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“Thanks Hard Rock”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #37 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed July 30, 2013

As we drove into the Hard Rock Hotel, the kids said "Wow!" It only got better and I can tell you that that staying at this hotel was a great vacation for my family.

I hope this review helps you make a good decision as to where to stay in Orlando. I had read reviews on here before booking my vacation with a Disney Resort but ignored some of the bad reviews since I thought it may be better to stay closer to Disney World since I hadn't been to Universal or Orlando for that matter. I believed that those negative reviews wouldn't happen to us and the first 24 hours of our vacation was a nightmare.

Here is my review of the Hard Rock and some tips.

STAFF
All our encounters with the staff were warm and friendly. The man that checked us in upgraded us from a standard room to an amazing pool room with a view (see my pic). Expect to be greeted with a smile and made to feel special, not just a number. One morning at the pool, I was told "Good Morning by my name" from a waiter. I do leave good tips but think it would have been the case either way.

POOL
I had narrowed down my hotel choices to two hotels in Orlando for a great pool, Hard Rock being one of them.

The pool is designed to where it is in front of you and you can watch your kids easily. The slide is exciting and my kids went a lot. I didn't let my kids go down the slide at night because I couldn't see the path from the pool.

If you want out of the sun or rain then the covered cabana/bar was wonderful. The food and drinks were really good. The service was friendly and prompt.

One of our favorite parts of the pool was the nightly movie and Live music in the afternoon. The kids were in the pool and watched the movie. The screen is double sided so you could watch from the covered cabana/bar, pool side or watch from chairs. The fireworks from Universal were an added touch. They had a very talented guy play acoustic guitar and sing for about three hours in the afternoon. This guy could play anything and took requests.

Love the easy access to towels and water jugs with self serve water with lemons, oranges and limes. The water toys and balls being sold at the pool by a vendor were so cool. Plus, he will deflate and inflate for you each day so you don't have to carry through hotel or on the plane.
The palm trees around the pool make it so beautiful.

ROOM
The room was really nice with a great view. The beds are very comfortable. The carpet could be newer and the tv could be bigger. I also liked the layout of the floors with easy access to the main elevator area. The Disney Beach Club room was dirty and old and the floors are a maze.

RESTAURANTS
The food was very good at the pool, The Kitchen, the coffee shop and didn't eat at The Palm. You can also take a free few minute water taxi to Universal Studios to eat at a lot of restaurants.

We ate breakfast and dinner at The Kitchen and we never had a bad meal. The breakfast buffet is delicious and cost $75 (which included tip) for four of us with unlimited fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee. The same breakfast buffet at Disney Beach Club Hotel was $150 (which included tip)!

The kids had an amazing steak dinner with salad and dessert for $10. The chicken wings and wood fired pizzas are the best and pasta with scallops and shrimp dinner was delicious.

The staff will ask if you would like your coffee or cocktail in a cup to take to the pool which I found nice. They will even make you an iced coffee :-)

TRANSPORTATION
Free water taxis to Universal Studios from hotel which is fun. We didn't use shuttles but they were free to Sea World and Wet n Wild water park.

We called our own taxi with a company named Mears. You will want to as we'll since they have a meter and cheaper than the taxis provide at the hotel.

Wish they had free shuttle to and from airport. However, the $$ we saved in one breakfast did easily pay for a taxi to the airport.

BIG TIP
This tip was given to us and I would like to pass on to you. You may take a taxi from the hotel to Walmart for about $20. They sell all the Disney clothes, mugs and such with the Disney name on the tags for about half the price. Plus, you can stock up on other things too. When we got to Walmart there were lots of other people in taxis doing the same thing.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
I hadn't been to Universal Studios prior to my stay. We were all impressed with the ease of getting around the park without having to take buses and monorails. Plus, they are ride focused without a gift shop and photo gimmicks at every turn. The rides are over the top with 3D and The Hulk roller coaster. My family favorite was the water ride, Jurassic Park and Transformer.

The express passes work and worth having. They are included with your room and you get in the park early for Harry Potter and otherwise. You get a photo on them which the kids wanted to save.

Hope our experience helps you. All our best.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank Joseph360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,052 - 6,058 of 9,292 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

Excellent hotel! If you are going to Universal, the location is superb! Plus, you can not beat the unlimited fast-pass you get just by staying here. My son celebrated his birthday while we were here and when we got back from the parks, they had a slice of cake with a candle and Happy Birthday spelled out in chocolate waiting in the room. That was a nice extra touch. We walked to both parks easily or rode the water shuttle. The only negative one might have is if they don't like loud music. Music played in all the common areas and some might not appreciate that. However, you can't hear it in your room.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank R H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We just returned from a great stay of 3 nights at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Upon arrival the luggage handlers were very friendly and stored our luggage until our room was ready when it was retrieved promptly. The check-in experience was also flawless. The rooms are very nice and the beds are very comfortable. Our party was 5 people ranging from 11 years old to 65 and all of us were very impressed. The Hotel's rocking vibe is infectious and all the staff are courteous and knowledgeable. We ate at both the Kitchen and the Beach Club and both had high quality food and great servers. It's a short walk to the parks from the hotel and the boat is nice as well. The pool is very nice and always has something going on. The kids loved the activities and slide. My wife and I attended the Velvet Sessions concert featuring Toad the Wet Sprocket which was a real highlight for us. We had a great time in the VIP section where they truly do make one feel like a VIP. The Velvet Lounge was also a nice place to kick back after a long day in the parks. This was our fourth stay at the Hard Rock and we will be back.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank T A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockHotelOrlando, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! It is awsome to hear that you got "infected" by our rock vibe! We love our repeat rock stars and it delights us to know that you had another flawless experience at our hotel. See you again on your fifth stay! Rock On!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is very expensive - benefits include early entry to theme parks (only 2 rides in each park and nowhere open to buy food) and an unlimited fast pass (worth its weight in gold, even for those who only like mild rides!). Both Universal parks are a short walk away and can also be reached by free shuttle bus or water taxi.

The hotel itself was comfortable and full of rock memorabilia that my sons found appealing. The pool was very warm, had plentiful seats and loungers and a good waterslide.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank justamumWakefield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay at the Hard Rock. It has a fun pool for the kids and adults, the lobby is nice, and the palms restaurant is very tasty. The rooms are decent and clean and I slept very well. I would stay here again and recommend it to all!

Room Tip: The rooms are mostly all the same
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Rollercoaster w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockHotelOrlando, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! We appreciate your kind words and recommendation! Hope to have you stay with us again in the near future! Rock On!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This was the first time we stayed here. We normally stay on the Disney properties but decided to try something different. Even though this place was a bit pricy...it was very nice, clean, and the staff was very helpful & friendly. Also, it's very convenient to Universal and Islands of adventure. You can walk or take the shuttle (boat) ride to the parks. The outdoor pool area is a great place to cool yourself off and they show a movie outdoor in this pool area every night around 8pm.

Room Tip: The executive level (floor 7) is nice. when you stay on this level you get continental breakfast, s...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Paradise079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockHotelOrlando, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! We are happy to have had you choose us as your alternative destination and it is great to hear that you enjoyed your time with us! Hope to see you again when you are in the Orlando area! Rock On!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

Lobby is nice. Guys at the front desk were a big help when we checked in and needed a pharmacy right away. Rooms are just ok. High priced but paying for location. Carpeted areas through out the hotel need to be vacuumed and shampooed. Beds are comfy. Pool area is very nice. Room service food was good.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Thank bubbles197
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

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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#32 Green Hotel in Orlando
#39 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $293 - $637 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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