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“Excellent staff, lovely location accessible to I-Drive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   5601 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #86 of 327 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersSilver level
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent staff, lovely location accessible to I-Drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Themed hotel designed to look like the real Portofino Bay, with a free boat that takes you straight to Universal Studios. Plenty of shops and food choices although my room was so far away from reception, that became annoying after 2 days. The staff are very attentive and helpful, my room was large, well equipped and had beautiful views. I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again if on another business trip or vacation based around IDrive. Epcot is about a 30 minute drive away but you need to allow for the traffic. Sea World is 15 minute drive maximum. Cheaper than Hard Rock Hotel but better value and more kid friendly.

Room Tip: When booking ask which wing is closest to reception or at least aim for one on the 3rd floor which i...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (297)
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We had a great trip to Universal and stayed at Portofino Bay. The room was lovely and the beds and pillows really comfortable. Slept well every night.

Bathroom set up was not ideal for a family of four trying to get ready for the parks each day. Wished the sinks had been outside the toilet/shower area. No refrigerator to store water or milk but we purchased a Styrofoam cooler at Target which was 10 minutes away and refilled it with ice each day.

Ride to parks on water taxi was quick and efficient. Walk to park was a bit long (only did this once).

Liked having Starbucks on the premises but they closed by 8 each day - not good for someone who likes to have a cup of tea before bedtime. The Gelateria served gelato which was very good. They also sell milk and juice and other breakfast staples as well as candy treats.

Sal's Deli was very good and we went there frequently. They serve meals, sandwiches, snacks, drinks (loved the individual bottles of wine for a night cap out on the piazza instead of the tea I was originally looking for). They do have other restaurants/bars but we did not take advantage of them.

Very hot and not very shady out on the piazza during the day but beautiful at night.

Pool was nice, slide was fun but ducks also seem to live there and left many gifts in the water...kind of gross. Did not have trouble finding seats and always had plenty of clean towels.

Overall, it is a very nice hotel and we enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Loews Hotels and Resorts

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mastic, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I was able to stay here as part of a business trip with my company. It was my first time staying on property at a Universal resort, although I had been to Universal before (about 5 years prior). The first thing that needs to be said is that the property is beautiful. Definitely in my top five as far as properties go. It's modeled after the Italian town of Portofino, and I was told by a Universal employee that Steven Spielberg was vacationing in Portofino when he had the idea for the hotel. I'll have a list of pros and cons below, but here's my overview. Rooms were generally clean, nice and spacious at 450 square feet (that's a difference between the deluxe hotels and that moderate/value ones). My room was in the villa wing and had 2 queen beds. We even had a theme park view with a view of Hogwarts castle, which was awesome. The beds were very comfortable and the climate system was adequate.

Let's go into the pros and cons for this hotel which I think will sum my thoughts up much easier. Bottom line is that pros definitely outweigh any cons here.

Pros:
-Beautiful grounds with nice pathways, seating areas and harbor
-Excellent on-site dining which includes many options from quick-service to upscale, Mama Della's was exceptionally good
-On-site Universal benefits including free unlimited Express passes and early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
-Staff was outstanding and went out their way to make sure we felt welcome
-Rooms were very nice with large comfortable beds
-Wifi is free
-Package delivery service is convenient and free- allows you to ship any purchases to your room as long as it's in advance of 24 hours before checkout
-Theming is spot on, makes you feel like you're literally in Italy
-Bell service holds your luggage at no charge at check-in or check-out if you want to explore the resort or go to the parks, very simple process similar to other hotels' offerings
-Hertz location on-site for spontaneous or reserved car rentals if needed
-TV speaker on the bathroom ceiling is an interesting concept
-Transportation is free to parks or even to the other Universal hotels if you want to go for meals or to explore- there is water taxi service or you can walk if you want to

Alright, now on to the cons:
-Wifi signal was very bad in my room. It was strong by the window but not by the beds. Others in my group had similar issues. It should be noted, however, that the free wifi in both Universal parks and CityWalk was amazing. (Also- get the free Universal Orlando app- once in the parks it helps with wait times and interactive mapping)
-Hotel is very large which can result in long walks to your room depending on location- however there are many different entrances to the guest room wings with elevators which can lower the walk times
-The hallways are showing a couple of signs of age (scuff marks on the walls, etc). Rooms however were totally fine. It should be noted though that the hotel is literally undergoing a renovation right now, and I saw them painting walls and sprucing things up during my stay.
-The lobby is actually on the 3rd floor which can be confusing, but signage is very good and there are resort maps everywhere to guide you
-If you're driving, there's a $20 nightly parking charge.

All in all, I definitely recommend this hotel, but make sure to take a look at Universal's other properties to see if there's something that better suits your family (for example, Cabana Bay may appeal to children a bit more). This hotel is best for couples looking for a romantic getaway, or really anyone looking for a scenic, relaxing hotel with nice rooms that has all the benefits of an on-site Universal hotel. I'd definitely love to stay here again next time I come to Universal.

Room Tip: 2-bedroom Kids suites are available (Despicable Me themed)
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

A bit late on this review.

Beautiful property. The room was great. Nice large bathroom. Service was impeccable. Very friendly. Wouldn't recommend getting club level though. Just not worth the extra money.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Once on the property you don't need to use your card again. The room was ready ahead of time. Clean, large, and a view. The staff did everything plus more. You have access to city walk Restraunts and activities. The hotel has two above average Restraunts on site. You will need reservations. The boat to both Parks and city walk makes round trips until 2:am. The longest I waited was less than 15 minutes. The spa was able to accommodate my request for services.

Consider the Club level when you booking. They have average to above average perks and refreshments. The staff is worth it alone. They make sure everyone enjoys themselves.

They had walking and running trails and pet friendly.

Room Tip: I liked the room in the middle of the hotel. Easiest access to club room, Restraunts, pool, boat and...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greer, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We were really excited about returning to one of our vacation favorites. We were a party of four adults (One parent, two adult children, and an adult guest) We stayed in a garden view room in the East Wing. The room was large enough that we didn't feel claustrophobic. The pillows and beds were awesome! My daughter was so obsessed with them she found out the brand names. It was very quiet and we got a good night's sleep each night. Our room was clean and didn't look worn. The only problem we had with the room was maid service. She did a great job but she generally did not make it to our room until late afternoon. That cramped our style a little while we were trying to get ready to go out to dinner. I am sure it just involved logistics of getting all the rooms cleaned. The hotel offers many amenities that make the stay nice. We did visit the pool and Starbucks and were overall happy with them. We hit Starbucks one morning when they were training a new employees and our coffees were on the weak side. There is a water taxi that you can take to city walk and the parks. However, we chose to walk everyday. I am 60 years old and it only took about 10 minutes. We rented a mini-freig to keep in the room for yogurt, cheese, and drinks. It especially helped us out in the morning to grab a quick bite to eat. I would recommend the hotel to family and friends without hesitation.

Room Tip: We enjoyed on the fourth floor in the East Wing. It required some walking, but it was very quiet du...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

everything was great, the room size, ambiance, staff were awesome. one of my party was gluten free and they made sure they had options for her that were actually good. beds and pillows were very comfortable. we just had a great time.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Loews Hotels and Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Address: 5601 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#15 Green Hotel in Orlando
#16 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#28 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#39 Business Hotel in Orlando
#63 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#90 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):
Celebrate la dolce vita — the sweet life — at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando®. Located at Universal Orlando® Resort, this luxurious hotel re-creates the charm and romance of the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy, right down to the cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes. Hotel guests enjoy spacious guest rooms featuring authentic Italian furnishings, impeccable and attentive service, an opulent spa, three themed swimming pools and exceptional dining. Hotel guests also enjoy an exclusive package of theme park benefits, including: * Early Park Admission† to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required)* Universal Express ride access* to skip the regular lines throughout both theme parks - a FREE benefit worth up to $87 per person, per day (valid theme park admission required)* Complimentary water taxis or shuttle buses to make getting around the resort fast and easy so you can make the most of your time * And more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Loews Portofino Bay Resort
Portofino Orlando
Portofino Bay Hotel Orlando

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