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“Worth the price for the Express Pass to bypass theme park lines at Universal!”

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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #46 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Southern New England
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Worth the price for the Express Pass to bypass theme park lines at Universal!”
Reviewed July 5, 2010

Very nice hotel. Staff were very polite and accomodating. Pool is nice, a bit on the "shallow side" no deeper than 4 feet which is good for the kids. Water slide at the pool is fun too. There was a DJ there who also got the crowd to play games and have contests. The room was a bit smaller than I had hoped. We had just a standard garden view, but it was clean and adequate. Maid service was excellent as room was always made up by the time we got back from the parks in the evening. Carpet in the hallways(at least on the 5th floor) seemed a bit worn and the laundry room was a bit unkept, but I guess that is being nit-picky.
The express pass to bypass the lines at the parks was great! I felt like I was getting away with something just walking onto the rides or maybe waiting 10 minutes at most. Unfortunately they can't be used for Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure) and the newest roller coaster (Universal Studios). We did take advantage of going to the park 1 hour early for hotel guests before the public is admitted. We waited for the Harry Potter ride maybe 5 to 10 minutes at most and rode it 3 times before 8:20am. That alone was worth the price of the hotel as I had heard horror stories of people waiting hours for the ride. One side note about the Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure. If you are looking to get your kids into Ollivander's Wand shop, think twice. My kids really wanted wands and to have the "experience" of the wand choosing them. When we found the wand shop the line was 1 hour and 40 minutes long. The employee at the end of the line told us that only 20 people are admitted at a time and only 1 of the 20 get chosen for the "wand experience". Needless to say, we didn't do it. My kids were a bit disappointed but they moved on. I think maybe Universal could have come up with a better way to do that so that everyone gets a chance. Anyway, back on subject of the hotel. It was very cool with alot of rock and roll memorabelia, clean, great staff etc .....a bit pricey but as I said, that was worth it to bypass the lines and ride the Harry Potter ride so quickly. My only complaint is the $15 a day plus tax to park your car. With the amount you pay for the room I think that is a bit of a rip off.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Joelfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2010

Honestly, this hotel has gone downhill... Its not even close to worth the money... beware the 'skip the lines' passes they promote... read the fine print... NEW rides are not incuded.. which was the entire point of me agreeing the spend over 300 bucks a night on a room with no free internet or anything and I donot even mind the 22 valet parking or 15 self parking charges... just gie me my skip the line option like you promote - for all rides instead of expecting me to KNOW when I book and tell res agent my plan and she does not interject I am not able to do so for new rides... what a bunch of crap... its like a bait scam!.

They also say 'dive in movies' on certain nights - not happening as advertised...even though its sold out this week - (I assume Iamone of MANY who reserved their roomhoping to get skip the lines for harry potter... I even was excited about this to reservations agent who never told me the room key skip the line would not work for tat attraction... you tell people here(employees) and they sayits that way for all new rides... OH well excuse me for not knowing that - its not told to me when I book how would I know that exactly?

Basially. they suck you in then rip you off.. I will never stay here again... its a total rip off (and I do not mind spending money on outstanding service- but the real deal is not ever clairifed until you check in and give your cc info.) I woud rather spend 500 bucks on a disney hotel.. or downgrade my hotel for under200 a night an go where I am not misled.
..

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank happymommy35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarltonHudson, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this review, July 12, 2010
We appreciate your comments. Please understand that the Universal Express benefit has always been offered on participating attractions only. Due to initial demand, this benefit may not be immediately available on new rides or attractions, but is made available in the future.
As an added benefit, on-site hotel guests receive early park admission - one hour prior to park
opening - to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. This is our way of ensuring that on-site hotel guests enjoy special privileges in this new and exciting attraction.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2010

Nice enviroment, great restaurant, VIP Lounge for Velvet Sections once a month, Best Valet Service in America!!!! Awesome Concierge... ask for Mrs Bethany!

Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank OrlandoDisney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2010

We stayed here for 1 night to take advantage of the FOTL passes. We arrived at about 8.30am and they had a garden view room ready for us we headed to the room just to drop the bags off and we were very impressed the beds were huge and everything was spotless. We headed to Universal and came back at 4pm where we sat by the awesome pool drinking and chilling and listening to the music and the entertainer which my son thought was great! The pool staff were always on the go making sure you have everything you need (they add 18% on for all orders but worth every penny!) The pool area has plenty of beds and shade areas if you want and you can also hire cabanas but not sure for how much.

We ate in the Kitchen that night and the food was delicious huge portions and not badly priced! The staff were very knowledgable and friendly

We all slept like a dream and the next morning we headed out to WWOHP as we had access there for the morning as guests of HRH which was great, the boats were regular and it was a short journey to get to city walk

That evening we ate by the pool and again the food was delicious plenty of choice for a bar menu and again huge portions

Absolutely loved the HRH and next time we visit Orlando we will be booking a longer stay at HRH we were disappointed to have to head back to our disney hotel to be honest!

Highly recommend this hotel do not hesitate you wont regret it!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Nicola C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2010

We stayed at the Hard Rock for 5 nights at the start of our honeymoon. We had a blast. It's such a fantastic hotel, the theming is great, the pool area is amazing, lovely food and drinks at the poolside bar and overall just great.

We had a room on the 6th floor which had 2 double beds and plenty of space. The first night we came back to our room there was a card congratulating us on our wedding and with 2 little bottes of champagne, some strawberries and some drinks vouchers.

When we arrived we got a letter saying that as hotel guests we had access to the WIzarding World of Harry Potter even though it wasn't officially open yet. This was just the icing on the cake, was fantastic to get to see it before the crowds. The fact that your room key acts as a front of line pass is also fantastic, we didn't queue for anything except Rip Ride Rocket which you can't use the Express Pass on.


Word or warning though, don't buy your water in the the shop on the ground floor. We picked up 2 bottles of water and the total was over $9. We got a 24 pack in Walgreens for $3. But not a major gripe, just something to note.

Overall I would thoroughly recommend this hotel and we will definitely go back.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank shoppergal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2010

Second stay at the HRH in Orlando, this time only 5 nights. Chose to visit only the Universal Parks as well as Seaworld and Aquatica, which meant no transportation/taxis required as there is a free shuttle bus to Seaworld/Wet n' Wild/Aquatica daily. Note - book this the day before at the Attraction Tickets desk, we saw several people turned away, and be careful as it leaves very promptly. Easy check in, given a free Backstage Pass that was used for free gym access. Room on the 6th floor at the very end of the corridor as requested for maximum quietness. Room fresh and spotlessly clean with lovely view out over the garden, and very quiet, we heard no noise from other rooms or the corridor the entire stay (6135). Spent the first evening at Islands of Adventure on all our favourite rides again - can't miss Hulk, Spiderman, Dudley Do Right, JP, Bilge-Rat Barges, Fire & Ice. Next two days spent at Un. Studios, then at Islands again. Thoroughly recommend Rip Ride Rockit, the Mummy, Simpsons for the more adventurous, as well as the Horror Make Up show for a real laugh and breather from the heat. Breakfasts either in the kitchen - go for the buffet if you are having juice and coffee anyway, or a muffin and banana from the coffee shop. Room coffee machines very nice too. I also recommend the Kitchen for evening meals, but don't fill up on the delicious cheesy bread because the portions are enormous. Incredibly friendly wait staff, especially Emily. Never ate at the beach club, although one lazy afternoon lying by the pool I watched a parade of enormous looking dishes and frozen drinks going past. Pool wait service is also really friendly. Watch out for the Hurricane cocktails, they are lethal. Evenings spent with cocktails, wrapped up in warm towels watching a dive in movie always fun. Didn't go in the pool or hot tubs this time, but remember them being great. Free boat service to City Walk prompt and friendly as ever, but no longer between hotels, only direct to City Walk and back so any trips over to the Portofino (recommend eating at Mama Della's) or the Royal Pacific require a bike taxi or a City Walk stop off. If you get a chance ask the concierge for a guide to all the rock/pop memorabilia in the hotel, they can provide you with a print out that shows the location and histoy of everything. Would absolutely recommend this hotel for anybody wanting to visit Universal Studios or Seaworld, the front of line access is invaluable, and means you can ride several times in a row quickly. The only main rides not currently accepting this are the Rip Ride Rocket and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and I recommend using the single riders queue for both of these to get on 10 times faster. There is no better feeling than racing past the normal queue. In conclusion this hotel is so cool even the fountains wear sunglasses.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank EmmyAsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, MO
Level Contributor
80 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2010

This year we chose the right hotel at Universal - Hard Rock! Last time we stayed at Portofino, which is great but not really teen friendly.

We stayed in concierge rooms and everything was awesome. I don't think the rooms are any different from the regular rooms, you just get access to the concierge lounge for complimentary food and drinks. We did get connecting rooms but I called several months in advance to request them when I made the reservation. I was told that the best bet for connecting rooms is to ask for both rooms with 2 queens.

For breakfast it was pretty standard continental breakfast- bagels, rolls, fruit, etc. The evening cocktail time was GREAT with hot appetizers and beer and wine. One night we had Mexican theme with nachos and southwest egg rolls as well as veggies, salad and cheese plates. The next night was American night with really good chicken wings (add your own sauce so they were kid friendly) and mini corn dogs. They have a sign that says 2 drinks per person but we found out that meant for each time you visit the bar - you can drink all that you like. Honestly we ate our dinner in the lounge each night.

The hotel has a great pool and is so close to walk to the parks. Also, if you stay here you get Express passes with your room charge to bypass the ride lines. The week we stayed, the new Harry Potter was not open to the general public- but as guests at Hard Rock we got to experience the area (and it was awesome!!)

Highly recommend this hotel, especially if you are young at heart, have teenagers with you or have grown up in the rock 'n roll era.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KearneyTraveler
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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