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“Not entirely worth the money” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   5800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #55 of 328 hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
Leicester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
“Not entirely worth the money”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

My family of five checked in for overnight (2 adults, 1 grandma and two teens) primarily to get the fastpass access to Universal IoA rides including the early entry to Harry Potter (you now get the fastpass from when you check in to the end of the day afterwards with a special photocard) and to park the car (for free) for that day without having to pay for extra parking at the park. We actually went to Universal Studios the day before without a fastpass because it was really quiet.

We had previously been to the Royal Pacific Hotel - one of the sister hotels to this one - but we wanted to see how much better the Hard Rock was.

The theming is excellent from the off. A sweeping drive culminating in a fountain of metal guitars just outside the main lobby makes you feel as if you've arrived at a rock star's home. The lobby was spacious with some interesting memorabilia displayed well. Check in was quick and efficient (although I received some incorrect advice from the staff about a discount booklet). The rooms were bright and spacious with nice artwork on the walls.

Because it was unseasonably hot for February we all used the pool too. Again, nicely themed, very large with lots of sunbeds and palm trees. Unfortunately the vaunted 'underwater sound system' didn't seem to be working, which was a bit of a shame.

We used the boat to get to the park and saw the fireworks the previous night but we didn't eat at the hotel so I can't comment on the restaurants. We then took advantage of early entry to Harry Potter the next morning. I had decided not to have breakfast at the hotel thinking we could grab and go at Citywalk but nothing was open at 7.30 so we had to wait until we were in the park at 8.

So, it was a good experience but we all (unanimously) preferred the Royal Pacific Hotel for its pool and even the theming. My daughter went as far to say the Hard Rock's decor was 'a bit tacky', which wasn't the case at the Royal Pacific. I would say (although this is just my opinion) that the rooms in the Hard Rock were perhaps slightly bigger but you're there for such a short time that it doesn't really matter.

So I'm glad that we have seen both hotels but when we come back it will be to the Royal Pacific.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (638)
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English first
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

What can I say that hasn't been said in previous reviews? The Hard Rock is extremely convenient if you are vising the Universal theme parks. The buildings are very nice, the rooms are a decent size and are a bit nicer than the Royal Pacific. The pool is massive and heated, there are two standard sized hot tubs of which one is reserved for adults only. There is also a water slide.

The biggest benefit is that you can walk to the parks (or take the water taxi) and that your room key give you unlimited express access to most rides. This is amazing! One thing that I found to be frustrating is that if you are walking back after 10pm, they close the walking path by pool and make you walk twice as far. Not fun after a long day at the parks or if it is raining.

Food and drink are a bit on the pricey side, but the quality is good and it is convenient. You have a ton of options at CityWalk as well.

Note, look into buying an annual pass to get the annual passholder rate. I saved about $80 per night. This can pay for itself in a few days!

I always stay at one of the onsite Loews hotels when visiting Universal, the benefits are definitely worth the extra expense.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Long Island, NY
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Stayed here for one night to take advantage of the early opening of Harry Potter and our love of the Hard Rock brand. The place is very nice and the rooms are spacious. We stayed on the concierge level so we had access to breakfast and a nice commom room. A nice lit walkway to the parks or a boat is available. The pool is a good size with a very nice slide. Expensive but well worth it. With front of the line access to all the rides as well it was great fun. No more than 3hrs are needed to complete either park due to your minimal wait time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, February 21, 2013
Thank you for your feedback about the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We love loyal Hard Rockers and we are happy that you enjoyed yourselves when you were here with us. Glad to hear that the Express Passes that come with the room worked out so well for you all also! We look forward to having you stay with us again soon! ROCK ON!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook Park, Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

My son and I enjoyed a marvelous father-son vacation at the Universal Studios complex in Orlando in early February 2013. We stayed on the grounds at the Hard Rock Hotel. From the moment of our arrival to our departure five days later I experienced possibly the most friendly and helpful hotel service in my lifetime.

The hotel building itself is a pleasure to look at. The huge lobby is magnificent and welcoming with rock and roll memorabilia adorning same. The room was comfortable and exceptionally clean. The view from the room was an overlook of the huge pool with partial sand beach with
scenic palm trees on the fringes.

The breakfast buffet served in the hotel's The Kitchen restaurant offered a great variety of breakfast foods along with several varieties of fruit juices. Hotel guests use free shuttle boat rides
from the hotel dock along a scenic canal to the parks entrances. A magnificent perk of staying at
the hotel is the express pass you receive which puts you at the head of the line for various choice rides . You also go to the head of the line at most of the restaurants on CityWalk. It,s wonderful to walk onto a ride without a wait. Everyting you buy anywhere at the Universal complex can be charged to your room by just showing your magnetic room key. Every souvenir you purchase dous not have to be lugged around but can be delivered to your room the next day.

Well, I'm sure I haven't covered everting I liked about the wonderful hotel; but I am sure if you decide to stay here you'll love it.

Room Tip: Choose a swing pool view or garden view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Normal, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

We made a reservation 6 months ahead for a kind bed and a room with two beds. We were told by a CSR and a front desk manager that no king beds were available. A 30 minute discussion ensued with 5 people in our party listening to an explanation that "there was nothing they could do". We asked to be upgraded since the hotel was not honoring our original king bed request...the answer was no. After requesting to speak with the front desk's manager's supervisor we waited another 10 minutes...the front desk manager appeared and stated the supervisor was not available but he somehow "found" a king bed/room for us to use. An hour after the inital front desk discussion we were on way to the correct room.

The Hard Rock is a clean hotel. All other hotel services were as expected. It is adjacent to the Universal Parks and allows one hour early entrance to them along with free express passes to most rides. The food and drink prices at the hotel are exceptionally high. They claim they treat you like rock stars...expected to pay rock star prices.

Room Tip: do more than "request" a room type....confirm the room type the day before arriving and be...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

This hotel was very convenient for visiting Universal Studios. We were able to walk to the park in less than 5 minutes. Also if you stay on ground you can go to certain rides in Islands of Adventure an hour early and you get Express Passes which allow you shorter lines. The hotel does have loud music playing late at night and early in the morning so bring ear plugs. Also, the walls are thin so you can often hear people in the halls. The hotel alarm went off around 7am one morning which was unfortunate. The pool area was gorgeous and the pool is heated.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

Room was nice and clean, pool was great, nice restaurant, and service was helpful. We went to the park and with express passes there was no wait and the location was perfect. I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Green Hotel in Orlando
#43 Family Hotel in Orlando
#48 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#80 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live like a rock 'n' roll superstar at the exciting Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando® You’ll feel like rock 'n' roll royalty with impeccable accommodations, a wealth of recreation and personal service and attention fit for an "A-List" celebrity. The Hard Rock Hotel is lively, yet laid back. Classy, yet totally casual, with a sand beach pool that immerses you in sound, not just water; authentic rock 'n' roll memorabilia; the legendary Palm Restaurant and more. You don't have to be a rock star to stay at Hard Rock Hotel. But after just a few hours, you’ll definitely get used to living the lifestyle.Hotel guests also enjoy an exclusive package of theme park benefits, including:* Early Park Admission† to Islands of Adventure, 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:
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Hotel Hard Rock
Hard Rock Resort
Hard Rock Orlando
Hard Rock Cafe Hotel Orlando
Universal Hard Rock Hotel

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