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“Fabulous Stay - Huge Hotel - Lots of Extras”

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #64 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Macon, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Fabulous Stay - Huge Hotel - Lots of Extras”
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We got a great deal staying in January 2014 at this hotel. It's on Universal property, so it's great access to the parks, just a 5 minute water taxi ride away. We also got free Express Passes for staying on hotel property, for every day that we had tickets to a park. The Express Passes are a true luxury when traveling with impatient little boys, they allow you to skip all the lines and go straight to the front ! The only place they're not allowed is at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, however, you get in the park an hour early.

The hotel was beautiful but overwhelmingly HUGE. Luckily the staff is anxious to help you find your way around. Everyone there was very helpful and went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. Upon arrival you have valet or self parking. A bellman is required to take your luggage up, so be prepared for that. It was quite a hike to our room in the West Wing, but our bellman gave us the grand tour and lots of useful tips and information while walking us to our room.

The room was much larger than the average room you get in Orlando, especially any of the Disney properties. It was so beautifully decorated I hated to mess up the beds ! It also had a Keurig Coffee maker which we love and we enjoyed coffee, tea and hot chocolate. The maid service was great, they would leave 5 or 6 extra towels every day and do something creative with my boys stuffed animals, which they loved.

Once you're ready to go to the parks, the water taxi runs about every 20 minutes and it takes only 5 minutes to get to the drop off. They run from early in the morning until 2:00 a.m. if you like the night life at City Walk.

The one criticism I would have of this hotel is its lack of family friendly restaurants. There was only one very small deli with a limited menu. The other restaurants were geared towards adults, with "bar or wine tasting" themes and were fairly formal. We just wanted a quick place to grab something light and that wasn't possible without leaving the property. Even City Walk only had major restaurants such as Emril, Margaritas and Bubba Gumps. I would have loved some kind of take out that we could get and take back to the room. We thought about room service, and they had an extensive menu, however, the prices were just outrageous (as with most room service).

On our last day there it was warm enough to get in the pool and this is where I was MOST IMPRESSED. Everywhere was so clean, with lots of seating up front where you could easily watch your kids. There were four life guards on duty with only about 20 children in the pool. I actually sat back, had a drink and relaxed knowing that my children were being closely watched (PRICELESS). The lifeguards even had to correct them for running, which I fully support !

So if the point of this hotel is to provide a luxury filled, pampered stay, I would call it a complete success !!!

Room Tip: All of the rooms had a garden view of the beautiful pool and beach area or a view of the bay with al...
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Green Features: I love that the hotel was environment friendly. We had green bags in our hotel room for recycling and I believe every little bit helps.
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Milinda_Georgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Thank you taking the time to share your experience!
We are so pleased to hear that you had a great vacation with us. The convenience of staying on-site, combined with the benefits of Early Park Admission and Universal Express Passes, offer our guests the best way to experience Universal Orlando Resort. Having enough time for the adults to relax and the kids to get some pool time is important, and we are so happy to know you could feel at ease with our lifeguards on duty.
We hope to see you again when your travels bring you back to Orlando! Until then, ciao!
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New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Hotel was very nice and clean. Easy access to universal studios park by boat. The free express pass at universal was an amazing benefit. We hardly waited on any lines at Universal. One or two waits of 20 minutes, but the regular lines were 45 minutes+.
20 minute drive to disney and sea world.
Rooms were large - we had 2 connecting rooms for a family of 6, and we had plenty of space. Also good shops on hotel property.
Staff was very friendly.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jr8350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for your review! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed our accommodations and the benefits of staying on property. The Universal Express Passes, as you mentioned are amazing exclusive benefit, and truly an invaluable part of experiencing the theme parks. We hope to see you again soon!
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Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I stayed at the Portfino hotel the 1st week in January and I was very impressed with the staff. After long flight from Chicago and lost luggag, we arrived at 5:30 a.m the check in person (I wish I could have remember names) was so helpful and understanding that it immediately brighten our moods. She got us hygene staples and made sure we had stuff for the night.

The Houskeeping staff (especially Fenida) were the real stars!!! Not only was the room super clean, but my wife got sick and Fenida got us a comforter and had chicken soup sent to our room twice.

Also we needed to go to Walgreens which was 4 miles away for medicine and stuff. The luggage guy drove us over then waited so us to shop and then drove us back instead of us having to get a cab.

Yes the place is pretty but it the Loews staff which made a possible terrible trip not a terrible trip.
Thanks Loews Staff!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank DaveAurora_Illinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience! We are so delighted that you enjoyed your stay and that our team members were able to take such great care of you. I will be sure to share your comments with them. Our employees take pride in delivering exceptional service, and we are so happy we could alleviate some of your stresses. We hope to see you again soon! Until then, ciao for now!
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Holliston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Stayed at the Loews Portofino for three nights in January. It is fantastically convenient for any visit to Universal parks or City Walk, and the benefits of staying there make you feel like you own the parks. After getting our "free" fastpass ($89pp value, they say) we went to the park on our first day, and got in to the Harry Potter section an hour earlier than the general public. This alone is reason to stay here, as we were done with the PotterLand and walking out as the throngs of people rushed in like a tidal wave. The fastpass let us skip the lines (some as long as an hour +), and we were there in "off season". Kids got to ride their favorites more than once, and with the fastpass, we were able to get to both parks in one day. It was a little rushed, and we didn't ride every ride, but the kids were pleased with all that we did. The boat shuttle from the hotel was relaxing, quick and comfortable.
As far as the hotel itself, we were fortunate enough to get a family suite (Despicable Me) and it was perfect. Kids loved their own room, and we loved the lack of a hallway door, knowing they were safe in the same room as us without feeling like it. Arrived late due to a weather delay, and ordered dinner from room service. It was a little pricey, but what room service isn't? The food was good, hot, exactly as described, and delivered quickly. All four of us enjoyed what we ordered, so much so that we contemplated it again one of the other nights.
The bathroom was enormous and water pressure was decent. Beds were comfortable, and black out blinds did their job. Plenty of choices on the TV if you need it, (But no Disney Channel, kids were baffled!) We had breakfast one day at the Trattoria, and dinner one night at Mama Dellas. Both were excellent, and service was very good.
Staff elsewhere were all courteous and friendly. The layout was a bit confusing, with East and West Wings, but once you figured it out it was pretty easy. Fireworks from Universal were visible from our room at night.
Two minor complaints...with the price we paid, having to pay $20 per night parking and pay for internet seems unbelievable...I just wish some of these larger corporations understood that little things sometimes color the overall perception of the stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Chiefy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LPBHManager, General Manager at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you for your feedback! We are very proud of our new Despicable Me Kids Suites and are absolutely delighted to know you and your family enjoyed staying in one. I am sorry you felt the internet charge to be unfair. We have recently implemented complimentary Wi-fi for an additional service for all our guests, and hope you’ll enjoy this during your next visit. We look forward to seeing you again when your travels bring you back to Central Florida!
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Lexington, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

After much research, we settled on Loews Portofino. Without trying to repeat everyone else's comments, i'll summarize:

1, If Harry Potter is your main objective, staying on a hotel property is priority. (Our first day to the park was Jan 2, and because of the holiday, everything moved up a half hour - we arrived before sunrise and it was a bit foggy - really cool)

2. Staying on a hotel property for Express pass pays dividends. Although the wait for Minion ride was still 45 minutes, better than alternative.

3. We upgraded to club level - in our camp, worth the extra to keeps everyone fueled and happy

4. Another plus for staying on the property - you can shunt over, take a break from all the stimuli, then head out again.

All of our dining was here except for last meal at Krustyburger (and a couple of Duff''s) - bu the end of the day, all we really wanted was a snack and a light dinner then bed.

The wife and I ate at Bice for our finer dining experience (separate review).

The resort service was professional from check-in to check-out. The only bump was waiting for our car from valet - battery was dead (speculation was map light was accidentally pushed on by staff. It would have been nice to be comped part of parking.

Overall a very wonderful stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
7 Thank CNSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

The event took place at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, one of 3 properties managed by Loews at Universal Studios, Florida. Styled on the Ligurian town where the rich and famous berth their yachts, the resort looked particularly resplendent in the early December sunshine. Its extensive meeting space with seamless access to sun filled outdoor courtyards made for a high quality meeting experience and great networking. We enjoyed our post event nightcaps al fresco at the Thirsty Fish down on the Harbour Piazza. You might struggle to stage a major international conference in Portofino, Italy but, thanks to Loews at Portofino Bay, you can still experience something of the feel and flavour of this unique, magical place - right down to the randomly parked lambrettas and vespas in the piazza. - See more at: http://padraicino.com/2013/12/13/site-at-40-annual-conference-orlando-2013/#sthash.HDY9fMrP.dpuf

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Padraicino
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

Property: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Address: 5601 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819-7880
Phone Number:
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:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#14 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#16 Green Hotel in Orlando
#24 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#45 Business Hotel in Orlando
#54 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#80 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):
Enjoy a luxurious escape inspired by the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy. Perfectly appointed rooms and suites, gorgeous vistas and incredible cuisine welcome you to celebrate la dolce vita-the sweet life. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, Loews Portofino Bay 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:
Loews Portofino Bay Resort
Portofino Orlando
Portofino Bay Hotel Orlando

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