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“Just A Fun Place” 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 #57 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Just A Fun Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2004

We've stayed at the Hard Rock 3 times, the most recent in January 2004. Our family, including kids 9 and 10, loves it. It's just a fun place to stay.

The service is friendly, but not all that attentive. But that's okay, because the atmosphere is easy and relaxed. The rooms are cool, with a slightly edgy design. The beds are comfortable. The pool is like an oasis, with a decent water slide. It is only a couple of feet deep (2-3 feet maybe), though, so it may not attract older kids. Getting a chair is no problem.

The front-of-the-line passes to Universal and Islands of Adventure are priceless. At first, you feel guilty bypassing the lines. Then you realize it's the only way to go!

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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
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High Wycombe, UK
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2004

Stayed a week at the HRH as the highlight of two weeks in Orlando, our first trip to the USA. This is a great family hotel, getting a little frayed around the edges. We booked a family room poolside, but with the density of palms surrounding the pool little of the pool was actually visible. Add to that the lack of balcony and sealed windows and you may as well go for a garden view room, which are significantly cheaper – the gardens surrounding the hotel are abundant and well cared for. Beds firm and comfy, linen clean but tatty and worn/torn in places, as were the corridor carpets. Staff friendly and helpful, but cleaners were chasing us out of the room at 09:30 on the last day, despite check-out being 11:00. Pool, while aesthetically appealing, is a joke for this class of hotel. At a maximum of around 1 metre deep our 13 year old suffered two bruised toes and many grazes trying to swim in this paddling pool. Staying at Easter, with the adjacent parks crowded (34,000 at Universal on the Saturday) the Express passes are priceless.
With standard queues regularly peaking at 2 hours (why bother?), with the passes we never queued for more than 20 mins, usually 0-10. On reflection four days at the HRH would have been enough, a week is too long. For us it’s key appeal lay in the Express passes.

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3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2004

After a memorable and enjoyable trip to Universal’s Portofino Bay Hotel, my wife and I decided our next trip would be to the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. Both hotels are owned by the same management group, so we assumed that the level of service and courtesy would be equal between the two properties. Let me be the first to tell you, it is not.
The Hard Rock is too wound up with its own glitz and popularity to stoop to anything as slow as common courtesy and good service. Our first indication of this was the fact that our room was no where near ready when we arrived at the appointed check-in time. It was only after numerous phone calls to the front desk that we finally were able to check in at 5:30 p.m. By that time, my wife was nearly dead from heat stroke, as we had decided to go to the park since we could not get into our room. I, myself, was tired because the Hard Rock has no adequate facilities for moving your luggage from the parking area to your room.
Guests must either endure the conga line of traffic to the front portico or hike up a mountain of stairs from the parking area. I chose the stairs, and it was after my long march up the stairs that the doorman greeted me with, “Dude, that luggage looks heavy.” He was nice enough to open the door, but the thought of helping with my luggage did not enter his pierced and studded head.

The room itself was nicely appointed with a good view of the garden. I was surprised by the comfortable bed, pillows, and quiet surroundings.
Since most of the guests like to party, it is good to know that the Hard Rock has thick walls.

After a hard and sweaty day at the park, we decided to hit the famous Hard Rock pool. It is huge and well-designed. Unfortunately, it is usually swarming with kids and sometimes there are “accidents.” As we approached the pool, we noticed there was no one swimming. The lifeguard informed us that they had to over-chlorinate the pool. When asked why, she said that a small child had emptied its bowels into the pool. YUCK!!!! Apparently, this is not uncommon at the Hard Rock pool.
As we were waiting, another guest asked what was going on, and when we told her, she replied, “Oh, great! No again!” It seems that the same thing happened the day before. So if you were looking to the Hard Rock as an adult’s playground, think again.

Dining: The Hard Rock has several semi-decent restaurants, but they are far too popular for their own good. The wait is extensive and the prices are high. We chose to return to the Portofino across the street for their excellent hand-made pizza.

Checkout is early at the Hard Rock, and even though the room wasn’t ready for us, they still insisted on early checkout. So once again, I marched down the long line of stairs happy to be leaving the Hard Rock.
You have been warned.

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2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2004

This Hotel is nice but not as nice as the other two on Universal property. They make you think the rooms are real big, but they are just normal unless you get a delux room. Those look real nice, but they are $50 more per night, and at $289.00 plus tax per night it's hard to go any higher. The front desk staff was OKAY, but the maid manager fro our floor was wonderful. He got us a frig ($15 per day) and a rollaway bed ($20 per day) for free. He didn't even want us to tip him, but we made him let us. Our room smelled real bad (like Cat Pee or Mildew) Finally by day 4, I couldn't take the smell any more so they told us that the room had a pipe with a water leak and sprayed something to cover it up. They should not have put us in there in the 1st place. We did not even get an appolagy from any one.The hall carpets are dirty and our furniture and comfortor in our room was stained (Found a roach in my bed on morning 2) The pool is wonderful and not to cold, but I never saw anyone cleaning it during our stay (even w/ babies in Dypers in it) ......Ecoli!!!! The Kids loved the slide and we did not have a problem finding chairs and they also do things to make kids happy and they have life guards which is nice. The pool staff was just ok, not overly nice. The Food was great at the Pantry, but service just so so, way over priced $75 for breakfast Buffet and $65 for lunch sandwiches for a family of 5. ($20 for 4 ice cream cones) Pool food and drink service was terrible and over priced as well. ($12 for nachos) The over all vacation was a great and We would not do Universal any other way. The resorts are close and no waiting in the lines. City walk is fun to, but the resturants do not honor your room key for prefered seating like the hotel says, and then when you ask the hotel they ignore it. Islands of Adventure is the the best park we have ever gone to, we loved it. Yes we would do it again, but we would stay at Portafina. We stayed there last time and loved it. It is truely a 5 star hotel. Hard Rock Could be, but they need to work on some things.

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5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2004

I booked my vacation thru Universalorlando everything went A OK! The hotel was gorgeous, room was very clean, and spacious, employees were friendly and helpful. Definately would recommend to my friends, and would certainly do the whole trip again.

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1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2004

We stayed at Hard Rock for 3 nights on April 13. What a mistake. We booked a club level room and it was filthy. Dust every where, carpet was stained, buttons ripped off pillows, burn holes in carpet and blankets. We could not believe as we walked down the hall how dirty and stained the carpets and wallls were. Upon going in the room it smelled like a cigar party had went on the night before. That night it was so hard to sleep because the beds were so lumpy. After the second day we were so upset with this hotel that I went and complained to the manager. When we returned the room had been cleaned and scrubed so it smelled like a chenical factory. The carpet was wet and the smell was so strong that we had t leave. The pool was way to shallow so my teenagers couldn't swim. We were so disapointed. Before this we had stayed 4 nights at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and that was absolutley beautiful. We could not say enough great things about this hotel. We are never going back to the horrible Hard Rock Hotel because it can't hold a candel to any of the Disney hotels.

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5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2004

We just got back from a 4 day, 3 night stay at the Hard Rock. From the beginning we had a wonderful experience. The staff is extremely friendly (as were everyone in the hotel and both theme parks!) Our room was super clean, which is a huge importance for me! THe bathroom was a great size with a full shower and sink. There was also another area with a sink and mirrorm which was great for two people needing to get ready at the same time. Full mini-bar that was reasonalby priced for almost all of the items. Comfortable beds and pillows as well. The pool was just wonderful as well as the Beach Bar. You can take a quick ferry ride to the parks or a short five minute walk. The Hard Rock is the closet to the parks out of the three hotels. I forgot a personal item, and when I called the front desk they showed up at our door with a bag full of what I needed. What service!!! Last, but not least, I got home and realized I had misplaced my wallet! I called the hotel to see if I had left it there and luckily I had. They had put it in a safe and were going to ship it to me at no charge. We will back next year for sure!

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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:
#20 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#27 Green Hotel in Orlando
#42 Business Hotel in Orlando
#45 Family Hotel in Orlando
#61 Romantic 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 '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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