Visiting Orlando, in many respects, is like traveling to a fantasy land. The number of options can be mind boggling, even for experienced travelers. But the long list of area attractions have an important thing in common; all the makings for fun and long days on the go. Having a home away from home close by for much needed breaks can be the difference between a great vacation and an exhausting one. If Universal Orlando is on your family’s Florida itinerary, you can’t stay much closer to the action than Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
The resort is one of three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando. If you look for them, you can see the tops of amusements from Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure from Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. But you have to look for them, and that, it seems is exactly the point. The hotel is designed to make you feel as though you’re a world away – in the Mediterranean seaside village of Portofino, Italy.
Along with 750 rooms and suites you’ll find cobblestone streets. More than a half-dozen cafes and restaurants border the Harbor Piazza, enjoying views of Portofino Bay. Ducks and egrets stroll in between people, hoping someone has some leftover breakfast crumbs to share. It’s not quite Italy, but it’s quiet and relaxing.
My Deluxe Room had two queen beds and all the necessities for a traveling family of four. The bathroom is large with a double sink, shower, bath tub and even a nightlight. Along with a desk large enough to seat two, there’s a mini refrigerator and a Keurig coffee maker. The property offers much appreciated perks like delivering a complimentary toothbrush to your room at midnight, when you realize you’ve left yours at home.
Wake-up calls are anything but ordinary here. Kids and kids at heart can select a call from one of their favorite Universal Orlando characters. I have to admit the morning “rise with me now” call from Transformer Optimus Prime certainly helped me start my day with a smile.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has three swimming pools, but the main pool complete with a beach entry, waterslide and lifeguards seems to draw the biggest crowds. (Guests can also use any of the hotel pools throughout Universal Orlando Resort. So if you’re looking to spend a great amount of time wet, there are seven themed pools total to play in.) Poolside corn hole, kids play areas and bocce ball courts entertain those who would rather stay dry. More than half a dozen restaurants, a Gelateria and a Starbucks adequately cover the vacation necessities.
For guests visiting Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the list of benefits is long. The hotel is an easy walk to both amusement parks on a quiet path along Portofino Bay. Complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses connect the hotel to the amusement parks and Universal CityWalk. Guests also receive free Universal Express Unlimited ride access, allowing them to skip the lines on many rides and attractions. Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, one hour before the theme park opens, is yet another plus for many visitors.
Room rates for Deluxe Rooms at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort range from $195 to $314 depending on the length of stay and time of year. You can also compare rates and book through Travelocity.
Dana’s stay was hosted by Universal Orlando Resort, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own.