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“Best Value for Universal & a gem of a Hotel”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #40 of 341 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed December 23, 2009

OK....First off.....I am not one of those "5 star" hotel people.......I normally only fork over that amount of money when I am visiting foriegn countries. But, even with the all-inclusive major hotel chains in the vicinity of Universal-----the Hard Rock cannot be beat.

First and foremost is the Express Pass Key Card----that is included, no charge, if you stay in one of the Universal Orlando properties (there are 3 total). There were a total of 6 of us on this trip (myself, my wife, 20 y/o daughter, 11 y/o son, and twin 9 y/o girls.....the normal in-park price, for 2-park express pass is $70/each......so, the Express Pass paid for the room (in fact, the express pass exceeded the cost of the room----GOVT RATE). So, even if the hotel had problems (which, it didn't), the express pass would make up for it. No waiting at all, on any of the rides. Saw both parks----including several rides x2, x3, in about 7.5 hours.....and, the parks were packed.

Now, onto the hotel. Typical Lowe's property.....stafff very friendly. Services for both guests with families, and guests without. Food is pricy (lunch for the 6 of us was $90...but, the best burger I have ever had). Velvet is a must, after a long day in the park. The pool is just perfect......heated to 80+ degrees, and a cool slide....TVs, music, sandy beach and just fun!

The rooms are a little worn out from such heavy use (we had a kids suite).....but, I was still very satisfied.

There are much less expensive properties, nearby. But, if you have the money, and want to be close to Universal (and City Walk), and have head-of-the-line, save up your money for Hard Rock. You will not be disappointed. We will return, yearly, for our Hard Rock Xmas Vacation.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank MARATHON-MCPO-USN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,612 - 7,618 of 9,201 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2009

we stayed at the hard rock and were disappointed this year. stayed there llast year and were pleased with it which is why we went back. we stayed on club level which is

a step above wehre you have full access to the hotel and the club level lounge where they have drinks, food all day long. this was most disappointing this year with the menue they had. desert every night was cookies no variety; I like cookies but we stayed for an entire week and even when they did give ya something else it was overcooked; stale like it was left overs from ttwo days before!!!!!!. You pay extra to get the club level and on a whole it was disappointing. even the maid service was lacking. we had to call to get daily maid service

  • Stayed: December 2009
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1  Thank suie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2009

There motto is Treat you like a Rock Star! Well, that is partially true. They charge u as if you were a Rock Star but that is about it. Was told that the hotel was sold out when I booked only to find out that once I got there that it was only half sold. I was told that I was going to get a room with a view and since it was my anniversary, they were going to treat us to Champagne and Chocolate Strawberries. What I got was a room with a view of the Parking Lot and Hershey Kisses. Oh I did get Pubic Hair on my bathtub at check in which was taken care of quickly. But this hotel is simply NOT WORTH $450.00 - $550.00 per night. Really? Are you kidding me? False hopes and promises and less than perfect guest satisfaction and service. Will not stay again, even when I become a Rock Star. The Kitchen food for Thanksgiving was nice, but not for the outragious price.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank mwaynecribb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2009

We stayed here for 9 days at the start of september. This was as you would expect from the Hard rock guys. Professional and helpfull service done with a smile at all times. Constant good music in the public areas and fast regular lifts to all floors.

We found the location perfect and the water taxis a novel way of getting around. It is only a short drive to the attractions of Orlando so the position is perfect for the parks. You are near everything but far enough away to feel away from the madding crowd when you want to relax.

We didn't eat in the restuarant but did have bar snacks in the Velvet Bar and they were good portions at a reasonable price. The girls that served the tables here were fantstic and as good as any we have seen in all are times in the States. They learnt our names and made sure we didn't want for anything. If you fancy a night cap before you retire to bed, then this is as good a place as any to come. The pool side service is worth a mention as well. Excellent service form the guys and girls waiting here.

The hotel looks fantastic from the outside with nice grounds and walks. The pool area is large and there was plenty of room, although we were there off season so I can't speak for peak times. Our twin room was clean and spacious with enough storage space. We had a decent view over the water way and the river taxis. It was quiet as well which we were surprised about. We thought it may be a little loud at times but every night we slept well and didn't get disturbed once.

We would recommend this hotel. It's friendly, professional, clean, well positioned, has cool rock and roll artifacts about the place and is in a good position. We will return here on our next trip to Florida for sure.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SteveBishop.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2009

Stayed at Hard Rock Orlando from Nov 1/09 to Nov 7/09 for about $180 per night with my parents. For me the main highlight was the large pool which was was heated to about 80 degrees. Only one of the two hot tubs was working and both were very small for the size of the resort. Luckily this was offseason, but if it had been busier it would have been difficult to use the hotubs since they only hold about 6 people each. The free water taxi at the back of the hotel takes you directly to Universal City Walk which was convenient. The pool grounds are beautiful with plenty of spots with both shade and sun. We ate at the restaraunt called the kitchen which was over priced with a very limited lunch menu. Lunch ordered from the pool beach club was good. Also food/drink service at the pool was excellent with friendly staff.

I had a standard room with 2 beds facing the pool which was acceptable but not at the 4 star level ( I would say 3 star). The room and hallways appeared a worn out and are in need of some updates. Also the bathroom was very small and it was difficult to open and close the bathroom door since it was very close to the toilet and tub. Also the sink was outside of the bathroom which I do not like and it was only a single. The beds were firm and we were able to sleep well. The high speed internet which I paid for was extremely slow both with both wired and wireless connections. It was almost unusable so beware.

Overall I enjoyed the stay at this hotel, but next time I visit Orlando I would try to find a hotel that is at the 4 star level in terms of the room and specifically a better bathroom. The outside of the hotel including pool grounds, lobby and oustide were beautiful and at the 4 star level. The hotel location is great with only a 10 minute drive to international drive where there are many restaurants and gift shops. Disney World is only a 20 minute drive.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank TravelDudeMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2009

My family has stayed at Disney twice and Universal 4 times. Although going to Disney is a must at least once in your life, once you've done Disney, Universal is in many ways better. If you stay at one of the onsite hotels, your room key is a fast pass on all of the ride lines. You get to skip the crowds on every ride. Also, unlike Disney, there are no buses to catch. At Universal, you only have a short water taxi ride to the parks or a short walk through beautiful gardens. All of the hotels at Universal also have sand beaches at the pools -- so we do not miss going to the beach. Furthermore, all of the onsite hotels have kids areas in their restaurants where the kids can eat and be entertained and the adults can have a quiet dinner alone. This is free except for paying for the kid's meals. The Kitchen restaurant at the Hard Rock has a kid's area with tvs, video games, toys, and they usually have an entertainer on the weekend for the kids. They also put up, on certain nights, "dive-in" movies for the kids at the pool. At the pool, they put up a large movie screen with a kid's movie playing at night. The kids love to swim and watch the movie. We have stayed at all three hotels at Universal and they all are great. We have also stayed at Wilderness Lodge and Saratoga Springs at Disney. I enjoyed my hotel experience at Univseral a lot better than at those hotels at Disney. You can also use any of the pools/restaurants at any of the onsite Universal hotels if you stay onsite at Universal. So, we have stayed at the Hard Rock and then gone over to the Royal Pacific for the day to use their kiddie waterpark ship at the pool that sprays out water. Finally, if you buy your tickets to the parks online at the official Universal webiste, you pay the price for one day for unlimited 7 day, 2 park passes with park hopper. This was so much cheaper than disney and you can come and go to the parks whenever you want for 7 days.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank RachelMO440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2009

My family and I just got back from our 5 night Hard Rock vacation. The first two days we encountered many problems: game room took money for broken games, fan in room was broken, no reasonable place to eat at the hotel, no small store where you could purchase small items or soda, dogs barking, and what pushed me to my limit was the two nights when the people in the room next door woke my entire family up from 2:30 - 4:30 am. I was very dissappointed in my vacation at that point and wanted to leave this hotel as fast as I could.

However, after our second sleepless night, I went to the front desk and spoke with a WONDERFUL girl named Tina. I expressed my frustrations and she moved my family to the Club Level on the 7th floor. From that point on I experienced a totally different vacation. It was everything that I had hoped for, We had a nice room and access to the "club" where there was unlimited beverages, they had a wonderful free continental breakfast, free (2 hour) happy hour with hordevours, and free snacks and drinks throughout the day. There was even a computer and a big screen tv in the club to use. It was heaven and took so much of the frustration of having to go to CityWalk every time you wanted something to eat or drink. You have to use your keycard to get to the 7th floor, so I felt safe letting my kids leave the room and head down to the club by themselves. There were lots of other kids up there and they made wonderful friends. If you are staying at the Hard Rock, the club level is the only way to go. Although I think it costs about $80 more than the regular rooms, it is worth it. You save a fortune everyday on breakfast, beer/win, snack and soda, not to mention the convenience of having everything at your firgertips only a few steps down the hall.

I could not have been happier at the end of my trip. The pool is beautiful and the staff at the hotel is very friendly. Perfect proximitely to the parks and we loved the fast passes. TINA, thank you for making our vacation great!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank EggrollEggrolls
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:
#13 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: $272 - $605 (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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