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“Terrible service, not worth the money” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #76 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Stamford, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Terrible service, not worth the money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014

Our family of 5 stayed in one of the minion suites. From the moment we arrived, our visit was fraught with poor service and substandard cleanliness. A few examples: 3 hours to wait for a rollaway, no one answering the phones, no signage or help to find our rooms, broken kiosks to print the express passes (which are the ONLY reasons to stay there), and dirty dishes in the restaurant. Not to mention, the aloof attitude of the front desk personnel and the mistakes on the bill (not applying a credit and telling us it was already included). On the plus side: The location was very good, and the pool was nice. Net: overpriced and under-serviced.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Coffeecake1234
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 18, 2014
Thank you for providing us with feedback from your recent visit.
We are so sorry to hear that you encountered challenges during your visit and would like to talk with you directly about this. These challenges are not typical of the luxury experience that we always strive to provide our valued guests. Please contact us at: portofinogeneralmanager@loewshotels.com so that we may schedule a call at your earliest convenience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,384 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (712)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

Had the wonderful opportunity to stay here once again, and was re impressed, if that is even a word. This place is fantastic, actually this time I had a little more leisure time so I was able to really enjoy the Villa pool and had a great relaxing massage at the Mandara Spa.

The way I see it, the Portofino provides the setting and the backdrop to have great experiences, and as guests we threw in some good attitude, wonderful expectations and an overall good vibe and the end result was a great stay and some of the most memorable days of our life.

Picture this, the Portofino is a picturesque replica of the Village of Portofino in Italy, so if you allow yourself to get transported and just go with the flow, your stay here will be extra special.

We were pleasantly surprised when exiting the water taxi on our way back to the hotel in the early evening to see the the performance on the Harbor- called music of the night, a very talented singer was serenading the guests from the main balcony overlooking the Harbor, of course, when in Rome... we had to sit down and order a couple of wine glasses to enjoy the show. Simply unique.

For us, our dinning experiences at Mama Della's one night and Bice the next were just the icing on the cake.
After some pretty awesome days at the Parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, where we took full advantage of our Express Passes that came with our hotel stay, we really enjoyed the parks to the fullest extent. Rode the Hulk like a million times in Islands of Adventure after having spent the morning in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Early Park Admission exclusive for us as hotel guests, made us feel like the park was open only for us. The best and only way to experience these parks.

Back to the Hotel, that Beach Pool is a lot of fun, the water slide is super fast and the poolside service was on point.

With a hotel like this with so many amenities, and 2 wonderful parks right next to it, there is only one way to really do it justice and that is to experience it for yourself.

Really, make it happen. You will be glad you did.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maverick64
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 18, 2014
Thank you for your kind comments and recommendation! We are pleased to know that you had such a wonderful time here. Our entire team is dedicated to making you feel pampered and comfortable, while offering a scenic escape. We are so glad that you enjoyed our dining options and pools, and how they blend with the Italian theme. Our team hopes to welcome you back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plantation, Florida
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

We recently spent a weekend at the Portofino Bay Hotel. The service was excellent. The staff was friendly and eager to make our stay enjoyable. Any issue we encountered was addressed quickly and efficiently. The rooms and bathrooms were clean. The beds were comfortable. The early admission to Harry Potter and the fast passes were just added bonuses. We would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Orlando.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PBBJFamily
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 18, 2014
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. We are so thrilled you enjoyed our accommodations and valued team members. We hope that as a Florida resident, you have many opportunities to visit Universal Orlando Resort, as it would be a pleasure to welcome you back again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

My boyfriend and I stay in Orlando at the Portofino bay Hotel from December 29 – January 5th. We were so lucky to get Joe as our driver for our first trip into Disney World. He was a great driver and made us feel very comfortable (he was so great we used him for every trip to and from Disney).

Joe was attentive and always available for when we needed transportation for the duration of our stay.

Joe really made our trip stress free and fun.

Thank you for providing a great service and a fabulous driver like Joe 

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2014

We arrived on 30 Dec for 4 nights. Check In was great, very friendly and fast.The receptionist explained the early park hours (06.30) and where to have our photo Id taken for our Fast Passes. We had a lot of luggage and a porter guided us to our Kids Suite in the West Wing.

The Hotel is so impressive on the approach, really stunning and the interior didn't disappoint either. We passed Sals Market Deli, Mama Della's, Trattoria Del Porto ,and The Thirsty Fish on the way to our room. These restaurants are set overlooking the lake in a piazza with a beautiful Christmas tree in the centre.

We were blown away when we saw our newly refurbished room. We really didn't expect such a
large or impressive room. The Despicable Me Suites are truly AWESOME. Very high quality fabric and furnishings and no photos can do these rooms justice. Our kids (14,10) were in heaven!!
The kids beds(Missiles) were covered in a soft leather like fabric with themed sheets and Gru's scarf as a throw. There was also a fantastic range of In-room Movies ( for a fee) ,which was appreciated as we had a lot of rain. There is a very spacious bathroom with bath, dual sinks and separate shower. We also had a fantastic balcony with a table and 2 chairs and an incredible view over the lake and Piazza.

We dined at Trattoria on our first night which was really very good, again better than expected.
Three of us ate off the buffet menu which was great value and excellent quality with very attentive service.
Included was a Minestrone type soup (excellent) a vast salad bar, breads and cooked to order Pasta.The kids had Pasta Alfredo and Pasta Marinara and they both declared them to be delicious. I tried Linguine with Shrimp and Garlic and Spinach and my husband had A La Carte Beef Short Ribs, really, really good and perfect for a quick bite after a Transatlantic flight.

The Early morning access was such a bonus. We grabbed breakfast to go from Sal's, on the way to the boat to the park. Sal's was perfect with freshly baked hot Croissants filled with light as air Scrambled Egg and Cheese and Ham and Starbucks Coffee and Hot Chocolates.
We went straight for Harry Potter The Forbidden Journey and only had a few minutes Queue.
Staying at The Portofino Hotel gave us unlimited Fast Pass to all rides that day (not including Forbidden Journey), so we easily did both parks on our first day with the exception of water rides as it was too cold.

We had Pizza at Sal's for Lunch, really tasty and we also dined at Mama Della's. Definitely make reservations as it is so popular and I can see why. The food is Superb and the portions are very big. We had starters of Garlic Shrimp, 4 Jumbo sized perfectly cooked Shrimp and also Fried Calamari.
Angel Hair Pasta with Seafood, and Ravioli of Lobster, both being some of the best Italian I have had anywhere. We were however disappointed with Bice both the food and the service and we won't return.

The Beach Pool was great, we barely saw our kids as they spent the whole time in the pool and on the fantastic waterslide. Pool service was good, but you help yourself to towels and make up your own beds. We had no problem getting a bed and it was quiet on New Years Day.

We didn't celebrate New Year at the hotel although they had a fantastic banquet set up with live music and lovely food and kids entertainment. We would have had to sit at large tables for 10 and that didn't suit, and although we requested a table for 4 that wasn't possible which was a shame.

We paid extra on arrival for Club access which was good but could be so much better. The room is lovely and there is a separate concierge which we didn't use. Food offerings at breakfast were very limited. Juice, Tea, Coffee, fruit, Pastries (these were stale), Bagels and Cereal. All that would be needed is Cheese, some cold meats and Salmon. We never tried lunch but the evening choices were lovely. Paella Vegetable Rice and a Beef Casserole that was very tasty. Breads, fresh fruits, crudités , and Tuna Tartar.

I booked the Mandara Spa for Massage as a treat for my daughter and I. We were both very disappointed in the Spa interior which had a bit of a hospital waiting room feel about it and not at all luxurious or pampering. We were shown to the changing room with other guests by a member of staff who was very unfriendly and came across as if she would prefer not to be there. We had a couples room which was lovely to share the experience .
My daughter enjoyed her treatment and her therapist was very nice. I have had much better massage and at one point when my therapist Massaged too deep and I yelped in pain she never apologised!
We would never return.

I am very surprised by the awful, undeserved and negative reviews this hotel has received. We have considered booking quite a few times previously but have always decided against it and booked the Ritz Grande Lakes instead. I can not recommend The Portofino Hotel enough. We will definitely return. Go, you will not be disappointed!!!

Room Tip: west wing is very well located to Pools, restaurants, and boat to theme parks
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mischa12
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 18, 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience! We are thrilled to hear that we exceeded your expectations! Our Italian ambiance and cuisine certainly set us apart from the crowd, and we are so glad that you enjoyed it all. I do apologize for your experience at Bice Restaurant and the Mandara Spa, and will be forwarding your comments to both parties. It is an honor to be recommended by you, and we hope that you can visit us again soon. Ciao!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2014

I recently sent my brother and his new wife on their Honeymoon to Portofino. I was speaking with Courtney Parker, concierge, to set up acitivies and room amenities for them. She was amazing and made the distant process so easy and seemless. When they checked in they said the staff could not have been nicer. The property was a perfect location to have a romantic trip and add in some theme park fun!
I can't wait to stay at this property and send more family and friends.
Thank you again to Courtney and Dennis Yu whom made their stay so special!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca P
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
We are so pleased that your brother and his new wife had a great honeymoon experience at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Thank you for mentioning the great service you received from Courtney and Dennis! I will be sure to share your comments with them. Our employees take pride in delivering exceptional service to each and every guest, and we are delighted to know they could take care of you. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future, and your family as well!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
84 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

My company had our year end meetings at the hotel. Meeting rooms and ball rooms were great. Our gala dinner was fantastic as well as the service during the meal. Very convenient to the Universal Parks and City Walk with the water taxi service. Our room was spacious and grounds were immaculate, we really enjoyed out time here.

Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank BenjyCapps
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
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 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#16 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#17 Green Hotel in Orlando
#28 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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