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“Stay if only for the Express Pass”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #47 of 338 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
“Stay if only for the Express Pass”
Reviewed May 3, 2008

We chose the Hard Rock for a flying visit to Orlando as we wanted to revisit the two best parks in the place, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Staying in the hotel, you get a fast pass for all the rides, and it's worth it's weight in gold. An hour long queue for Spiderman? Not if you stay at the Hard Rock.
The hotel's within walking distance of both parks, and a wee boat can also shuttle you there and back. This is America, after all, where walking is almost a forgotten mode of transport. It's a nice stroll through the grounds though and we actually prefered doing this, telling ourselves it was burning up the burgers.
The hotel itself is very clean, the rooms bright and modern and the decor lively and interesting. There were only two bad points - the incessant piped rock music that you cannot escape from (although what should I have expected?) and the fact that there can be some raucous guests. We were woken on both nights by people living out their Excess All Areas fantasies.
We felt the food was relatively expensive and not great, breakfasting to the sounds of AC/DC and Motely Crue. The pool area was nice, but again music blasts you from all sides. Now, I like rock music as much as the next man, but not ALL rock music and you can't turn it off!
I don't know if we'd stay again and I think I'd search for an alternative, because Orlando isn't short of hotels at this price. Except for the Fast Pass - it's a big bonus.

  • Liked — The Fast Pass for the parks
  • Disliked — Non-stop American AOR
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank uryjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York, New York
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2008

This place was something else. It was absolutely lovely. The rooms were big and lavish and comfortable. The restaurants fantastic. The service impeccable. The pool scene popping. What can I say other than it was the Hard Rock in all its glory. Stayed here on business, not family fun ... but it certainly was close to the obvious picks. Tucked back a little from the main road but in a way that made it all the more intriguing.

  • Liked — Super nice, even though it's a cliche chain
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elena N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2008

My friend and I stayed here for 4 nights in April. It was the perfect place to stay. We were within walking distance from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, as well as the City Walk. There was always something to do. We went to the parks in the morning and hung out at the pool in the afternoon. There were so many places to choose from for dinner. My friend and I walked over to the other nearby hotels (Portofino and Royal Pacific). They looked nice. But, I was happy that we were at the Hard Rock Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Seaside71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2008

We just returned from the HRH. Stayed there a week with our two teenage sons, age 13 and 14. We traveled with another family as well, that also had teenagers same age. What we loved is that the property is so close to Universal and Islands of Adventure that during the week long stay, the kids could walk over late afternoon and spend a couple of hours there while the adults dined. Don't get me wrong, we spent loads of time with the kids. Universal, Islands of Adventure, the new Aquatica park, Discovery Cove and Wet and Wild and Seaworld. But we seemed to finish up at the parks around 2:00 p.m. Went back to the pool at HRH, and then sometimes the kids would head back for a few hours. The kids loved it! They met other teenagers, hung out in the hot tub, played volleyball. All around the 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 age group! We dined at the Palms, which was somewhat of a let down, because there were tons on little kids..very pricey, but food was good. We dined one evening outside on the terrace at the Kitchen, at was a bit more reasonably priced. The beach bar/restaurant was fantastic. We also made a reservation at Emrils restaurant for 8, but then changed the reservation to 4 and let the kids do there thing at Citywalk...they just checked in with us. We sat next to AL ROKER!!! Food was without question incredible, service was second to none! VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE...but if you can swing it, it was so good! We ventured out to a restaurant call Bonefish...Not the chain FISHBONES, but Bonefish. Ask a the front desk, it's only about a mile away, and the food and atmosphere was fantastic. The kids came with us and they loved it! If you stay here, just expect to spend, spend, spend....we skipped breakfast every morning and just grabbed a bagel and juice in the market at the hotel. It was not too bad. The location of this hotel is steps away from both parks. The fast pass was worth staying here because we skipped lines, never waited....which allowed us to be back at the hotel early to enjoy the tropical atmosphere, and have a few cocktails! All in all, we loved it! Service was awesome, no problems what so ever! Stay here if you can treat yourself and your teens....great for youngster too! If you decide to check out Aquatica water park, get there early (about 1/2 hour before it opens). Chairs in the shade go quickly...there's a lot of them, but if you get there an hour after the park opens you won't get the shade. Hope this helps.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — A bit pricey...but still fantastic
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank honest2u07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2008

This hotel is perfect for most people and especially if you are going to go to universal and islands of adventure. We have stayed in the best of hotels and we will definately be returning. Our children are 17,15,13 and 10 and they all enjoyed the experience, the beds are comfy and the rooms spacious enough, we had a pool view. The food in the beach club is really yummy and the staff throughout the hotel are great. It is by far the coolest hotel in Orlando.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Twinkle40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
derbys uk
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2008

Stayed here for 5 nights from 4 April with my husband and 16 year old son. What is all the hype about? It's just a hotel much like any other but with "rock music" playing. Booked it to take advantage of the room key express pass but have since found that you can purchase an express pass and stay at a cheaper hotel which would make your stay more economical. Friends were staying at the Staybridge Suites on International Drive at the same time and they had a suite with 2 bedrooms, lounge and kitchen AND breakfast for less than £100 a night. Much cheaper and the suite was far superior to our room at the Hard Rock. They also charge $14 for self parking and $22 for valet parking so you don't even save on the theme park parking. This charge bumps up the price of the stay considerably. It wasn't the worst hotel I've stayed in but it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. Didn't eat there as it was too expensive.

  • Liked — Fluffy pillows
  • Disliked — Pool had no atmosphere
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank spireman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
punkindrublic87
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2008

Stayed here christmas 07 - AMAZING hotel, cool memorabelia, and you can hear music underwater in the pool. Downer was there was no deep end of the pool. Bar is amazing, so is games room. The rooms were really nice, high beds and nice cushions on them. Probably not worth the money, but its worth it for the experience.

  • Stayed December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank punkindrublic87
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
#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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