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- Best Overall: Loews Royal Pacific Resort
- Best Mid-Range: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Best Budget: Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites
- Best Romantic: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Best Nightlife: Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando at TripAdvisor
There are many reasons to visit the Universal Orlando Resort. Come to immerse yourself in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a stroll along Diagon Alley; to ride the slides at Volcano Bay water park, or to watch the Blue Man Group perform at the CityWalk entertainment hub. With so much to see and do, it makes sense to stay at one of Universal’s official on-site hotels. Choices range from budget family resorts to romantic premier hotels, with each one offering exclusive early admission to the theme parks. To make your choice easier, we’ve divided our favorite hotels into seven distinct categories.
Best Overall: Loews Royal Pacific Resort
For a more luxurious stay, choose Loews Royal Pacific Resort, one of Universal’s Premier level hotels. Inspired by the romance of the South Seas, it charms with swaying palm trees, a lagoon-style pool, and a white sand beach. When you’re not riding the roller coasters, unwind in one of the oversized hot tubs while the kids explore the interactive water play area. There’s also a Resort Kids Camp for children aged 4 to 14. Fitness fanatics will love this hotel, with its state-of-the-art gym, steam and sauna rooms, and discounted access to local golf courses.
Restaurants range from the Islands Dining Room (for reinvented Pan-Asian cuisine) to Orchid Court Sushi Bar. Don’t miss the weekly Wantilan Luau, which pairs Polynesian delicacies with traditional hula and fire dancers. There are 1,000 rooms to choose from, all decorated in contemporary island style with rattan furniture and vivid floral murals. Upgrade to a Club Level room for complimentary breakfast and snacks in the exclusive Club Lounge, or spread out in a luxury suite. Dinosaur fans will particularly love the themed Jurassic World Kids Suite.
Best Mid-Range: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a Prime Value hotel aimed at those with a mid-range budget and a taste for retro fun. Its architecture is inspired by the classic Florida beach resorts of the 50s and 60s, and at its heart are two swimming pools (one with a water slide, the other with a winding river). You can also practice your skills at the ten-pin bowling alley, try your luck at the gaming arcade, or keep in shape at the fitness center. On select days, Universal characters make special appearances at the hotel.
A wide array of restaurants ensures there’s something for every member of the family. Browse the different cooking stations at Bayliner Diner food court or wash down a salad or sandwich with specialty cocktails at Atomic Tonic poolside grill. Standard Rooms come with two queen beds, a mini-fridge, and a TV, while Family Suites sleep up to six with the help of a pull-out sofa and include a kitchenette. Walking paths connect the hotel to the theme parks, and there’s a complimentary shuttle bus to Universal CityWalk.
Best Budget: Universal’s Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites
With rooms starting from $79 per night before tax, this Value hotel proves that a stay at Universal doesn’t have to break the bank. The Endless Summer Resort channels a laid-back surf vibe, with beach-inspired rooms and decor. Opt for a Standard Room with two queen beds, a 43-inch TV, and a mini-fridge, or accommodate the whole family in a Two-Bedroom Suite with sleeping space for up to six people. The suites also have a kitchenette and dining area for basic self-catering, which helps to keep costs down.
Spend your spare time relaxing by the surfboard-shaped pool, where kids and adults alike can take part in fun family activities including ping-pong and Connect Four. There’s a fitness center (for those that like to stay in shape on vacation) and a game room with video and arcade games. After working up an appetite, head to Beach Break Café, a food court with something for every taste and nothing on the menu for over $12. Other dining and drinking options include a poolside bar, a Starbucks, and a pizza delivery service.
Best Romantic: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Italy deserves a place on the bucket list of any romantic, but now you don’t have to travel across the Atlantic to get there. Instead, head to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, where bayside vistas, cobblestone streets, and graceful cypress trees bring the allure of the Italian Riviera to Florida. Many of your most romantic moments will be enjoyed in the Harbor Piazza over mouthfuls of creamy gelato or while listening to popular opera performances at dusk. If you’re traveling with little ones, the Resort Kids Camp allows for some quiet moments alone.
Mandara Spa is another highlight, with two couples’ treatment rooms and a long list of massages, facials, and body treatments to choose from. Afterward, indulge in a soak in the co-ed hydrotherapy pool. The hotel also has three themed swimming pools, including one with a giant Roman aqueduct slide. Afternoons begin with martinis at sophisticated Bar American followed by a meal at one of the nine restaurants and lounges, with traditional Italian restaurant Bice Ristorante offering the most romantic setting for dinner. All rooms and suites spoil with dual vanities, a Keurig coffeemaker, and an iHome docking station.
Best Nightlife: Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
With its California mission-style architecture and incredible collection of rock and roll memorabilia, the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando is the destination of choice for party people. You can walk to the bars, restaurants, and entertainment hotspots of Universal CityWalk in just 10 minutes (including Hard Rock Live, a 3,000-capacity venue for world-class concerts). At the hotel itself, the sophisticated Velvet Bar is the perfect place for pre-party cocktails, while poolside Beachclub keeps the drinks flowing throughout the day.
After a late night, spend the next day recovering by the palm-lined swimming pool with its hot tubs and sandy beach. Live music, DJs, and an underwater sound system get you in the mood to start all over again. When hunger strikes, check out The Kitchen for tasty New American cuisine or tuck into steakhouse favorites at the Palm Restaurant. All rooms and suites come with a mini-fridge, a coffeemaker, an HDTV, and high-speed WiFi. Order a Fender guitar or vinyl records and a turntable from the Sound of Your Stay program to enjoy in your room and unleash your inner rock god.