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“Perfect family hotel with great access and benefits”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
Wellesley, MA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Perfect family hotel with great access and benefits”
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Just returned from five days at the Hard Rock at Universal, and can't say enough good things about our stay. We were two families, totaling 3 adults and 3 children. Hotel is about 25 min from the airport. We rented a minivan, because we also did a day trip to Legoland (another review, but a great time). Upon arrival at Hard Rock, we were so impressed. The property is spotless, and the staff is terrific. The check in desk spent about 20 mins going over all the amenities and telling us about the parks, the restaurants, etc. Our rooms were clean, well decorated, and well equipped with free wifi, cable, etc. I am a nut about things being clean, and everything here was spotless. Housekeeping did a great job each day while we were out. We did notice room service left trays out longer than expected, but not a problem. There is an in room docking station for iPhone, which was a nice extra. Pool area was gorgeous and extremely well staffed and well maintained. Every staff person we dealt with during our stay was friendly, and went out of their way to bring us more towels, give advice, accommodate requests, and was generally extremely friendly. The Kitchen restaurant was great for breakfast (buffet was included in our package and was AWESOME). We had dinner twice at the pool bar restaurant-great place to unwind after a day at the parks, and they even had a "dive in movie" each night. Kids loved the huge water slide, and adults loved that the pool is never deeper than about 5 feet, so no stress watching children. Went to Universal one day, and Islands of Adventure the other, plus strolling on City Walk both days. Hotel is super accessible to parks, either on a beautiful walking trail (5 min) or by water taxi. Rock and pop music pumped into every nook and cranny (it is the Hard Rock, after all), and great rock and roll items throughout. Kids loved the guitar fountain, and the music themed rooms. Also had character dinners, magicians at dinner one night, and a nice play space off the restaurant for young children. Great store on ground level with Emack & Bolios ice cream, Starbucks coffee/lattes, and snacks.

PROS: Express pass makes this a no-brainer. Made ALL the difference in enjoying the park. Clean rooms, good food, great pool area (open and lifeguards from 8am-10pm), super close to parks, included breakfast, great staff.

CONS: $15/day to self park. Walls between rooms not very sound proof. Would suggest that light sleepers bring earplugs or white noise of some sort. We were so tired each day that it wasn't a big deal.

Room Tip: Higher up and farther away from elevators will be more quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank travelbettie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Tilbury, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Loved the Hard Rock! I visited Universal in September of 2010 ( I know a little late with the review!) it was a familiarization trip for work (travel agent) It was my first time to Universal Orlando. I have been to Disney a few times.
Room was really nice. had a great view overlooking the pool Loved the Keurig type coffee maker in the rooms. Toured lots of other room types , all very nice - suites are awesome. Lobby was large and open, staff was amazing, music playing all the time - so cool! Loved the pool area the best. Busy trip, wished I had more time to spend in it! The time I did, the wait staff around the pool was very attentive. Hearing the music underwater was neat too. They have dive in movies at night, so you and the kids can watch movies in the pool. Had a few meals at The Kitchen, all were really good. Hard Rock is a fun resort. If you are looking for quiet and relaxing away from the parks, I wouldn't recommend it to you. Portofino would be a better choice. Loved how close the resorts are to the parks and citywalk! A stroll or water taxi ride away. I was able to tour the other 2 resorts and both were very nice, but the Hard Rock would be my choice for my family! Blue Man Group show was a must see as well.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Janet B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
199 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Total buzz, from arrival and best valet service possible to cool rooms, superb lobby, brilliant Velvet Bar and the greatest pool. Everything is absolutely brilliant. Top tip hire a cabana for a day by the pool it is the ultimate decadence!

Room Tip: Don't sweat any room will do!
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

Stayed here in April 2011. Great time to go as wasn't so busy and weather still great.

The rooms were nice and clean, perhaps a little small. We had 2 double beds and four people (2 adults and 2 children) so could be a little cramped.

The service around the pool was excellent - waiters/waitresses walking around and constantly checking if you needed anything. Food and drinks great!

I would stay here for the Queue Jump passes alone. They allow you to skip the long queues in Island of Adventure and Universal Studios which can save hours, aswell as allowing you into Island of Adventure an hour early to get to the Harry Potter ride (as this is only ride you can't use the Queue jump for).

Pool area is loud, music all day and plays movies at night, if you'r looking for a quieter hotel I'd go for The Portifino Bay or Loews Royal Pacific.

Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank em85x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 10 February 2012
Thank you so much for your outstanding feedback about the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! We are glad you enjoyed our pool area and we hope to see you again soon! Until next time, rock on!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
154 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I was a little scared about this property after reading some reviews of cockroaches (I live in absolute terror of cockroaches!!), but we had a lovely stay here. The hotel was lovely and access to the parks was very convenient. Furthermore the rooms were clean and service was prompt. The only reason I didn't give the property 5 stars is:
a. The tap water tasted a little weird
b. After reaching back home we found someone's car keys in one of our suitcases, and the only explanation I can think of is that someone from room service must have dropped it inside while going through our stuff, since we always zipped the suitcases before leaving the room. However, we were not missing any stuff.
c. We found a used cigarette butt in the safe.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed the property and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank megagarwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
st. louis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

Our family stayed at the Hard Rock Orlando the week before Thanksgiving and had one of the most memorable family vacations yet.
We are experienced travelers. We've stayed at All Inclusives, 5 * hotels, and Super 8's...and everything in between.
This Hotel has everything you could ask for. Yes, it's more pricey than most (drinks and food are expensive, but it's Orlando and what isn't overpriced?)
Drinks pool side will run you about $7/beer or $9/drink.
The pool is heated, which helped at night when it got down in the low 70's. The poolside movies were a nice treat for the kids (11, 9. 6). The pool slide was fun even for the Adults and the Sand area made for a nice break in the day.
You can walk to either Universal park within 5 minutes. We had about a 15 min. drive to The Magic Kingdom.
The week went, the longest wait we had for any ride at the parks...including Disney, was about 10 minutes. The week before Thanksgiving was not crowded AT ALL.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank 5fords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chertsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed here for my birthday recently and can honestly say that we really had a great time. We chose this hotel because of its links with Universal Studios,and the early access to the Harry Potter rides. It did not let us down and although it may be expensive the service we received was superb. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome and it was noted by the receptionist that it was my birthday. Our room was upgraded immediately and when we asked for a single bed rather than a double we were told that one was not available for the first night but they would move us for the remainder of our stay the following day. This was done whilst we were out and when we returned the next night our belongings had been moved for us. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, our room was always kept clean and the house staff always helpful and polite. We did have a slight problem with a room service order but this was resolved without fuss immediately. The pool area is very good along with the food and service. We would recommend this hotel and will hopefully be returning soon. One tip, if you get an All Access Card prior to your stay you get free upgrade and free wi-fi all for $25.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thebernard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, 10 February 2012
Thank you so much for your amazing feedback about the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We are glad to hear that you had a great time and we hope you had a great birthday! Until next time, rock on!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

Property: Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Address: 5800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-7834
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#33 Green Hotel in Orlando
#39 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando 4*
Number of rooms: 650
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live like a rock star and savor the perks of rock 'n' roll royalty with impeccable accommodations, laid-back luxurious style and show-stopping service. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock 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:
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Hotel Hard Rock
Hard Rock Resort
Hard Rock Orlando
Hard Rock Cafe Hotel Orlando
Universal Hard Rock Hotel
Hard Rock Hotel At Universal Orlando Florida

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