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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Ranked #39 of 341 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed November 14, 2010

As locals we would definitely return to the Hard Rock in Orlando, it is the way to go when going to the theme parks at Universal. They originally put us on the first floor where pets are allowed and I am prone to allergies but had no problem moving us to a different floor after I requested a different room. The pool is really nice, I enjoyed the fact they had movies by the pool. We didn't eat at the hotel, but definitely enjoyed the benefit of hopping on the water taxi and heading to City Walk anytime we felt like it to enjoy some of the other restaurants. Downside: I realize it is fairly normal to nickel and dime at hotels like this, but we found the parking to be a bit excessive. The lights seemed to be on daylight savings time still and were off along the pathways to the theme park for about an hour after it turned dark which made it a bit hard to see. Although, even in the dark we felt safe. I have stayed at much cheaper hotels in Orlando and some of them didn't make me feel that way. The benefits of staying at one of the three Universal Hotels is definitely worth it.

Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank JMPMINFLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,477 - 7,483 of 9,216 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2010

For our family of five (kids aged 11 ,12, and 12), staying at the Hard Rock while we visited Universal (and Disney) was the best vacation decision we ever made. First of all, we were upgraded at no additional cost to a king suite, which was a huge, luxurious room that easily fit three roll-away beds and still offered plenty of room to lounge around. The king-size bed was extremely comfortable, and the roll-aways were the best I've ever seen - as comfortable as real beds. When we arrived, the shower stall door stuck a little and had to be pulled hard to open - it was fixed the next day without our even asking.
We ate our breakfasts and two dinners at The Kitchen. The breakfast buffet was plentiful and varied - a good value. Dinner entrees ranged from okay to very good. The large pool with sand border (I wouldn't quite call it a beach) is beautiful, and the kids absolutely loved the water slide, which is as good as one you might find in a water park. We didn't find the rock soundtrack in the hotel's common areas to be overly loud or annoying, and the decor was surprisingly not cheesy.
The convenience of being so near the Universal parks and City Walk was wonderful, as were the water taxis, which we took if one happened to be loading when we walked out. But the walk was so nice, and the landscaping of the grounds was so pretty, that we enjoyed walking even more.
The main purpose of our visit was to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and that's where staying on site really helped the most - we got into the park one hour before it opened to the general public. This was end of Oct/beginning of Nov, so crowds were much lighter than during the summer, but even so, by midday the lines were long. Both mornings that we entered the park early, we'd ridden Forbidden Journey twice and were nearly inside Olivander's by the time the crowds began to arrive. In addition, hotel room keys function as express passes for most other rides in both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios (though not on Harry Potter rides), which was nice to have, though lines were not that bad during our visit. One more convenience: When you buy souvenirs in the Universal shops, you can have them delivered directly to your room.
All in all, our stay at the Hard Rock Hotel was excellent. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank iknowhowitis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2010

staff and rooms were great...the hour early entry to wizarding world of harry potter was worth staying at this hotel...rooms were spacious for my family of 4...beds comfy! the only problem i had was being charged a fee for a roll-a-way that i returned after the first night, but the staff was happy to credit my account immediately...pool was nice...food was delic! would stay again.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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Thank bayonnemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2010

Yes, this hotel costs quite a bit more than neighboring venues but it made our trip! The hotel was beautiful, the staff was always courteous and very helpful with any questions I had, and all of the rock memorabilia was fun to look over. One of the reasons we choose the Hard Rock over the other two Universal hotels was the pool and it was everything I had hoped for -- warm water, sand "beach", and prompt poolside service (the onion rings are amazing!). The rooms were plenty big for a family of four and the bathroom had two sinks (one inside with the tub and toilet and a larger one between the bedroom and the bathroom) which was a big bonus. The park was a very short walk and we never had to wait more than five minutes to ride the boat over to CityWalk. Granted, parking is not cheap (around $15 per day), but I am used to that with all the business travel that I do. The only thing I would say could use improvement was the wireless service. You do have to pay for wireless in the rooms (free in public areas), but the signal usually was too weak to be useful. You can confirm your flight and print your plane tickets for free in the business center so who really needs a computer anyway? I looked into staying across the street but really didn't want to bother with driving or taking a shuttle to the park when we could stay so close and have all the other benefits that onsite offers.

As everyone mentions, the Express Pass for the park (your room key) is such a huge benefit. We went in October when the park was less crowed and really did just walk up to the rides without waiting. Unfortunately, for some of the rides I wanted a little bit more time to change my mind, but I was shown to my seat before I could chicken out! We did not take advantage of the early entry to the park, but I could see that being quite valuable in the busy seasons.

Our main reason for going to Orlando was to visit the Wizarding World and it was fantastic! I would have loved to have more than the 2 1/2 days we spent in the park to explore and really take in all the little details that are everywhere to discover. Ollivanders was well worth the wait and make sure you take time to really appreciate Hogwarts and all the details that I noticed most people were racing past to get on the ride.

One other thing that we really enjoyed about the Hard Rock was being able to go to the other Universal hotels and tying out their pools! The Hard Rock pool was open until 11 PM every night we were there so we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy it after walking around the park for so long.

Overall, we were very pleased with the Hard Rock and have recommended it to our friends. We are looking forward to our return visit!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mimi1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

Our family of 4 have stayed at the HRH the past two summers, 2009 and 2010. The first time in 2009, was our first visit to Universal Studios Orlando, after having always been exclusively, devoted Disney followers.

Although we find the hotel pricey, we thoroughly enjoy our stays here. The pool is our kids' favorite pool I think anywhere we've ever stayed, and there have been several amazing ones for them to pick from. I think what we love about the pool is it is appealing to both the kids and the adults. There is always daily pool games for the kids, and often bands that play in the evenings. The pool has a sand beach on one side and concrete on the other for those that don't want to deal with the sand. There is a great water slide, and volleyball court adjacent to the pool.

The hotel is beautiful! It is big, but easy to navigate. We've ironically never eaten in the restaurants inside the hotel, but always use the poolside restaurant and Emack and Bolio's Ice Cream Parlor.

Rooms are great- big, well decorated, nice bathroom, nice shampoos, and great individual packet capsule coffee maker. Beds really comfortable.

We love all the rock memorabilia throughout the lobby and public spaces- there are tons of celebrity costumes and clothing- Kiss, Elton John, Elvis.

Best part of the hotel? Hands down is the short walk to the two Universal Theme parks. That is why we originally stayed here and also why we came back and will be revisiting again this coming summer.

Negatives- charge per day if you want a mini frig. The first time we stayed in 2009, it was complimentary- they sent one to our room free of charge when we requested it. This past year, there was a charge, and I want to say it was $25 for the stay. Instead I made room in the minibar and added a few things, even though the sign said not to disturb the items or you would be charged. Daily parking charges, which always get me angry at any hotel, though my husband says I need to just pipe down about that! :LOL!

Positives- FOTL pass at the parks, the close walk, and the pool!

We love this place and will be back!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank familytraveler38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

We were part of a 200-person group and the reception staff treated us very well. Rooms were great and the location cannot be beat if you're going to Universal. Our poolside catered event was perfect. I came with two kids and they loved it as well.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank The_Vibe_Manager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2010

We had a great time at this hotel. Service and facilities were excellent.

The water taxis were brilliant; although this hotel is only a short walk away from the theme parks they were invaluable due to the Florida heat!

The cocktails at the pool were good; a tip is to keep the souvenir glass and return with it and pay for a refill only.

We dined only for breakfast at the Kitchen, this was lovely and buffet good value.

Laundry facilities were really useful too.

As other reviewers have commented, the express pass hotel keys were fantastic and we never had toi wait in line!

We would definitely return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Col62
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:
#12 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: $273 - $609 (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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