Choosing an On-Site Hotel Guide

Staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel allows you to stay in the heart of the excitement. Universal Orlando features five on-site hotels: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Each property consists of a different theme, also offering slightly varying benefits and services. This guide is divided into five sections: hotel themes, offerings, pricing, the verdict, and a photo gallery.

Hotel Themes
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is themed after the Caribbean islands, featuring a cascading waterfall inspired by Jamaica’s iconic Dunn’s River Falls, stone turret, architectural ruins, and more. The hotel transports you to a leisurely estate where you can escape reality and relax with every comfort.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a 1950’s and 60’s themed beach resort with tower and motel style room exteriors. Here, you’ll find classic cars parked upon your arrival, retro appliances (with modern technology) and furniture, and even hear oldies music playing throughout the property.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is based upon the famed Italian seaside village of Portofino. The hotel is complete with cobblestone streets, towering Italian cypress trees, Vespa scooters, and docked fishing boats, giving you the impression that you’re actually in Italy.

The Hard Rock Hotel is a rock ‘n’ roll themed hotel, featuring sweeping California mission-style facades, a palm-lined swimming oasis where you’re immersed in both sound and water, and displays of famous rock artists, including Elvis Presley and Twisted Sister.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort allows you to experience the allure of the South Seas during a time when adventurous travelers first island-hopped the South Pacific. The resort provides a serene atmosphere that’s perfect to relax and unwind.

Offerings
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort contains up to four dining locations: New Dutch Trading Co. (grab-and-go options), Strong Water Tavern (lunch and dinner meals with daily rum tastings), Amatista Cookhouse (Caribbean cuisine), and Drhum Club Kantine (seafood and tropical drinks). You can also find a Universal Studios store selling sundries, guest necessities, magazines, and Universal and Sapphire Falls themed products. In addition to this, Sapphire Falls Resort features a 16,000 square foot swimming pool with a waterslide, a hot tub, an interactive water play area, sand beaches, a fire pit, an arcade, and a complimentary fitness center (with a lounge area, dry sauna, and showers). The hotel provides complimentary water taxi and bus transportation to and from the theme parks and CityWalk, early theme park admission (valid theme park admission required), free Wi-Fi connection, resort-wide charging privileges, and more. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is a pet-friendly hotel (nightly fee).

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort features a variety of quick service dining locations like Bayliner Diner, Galaxy Bowl Restaurant, Atomic Tonic, The Hideaway Bar & Grille, Swizzle Lounge, Delizioso Pizza, and Starbucks. The property also has a Universal Gift Shop selling Universal Studios and Cabana Bay themed merchandise, guest necessities, and more. Here, you can enjoy two swimming pool areas (one with a waterslide and another with a lazy river). The pool areas have interactive water play areas, a fire pit, a hot tub, and sand beaches. Indoors, you can visit the arcade, bowling alley, and complimentary fitness center themed after Jack LaLanne. With your stay, you can take advantage of complimentary bus transportation to and from the theme parks and CityWalk, early theme park admission (valid theme park admission required), resort-wide charging privileges, and more.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has of up to nine dining locations: Mama Della’s Ristorante (authentic Italian cuisine), Bice Ristorante (exquisite Italian dishes), Trattoria del Porto (breakfast and dinner meals), Sal’s Market Deli (pizza, antipasto, and more), The Thirsty Fish (Italian wine bar), Splendido Bar & Grill (poolside eatery), Gelateria (gelato, biscotti, coffee, snacks), Bar American (alcoholic beverages), and Starbucks. Portofino Bay also has five shopping locations selling Italian lines, gifts, photos, and resort themed merchandise. Here, you can enjoy up to three themed swimming pools (one with a waterslide) spread throughout the property, a water play area, two hot tubs, a complimentary fitness center, a spa, and more. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a pet-friendly hotel (nightly fee). Guests staying here can enjoy complimentary water taxi and bus transportation to and from the theme parks and CityWalk; free Universal Express passes (valid theme park admission required), which allow you to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions; early theme park admission (valid theme park admission required); free Wi-Fi connection; resort-wide charging privileges; and more.

The Hard Rock Hotel has five eateries – The Kitchen (American cuisine), The Palm Restaurant (New York steakhouse), Velvet Bar (cocktails and appetizers), BeachClub (bar and grill), and Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace (ice cream and coffee) – as well as a merchandise store selling music-inspired collections and exclusive hotel products. At the Hard Rock Hotel, you’ll find a 12,000 square foot swimming pool with a waterslide and interactive water play area, two hot tubs, and a complimentary fitness center. The Hard Rock Hotel is a pet-friendly hotel (nightly fee). Guests staying here can enjoy complimentary water taxi and bus transportation to and from the theme parks and CityWalk; free Universal Express passes (valid theme park admission required), which allow you to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions; early theme park admission (valid theme park admission required); free Wi-Fi connection; resort-wide charging privileges; and more.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort consists of about six dining locations: Islands Dining Room (Pacific Rim cuisine), Emeril’s Tchoup Chop (Asian/Polynesian cuisine), Jake’s American Bar (signature meals, appetizers, entrees, and cocktails), Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar (South Pacific tastes, Asian-inspired desserts, South Seas martinis), Bula Bar & Grille (sandwiches, wraps, burgers, drinks) and Bula Ice Bar (frozen treats; located by the poolside, open seasonally), and Wantilan Luau (dinner show featuring authentic Polynesian cuisine). Royal Pacific Resort also has two shopping locations – Toko Gifts and Treasures of Bali – with sundry items, soft drinks, snacks, apparel, swim suits, jewelry, and themed merchandise for sale. Loews Royal Pacific Resort features a lagoon-style swimming pool, an interactive water play area, two hot tubs, a volleyball court, a complimentary fitness center, and more. Loews Royal Pacific Resort is a pet-friendly hotel (nightly fee). Guests staying here can enjoy complimentary water taxi and bus transportation to and from the theme parks and CityWalk; free Universal Express passes (valid theme park admission required), which allow you to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions; early theme park admission (valid theme park admission required); free Wi-Fi connection; resort-wide charging privileges; and more.

Pricing
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is a preferred on-site hotel with prices ranging from the mid-$100 and up depending on when you’re booking a stay. Sapphire Falls features standard rooms as well as a variety of suites.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a prime value priced hotel with prices beginning in the low-$100. Top rates may vary depending upon your visit. Cabana Bay Beach Resort consists of standard rooms and family suites.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a premier priced property with standard rooms and various suites largely starting in the mid-$200. Nightly rates may exceed $400 depending upon the selected dates.

The Hard Rock Hotel is categorized as a premier on-site hotel, consisting of standard rooms and a variety of different suites. Rates may begin at $200 and exceed $400.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort is a preferred priced property with prices beginning in the $200 during the slow season. Royal Pacific Resort offers standard rooms and themed suites.

Verdict
All of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels are pretty much guaranteed to create a truly awesome and memorable vacation for you. While the hotel themes may catch your attention, you should be attentive of the nightly rates. If you’re on a tight budget, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is recommended for you because of its more affordable prices. If you’re on a slightly tight, flexible budget and wish to stay in a family suite offering more space, you should consider staying at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. At times, Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s nightly rates may almost match that of Sapphire Falls. If this is the case, consider staying at Sapphire Falls if your budget allows for it. Loews Sapphire Falls is a more high-end property compared to that of Cabana Bay; it offers more scenic views and a relaxing water taxi as transportation to the parks, which are big bonuses. If you are able to afford the rates of Universal’s upscale properties, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort are recommended for you. To decide which upscale property is best for you, take the hotel themes into account. Universal’s upscale hotels will allow you to enjoy shorter wait times at the theme parks because of the complimentary Express pass.

Photo Gallery