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“Convenience outweighs the high price”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #40 of 341 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 8 July 2009

Stayed here in March with my friend. Both of us really enjoyed the property and especially the pool. We had a full week of 85 degrees and just loved laying around such a beautiful pool. The staff were always most helpful - from front desk, concierge, and restaurant staff. The room was adaquate. Not amazing, but I knew that when I booked it. I was really here for the convenience of location and the use of the front of the line pass. However, I can say that in March this pass was not even necessary. I just came back from another trip to Universal over July 4th weekend and I really wish I had stayed on site then and got that priviledge! Breakfast in the Kitchen was probably the best that I have ever had! We ate there twice and didn't mind paying the $20. My biggest gripe was that we rented a car for one day and because I had parked it in their lot for two hours, I was charged the daily lot fee of $22. My rental on the car for the day was only $45! And one note regarding the rental - on site property will only rent hybred cars and that was a real trip to learn how to drive! Thankfully they go out and give you a lesson before you leave with the vehicle! Next year I am returning to Orlando with my family and instead of paying a lower rate to stay off property like I just did, I would absolutely return to one of the Universal hotels like I had in March. The location and the express pass is certainly well worth the extra dollars. Hope that this review helps!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank loveisbliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,671 - 7,677 of 9,201 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2009

We stayed here for 10 days in June. We had a room on the 6th Floor.
Staff are very friendly, we had a problem with the in room safe and someone came and fixed it within 10 minutes of calling them. Rooms are comfortable and quite spacious. We had no trouble with noise from other guests as has been reported. Food and drink quite expensive but there is a Golden Corall 5 minutes away which we used quite a bit.
Pool is a bit shallow, but i am over 6 feet and could swim around in most areas.
Car park is a rip off, $15 a day so budget for this. The parks are within a 10 minute stroll through some lovely gardens, although it was 95 degrees each day which made walking difficult! They were late cleaning the rooms some days, it was 7.30pm one day, which was a pain as after a day in the parks you just want to relax and get your feet up.
However the cleaning staff were all friendly and did a very good job.
There is a laundry room where my wife spent a happy afternoon and reported it was good value. Probably the highlight of her stay! There is free WIFI in the lobby area, but a charge if you want to use it in your room.
I would definately stay here again if I was to return to Orlando.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank mouse10Norwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2009

Okay, so we have been to some REALLY great hotels in the past, AND some terrible ones. This one was AVERAGE....except for the location. If you are wanting to be within a 5 minute walk (or free boat ride or "gratuity only " rickshaw ride) away from Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and City Walk, then this is the place to be. It is in the middle of it all. But given the price of about $200/night?? I was a little disappointed. The room was pretty clean, but had this sticky spot on the carpet, right in the middle of the floor that I seemed to hit EVERY time I walked through the room...gross! Who knows what it was that was SO sticky it could stop you in your tracks? The decor was kinda nice, room kinda small, view of the parking lot with a patch of grass and trees, okay.
The pool rocked...zero grade entry...live music...fun for the kids with the waterslide...never heard the underwater music, though.
We stayed for 3 nights...one of the bathroom rugs disappeared on day two...the other on day three...it bothered me to have to stand on bare ceramic tile in the bathroom so I called down and asked for our bathroom rugs to be replaced. They sent bathmats. I asked for the two original comfy white rugs that we originally had...they DID find some and brought them promptly.
The remote was missing, too, BIG deal for my husband...they brought one within half an hour...but then we couldn't get the MAJOR networks?? WARNING!!! IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN MAKE SURE TO SET PARENTAL LOCKS... HBO and all kinds of evening shows are available with the push of a button!!
BTW...breakfast buffet is AMAZING!!! at the Kitchen Rest. on the 1st floor! ANYTHING you would want for breakfast, good service, etc. but we had VOUCHERS for free breakfast every morning...don't know the actual price.
Also...we checked in on Thurs. night....end of the month..HUGE concert in the LOBBY...it was WARRANT the eighties band that sings "Cherry Pie". Loud, chaotic, forced to valet park...not the best time to arrive with a 4 and 6 yr. old! PLUS it costs $15 to self park (per night) or $22 for valet...COMPLETE RIP OFF!!
So, to sum things up...we were there on a FREE all inclusive trip through my husbands company with our 4 and 6 yr. old. The location is INCREDIBLE...but the rest...just adequate. I would have come away feeling disappointed if I had spent the regular price of $200/night for a room that we spent VERY little time in, and was just mediocre. Hope this helps, and if you like the way I review, see my summary of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We just came back home today from there! Happy Traveling!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank bdostal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2009

This is the 3rd year we have stayed at the Hard Rock in Orlando. I love the atmosphere at this place. The pool is wonderful. My youngest child loves to go down to the pool when the DJ is there and she loves participating in the nice activities they have for the kids. The main reason we stay here is because of the location to the parks and the fast passes you get for the rides because you stay at the resort. It is worth it to us to do this. Although this is a very nice place to stay I do find a few downfalls. It is quite costly and you pay high dollar for just a bottle of coke. But we knew this going into to it. The other things was that this time I felt like the mattress on the bed was extremely hard. I called housekeeping to see if we could get another one but they couldn't do that. They did bring me some blankets to help pad the mattress but that made it worse. I did appreciate the attempt to help. All in all this is a very nice place to stay and will go back again one day.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank KimRN66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

The lobby area is beautiful, spacious and packed with memorabilia. There's also a nice little gift shop selling Hard Rock clothing and gifts as well as some other clothing brands (at suprisingly reasonable prices). The shop also sells essential items such as soft drinks, bottle openers and painkillers.

Our room was fine, nothing much to write home about but it was a decent size and immaculate. The flat screen tv was a nice touch (having HBO was even better!) and the Keurig coffee was very nice. Some reviews have mentioned a noise problem at the hotel, we had no problems at all with this; we stayed on the 5th floor overlooking the pool and 95% of the time, while we were in the room, we could have been the only people in the hotel it was so quiet.

The pool area was fabulous. On week days it was quiet with no queues for the slide but it was packed on Saturday afternoon. As some other reviews have pointed out, you can't really swim in the pool as it's only 4ft 6ins at it's deepest point, but then it's a 'fun' area, not a fitness one. There is an adults only spa pool (as well as one for all ages) unfortunately, we found the water just a little too hot to stay in for more than a couple of minutes! Loved the slide, the volleyball court and the 'beach'. The underwater sound system worked brilliantly - sometimes you could actually hear the music better underwater than over. We missed the dive-in movies but did manage to catch some live music around the pool, which was very pleasant and not too loud or overbearing. Drinks from the beach club were fairly pricey when compared with UK prices, at $21.95 for two beers, but this seemed to be fairly average around Orlando and included an 18% gratuity. The service from the bar staff was excellent - there's nothing quite like lying in the pool on a baking hot day and having a friendly face delivering you ice cold drinks at regular intervals!

We travelled as a group of adults - I know that some 'adults only' parties have complained about loud and out of control children at the hotel; maybe we were just lucky but we didn't notice this at all. There were lots of children around the pool at the weekend and they made normal levels of 'kid noise' but I really don't see children playing as a problem.

The hotel grounds were my favourite aspect of the whole place. Lush, perfectly maintained and teeming with wildlife (lizards, squirrels, butterflies and birds) the five minute walk to the parks was an absolute pleasure. When wandering the gardens, it's so peaceful that it's very easy to forget that you're so close to thousands of tourists.

There is a free water taxi from the hotel to City Walk. These run about every 20 minutes and are a very pleasant way to travel athough it's probably quicker for most people to walk instead.

All hotel guests can use their room keys to pay for food, drink and shopping in the parks and at City Walk - this is great as it means you don't have to carry cash or credit cards around with you. More importantly, your room key also acts as a free, unlimited fast pass into all the rides and shows throughout your stay - this undoubtedly saved us hours of queueing in sizzling hot temperatures and meant we were able to pack so much more into our days. It's almost worth staying at a resort hotel just for this!

I can't comment on the hotel restaurants as we didn't use them (too much choice elsewhere!).

The only real downside was that we didn't have a car. When we'd been to Orlando previously, we had only had a car for part of our stay but didn't have any problems as we were at an I-Drive hotel with easy access to the I-Ride trolley and free hotel shuttles to all the parks. As Universal is a fair distance away from I-Drive, we ended up paying quite a lot for taxis (the heat made it almost unbearable to walk most of the time). Although we didn't go to Disney, if we'd wanted to we obvoiusly wouldn't have had the advantage of the free Disney shuttles operated by many of the non-Universal hotels. Although Hard Rock charges $16 a day for parking, I'd say it's worth paying for the convenience of being able to travel where and when you please.

Overall, we had a great stay.

  • Stayed: June 2009
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3  Thank saffstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2009

Me and my boyfriend just recently came back from orlando.. We stayed at the onsite hotel. Hard rock hotel, it was incredible, not to mention the keys to the room allowed us to by pass all the lines at both parks!!... we thought we weren't gonna be able to ride all the rides; being because we did both park in one day!.. boy were we wrong!. We arrvie at the park by 9:00 rode all the rides and saw the shows we wanted, finish by 4:30!!!!!!!! (But do keep in mind it was just the two of us, may vary for a family with kids.........) the hotel was very nice & clean and reasonable price for the restaurants. they offered transportation to and back to the parks so i never used my car excpet for arrving and leaving....the following day we did Disney Quest!! I personally didnt like it, we spend $80 for the 2 of us!. it allowed you to leave and enter the building for that day. my boyfriend is 23 he loved it ,i guess its because he's a kid at heart :). i personally think they over price it way too much!!, but there are many games!!! but not what i expected. ... hope this helps!!! :)

1  Thank maddy_knows_best
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

My wife and I just stayed at the Hard rock for 15 nights in June 2009. It is an excellent hotel that I would recommend. The following are the good and the bad points we encountered

Location - This hotel is a few hundred yards from the original Universal studios attraction which can be easily walked to, has a complimentary boat to every 20 minutes and has some guys on bikes who will drive you around for a tip
Very nice hotel, very well equipped, no real complaints about facilities, a large pretty (shallow) pool very suitable for children.
Believe it or not this hotel is very suitable for children!
Staff are very helpful, friendly and professional
If you stay at a universal hotel your room card gets you to the front of the line at all the theme park rides. This is invaluable. Please note entry to the parks is not normally inclulded in the room price

Many of the rooms are adjoining by a flimsy door that does little to keep the sounds out from your neighbours rooms. One night I could hear a woman having a very pleasant stay. Another night a lot of children appeared to be having a squaling party. Another night I actually had to phone security and complain when a guest decided to practice his guitar playing very loudly at 2am waking up both my wife and I. I complained the next day to the management who somehow ensured it did not happen again.
The pool - Very pretty but is not much more than 3 feet deep anywhere, great for young children but virtually useless for anyone above 5 feet tall.

We normally stay at the royal pacific, and very slightly prefer the RP, but I was really impressed with the Hard Rock and would recommend it. I have also stayed in many other local hotels, including Disney's Port Orleans and motel 6's Quality Inn plaza etc. You should expect the likes of RP and Hard Rock to be better than these cheaper hotels, and you would not be dissapointed.

Very impressed by all the staff, they were some of the friendliest and most helpful I have ever met

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HappyVisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

Address: 5800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-7834
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#32 Green Hotel in Orlando
#39 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: £197 - £438 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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