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“Universal Express is fabulous - not the hotel” 2 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
“Universal Express is fabulous - not the hotel”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2004

Stayed Aug 15-20'04. The Hotel is worth staying at for Universal Express; however, 5 nights is too long (Express allows you to easily see everything in 3 nights). Overall, we enjoyed our stay but were extremely disappointed at the way we were treated our last day. Here's why: we took a convenient tube of sunscreen our 1st day expecting to use it; however, we returned it without removing the seal. Upon checkout, they did not (and would not) provide an itemized list of the mini bar charges and it took over 15 minutes for them to confirm they did in fact charge us for the unused sunscreen. Why they chose to dispute an $8.50 sunscreen charge when our bill was $2200 US is beyond me (especially since I repeatedly suggested they send someone up to the room to see the suncreen for themselves) - I guess they're not interested in repeat guests. That would also explain why they refused to allow us to use a trolley to bring our 6 bags down from the room after we checked out.

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4,367 reviews from our community

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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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Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2004

Booked via internet 4 for 3 nights and although you pay for the privilege it is worth staying for the fast pass system - showing your key and avoiding the lines gives you a totally different experience of Universal.
The hotel is fine, breakfast buffet is good and situation unbeatable.
Go for it.

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Chicago Area
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2004

We vacationed in Orlando and stayed at the "Hard Rock" for 3 nights August 7-10th. Initially we had booked elsewhere but decided at the last minute to change our minds and booked the Hard Rock figuring the "Express Passes" were worth the extra $$$ as we rarely visit the same place twice and wanted to see all of Universal. The property is clean, fun, hip and yes, expensive, but people have to remember the old real estate adage "location, location, location" as that is truly what you are paying for! This is a family resort we were happy to discover. We were a little afraid the crowd would be too hip, with silicone and thongs everywhere, but we were happy to see more flab than ab! :)
We were Loews first members and did not receive our welcome gift or newspaper as others have complained, but I just called the front desk and it was taken care of right away. Best features: Location, pool (altho we only spent one afternoon since it rained most days) Needs improvement: more washer/dryers for guests and the beds are rock hard (the beds at the Chicago Hardrock are to die for, and was disappointed when these were not the same!)
Overall, worth the $$$ and would recommend!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2004

I have never felt compelled to share any travel experiences before now. After reading mixed reviews on this board, I was a bit nervous about our impending trip. We spent four nights at the Hard Rock (Aug 13t - 17th) and couldn't have had a better time. We were there for Hurricane Charley, which the hotel weathered extremely well. We never lost power or any services - except the pool was closed early the day of the Hurricane and opened a few hours late the next day due to cleanup. The large waterslide didn't open until the next day due to fallen tree on it. The Hard Rock was the ideal location for my family (myself, husband and two boys, 10 and 7). We arrived before 9:00 am and our club level room was ready - already a surprise if you believe what others experienced. The hotel staff were unbelievably friendly and not only those who worked for tips!!! The club level is the way to go - the breakfast, lite dinner fare, drinks and dessert worked perfectly for us. The concierge people in the club lounge were very helpful with everything from dinner recommendations to checking our departure flight. They were super friendly and again they don't work for tips. The room was very nice - not too big but comfortable for the four of us. The maid service was very good and each night we had turn down service, they left small gifts for the kids which our sons looked forward to. They were small trinkets but the "thrill" of getting something each day was special for the kids.
The close proximity to the parks and city walk is priceless. It is literally a few minute walk or water taxi ride to the park entrances. The express pass is worth it's weight in gold!! I actually started feeling bad for those people waiting in line without the express pass!!! Of course the price for the hotel is substantial but considering the location and extra perks it is definitly worth it! The pool area was beautiful and we all enjoyed the shallow water and the incredible water slide. Each day there were activities for the kids (and kids at heart). We will absolutely return to this hotel. Go, relax, and enjoy!!

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Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2004

We stayed here at the start of august on the club lounge level and it was worth every penny. We had been staying in another hotel in orlando and decided to treat ourselves on our last night and so we arrived at about 10.30 in the morning. We got a taxi up to the door and a staff member helped us with our bags and put them in storage for us. He didnt make us feel like we were under any obligation to tip him but we did anyway as he was s helpful. We checked in and as was expected our room wasnt ready as it was so early so we got our fast passes and we hit the park. We headed back to the club lounge at 4 and our room still wasnt ready but as we stayed in the club lounge we just sat up there and drank complimentary minerals while looking at eric clapton on the tv. At five there was free beer and wine and they served chicken, different cheeses and other veg etc, all complimentary if you stay on the club lounge. We went back to the park that evening and when we returned home a lovely bracelet was left on the bed and the beds had been turned down. It was a perfect stay. The only thing that would have improved it would be to make the pool a bit deeper. Would definitely stay here again

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A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2004

Bad Things: They have a four o'clock check in time and they are very serious about it.We arrived at the hotel @ 12:30 and did not get a room until almost 5:30. When we finally got in our room, the carpet was wet, the beds were hard, and the pool view (which I paid extra for) was non-existant. Make sure to request a room on the highest floor you can get, otherwise all you'll see is tree trunks and palm leaves. We ate at The Kitchen one time for breakfast - it was really good but really expensive.We ate off site the rest of the time.
Good Things: The pool is great and they play games with the kids. You can hear cool music everywhere you go (including underwater) and the rest of the hotel made up for the so-so room. It was a very short walk to both parks and skipping the regular lines was almost worth the extra cost of staying on site.
I would stay there again now that I know how they handle reservations and room upgrades.

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Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2004

Stayed here for 3 nights at the end of our 3 week vacation as a bit of a treat for my two sons of 12 & 15. They loved it. The first thing to note is that if you avail of valet parking on arrival it will cost $12 a day for the privilege even if you do not take your car out of the hotel. Self parking still costs $6 a day.
The room for the 4 of us had 2 twin beds and was a little on the cramped side. I would be prepared to pay extra for a 2 room suite but none are available. All the memoribilia is great fun, just like the restaurants. I went to sleep beneath a picture of Frank Zappa! The kids never heard of him! The rooms were very clean and the maid visited daily. The internet access via TV was handy and reasonable at $10 for 24 hours unlimited access. The bar in the hotel was good and they even catered for smokers out on the balcony. The pool was excellent and the music underwater was a great thrill for the kids. A couple of big advantages by staying here were that there was no queueing at Universal or Islands of Adventure, really handy when some queues were 75 minutes long. It also meant no queueing at the Hard Rock Cafe on a Saturday where some people waited over an hour for a table, and the restaurant holds 1500! There was also a water taxi to take you back from City Walk which was free. Certainly recommended hotel for a short break.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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
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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