tip: We had a family suite (despicable me) but from what I saw all rooms looked great.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nikki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We went up to Universal for a few days to hit the parks and stayed at the Portofino Bay... What a beautify hotel.. The front desk staff was so friendly and accommodating, our Porter was a great guy who's been with the hotel 14 years... That says a lot about a place to work.. The room was beautiful , the bathroom enormous and the bed perfect! My only issue was, those ever annoying mini bars of overpriced "conveniences". There was no price list in the bar. We called downstairs to ask for a price and they said they'd send up a price list.. 30 Minutes later and a 2nd phone call later, we got it.. I just wanted to know how overpriced the overpriced water was. Aside from that the hotel is amazing, the restaurants, delicious... We'll be back, and we'll bring water.. :)

Room Tip: A high floor facing the lagoon is perfect!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Luca428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We took our 10-year-old grandson to Universal for a day. Spent two nights at this hotel. What a gorgeous place. My only "negatives" are: 1) Trattoria del Porta, which we desired, was closed Monday and Tuesday night for dinner - the two nights we were there. ( No staff member, including concierge, seemed to know why!!!) 2) the location of our room - in the East "wing" - made our logistics cumbersome - especially having to walk all the way around to the other side of the docking area to board the boat to the park, After checking in, we went down one level, then walked across a patio for some distance, to enter the "East" door to go up 5 floors in another elevator. The room was beautiful and spacious for us. We would stay there again, but ask for a more convenient room Three of the restaurants - Trattoria for wonderful breakfast, Sal's for casual dinner (best pizza ever) and Bice Ristorante for a very special evening - were excellent.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the main (center) building or in the West side (if that's possible - I...
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Green Features: Your efforts to "be green" are very admirable. We appreciate it.
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kitty P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

I have year passes for 3 Kids ages 23,16 & 14. Florida Residents living in Miami. We travel all the time to Orlando for Universal theme parks. My Kids haven't gotten sick of it after 2 yrs. I've stayed at Four Seasons.. Blue Green.. Hilton's .. Holiday inns etc in the beginning.. NOTHING COMPARES TO PORTOFINO LOWES. We also enjoy Lowes Royal(another review). If you are a Parent who wants SAFETY.. Convience.. Relaxed atmosphere.. Family oriented.. value.. This is the place! Everyone gets FREE FAST PASS worth 89 per person.. The kids leave the room.. Take the boat back and forth to the parks all day. If tired.. Want to take a dip in the pool,hot tub.. Sight see on property.. EVERYTHING IS RIGHT THERE! Fl residents and PASS HOLDERS get HUGE discounts around 207.00 nightly. Add the free fast passes it pays for itself!
This is my FIRST CHOICE always!!

  • Stayed May 2014
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brunettebimbo007
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, 20 June 2014
Thank you so much for your feedback! It is an honor to be deemed your first choice when visiting Orlando. We love to hear how our on-site hotel guests utilize the benefits at Universal Orlando’s theme parks to add ease and efficiency to their vacations. As a Florida resident, we hope you have many opportunities to come back and visit. Until then, ciao!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davenport, Iowa
Level Contributor
130 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

The beds were SOOO comfortable!! The pillows, bed, comforter, all were very comfortable and nobody wanted to get out of bed!
The bathroom was very spacious with ample amenities.
One suggestion I have is make sure you aren't in a room that has a connecting door to your neighboring room because it isn't very noise proof.
Also make sure you check your bill, if the mini bar is opened they have sensors on the doors and they will charge you for misc. items.

Room Tip: make sure you aren't in a room that has a connecting door to your neighboring room because it is...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Luckster77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Stayed with family over a weekend to take advantage of the express pass (skip the line) option inside the 2 Universal Theme Parks. First off, its extremely convenient to get to the park along with the early entry facility. We typically opt to stay at fairly decent luxury hotels around Disney which cost about the same if not more that this resort. The one thing lacking in room is the maintenance/up keep. The room itself was very spacious however the carpets had all sort of questionable stains, the towels either had small hairs or blood stains and the doors/walls had black marks (possibly grease or who knows??).

When spending approximately $275 a night I would have expected a much more decent room without any extras on the walls, floors and the towels. If other properties around them are able to maintain theirs without these extras, I would expect the same from Loews.

Breakfast was also not included in the price but we tried a Sunday brunch buffet at the Trattoria del Porto. During the second serving we noticed a gluten free pancake which looked like someone took a bite off of and placed it back on the serving plate and there was food all over the floor and no one really cared. People were stepping on that food and walking with bacon and sausages stuck to their shoes (very gross). The waiting staff was walking around but either the half eaten pancake or the food on the floor did not really bother them. Disney does a much better job at cleaning up behind people.

Finally, I provided a survey a day or two later and a front desk manager followed up with an email apologizing and said he wanted to personally talk about my experience but of course never called back which tells me that customer satisfaction is not on top of their priority list.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank schillak
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, 20 June 2014
Thank you for your candid feedback. Please know that your comfort and enjoyment are our priority. These issues you mentioned should not have been an inconvenience to you during your stay, so please accept my sincere apologies. I am happy our management staff reached out to you, but disappointed to read there was no further follow up. I would value the opportunity to speak to you directly. Please feel free to contact me at portofinogeneralmanager@loewshotels.com with your contact information so we may set up a call at your earliest convenience.
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Lake Mary fl
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We have stayed at the Portofino several times and they never fail to exceed our expectations! The staff at every aspect are exceptional. Whitney assisted us with out check in and upgraded us to a balcony room as our room wasn't ready yet and we used American Express Fine Resort option which allows for noon check in when available so when our room was still not ready at 2:30 she upgraded us which was very nice and again reflects on the resorts above and beyond service! We had lunch and drinks at the pool bar and we excited to see Karl working as he has served us on previous visits and it was nice to see him again! Karl is not only a nice guy, great bar tender ( his mojitos are the bomb) he is always smiling and loves his job and it shows! The cabana was a huge gesture and made our stay at the pool even more enjoyable for our 20th anniversary! Don't forget to have dinner at Bice amazing food and also meeting the quality of the impeccable service you will find at the PBH!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great and were redone a few years ago! The mini suite overlooking the bay are our...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gina H
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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