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“Fantastic hotel with excellent standards and facilities but...”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #45 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
GreenLeadersBronze level
Liverpool, England
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Fantastic hotel with excellent standards and facilities but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2010

My partner and I spent a week at the Hard Rock Hotel in May 2010 and overall we were really impressed with the service and facilities at the Hotel which were excellent. We did have a few little grumbles during our stay but these were sorted out to our satisfaction although perhaps they could have been avoided.

We arrived at the Hotel by coach and as a result, we were dropped off at the side by the valet car parking area which is some distance from the main reception. It was a bit of a struggle and we were disappointed that when we reached the entrance, none of the bell staff appeared to have the slightest interest in offering us any assistance!

Check-in itself however was an absolute breeze. We were dealt with extremely efficiently by a very professional agent who supplied us with all the relevant information about the Hotel and genuinely appeared only too happy to answer the many questions I posed. Usually check in staff at Hotels are like robots and see customers as an inconvenience so his approach was really refreshing and very much appreciated.

We made the way to our room which was on the 5th floor and sadly we had been allocated a room which was at the furthest point from the elevator which was annoying so in retrospect, I wish I had approached the disinterested bell staff!! The room itself was nice- being clean and comfortable with nice furnishings and fittings. It contained a flatscreen tv (with a wide choice of channels and pay movies), a cd player, a clock radio with i-phone dock, mini bar, safe (which was very small!), iron and board, and a nice bath with shower and separate sinks with a wide range of toiletries.

As is the norm, we were supplied with the usual 5 hangers for 2 people for a weeks stay so we took the opportunity of asking a nearby housekeeper for more hangers. Unfortunately she spoke very limited english and summoned a friend who spoke even less english than she did. Another housekeeper was then called and after appearing to understand our request, knocked on our door 5 minutes later and told us to ring Housekeeping for the extra hangers which really was annoying and frustrating. We made the call and were brought an extra 6 hangers about 20 minutes later by the same person we had asked initially!!!

We then had a look round the Hotel and were really impressed with all the services on offer. The pool area was really elegant with a wide range of areas to sit and relax which were spotlessly clean and inviting. It is sad that we spent such little time at the Hotel so did not use any of these excellent facilities.

Whilst at the Hotel, we utilised the concierge on numerous occasions which on the whole was excellent although a couple of the staff appeared a little disinterested. A special mention to John however who was a consumate professional - an expert in his field who gave us loads of help and assistance and was dedicated to ensuring we got the most out of our stay in Orlando.

We really liked Universal and the fast pass entrance with our room key to most of the rides was great although the parks were not really that busy. The river taxi from the Hotel was enjoyable as was the walk through the gardens to the parks. Again, with our busy schedule, we only spent one day at Universal/Islands of Adventure so in future we may opt to choose a Disney Resort Hotel purely because we spent the remaining time at the Disney attractions.

On one particular day, we left the Hotel at 7am and returned at 11.30pm to find that our room had not been serviced at all which was very annoying and just not good enough. We rang Housekeeping and were advised that someone would service the room. In the interim, we waited in the reception area as we were both really tired after such a long day! I approached reception to make a formal complaint and whilst my concerns were dealt with, the guy who was dealing with it seemed very "un-phased" about it - almost like it was a regular thing. I told him I was still not satisfied and he gave me 2 vouchers for a free breakfast buffet which was appreciated but I felt they were only given as a last resort.

When we returned to the room it had been "serviced" but to a very poor standard. The bins had not been emptied and the room was untidy and dusty but on reflection, speed was probably the key to addressing the problem. Whilst on the subject of housekeeping, I left notes regarding the broken lock on the minibar, the bulb on the bedside light needing replacement and the water being lukewarm most of the time but they were just ignored which again was disappointing. We were also frustrated that the mini-bar was only serviced once throughout our entire stay despite us requesting it! I suppose this is a good thing really as the price of all mini-bar items is rather excessive!

The following morning was another early start so I took the opportunity of asking at reception for someone to check the room was serviced. The lady was very professional being sincerely apologetic for the inconvenience and genuinely concerned that the event had even occurred. It is worth mentioning that most of the staff are relatively young and one wonders how equipped they are in terms of experience/maturity to deal with any serious compalints!

We ate dinner at the Hotel's restaurant "The Kitchen" which was good although nothing outstanding. The food itself was good and the service was reasonable although sometimes we feel that staff think the Brits do not know how to tip and as a result give a second rate service. This however was not true at "The Palm" restaurant were the service was absolutely outstanding and totally first class. Although the service was superb, we were not overly impressed with the food on this occasion which we thought was over-priced and nothing special. The complimentary breakfast we received (at "The Kitchen") was really nice and the service too was excellent - it is sad that we only chose to take breakfast on our last day as we may have considered taking breakfast every day had we known how good it was.

On leaving the Hotel, the checkout process was very efficient and highly professional. On balance the Hotel was very good although there were a few frustrations along the way that with a little more attention to detail could be rectified with great ease. I would definitely recommend this Hotel although if you intend to do all the Disney parks, it is quite a distance away and in my opinion Downtown Disney has much more to offer than Universal's City Walk. A special mention about Mears Transport - they were absolutely fantastic and we would have been lost without them. Always on time, always with very courteous and helpful drivers and excellent customer service at all times - 10 out of 10 for Mears!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank TheHotelInspector1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Tonbridge, Kent
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2010

Having been talked into a flight of over 8 hours (sorry I really hate flying) as it was my partners 40th birthday request ("no big parties please just take me and the kids to Disney") we decided on the Hard Rock as our hotel of choice. My family consists of my partner 40, myself 52 and three girls of 15, 12 and 10. Overall we have no real complaints about this hotel as the location and the pool are great. However, there was a layer of dust on the furniture in our room on arrival and I can't say we were over impressed with room service throughout our stay. A caricature picture my daughter had specially drawn somehow managed to get all screwed up by maid service. The other feature of this hotel is its great proximity to the Universal theme parks and the fact that you get fast track access at Universal which is a great perk and a real must if you go in the school holidays. This will spoil you though when you venture to Disney and beware Universal is some way from Disney - if you don't hire a car (we didn't) then it's a $40 cab ride each way. There is a boat that takes you to Universal from the hotel grounds although you can also walk it in around 5 minutes as well. The only negative aspects of this hotel in our opinion are breakfast is quite pricey for a family of 5 (great selection mind you) and our 15 year old was granted adult status here (always amazes me that kids can't vote, drink etc but they are classed as adults by travel companies//hotels from around the age of 11!) and the concierge obviously has an agreement with the cab firms as when we asked how to get somewhere via the Lynx bus we were given the most awkward route possible, probably in the hope that we wouldn't use the bus again. The hotel also operates a shuttle service bus (once daily and you need to get in quickly as it only holds 70 people) to Seaworld, Aquatica and Wet N Wild which we used regularly. The last thing to mention is that Americans do frequent the hotel at weekends and most come for special occasions like birthdays, hen and stag parties and we were all kept awake one Saturday night by a particularly raucous bunch. To be fair that is not the hotels fault and they did have security deal with it, once I could find someone covering the front desk.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mikepdews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2010

After a delayed start to our stay (we were relocated to a nearby hotel for our first night) we were upgraded to a Club Level room which proved to be a great package - club lounge, continental breakfast, evening snacks and drinks. If we return I would definitely consider paying the extra for the Club level. The pool area has good facilities showing 'dive-in' movies during the evening. Universal, City Walk and Islands of Adventure are only a short walk or boat ride from the hotel. We took full advantage of the express pass perk that came with your room key which enabled us to skip the queues for most of the attractions.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sueshaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2010

A perfect location when visiting Disneyworld and Universal Studios. It's a short walk or a few mins boat ride across the water into the Resorts. Hotel is immaculate, relaxing atmosphere, great facilities, pool area with towels provided. Great for kids and adults

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 10traveltheworld10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2010

We went for the Velvet Sessions happens last Thursday of every month with different older bands or former band members now solo. It is a great event that gives you the hotel to crawl upstairs to after. Then off to Universal in the morning. Great decor - theme - great food and customer service.

Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank amysway1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2010

We stayed two nights at the Hard Rock Orlando. the hotel and grounds were beautiful. It took all of 5 minutes to walk to Universal. The staff went out of their way. A little pricey but very nice.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank naback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2010

Stayed here after changing hotels. The staff was pleasant and check-in was easy. They even asked if I preferred to stay on a specific floor. The rooms were clean and spacious. The sinks were clogged for some reason but when I asked for housekeeping to come and fix them, the engineer arrived in less that 5 minutes. I loved staying at this hotel!! It is on the ground of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The water taxi was even enjoyable. The down side is that we paid $60 just for parking alone but will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Queencapricorn22
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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