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Reviewed February 23, 2008

My family - husband, plus two boys ages 6 and 9 and a daughter of 3 stayed here for a week in February. The hotel was as expected and as described on its web site. The pool was great, lots of space to lounge, have a drink and watch the kids swim safely. There was also a life guard on duty to ease any nerves. My daughter was able to paddle around the baby pool happily and the larger pool has a gently sloping side to it, making it easy for her to get in and out of. My only negative about the pool, was the pool service for drinks for food took far too long. They seemed to have plenty of staff, it just took forever for them to bring you your order and then bring you your check. We stayed on club level 7, which has a lounge for breakfast, which is well worth the extra cost as it saved us having to go out and find food so early in the morning. In the evening they had happy hour from 5-7, but it was a bit of a scrum to be honest, with lots of people jostling for food - snacks, appetizers etc and free wine and beer. So we gave it a miss after our first attempt to get some cookies for the kids. We ate at the kitchen restaurant twice, once indoors and once on the patio, which was much nicer. The food here was good, with excellent service and good childrens choices. I would say the best thing about staying here was the ability to use your room key to bypass all the lines. We never stood in line for any rides, it was really fantastic. My kids loved it. I would say if you are coming to Universal, stay on property as the extra cost is very much worth it for convenience, especially with kids and no waiting in line The walk from our hotel to the park took less than 10 minutes, it was very scenic, or you could take the water shuttle, which was only 2 mins. I would recommend this hotel to anybody who is visiting Orlando as even if you want to visit Disney, you could do so by car from here - which we did on one of our days. Great hotel, great location, nice staff and wonderful places to eat. One tip - don't bother eating at the Hard Rock Cafe - food and service was awful. I would recommend the Mythos restaurant in the park though for lunch - really was awesome, great food and not too expensive. We had a wonderful weeks vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank waunalongs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

My husband and I brought our 3 teenage boys here for 5 nights in February 2008 for their Spring Break. We stayed here strictly because they wanted to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure/Wet & Wild. This hotel is a great choice if you have teenage kids and want to go to the parks. Universal is within walking distance and the hotel will provide free shuttle service to the 2 other hotels on the Universal property.

The Pros: The location is great and the kids really loved the cool "rock and roll" feel of the hotel. I was impressed that eery single employee was super friendly and went out of their way to be so. The service was top notch so they must be doing something right as far as training their employees. While the kids went to the park my husband and I stayed by the pool most days, and the pool is outstanding. They have a sandy beach pool which was heaven, and there were plenty of friendly servers who provided efficient service with drinks and food. The Palm restaurant is on premises and we dined there 2 nights. The food is outstanding by New York standards (we eat at The Palm in NYC all the time). In fact, the food throughout the hotel is excellent. We had breakfast every morning at The Kitchen and lunch by the pool every day and it never disappointed. We also got a ride one night to the Bice Restaurant at the Portofino Hotel on night and the food and service there was excellent as well. Yes, we all gained a few pounds on this vacation but it was worth it! The kids used their room keys for "express" access at the park to get to the front of the lines and they loved it.

The Cons: I am Loews First Gold member and I have stayed at many Loews properties and although there are many positives about this hotel, I was disappointed with the quality, and the feel of the room furnishings. The bed felt cheap and hard, and the linens were rough and felt like sheets from a Days Inn. There were obvious stains on the carpet and they politely advise you that the sheets will only be changed every 3 days. I felt that the housekeeper did a less than adequate job cleaning the bathroom and room.

In summary, if you are visting Universal and want a place to stay with the kids I would definitely recommend this hotel. The kids will love it. However, for the parents, do not expect a "luxury" experience. For the moms, there is no spa on the premises. There is a Manadara Spa at one of the other hotels (the Polynesian?) but it was too far to walk and I didn't want to take the shuttle.

All in all, nice but not really a Loews experience.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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Thank JunnieNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2008

Great perks with this hotel and if your a fan of universal like we are you'll love it!!!! its a stone throw away from islands of adventure and universal! the hotel itself is great such a wondeful friendly atmosphere! the rooms aren't fantastic but are clean and spacious with mod cons like flat screen tele's etc.
The hotel has a brilliant pool but it is small for the size of the hotel.
Concierge are fantastic and recommended some awsome restaurants including moonfish in Dr Phillips wich is just to die for and only around $10 in a taxi away!
I would def go back! but maybe stay club but not sure what extra's you get for your money?!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BristolToothfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2008

from the minute we stepped out of the taxi we were made to feel welcome, the check in was quick and easy, the room was fab...and the room key is worth its weight in gold for getting on all the rides in universal straight away....the kids were made to feel really welcome and the staff couldnt do enough for us.....the location was ideal and couldnt fault anything, we ate in the beach club which was a little pricey but the food was great...although we ate out at other places around the resort just for variety...cant wait to go back..cant think of any cons....have been spoilt now and wouldnt want to stay in any other place in Orlando when we go back !!

go see for yourself !!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank rockstar32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2008

We just returned from 4 days at the Hard Rock Hotel. We stayed at the Portofino in August and wanted something different this time. We had reserved the Royal Pacific but I inadvertantly did not tell them I needed a pet room. We were quickly rebooked at the Hard Rock and from the moment we got there we were pleasantly surprised. The staff was awesome! My DH and I were really nervous about staying at the Hard Rock. We had my mom with us and I had this idea that the Hard Rock would be full of crazy drunk singles and have loud screaming music 24/7. I could not have been more wrong. Everyone was sooo nice. I have to tell you though. The Hard Rock does let employees express "be themselves". So we saw mohawks, piercings and tatoos but it was more in a comical cool way and in no way offensive or a turn off. We had our kids 16, 10, 8 with us and they loved the place. My 8 year old cried when we were leaving. We had an issue with someone complaining about my shih tzu barking while we were at the park and the staff was awesome in every way. I have absolutely no complaints about the hotel other than the food at the Kitchen was overpriced for the quality but ....remember you are eating at a hotel. The pool was incredible. My mom was 100% impressed with this hotel and she is truly a spoiled diva LOL. She likes nothing but the best. I guess if it were just DH and I looking for a romantic laid back trip I may choose the Portofino because it is a beautiful hotel. But...the hotel staff was nothing like the Hard Rock. We are already planning our next stay at Hard Rock!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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9  Thank brigette621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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