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“No complaints!”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #44 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Stayed 5 Jan for 5 nights booked with virgin holidays in a garden view room. Room overlooking lawn and boat dock on 5th floor (5076) twin queen beds - very clean and spacious. I have stayed at Hard Rock previously - pool view not worth it imo - and club level - also not worth it imo - garden view room fine. WE were also given complimentary internet access - hence I am writing review in room!! BONUS!!! Yes this hotel is expensive but you get what you pay for and this is the most convenient to the parks - easy 10 min walk or boat ride. Early access to Island of adventure for Harry Potter - we were first in queue for Olivanders!!

By 10.30 the queues were 2 hours - although the day before at 1.30 the queues were 30 mins so suggest you leave it until the afternoon to ride.

The Hotel is still in good condition - staff all very helpful and friendly - check in efficient - we don't use the parking as no need for car hire - taxis easier to get to malls - they no longer use yellow cabs at hotel - town cars which are more expensive but more luxurious. Had breakfast in The Kitchen once - fine - and rooms service a couple times - also fine - so no complaints at all and if I return to orlando would be my first choice.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank dizzylinzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,879 - 6,885 of 8,967 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2012

Absolutely fantastic place to stay!! Lots of reviews are going on about a bottle of water being $8. That's just a bottle in your room that you could buy if you wanted to. It's just normal hotel priced drinks. It's walking distance to both universal parks and your room key gets you to the front of the Qs. The whole atmosphere of the place is just ace. The pool is the best one I have been to and at night there is Dive in movies shown at the pool. I went with my husband my daughter and my daughters son, so a mixed age group, but we all loved it. The little one was 2. There was a perfect little pool for him to sit in. Only thing we didn't like was that you got charged for parking! That's a bit cheeky. We didn't really use the car much tho. We never even went to Disney, just did a week at the hotel, getting up early walking to the parks and going back to the hotel for the afternoon pool fun and back to the parks at night. Around the pool they have groups playing and people entertaining the kids. I love five star holidays and this as been my best holiday up to yet!! Anybody who reviews this place and gives it a bad review, needs give thier head a wobble. Hard.

Room Tip: Get one on the bottom floor. It's just perfect for the pool and restaurant.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jules G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

No faults here for a theme park hotel. Easy walking distance to the parks, "fast-pass" access to most of the rides and a calm oasis from the throngs makes this my go-to hotel when visiting Universal. Rooms are modern and clean, beds comfortable, lobby, common areas and pool are a step above any of the Disney resorts bar the Floridian. Easily recommended for families or couples.

Room Tip: pool view rooms on high floors are best, but really you can't go wrong with any room location he...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank m0rrissey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

We just spent a few nights over new years eve. Location, lOCATION Location! I valeted my car (224/day), and didnt see it again until i checked out!! we have a toddler - this was perfect! Bring your stroller and bathing suit! The pool was awesome, sand beach type- beach volley ball, great music, HEATED pool, lounge chair service - i was in heaven! and it was December- check weather it does flex depending on the rest of the country a bit. i wore a light fleece at night and jan 2.

10$/ day to workout

we stayed on the 3rd floor (which is also the Lobby level- nice with a stroller!)
We stroller out the back pool gate thru a beautiful greenery lined path - you can get on a water taxi or a bike carrige or walk..if you walk slow, it probably takes 8 minutes to enter CITYWALK- (Clubs, shops, restaurants) and Univerals entrance...walk thru the CITY WALK another 5 min to Islands of Adventure..Super cool!
We ate at Emeralds, and Latin Cafe- both fantastic! we wanted to eat at Margaritaville, but 1 hr wait!

The EXPRESS pass which is your hotel room key is AWSOME! there are 2 lines at most park rides, the reg line and the Express line!!! so VIP feeling!!
go to ABOUT.COM and familarize yourself on each park, so you make the most of it.. we went to character breakfast at Isl of adv, so worth it!! and it got us going early!!! and by 12:00 it gets very busy! so you go back to hotel pool, take a nap, go to dinner and go back to park- NO DRIVING, no carseats!!

in the hotel we ate at KITCHEN- very nice breakfast buffet- most the staff is really great- alittle immature- younger type- so you really want respect and service, but you sometimes get not such great service-! remember you Pillow and anything in your safe when u leave, because the bellman didnt remind us,,and--- we forgot and called back, and got no help!! just to tell us to call back later after 5pm- WHAT!!,,,so we turned around on i-4 and thank goodness we still had a room key :) (i will always keep my room keys until i get home to throw away)..AND GOT OUR IMPORTANT papers from the safe, and pillow we love!

the most annoying thing was that the parks and the citywalk and the hotel didnot have wifi!! UNLESS YOU PAID 10$/day- and i thought that was a ripoff!!! and i could not get on 3g either!! so the little downtime i did have, i couldnt open my email (i have an iphone 4),iwanted to enjoy my sitting in the sun, and wine,, and maybe read my emails, i couldnt send my friends and family photos via email (the mms worked and texes and phone,- but not internet) i couldnt get my gps to open, just browsing- it was very very very very very annoyong.,. i even went to the coffee shop, but the wifi was locked,,,,i went to citywalk, same -and the parks!! i dont know if id stay here again for that inconvience! i got to the marriott courtyard on my hAlf way drive home, and i had 35 emails!!! can u imagine,....and it was new years, so it was a bumber i was so out of touch-- like i left the country...!?
other then that i loved the place.

Room Tip: i liked 3rd floor- lobby level
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank gonutts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

The Hard Rock Hotel was our second-choice hotel for a family trip to Universal -- the slightly-less-expensive Lowe's Royal Pacific sold out while we were booking it. But boy, were we happy with it!

We booked a complete package through Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations (UPRV), electing to stay on site in order to save the cost and hassle of a car, parking fees, and so on. A huge bonus is that the hotel room key serves as a "free" (if you can call it that!) Universal Express pass. Even if the parks aren't crowded, which they weren't for most of our visit, Universal Express saves a lot of walking: without it, you find yourself "furbling" through long walkways and queuing areas; Express generally takes a shortcut to the rides themselves.

Service was fantastic, right from the start. We arrived mid-morning after an early flight to Orlando, excited but hungry. Front desk staff was great at orienting us to the hotel and its features-- and to our surprise, our room was ready early! We opted to drop our stuff off at our room only to find that engineering was just finishing up a paint touch-up. The bell captain, who made the trip to the room with us, apologized for the miscommunication and then had us follow him back to the Kitchen restaurant where they treated us to a wonderful buffet brunch for our "inconvenience!"

The hotel has a park tickets desk and automated kiosk for picking up tickets that you've bought in advance. Free tickets are available for transportation to Wet 'n' Wild and Sea World (these buses only run once per day in each direction). Other ticket-related transactions (adding days or features) have to be done at the parks' own Guest Services windows.

Everyone at the hotel had this very-refreshing "service first" attitude. It's what made me want to visit Orlando again in the first place-- the people here really understand hospitality.

The entire hotel has typical Hard Rock theming-- you'll find rock memorabilia everywhere (a tour booklet at the front desk describes the hotel's entire collection), a great classic rock "soundtrack" throughout the common areas that makes it hard not to smile and tap your feet; yet never loud or obnoxious, just fun. The hotel itself is 650 rooms on 7 floors, with the Kitchen Restaurant, Emack & Bolios / Starbucks, and a nice workout room on the first, the lobby, Velvet Lounge, and Rock Shop on the second, guest rooms on 3-7 (where 7 is the "Club Level"). It's spread out in a large semicircle with the pool and Beach Club in the center.

The heated pool was gorgeous, and really does have a working underwater sound system (though, once experienced, that's more of a novelty than anything else). Most of it is quite shallow-- 3.5 feet, with a small section of 4.5 feet. It has a fun waterslide at one end and plenty of seating around, including a "sandy beach" area. At night, the hotel hosts "Dive-In Movies"; you can watch a recent DVD release while you lounge in the pool!

Beyond the pool (and surrounding one side of the hotel) is a pathway that's a short walk to Universal Studios; a bridge connects that to CityWalk, and another bridge joins the far end of CityWalk with Islands of Adventure. If you spend all day at (particularly) IOA, your feet will appreciate the water taxi service that runs between CityWalk and the hotel every 15 minutes. It's a great scenic ride day or night.

The rooms themselves are fairly typical in size and amenities. No fridge or microwave, but very clean, nice dressing area outside the bathroom, very clean and neat. And what a view! Our room faced both the pool and the parks-- a great sunset sight, with the parks all lit up and the colored lights on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit reminding you of just where you are!

The only real issue I found with the room itself was that the bathroom is sized, and the door located, such that you have to stand in about a 6" diameter circle-- between the sink and toilet-- in order to open or close the door without hitting your toes.

The Kitchen restaurant is fantastic-- best buffet breakfast we've ever had anywhere. Huge selection, friendly staff, great food. The real only downside is the price. When you visit a theme park, you expect to be treated like the captive audience you are: $9.00 hamburgers, $2.75 beverages, and so on. Staying in an on-site hotel extends that experience, depriving you of even a temporary escape back to the world of normal prices; That breakfast buffet at the Kitchen is $20/person, which is a lot even for a resort, and there's no real options other than feeding your family some kind of packaged food you brought with you.

My only other pricing gripe: At Hard Rock's prices, Wi-Fi internet should be free. It's not-- it's $9.95 per day per device. They offer free internet in the lobby area only.

Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
Thank k-dog021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

Stayed just 1 night so we could access the early entry and universal express benefits at the parks. Room was fine, though hallways were a bit maze-like and layout of hotel is weird with lobby on the 3rd floor. Nice coffee shop/ snack bar on the 1st floor for those who don't want to pay or wait around for a sit down breakfast. You can do water taxi or walk to the park. There was very little info about how frequently the taxis ran, so we walked. Took us about 10 min with a stroller and 2 kids. The decor, obviously, is rock-related, but couldn't help thinking all the excerpted music lyrics displayed everywhere reminded me of my binder from 8th grade.
Got right into the park at 8 or so, not in retrospect so necessary because during the 2nd week of Dec no one was there. We only used our express passes x2 since wait times were minimal nearly everywhere. Also worth mentioning that the express pass doesn't work at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. At around 2 we decided to head back to the hotel to do a little pool time before heading to the airport. Waited for a shuttle for 15 min but it didn't come so we walked. Our keys didn't work to get us into the building, but staff let us in and we changed in the poolside lavatories. Pool is nice though music a little loud, with good poolside bar/food service.
All in all, if I was going back to Universal during a peak time, the perks would make the room price worth it, but if those things aren't important to you, you can find just as nice a place for less.

Room Tip: Ask to be fairly close to elevator.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stateomaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

Stayed at Hardrock Orlando from New Years eve for 1 week, we booked a club level room which is not worth the extra, the club room is very small and not enough seating to accommodate all the guests staying on the 7th floor, you had to stand up eating your breakfast and don't even bother going in there after 9.30am as there will be nothing of the very poor selection of food left!!! - also they say free wifi for the 7th floor, the signal was that bad in our room we couldn't get on it, after the first night we complained and they moved us to the 5th floor where the internet was ok, they also credited us with 75USD per night as we were no longer in a club level room, the rooms on the 5th are identical to the 7th. Now for the good points, staying in one of the 3 hotels on sight gives you an automatic express pass for all the rides, this in itself is worth staying there, also the breakfast in The Kitchen is excellent, a buffet style with a hugh choice for 10usd for kids and 19.99 for adults, the staff are very friendly and the Valet parking is a must, this is an extra 7usd per day over the standard parking charge of 15 per night, when ever you want your car you just text them and it's waiting for you outside within 5 minutes, then when you come back just drive up to reception and they take it off you. Overall it's an OK hotel with it's good and bad points and if I was visiting Universal Orlando in the future, I would probably book there again.

Room Tip: Don't bother with club level.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank djp4268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

Address: 5800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-7834
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#16 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#32 Green Hotel in Orlando
#39 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $278 - $604 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 star and savor the perks of rock 'n' roll royalty with impeccable accommodations, laid-back luxurious style and show-stopping service. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock 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:
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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