Choosing an On-Site Hotel

Staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel allows you to stay in the heart of the resort. Universal Orlando has seven on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. Each hotel features a unique theme and slightly different activities. Additionally, the hotels may offer different perks and privileges, depending on how it’s categorized. This guide is designed to help you select the right hotel for your trip. To help you select a property, we have divided this guide into four main sections: hotel themes, offerings, rates, and verdict. These sections provide informative information about each property and recommendations based on how large your budget is.

Universal's Aventura Hotel

Hotel Themes

The unique thing about staying at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel is the immersive environments. Universal’s properties are far from your average hotel; they are designed to place you into themed atmospheres, and each hotel has its own distinctive theme.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is based on the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy. This classy hotel features cobblestone streets, towering cypress trees, scooters, and docked fishing boats to give the impression that you’re at the real Italian village. This property even has outdoor cafes located at the harbor to complete the experience.

The Hard Rock Hotel uses a California mission design and showcases rock memorabilia. This rockin’ hotel surrounds guests with everything rock ‘n’ roll.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort creates a South Seas-inspired destination during a time when adventurous travelers first island-hopped the South Pacific. This hotel is filled with tropical wonders and peaceful locations with authentic themed atmospheres.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort transports you to a leisurely estate in the heart of the tropics. This Caribbean-themed property features stunning details, including a cascading waterfall inspired by Jamaica’s iconic Dunn’s River Falls, stone turrets, a beach ball-inspired chandelier, and more. The resort is directly inspired by landmarks from the Caribbean islands.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a 1950s and ’60s themed hotel inspired by classic beach resorts. Here, you’ll find vintage cars, old-fashioned light fixtures, and retro decor to immerse you into the past. You’ll even hear oldies music and see old-time commercials to complete the illusion.

Universal’s Aventura Hotel is a modern hotel that embodies a vibrant, free-flowing, and calming design. This sleek hotel features advanced in-room technology and floor-to-ceiling windows to create a contemporary atmosphere.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites allows you to experience the surf lifestyle at a beach-inspired hotel, complete with elegant palm trees, cool colors, and vibrant tropical images.

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Offerings

While all hotels share some of the same offerings, each hotel may include an offering not available elsewhere. The offerings may play a leading role in selecting a hotel if you’re traveling with children.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has a wide variety of dining locations ranging from quick service to full service. The hotel also has numerous shopping locations for memorabilia. Here, you can enjoy three swimming pool locations, a spa, a fitness center, a game room, early park admission, complimentary Universal Express to skip the regular lines at most attractions, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. To view additional activities, perks, and services, click/tap here.

The Hard Rock Hotel has a 12,000-square foot swimming pool with an underwater sound system, a game room, a fitness center, numerous dining locations, and more. At this hotel, you can take advantage of early park admission, complimentary Universal Express to skip the regular lines at most attractions, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. To view additional information, click/tap here and locate the “Hard Rock Hotel” section.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort features a pool area, a fitness center, an arcade, multiple shopping locations, and numerous restaurants. The hotel provides all guests with early park admission, complimentary Universal Express to skip the regular lines at most attractions, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. Click/tap here and locate the “Loews Royal Pacific Resort” section to view additional details.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort features a 16,000 square foot swimming pool, a fitness center, a game room, numerous dining locations ranging from full service to quick service, an on-site store, and more. This property provides all guests with early park admission, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. To view more details, click/tap here.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a variety of quick service dining locations serving full-size meals, snacks, and beverages. Additionally, the resort has an on-site store, two swimming pool areas, a bowling alley, a game room, a fitness center, and more. Guests staying here receive early park admission, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. Click/tap here for more information.

Universal’s Aventura Hotel features a vast food hall, a souvenir shop, a fitness center, a virtual reality game room, a swimming pool area, and a rooftop bar. Guests can select a skyline view for stellar views of the theme parks and Orlando. This hotel provides early park admission, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. To view more details, click/tap here and locate the “Universal’s Aventura Hotel” section.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites has a food court offering a variety of meals, a game room, a fitness center, a resort style pool area, and an on-site store. Guests staying at this property can take advantage of early park admission, complimentary transportation to all on-site destinations, and more. For additional information, click/tap here.

Rates

Universal Orlando categorizes their hotels based on their price range. The categories the hotels are in also play a role in determining their offerings. The categories Universal Orlando uses are “premier,” “preferred,” “prime value,” and “value.” Premier hotels are Universal’s most expensive properties. Preferred hotels are a step under; they’re moderately priced. Prime value hotels are relatively affordable options. Value hotels are Universal’s cheapest properties. The rates displayed do not provide an exact amount. These prices are simply a starting rate; they can exceed the amount shown depending on when you visit.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a premier hotel with rates starting at around $200 (based on a 4-night stay), depending on the room you book. For more information about accommodations and rates, click/tap here.

The Hard Rock Hotel is a premier property. Rates begin at around $200 (based on a 4-night stay), depending on the room you select. To learn more about the hotel’s accommodations and rates, click/tap here and locate the “Hard Rock Hotel” section.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort is a premier on-site hotel with rates starting in the low $200s (based on a 4-night stay), depending on the room you select. Click/tap here and locate the “Loews Royal Pacific Resort” section for more details about the hotel’s accommodations and nightly rates.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is a preferred on-site hotel. Nightly rates start in the mid $100s (based on a 4-night stay), depending on the selected room. To learn more about the hotel’s accommodations and prices, click/tap here.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a prime value property that has nightly based starting in the low $100s (based on a 4-night stay); this varies by room options. For additional information about the property’s accommodations and rates, click/tap here.

Universal’s Aventura Hotel is a prime value hotel with rates beginning in the low $100s (based on a 4-night stay). Prices vary based on the room selected. To learn more about the hotel’s accommodations and rates, click/tap here and locate the “Universal’s Aventura Hotel” section.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites is a value property. Rates start slightly under $100 (based on a 4-night stay) for a standard room. For more details about the hotel’s accommodations and prices, click/tap here.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Verdict

All of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels offer a unique experience, providing a memorable vacation regardless of where you stay. When choosing an on-site hotel, ensure that it fits within your budget. If you have a low budget, consider staying at a value or prime value hotel. They’re relatively affordable, allow you to stay in the heart of Universal, incorporate fantastic theming and activities, and provide special benefits, such as early park admission and free transportation. If your budget allows for slightly higher costs, you can choose to stay at a preferred on-site hotel. While the benefits are relatively the same, a preferred property is slightly more upscale. If you’re able to afford higher rates, you can select a premier on-site hotel. These properties provide free Universal Express, which can be very beneficial on a busy day. When selecting a hotel from the same category, we recommend choosing whichever theme you’re most interested in.

Please note that Universal’s cheaper hotels are not necessarily of lower quality. These hotels are not as elegant as the high-end options but are still of good quality. In fact, we recommend them to all guests because of their low rates, immersive theming, and fun activities. One of our top picks is Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This hotel has something to offer for most guests. Those with a larger budget will enjoy this property (and the other cheaper options) just as much and can simply purchase a Universal Express pass if desired.

Last updated on February 25, 2019.