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“Not quite up to scratch ..” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Not quite up to scratch ..”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2003

Like some other reviewers, we found that whilst it was an attractive, laid back, friendly place, the quality just didn't match the price.
Room not made up until gone 4pm on more than one occasion, $6 a day to park (a bit penny pinching when guests are paying over $200 a night), having to chase up coffee sachets for in room coffee maker etc But worst of all was noisy residents returning at 2am - 3am from City Walk.
The hotel could do more to stress to guests that not all residents appreciate hooting and hollering outside their rooms in the wee hours.
If you're going, I suggest asking for a room down the corridor away from a) the lifts and b) the ice machine and keep hold of those earplugs the airline gave you!!

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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
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2003

After only a short 3 weeks of planning, our family vacation finally arrived. We stayed 5 days and they were the best five days I've ever experienced. Our plane landed shortly after 4:30 August 29th and by 5:30 we were settled in our room. We weren't planning on getting a view of anything but we were pleasantly surprised when we walked in only to see a spectacular post card shot of the pool and a wonderful view of both theme parks. If I could give any advise it would be to stay on the Club Level floor (7th). It's only accessible to those who are staying on that floor so the hallways aren't as crowded or as loud. The club lounge is great and the staff were very pleasant and helpful. It is open from 7:30 am until 11 pm every day. You have free bottled water, coffee, lemonade, iced tea, and mini cans of coke, sprite or diet coke available all day long. In addition to that, you get a free breakfast with fresh doughnuts, fruit salad, bagels, muffins, and cereal every morning. If that wasn't enough, from 5:00-7:00 each night they have free beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres (chicken kabobs one night, pasta salad and meatballs the next, mini hot dogs another night). Then from 8-9 they serve a dessert item such as cookies, brownies, ice cream, or pudding (it changes each night). Because of these convenient perks, my family only had to buy one meal a day making our trip a lot more affordable. There is always music playing throughout the hotel and they have speakers under the water in the pool so you don't miss a song. The parks opened at 9 each morning and closed between 6 and 8 each night. We stayed just as the peak season was finishing so the fireworks weren't on and the park hours were shorter. Having the front of the line access was priceless. You can do both parks in a day or do each ride at least twice all thanks to staying on site, and your hotel is at most a 15 minute walk away or a 5 minute boat ride. Everywhere you look people are laughing or smiling and enjoying themselves. It can't be put into words the happiness and joy this hotel brings to you. In my opinion, this hotel has barely been discovered and the 7th floor is only the beginning of what's to come. If you and your family are looking to get away to Universal Orlando there is NO other place to stay at and the perks are out of this world!

  • Stayed August 2003
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2003

After a trying trip to FL for a funeral, we decided to spend a day at Islands of Adventure before returning home. I booked 2 nights at the Hard Rock since our 3 20-something kids were with us and thought they'd enjoy it. When we arrived around 6 pm on 8/24 we found out the travel agent had booked us a room with 2 queen beds but no sofa. My husband was offered a sofa bed for $25/night more or an upgrade to club level for $50/night more, which is the option he took. We were quite pleased with that decision. The room overlooked the entrance and had a nice view, and it was quite large and comfortable for 5 adults. It was also well-kept. In fact, we got a little smudge on the white comforter when we placed our suitcase on it and the next day, they changed the comforter. The mini-bar is over-priced but fruit and drinks are available in the lounge from 7:30 to 11 so the bar wasn't used at all.
The breakfast buffet and the appetizer buffet were excellent and the "kids" enjoyed hanging out at the poolside lounge. The staff is friendly and helpful, and security was discreetly evident. It's a short walk out the back door and past the pool to City Walk and the parks or you can opt for a water taxi, and showing your room key really does get you to the head of the lines! The day we went to the park, the skies opened up at about 3 pm complete with thunder and lightning. Of course we didn't have rain gear and when we realized it wasn't going to let up we slogged back to the hotel through pools of water that were higher than my ankles joking that if we were REALLY stars they'd dry us off when we got back to the room. As we approached the back door of the hotel it opened and the young man who worked at the pool greeted us all with warm towels. After we'd dried off a bit, he took the wet towels and gave us dry ones to keep wrapped in till we got upstairs. We truly felt like stars!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2003

Our family stayed at the Hard Rock for the Labor Day weekend and had the most fantastic time. The hotel is hip and fun. The music was not loud - just right, and was heard only in public areas in the lobby and 1st level and by the beutiful pool. The staff from the people at check in to the housekeeping staff setting up a rollaway in our room were friendly and helpful. We had a 4th floor deluxe room that was huge and easily accomodated our family of 5. We had a garden view that overlooked the very pleasant Woodstock lawn. At the Hard Rock Hotel, everything - the parks and City Walk restaurants-are a short walk - we never had to use our car. Also, the Universal Express pass benefit really makes the trip. It is so much fun being able to go on the rides at Universal and Islands of Adventure with no waiting. Disney doesn't offer this benefit. (Our kids liked Universal and Islands of Adventure much better than Disney -In a spring trip to Disney, Disney Magic Kingdom's rides seemed dated and the 1 to 2 hour lines in the hot sun at the Magic Kingdom were exhausting.) We would definitely go back to the Hard Rock Hotel and Universal - Islands of Adventure.

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5 Thank ATLLaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2003

My family and I spent 3 nights at the Hard Rock, from 8/31 thru 9/3. We got a special rate of $135 per night, using the Entertainment card. We thought the hotel was very nice. Our room was spacious and comfortable.
It was nice to have a separate grooming area outside the bathroom. The decor was nice too - the dressing area accessories were all pewter and looked very nice. The location was great - you can walk to the Universal parks and CityWalk, or take the shuttle boat. My husband used the gym, which was very well equipped. You do have to pay a daily fee to use it, which I think was $11. We did not eat at the restaurants, but did use the pool lounge. My son loved the water slide. This is a very nice place to stay while visiting Universal.

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4 Thank 566sallyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey. Uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2003

We have just returned from staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, which having carried out extensive rearch beforehand and reading previous reveiews were expecting something special. However we felt that although it was nice it lacked that wow factor. The rock memrobilla was scant. We would rate it as a nice four star hotel and not five as advertised in the brochure. Certain points to be aware of before you stay, are that the lobby is on the third floor which means that two floors are below. This coupled with the palm trees growing adjacent to the windows can result in restricted veiws. We were originally allocated a room on the third floor for which we had paid for a pool view. You could just see the pool between the large trees. Due to this we upgraded to the club floor. Club level does not mean exclusivity as promoted, just more large families, lots of young children, more noise and chaos when trying to eat in the club lounge. The pool is shallow with two small areas up to four feet deep. The table tenns, shuffle board and giant chess have all seen better days. The hotel is starting to look tired and would benefit from some overdue maintenence. The staff were helpful and friendly. The Sunset grill ofered good food at a reasonable price.

Helpful?
3 Thank MorgansSurrey_Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2003

I think it's a great hotel, we just happen to get a lousy room. I knew we weren't going to be in the room much, so I didn't see spending the extra money for the pool view. However, had I known that the "garden view" room would mean putting you in the level below the main floor, then I would have paid the extra money for a pool view.

We stayed in room 1123, the "garden view" window was too dirty to be able to see out of. The carpet in our room had a few stains. The room had a slight musty smell to it. The hallway to our room was very, very cold & the music was much louder than everywhere else, annoyingly so, even for someone who loves rock-n-roll music. The room next to us had their room service dirty dishes out and they sat there for hours. That was a view I didn't ask for! I would have asked to switch, but we arrived late (about 8:30 pm) and the hotel was completely full.

On the bright side, all the staff were very friendly and helpful. My kids absolutely loved the pool and the hotel in general. The hotel is full of energy and fun, not stuffy- at all.

But the best of all, access to express lanes was, BY FAR, THE BEST BENEFIT!! Your room key is all you need to show to hop into the express lanes. That alone is worth the extra money. If you want to go to one of the parks on the day of check-in, you can check-in early in the morning (you're room will not be ready yet however), leave your bags (if you want), grab your room keys and head off to the park to take full advantage of those express lanes. Our flight got in late, so we didn't do that. However, we did go to the park the day we checked-out (check-out is 10:00 or 11 a.m.), but we got to keep our room keys and they were good for express rides until the park closed. I think the longest we waited on any ride was 10 minutes. That is an almost "too good to be true" perk, but it's true! I'd stay in that crappy room again if I had to just for that benefit alone.

However, I felt I had to base my rating on the room, the amenities and service. As I said, I wasn't happy with our room. Another disappointment was that once we were at IOA (Islands of Adventure) we discovered that for some reason their system was not allowing room charges. Apparently their computers were having problems. So, we had to go back to our room to get more cash. Bummer. We didn't eat at any of their restaurants so I can't give an opinion of that.

I would have given a much higher rating if our room was more like what you would expect out of a $230/nite hotel. However, I would give it a second chance, but this time, ask for a pool view room.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Spazz67
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

Property: 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
Hotel Style:
#15 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#33 Green Hotel in Orlando
#39 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business 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 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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