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“Many plusses, a few minuses”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Many plusses, a few minuses”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

My one word summary for this resort would be SPACIOUS. The layout of the building, the pool, and the rooms all easily earned this title. Beautiful grounds! Overall, entire property was well maintained. One of the onsite restaurants, The Kitchen, offered many desirable options and quality of food was high. Atmosphere of the restaurant, however, was average. Staff throughout the resort were friendly and welcoming. Bartenders made some mean drinks! Be sure to try one of their mojitos. Can't beat location if you are planning on visiting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Express Passes, usable at both Parks for any day of paid admission, definitely made the cost of the stay more valuable. Easy walk to Parks and City Walk and/or complimentary water taxi allowed for spontaneity in daily activities. Daily dive-in movies were a nice bonus. Outdoor pool and ping pong tables, as well as shuffleboard were also features which enhanced the stay. Utilized the car service to/from Disney one afternoon and night. $40 each way plus gratuity was worth it to ride in style (Escalade and Yukon) with personable drivers.

View from our 5th floor Deluxe Room was the rooftop of the lobby entrance. Not pretty. I planned on spending a good bit of money at the Parks, but didn't expect to drop so much at the hotel. Naive of me, I guess. Just about everything costs extra - use of the Fitness Center, Wifi, use of the internet and/or printer in the Business Center, etc. I was actually a little afraid to make myself a cup of coffee with the Keurig in our room, figuring I would get charged for doing so. Down at The Kitchen, a cup of coffee was $3.50 and an OJ was $4. Dropped $52 for breakfast 2 of the days we were there - family of 4 with kids ages 7 and 9, and because I'm a light eater, especially in the morning, I normally just eat their leftovers as opposed to ordering my own. Unfortunately, the absence of a fridge and microwave in the room pretty much forced us to eat on property and not keep leftovers, as we normally have them. There is even a fee to have your mini-bar fridge un-stocked if you want to use it for your own personal use. Trust me, my friends will tell you, I'm not cheap. If anything, I spend money a little too well so for me to take note of the extensive fees and high prices says something! Had a couple of minor cleaning and maintenance issues which the Manager assured me would be taken care of, but one was definitely not. It wasn't a horrible inconvenience so i just let it go. Lastly, was quite frustrated that the pool slide, which had been calling my kids names from the time they saw it, was not functioning on multiple days of our stay, resulting in non-use the entire stay. The Manager was vague, stating it was a maintenance issue with no guarantee as to when it would be resolved, and staff explanations were inconsistent. My guess is that it was shut down due to the low occupancy (operating costs likely exceeded worth).

We will likely visit Universal Studio Parks again and when we do, I would definitely consider staying here again.

Room Tip: Upon check-in, be sure to ask for a room with a garden or pool view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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3 Thank MeganMFT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dorset
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

Stayed here for one night mid November as a last stop before returning home. The room was good size. However the soundproofing could be better, we were woken in the night by what sounded like someone using our bathroom, only to realise it was the room next door. Location is perfect for visiting Universal Studios, an easy stroll from the Hotel or you can take a short boat ride, in addition you can get your passes at the Hotel. The City Walk has a good choice of restaurants and shops etc. Overall a good place to stay and visit the Universal attractions without having to drive. The breakfast relatively expensive but offered a comprehensive choice.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank DorsetCrowdedHouseNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

i loved the fact you can get early entrance to the parks. loved the little boat trip.
Loved the pool and especially sipping cocktail with feet dangling in pool, whilst watching a film...
the whole area is clean and tidy. and alot of choice at breakfast, ( abit expensive)
been here twice, and would recommend it, as i have done.to many

Room Tip: stayed twice, and both rooms where the same, so no prefrence
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mumski62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I don't usually leave reviews but we had such a great time, that I thought I'd take the time to give the stellar review that this place deserves :) We live about an hour north of Orlando, but wanted to take a little weekend splurge getaway, with no particular agenda in mind. We chose the Hard Rock Hotel based on reviews and the "5 second" proximity to City Walk. Starting with check-in, every single staff member we came in contact with was helpful, polite and funny. Our room was not a pool-view or anything, but the room itself was nice and very comfortable. The hotel grounds, lobby, lighting, pool area, landscape and decor is amazing. There is something very sexy about this hotel at night... we both noticed. The pool is huge, everything has a great atmosphere, always music playing, several very nice hot tubs, very cool decor ... just makes you feel like you're having a great time. There were lots of kids and families, especially on the water slide (hey-it's for adults too!), they have a nice pool-side bar, etc. This is not a budget hotel, it is the kind of place you go when you're wanting to splurge and have a great, laid back time. That evening we walked from our room over to the Ferry, this is one of the BEST parts that is *included* in the hotel. (No boat fee or anything, just get on!) We waited about 10 minutes, got on a boat, took a very short boat ride over to City Walk (which is awesome!! karaoke bars, movie theatre, restaurants) and stayed there all night. We caught another boat back to the hotel. Around 3am, we decided to break the rules (sorry, Hard Rock) and jumped the iron fence leading to the Hot Tubs... no one was around at all, so we got to spend a few minutes in the wonderful hot tub. But we got caught... an employee cleaning the pool area spotted us, but was really funny about the whole thing, not rude. He just said we had to leave the pool area until the morning and he wondered how we managed to even get in... we told him we jumped the high fence haha... He just shook his head, laughed and opened the lock for us. We ordered a late night pizza with room service and it was very prompt and delicious. Everyone was really relaxed and in a vacation-mindset. If I HAD to choose a single thing wrong, I would just say that it's very pricey... hotel room, food, drinks, parking, etc. But I'm not complaining, it's kinda like Disney World... you know when you go there that the little things are going to be expensive. That's just how it is. We had a WONDERFUL time and I can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank K_Nicholle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton,Ohio
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Great place to stay! Everyone was really nice and the location was awesome. We went over Thanksgiving week and the hotel was full but you would never have known it. Lots of room at the pool. Always room to get on if you wanted to take the boat ride to Universal. The location is awesome, you can walk right to Universal and you get early entry every day you are there just for staying there. We had a problem with our room when we first checked in and within five minutes we had another one. My only complaint would really just be things that I like to have in a hotel and not anything they did wrong. The windows do not open in the rooms so you never get fresh air.
Totally worth staying here!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kmwellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Wow. This is probably the best hotel my family and I have ever stayed at, for real!!!! The lobby was fantastic, with lots of famous celebrity items. The pool was amazing!!! At night they play movies so you can swim and watch them (: Theres also a slide, kids pool, hot tub and two little fountains kids really enjoy. We didn't eat at any of the restaurants but the ice cream shop/ little cafe they had was really good!!! BTW- They have the BEST vanilla milkshakes there!!! The room was stunning, lots of space and it was really clean!!!! And theres only a five minute walk to Universal!!! In all, this is the best hotel ever!!!!! :) :) :)

Room Tip: I recommend any on the top floor for a great view of Universal!!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TinkerBell5656
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando around Veteran's Day in weekend. The hotel has a water ferry to take you to Universal Studios and we were able to get into the park an hour earlier than the opening to the public. You are also able to walk to the park in 5 to 10 minutes by following a path from the hotel. It is a short walk to City Walk, where you can go to grab a bite to eat. The pool area was clean and the rooms are spacious. Perfect place for a family to stay!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kimberley T
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:
#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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