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“Awesome adult experience, with caveats.” 5 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
Lakewood ranch, FL
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Awesome adult experience, with caveats.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2008

We are adults with no children and have 2 dogs. All the Universal hotels are awesome, particularly the hard rock. I like the Royal Pacific the most, as it has the least amount of children running around and screaming, but the Hard Rock is my favorite as far as ambience. If you are a music fan, the memoribilia alone will keep you busy for hours. We LOVE being able to take our 2 small dogs with us and will not stay in a hotel where we can't take the mutts. They cater to pet lovers and we reward them with our continued business. The hotel itself is the definition of cool. Modeled after the eagles hotel california it is almost like a rock stars palatial estate. The restaurants and bars are always great and the bartenders are super cool and generous with the tequila. The Hard Rock music venue is easily walkable an we always stay at the hard rock when we go there and see a show. The performers stay at the hard rock hotel and you can usually catch them hanging in the Velvet bat after the show. My wife got to meet Bonnie Raitt when she performed there and we drank with the band after the show. We have stayed on the universal properties about 15-20 times in the last 5 years and have loved it every time. Unlike the enormous Disney, Universal is centered around the closely located base of Universal city walk. You can easily walk from any of the hotels to any of the theme parks and restaurants in about 5 minutes. they also have water taxis if you donlt want to walk and sweat to death in july and august. Emerils Tchoup Chop at the royal pacific is amazing and even the theme restaurants like margaritaville are great. Universal feels like a connected small town that you can walk.The lone drawback is the pool at the hard rock...it is so cool that everyone that stays in any of the 3 hotels at universal usually ends up at the hard rock pool. It is HUGE and has a great water slide. If you want to relax an enjoy it though, forget it. Even the hot tubs are full of 8-14 year olds. if you enjoy hearing "like" 17 times in each sentence and unsupervised children splashing hot tub water up your nose, it's right up your alley. We usually truck on over to the royal pacific and kick back in their pool even when we stay at the hard rock. room servce is great as well. If you want to go to the parks, staying at the universal hotels is MUST. Even though it expensive to stay there, imaging being able to be in your room 5-10 minutes after leaving the park exhausted AND your room key lets you take the hotel entrance and bypass all the regular schlubs standing in line for rides. I think our longest wait at islands of adventure was 10 minutes for the hulk. Always awesome stays, but $$$.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fatandugly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Waunakee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Liked — The ability to use your room key to bypass all the lines at Universal
  • Disliked — slow service at the pool and the lounge on floor 7 was a bit of a scrum
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank waunalongs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Liked — Location, park perks, pool
  • Disliked — quality of room, cleanliness of room
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JunnieNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BristolToothfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
81 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 !!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — having to go home
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rockstar32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, LA
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Liked — EVERYTHING!!!! The 2 minute walk to Universal was great also!!
  • Disliked — Hmmm didnt really dislike anything but I guess it would be our meal at
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank brigette621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2008

We stayed in the Hard Rock Hotel, Orlando for 8 days the end of January. The hotel is beautiful and the staff are very friendly. One highlight of this hotel is the food. It was excellent. There is two restraunts, a pub and a beach club. We ate at each one and every one of them prepared excellent food.
The pool area is an excellent place to relax. With two hot tubs and a large pool that includes everything from sun chairs to sand. I sent two days laying on the "beach" reading my book. Staff make sure your drinks are topped and your stomach's are full. The hotel is very private and in a great location. Walking distance to Universal Studio's.
The only thing that I could say was a disappointment was the fact that nothing is included in your hotel cost. Everything is extra, from parking to using their fitness centre. The in room internet is terrible and runs at a cost of 10$ a day! The only other internet access you have is in the busniess office which costs a whopping 8$ for 15 min..
All in all this was a wonderful vacation and I would go back and stay at the Hard Rock Hotel again!

  • Liked — The food
  • Disliked — Extra fees
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank teacher902
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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