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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #65 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 22, 2014

Stayed here with my wife and 4 kids. Unfortunately the rooms are small and the walks are thin. The shuttle to Universal was nice, and being able to skip the lines was also an added bonus. The worst part of the stay was that someone used my credit card to the tune of $3,500. (Which I ended up not being responsible for) and the only place that I used it was at the front desk upon check- in.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank reynolk
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 reviewResponded April 28, 2014

We appreciate your feedback and choice to stay with us. I would value the opportunity to speak with you and gather more details regarding the charges to your credit card. Please contact us at: portofinogeneralmanager@loewshotels.com so that we may schedule a call at your convenience.

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4,151 - 4,157 of 4,576 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2014

Easter weekend may not be a good time to visit the theme parks in Orlando, but we booked the four nights. Yes, this is on the expensive side, but a family gathering in Orlando is not a frequent happening. The initial room cost is somewhat reduced by the inclusion of the Fast Pass for both theme parks at Universal which if bought separate is a cost per person of $90 per day, although it no doubt has this built into their pricing structure.

Location is perfect, the boat shuttle to and from the theme parks is a big plus. More than adequate restaurants, see my restaurant reviews.

However, although there are more positive points, the biggest reason for it not getting my five star rating is The American Bar. I have never in all my worldly travels, at many upscale hotels, have I found a so called Lobby Bar location as The American Bar is, to close at such an early time. Business people like to perhaps relax after a fine dinner with an aperitif or just a simple beer in a cozy setting, quiet and comfortable surroundings. Perhaps even a watering hole for some parents after a long day at the Theme Parks.....no, closed at 10:00pm. Then to add insult to injury, they are not even open on a Monday or Tuesday. Oh how we longed for an Irish Coffee after dinner at Bice.

It is over the top with most of it's pricing structure, but then it is a case of location, location.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank scouser1077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

My family (my husband, my 3 kids aged 5,4, and 2, and myself) recently returned from a week's stay at Portofino Bay. It was our first time staying in a hotel with our kids, as we usually rent a vacation home when visiting the Orlando area. We were a bit nervous about the size of the room given that we have only reserved a garden-view double queen. We shouldn't have been nervous - the room was extremely large for a basic room with enough space for a crib for our youngest and plenty of play space on the floor as well as at the wonderful little table they provide. There was great storage in the bureaus and the closets which helped us to clear away all the luggage and the bathroom was huge. 2 of our 3 kids got ill whilst on the trip and housekeeping was quick to respond with more bedding and towels and the like and even though it was unfortunate, it was short-lived and luckily didn't impact our trip much at all. It could have been much worse with poor customer service. The resort itself has fabulous ambiance and they have done an excellent job in making it seem like you are in Italy! The resort had many great amenities including numerous restaurants and a gelateria (all of which we enjoyed immensely) and a great pool area with kids splash pool and pirate ship play structure. The resort is large enough to make you feel secluded and apart from any hustle and bustle, but small enough that you can get anywhere you need to go with short walks. We were probably the furthest guest wing away from the pool yet had no problems getting their quickly and easily with all 3 kids and all their toys etc. The pool was perfect for our family as it wasn't too large or busy and the little waterside was fabulous as my 2 oldest could go on their own! The boat that takes you from the resort to CityWalk and Universal Studios / Islands of Adventures was a highlight for our kids and the Captains even let our little ones honk the horn on their last trip back to the resort. The express passes to Universal Studios (given as complimentary) were of excellent value as well! We never waited to get onto anything despite the parks being busy! The concierge desk helped us to book in-room babysitting (which was fabulous!) and we were able to get away to enjoy a few nights of the park on our own and the fabulous restaurants the surrounding resorts had to offer (The Palm and Emeril's Tchoup Chop). We had a rental car and parked it in the self-parking area and we always found a space close to the elevator to the hotel and then it was a quick walk to our room. Some nights there was wonderful Italian singing from a balcony overlooking the piazza and we also enjoyed a character dinner at Trattoria Del Porto. Take-out pizza was quick and fabulous from Sal's Market Deli. All in all, it was a fabulous vacation and we couldn't recommend the hotel highly enough! Great for young children, teenagers, romantic getaways, couples and even business. We will be back!

Room Tip: We had a room backing an elevator - which I originally thought would be loud and keep our kids up, b...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank islandgirl61212
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 reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write such an in-depth review! We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and we truly appreciate your sharing the experience with others. We are proud to be an oasis of serenity, walking distance from the excitement. When you would like to indulge in ‘la dolce vita’ – the sweet life – once again, we’ll be ready to welcome you back with open arms. Until then, ciao!

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Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

I love this hotel. I've stayed here multiple times over the years, probably too many to count. My favorite is the deluxe room with its spacious bathroom. The water taxi to city walk and the theme parks is a nice perk. There are a few pools to choose from. The spa is VERY relaxing (but overpriced) and the gym there is a complete facility with all the equipment up kept. Several shops and delicious restaurants to choose from, but if you're not in the mood for Italian food, once again. water taxi will take you to city walk. This is the perfect hotel for a weekend getaway.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank FitnessTravels
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 reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to comment.
We are so honored that you keep returning to Loews Portofino Bay. To be considered your favorite Orlando hotel humbles us, and knowing that you’ve been here too many times to count puts a huge smile on our faces! We truly appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming you back in the future to your Portofino Famiglia! Until then, ciao for now.

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Reviewed April 20, 2014

We (myself, husband, and 2 kids ages 8 & 11) recently spent 3 nights at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and highly recommend it for families. We took a taxi from Orlando International Airport ($45), arriving around noon. This cost included a stop at Publix to pick up bottled water and a few sundries. Upon check in, we requested and were assigned a room upgrade. A room was immediately available for us. Every employee with whom we came into contact was personable and professional. Our room, 1310, located on the 3rd floor of the east wing, had a great view of the square and the bay and was just a few steps to the on-site restaurants. We would request this building again. On the way to our room, the bellman pointed out and described the restaurants, pools (Beach pool for the kids, Villa pool for adults, and a third pool about the size of one you'd find in someone's back yard), and location of transportation to the theme parks. We were very pleased with the size of our room, which easily accommodated the 4 of us and our luggage. We didn't use the fridge, as it had weight sensors. This room, with 2 double beds, was immaculately clean. The only thing we noticed in the spacious bathroom was that some of the shower/tub tile and grout had some mildew that could not easily be scrubbed off. As large as this resort is, we were pleasantly surprised how quiet it was. There was no noise in the hallways at night and we could not hear people in adjacent rooms. Every part of the resort was well maintained and aesthetically pleasing. My kids LOVED the beach pool and the pool-side restaurant. Most families were there on spring break, and still loungers were plentiful each time we were there. I broke my daughter's goggles within two minutes of arriving at the pool. I was shocked and pleased that I could buy a pair of Speedo goggles for just $8 at the pool. I expected price gouging. We took advantage of the third day free park ticket special and were glad we did. After the kids swam, we took the boat to Universal Studios and stayed until closing. The boats seem to come every 20 minutes. The ride was about 7-8 minutes from the hotel to City Walk. From the boat launch, it was about a minute walk to the Universal Studios entrance and about a 5 minute walk to the Islands of Adventure entrance. We got up early the two mornings we were there to take advantage of the extra hour. The Harry Potter ride at Islands of Adventures does not accept the express pass, and we didn't want to wait the 2+ hours in line. On the first morning, we got into line for Harry Potter at 7:30 (the park opened at 7) and we waited about 25 minutes to get on the ride. The second morning, we made it to the Islands of Adventures gate just before they opened at 7. When the gates opened, the sea of people made their way to Harry Potter. We basically walked right onto the ride with no wait. It was awesome. It was worth staying on property; the express pass was great. We used it for almost every ride and we never had to wait in line more than 15-20 minutes. Many times we were on a ride in 5-10 minutes. The park was packed, but having the express pass made it enjoyable. When you go to Islands of Adventures, bring a poncho. You'll get soaked if you go on the Jurassic Park ride, Dudley Do-Right log floom, and raft ride. Back at the hotel, we had no problem making dinner reservations. Dining al fresco in the square made a memorable evening; the pasta bar at Trattoria del Porto was outstanding. We grabbed a quick breakfast (croissants, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, etc.) and Starbucks each morning at Sal's market, located just a few steps from the east wing lobby. On the morning we checked out, we inquired about transportation to Disney for the next leg of our trip. For $45, the hotel arranged transportation in a Cadillac Escalade. We felt that we had done everything we wanted to do in the 2.5 days we spent in the parks. It was a great trip and we'd definitely stay here again on our next visit to Universal. (I haven't had a chance to upload photos of the resort but can email some upon request. It was lovely.)

Room Tip: We were very happy with our room. East wing, room 1310- third floor. Nice view overlooking the squar...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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10  Thank TheSecretVagabond
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 reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Thank you for your detailed response!
We are so pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed the entire experience, from lounging by our pool, to taking advantage of complimentary Universal Express ride access and dining in our restaurants. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that your experience is a great one, so thank you for your kind comments about them. We hope that you have the opportunity to visit Universal Orlando Resort again soon, as it would be a pleasure to welcome you back.

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Reviewed April 20, 2014

If you plan on visiting the Universal Parks you want to stay on property. The early access to Harry Potter and the Express Pass was well worth the extra cost of the hotel.

It was Spring Break so the park was extra crowded and the cost of the hotel was very high. The cost was really the only negative of our three days we were there.

The room was very clean and comfortable.

The free boat to the parks was great.

We checked in very early and were able to get our early park access and Express Pass for each day we were there (two nights and three days).

We tried to eat dinner in one of the restaurants but didn't have a reservation so couldn't get in. We had at in Sals Deli twice and enjoyed it. Each morning we had a light breakfast in Sals as well.

It was frustrating not being able to eat in a real restaurant on property since it appeared there were plenty of tables open.

The Geleteria is a great place for ice cream.

The hours for all the places were great.

Was really nice having a garage to park in even though we had to pay for parking.

We stayed in the East Wing. The West Wing is preferred since it is right next to the boat dock. Taking the boat to the parks and City Walk was very convenient. They have a free bus too but we never used it. We will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for the West Wing to be closer to the boat dock.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank Richard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful property. The spa is incredible. However, be forewarned if you spend the afternoon at the quite pool it can take up to three hours to order food for poolside dining. There was only one server for more than 200 people. She was very nice, but terribly overwhelmed. Still, a very nice place.

Stayed: April 2014
1  Thank Bgooden77
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

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 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#15 Green Hotel in Orlando
#27 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#45 Business Hotel in Orlando
#54 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#80 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $313 - $620 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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