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“Best Place to Stay for Universal Studios”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #41 of 342 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed April 5, 2010

I have read reviews that were negative about this hotel and had considered one of the others. We were extremely happy with this hotel though and made the right choice. The staff was friendly and helpful. The park was great and very close by. From the other hotels onsite you need to take the water taxi. Also the rooms were clean, food was great and the pool was always hopping which kept the kids happy. i was also impressed that the rooms were so quiet - we went in to the week thinking since the hotel is a Hard Rock it would be loud. But right at 10 the pool music went down and the rest of the hotel was quiet. My only suggestions would be dont use water taxi if you are tired or in a hurry. It is a much closer walk and the taxi drivers take their time. Also do not under any circumstances rent a car from Payless Orlando - they are the most incompetent rental agency I have ever seen.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank McLeangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,495 - 7,501 of 9,099 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2010

I've stayed at some top hotels and I would not rank Hard Rock Orlando in the 4-star category. The bathroom was a C quality on cleanliness; overall room tidiness and daily cleaning was a D. The bath towels were so hard that it was like getting a daily exfoliation! Evening room service food was horrible...food arrived only lukewarm. Mini bar prices are outrageous. Limited restaurants--only one hotel restaurant, The Kitchen and then The Palm. I don't count the poolside eatery as a restaurant. Food was average--I'm from NYC so I have high expectations when it comes to food. Not a lot of healthy choices either. Service was so-so until I actually complained, then they livened up a bit. There is no general sundry store to buy simple toiletry items such as toothpaste, Advil/Tylenol, etc. The big plus is that it is a 5 minute walk to the Universal Parks with Express Pass use with your hotel key. Other pluses were nice pool layout, nice slide for kids, decent poolside wait service (they want you to drink!), evening poolside entertainment, general ambience of the hotel/lively vibe. If you want a quiet vacation DON'T go to Hard Rock. And if you're looking for an immaculate clean room don't go to Hard Rock. All said, I would still recommend if the point of your trip is Universal Orlando theme parks. If the parks aren't your focal point, skip Hard Rock and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank SingleMomNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2010

This hotel was quite different that your average stay. I went for a casual time with family, and we were able to reach the parks in literally minutes. Great food; The Kitchen (I believe that's what it was called) served a terrific breakfast, and an elegant dinner (although I only ate dinner there once). In terms of the room, it was adequate in size, comfy beds, large flat screen TV, clean bathroom with ample supply of towels (& pillows) and a great view of the beach pool- especially in the morning. While on the subject, might I add how great the beach and pool located directly in the front of the hotel was?! Very casual, but formally rocking hotel! Big fan of 60s Rock and Roll, so seeing various guitares from Eric Clapton and the Beatles, and passing by Elvis' platinum albums mounted on the walls were simply out of this world. Loved scolling in the late evening along the pool, and playing billiards or ping pong in the gaming room. Quick walking distance to Downtown, Islands of Adventure and Univeral Studios Parks. Truely remarkable! There is no doubt I will go back here is the future!!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank dannat14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2010

The hotel is first class all the way. There is ongoing entertainment out at the pool that involves everyone that cares to get involved. There is a water slide enjoyed by all ages. The pool is grade level entry and one cool feature is the underwater speakers in the pool. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and the room was clean and comfortable. The only drawback is the cost of staying here. It is very pricey and we felt we were a little out of our league. For us it was a one time adventure and I'd recommend it to anyone that is able to afford it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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Thank devy69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2010

Stayed at the Hard Rock for 3 nights 2/15-17, 2010.......this pretty hotel reommended to us by friends with teens for its location (walked to Universal in 5 min) and express passes for the studio rides. We had a deluxe room on the ground floor across from the pool. As it was 45-50 degrees, no pool noise. Plusses: location. Parking and walking to the Universal studio and coming back mid day was easy. Express tix a must; even on the cold breezy days we visited, there were long lines on every attraction. . With our hotel key, we never waited more than 10 min and saw all the attractions at both studios in one day (9am to 6pm) each. We had a deluxe room with 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa. Room clean and spacious with sink strategically outside the WC. Very nice pool which the kids used as it was heated to 88 degrees. Problems: no housekeeping day 1 (we callled for maid service), poor sink lighting; broken toilet handle (my husband "fixed" it twice); no soda machines (expensive in on-site market that closed by 9 pm), expensive internet, and poor signage....we wandered a bit to find pathway to universal, pool towels, etc). Unable to do auto check out on tv as server "overloaded". The staff, however, was very friendly and The Kitchen restaurant meal was good but pricey (hint: portions huge; we could have fed 5 with 3 entrees). Overall, the almost $400 a night was worth it for us as the express pass would have cost $150 more per day and being on site made up for the minor hassles. I just wish it had the same price as the Marriot Fairfiield Inn it mimicked.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank CT5kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2010

I was disappointed by the accomodations at this property. Despite the fact that the occupancy at the hotel was very low, I was given a room overlooking the roof. The room was not sufficiently soundproofed for live entertainment two floors below. Key cards, outlets, and telephones weren't working properly. Housekeeping was intrusive and could benefit from basic customer service training. The meeting facilities met my expectations. All the onsite restaurants' staff members were very friendly and extremely accomodating. If you want to stay at a Universal Studios property, I found the Loews Portofino Resort to have superior accomodations and is in walking distance to visit the Hard Rock's restaurants and lounges.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank MermaidMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2010

The plus: was the staff, they were outstanding and very kind and went out of their way for everyone.... from front desk to bellmen to concierge people.
The down side: The rooms are kind of tacky and worn...most do not have good views and room set up is cramped. Dirty glasses were left in our room....House keeping seemed kind of weak. The club floor is a joke...a cafeteria buffet for those looking to eat a lot of not so good food....loud and full of screaming kids. Over 20 when we walked by. Not what most club levels are about. The food in the hotel was not very healthy...lots of doughy, cheesy, carby, greasy foods. We had a grilled cheese and it came on white doughy bread with a tiny blob of cheese in one corner....looked like the kitchen didn't look at what they were making and didn't care.
The walk over to the music venue was lovely. Universal Studios is not really my thing. Kind of Cheesy and tacky. I told my husband we probably will not bring our daughter here when she is old enough...there are too many other places to introduce her to first.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bobolito
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:
#14 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: $278 - $610 (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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