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“Coolest Hotel Ever”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Coolest Hotel Ever”
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Stayed for 14 nights with my Husband and 2 daughters aged 13 & 15. Perfect location for Universal, Islands of Adventure and City Walk 5 mins walk or boat or shuttle ride away. You get an express pass just for staying at the hotel. Staff friendly hotel clean lovely lagoon style pool(although although a little shallow) open from 8.00am until 11.00pm which had nightly movies and a beach club. The rooms were comfortable and had everything you needed. Free WiFi in the lobby area. When you wanted to get out and about taxi's were available from the front door and the closest I Drive trolley stop was a pleasant 10 minute walk away. Would stay again if returning to Orlando.

Room Tip: Our room on the 6th floor looked out over the Parks and was at night
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Rum501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
83 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We stayed here for three nights to visit Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure. The location to the both of these parks makes this hotel very convenient and the ability to tour the Wizarding World of Harry Potter early (when going to Islands of Adventure) and the Express Pass at both parks make it even better. You can easily see everything at both parks with these amenities so staying at a Universal property such as the Hard Rock Hotel is worth the extra money. I was surprised at the level of service- everyone was nice and seemed genuinely interested in being helpful with giving directions and suggesting local activities. We ate on property for two of the three nights- the first at The Kitchen, which served good food although it was a bit pricey- their signature hamburger is $18, but admittedly the burger was big and delicious! We also ate at the poolside restaurant, which the kids loved- they swam for about 4 hours one night and were able to stop long enough to grab a bite to eat, which they thought was really cool. The highlight of the pool was the long waterslide, which the kids loved. Rooms were clean and spacious with two sinks- one outside the bathroom and the other inside the bathroom. This made getting ready in the morning and getting ready for bed in the evening very easy with two adults and two kids sharing the room. The rooms also had a Keurig machine, which was very easy and convenient for coffee (and tea) each morning. The hotel is about a 5-10' walk to both Universal parks, which is great as well. All in all, the Hard Rock Hotel is a great property, and I would stay here again if returning to experience either (or both) of the Universal parks.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank RazorTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax
Level Contributor
88 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Closest hotel to the theme parks, 5 mins walk to entrance of universal studios or you can get the boat which is ace

Pool is too shallow, slide too slow (you get stuck sometimes and no I am not 30 stone) the underwater music gimmick seemed beyond my ears - on plus side pool is big and looks great and music & movies are good

Rooms nice, carpet needs replacing in hallway, lobby fantastic, theme good, boat is ace, express pass is amazing and reason to stay onsite

Did not like badgering from rickshaw drivers (if I want one I will ask) or staff putting bags in a taxi without asking and then demanding a tip and slamming door when refused. We paid a tip when we wanted the bags taking to the room, it should not be taken out of your hands

No wi fi in room, no fridge unless you pay, 18% tip if you buy a beer at the pool... Too much of this attitude for my liking but if you are minted you won't care.

This sounds negative but I do like the place, the parks are amazing

Would stay again but only if royal pacific full as that is a nicer hotel

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TomsdadHalifax
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 review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We have reviewed the specifics of your feedback and would like to discuss it with you if possible. If you would like to please contact us at hardrockcustomerservice@loewshotels.com or call 407-503-2000. Rock On!!
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Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Level Contributor
53 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Stayed for 2 nights (August 19 -21) with my husband and 2 boys ages 10 & 12. We had just finished 5 days in Disney and were ready for our first trip to Universal. Staying on property was a priority because of the express passes and easy access to Universal. Couldn't have picked a better hotel!!! The vibe when you first walked in was like no other. Staff was super friendly and helpful from the time we pulled up to the time we left. We checked in early, got our passes and headed straight out to the parks. It was a short walk through a lovely path or a nice boat ride to get to Universal. (we used both). While we were at the parks we were texted our room number. The facilities were clean everywhere you went including the room!!! The rooms were nice, modern feel, not too big or too small. Coffee and hot chocolate provided in rooms free of charge. Pool was great, clean with music or live band playing all the time. Could eat and have cocktails by the pool. Lots of restaurant choices in the Lowe's Hotels and nearby CityWalk. Have nothing but great things to say. Would definitely go back!!! Liked it better than staying at Beach Club at Disney.

Room Tip: Do not get a room with a view of the pool if you like to turn in early.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sherri217
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 review, August 30, 2013
Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. It gives us joy to know that you've enjoyed our property, amenities but most of all our service. We are thankful and privileged that you choose to visit The Rock. We definitely look forward to your return ROCKSTARS! Rock On!!
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Carlisle
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Nice hotel, clean. Liked the coffee machine and dressing area with good mirror and lighting plus magnified mirror. Bath too small to bathe in. Just a shower in the bath. Hotels small cafe and large restaurant really expensive with average food offerings. We had breakfast in the restaurant for two adults and one child it came to $68, I gave $80 and stood waiting for change, the waitress said. 'You don't want change?'. To be fair all restaurants did this and therefore I won't be going to America again. We were a mother and an 18 year old and 13 year old so I expected two beds and a sofa bed or similar but we were given two doubles. I didn't find the staff friendly at all.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Flyingisnotright
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 review, August 30, 2013
Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We're pleased to know that you enjoyed some of our room amenities. We apologize for the dining and staff experiences and would like to discuss this matter with you. Please contact us at hardrockcustomerservice@loewshotels.com or 407-503-200. We look forward to your response.
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Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
140 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Where should I start? If you are a serious rock and roller and want to be completely immersed in it from the elevators to the pool then maybe this place would be worth the money and hype. But if you want a good hotel with close access to the Universal parks and the Universal express pass try one of the other two hotels on property. We wish that we had.

We chose the Hard Rock becuase we have teens and because it's supposed to be the very closest to the parks. Knowing we'd have already spent 5 days at Disney before this and we'd be weary, we booked this hotel thinking it would be a quick walk to the park entrance. However, the path to the park takes the looooong way around the resort and through all the gardens - which is lovely if your feet & legs aren't already aching. So we ended up taking the water-taxis after the first trip. They were lovely - nice & comfortable - nicer than the "FriendShips" at the Disney Epcot resorts. But we didn't really walk after the first day - so either of the other two Universal hotels would have had access that was just as convenient as this one.

This hotel is really designed for only a few types: those who will be partying alot (& for whom cost doesn't matter); the 20-something crowd; or old rock & rollers or rock band-wannabes. It's not really what I'd call a family friendly place. Whenever we were at the pool (between 2 - 5 in the afternoon) many of the people around us sitting in the pool were on their 2nd or 3rd drink - which explains why the pool was designed to be so shallow. At it's deepest the pool is less than 3 feet. There are underwater benches along one side of the pool, and zero entry on the other side. There was no where that you could stand and be waist deep in water. After watching a few people getting loud and obnoxious with their friends (and many of them were not young - but I guess thought they were) I realized they were on maybe their 3rd of 4th drink. I don't want to spend an expensive afternoon poolside surrounded by drunks. There's frequently live music poolside - the days we were there the music was OK but not great (local lounge quality), or piped in loud rock & roll (not bad). The lounge chairs were crammed in without even an inch between most of them - so there was no where to really sit, relax & read a book, etc. A row of 5 lounge chairs right up next to eachother might be fine for a group of 5 good friends, but I couldn't find a way to gracefully crawl onto a chair only to sit skin to skin next to a stranger. It was not a relaxing experience in any way.
The room itself was nice - but we were given a handicapped accessible room - I suppose becuase I called and asked if the room would be big enough to fit a motorized scooter. My husband was recovering from recent achilles tendon surgery - he didn't need grab bars in the shower. I never asked for an accessible room - in fact the lady on the phone suggested we buy up to a Garden room which would be mopre spacious - she never mentioned handicapped accessible and I would have declined had she asked. It took us a day to figure out why the toilet paper was hung about 2 feet off the floor and why towel racks and light switches were so low! Meanwhile we're a tall family! So we had a cavernous bathroom, but the sinks, toilet and shower were all in the bathroom so it made it inconvenient for a family with teens of both genders to operate around. One person using the toilet slowed down the whole family.

We had extra paid for a "garden view" room but instead overlooked the roof of the portico over the hotel entrance. There was not a plant or flower to be seen.

There was a mini-bar that was packed so tightly that we really couldn't make use the the refrigerator - which in this day and age at a family resort is just annoying. Downstairs in the "kitchen" , a dining outlet the sandwiches were of mediocre quality (deli turky on white, ham & cheese on white) with very little choice and very expensive. (I was hoping for grilled chicken with mozzarella and balsamic dressing ona baguet, etc.) A tiny carton of milk was $2. A cocktail poolside was $15. Self parking was something like $17 a day. ????

I'm not impressed by the rock & roll theme, and although my teens were intially - they too got annoyed by the loud annoying drunks at the pool, no where to sit, the shallow nature of the pool and the need to go downstairs for every drink of OJ or cold water since we were not going to use the very costly mini-bar refreshments. My 14 yr old son who initially thought the hotel was "so cool" was completely aggravated by the pool and went back to the room to play video games on his smartphone.

We're NYers and are in the city frequently - so we've not country bumpkins. We're acustomed to spending more for quality - but not for mediocre. Overall the Hard Rock hotel although nice, was just not worth the money. Next time we'll try the Royal Pacific - although we don't expect the cost to be much different, at least we won't be annoyed by the guests trying to re-live their youth.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NYMetroMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

We booked the Hard Rock for 3 nights before leaving to spend 2 weeks in a villa near Disney. The benefits of staying here were well worth it. The unlimited express pass was easy to collect & made our 3 days in the Universal parks very easy. We never queued for a thing! The early entry to Hogsmeade was great too, meaning the kids got their wands at the wand shop before then riding Forbidden Journey & having breakfast at The Three Broomsticks as the non-hotel guests entered the park.
All shopping can be delivered to your hotel room free of charge, so no bags to carry.

The water taxis to/from city walk were good but this hotel is so close we found it quicker to walk.

The hotel itself is good, though the charge for wifi in the rooms & the $19 daily parking charge is expensive.
The pool area is a great place to relax & the music playing is great to listen to too.

We managed to leave a Nintendo DS in our room when we checked out & when we called 2 weeks later, when we packed to leave our villa, they were very helpful in helping locate it.

Would I stay again? Yes as staying on site is the best way to visit Universal Orlando.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank steveandstu
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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