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“Hard Rock- Nice but Different....”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
Palatine, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Hard Rock- Nice but Different....”
Reviewed October 7, 2003

Stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Oct 3 thru Oct 6th 2003 as a winner of a contest....so needless to say my accomadations were free and my opinion wasn't biased based on the cost of room. The Hotel is very interesting.... I was traveling with my wife and 2 children (7 and 5) and kinda felt out of place. This hotel seems to cater towards couples with no kids or couples with teenagers. Obviously with the Hard Rock name I wasn't expecting "Ariel's grotto" but I did feel out of place with children this young. This place is definately happening for the "club scene". Checked in at 11:30pm(flight delays) and the place was rocking....loud music and lots of people in black attire milling about.
Seems like a lot of the patrons go clubbing until 2:00 am at city walk and then walk back(short distance) to the hotel. Accomadations were lovely and clean with trendy decor in the rooms(2 queens) and a desk.
Room was 1st floor at the end of a wing which was a bit of a walk but also good because you were far enough away from the noise of the lobby.
Pool was zero entry, water slide and didn't go deeper than 4 feet.
Almost too shallow for the type of clientel they seem to be trying to attract...perfect for my kids ,but my kids were alone in there age bracket at that time. With the Hard Rock's slogan "the coolest hotel in the area"....it comes with that rock star, tattoed/pierced 20 something attitude. Didn't eat at the hotel. Did a lot of Disney parks(kids ages and personal likes) short drive 15 min. Staying at the Hard Rock with front of line priviledges seem to be very valuable with some of the patrons I talked with....we did not visit IOA or US. Valet parking was $12 a day and self park was $6 a day. Some nights we tried to self park and the lot was full and used the valet and they charged us the self park rate...very nice. Hope it helps.

10 Thank JSERNA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vancouver, BC Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2003

nice lobby and beautiful grounds; very good location great access to Universal parks, and it is very convenient to pay for everything with your room card and bypass the regular attraction/ride line ups as a hotel guest rooms are comfortable, but try to get a room higher up; the hallways are looking a bit beat up and the room service dishes linger way too long in the hallway (up to 2 days) pool and park views are pleasant but the windows are too dirty to have a clear view I was expecting more memorabilia, but there was a rock'n'roll party atmosphere on the weekends overall it was very good value, I stayed there a week for $125.00/night plus taxes and parking parking is poor value since they have limited space and the lots get so full on the weekend the hotel guests have no place to park, a real inconvenience staff were reasonably friendly but did not go out of their way; service standards were definitely at a 4 star level, not a five star level, though turn down service was executed nicely with some pleasant suprises I was surprised how many families with young children were there, I was expecting a more youthful/mature crowd the pool is too shallow for a real swim, but is great for young children the biggest disappointment was the poolside food, we had the nachos, topped with cheap, low-grade processed cheese, not good value at all they could use more front desk staff, the line ups at check-in and check-out were too long I would stay there again and recommend it to others

1 Thank BizTraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
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!!

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
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
    • Value
    • Rooms
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14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
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!

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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.

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
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.

4 Thank 566sallyd
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
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:
#14 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#34 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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