All the Reasons to Love the Premier Universal Orlando Hotels

Universal Orlando offers guests several tiers of resorts to suit their budget and family’s needs.  You can find three amazing hotels at the very top of this tier, and I am excited to share them with you today!  I have lots of reasons to love the Premier Universal Orlando Hotels!

Staying at a Universal Orlando Premier Hotel is an amazing experience.  As a “deluxe” Disney resort girl, these Universal resorts are right up my alley! They are absolutely beautiful properties, they give guests all the best amenities and perks, and include Express Pass!  You can’t go wrong with any of them!  Do I have a favorite?  YES!  Of course I do.  Loews Portofino Bay is my favorite.  But, that doesn’t mean the others aren’t amazing!  So let’s talk about them!

All the Reasons to Love the Universal Orlando Premier Hotels

Which Universal Orlando Hotels are “Premier”?

Universal’s Premier Hotels are very centrally located to the parks and Citywalk.  They all service the parks via a water taxi or by walking, which is REALLY awesome!  The Premier Hotels are as follows:

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Of these, Hard Rock Hotel is the closest to the parks.  It is literally outside the gates of Universal Studios! 

Why Guests Love the Universal Orlando Premier Hotels

First, Express Pass is included with your stay at the premier hotels.  This is a HUGE perk! Express Pass allows you to ride attractions literally over and over without waiting in line. When you choose a Premier Hotel, guests have Express Pass included with their tickets!

Guests of the Premier Hotels have access to Early Park Admission.  Since these are so close to the parks, it makes it easy to get in early!

Each of the Premier Hotels offers a Children’s Activity Center.  For a small fee, you can drop your children off to enjoy themselves while you enjoy an adult only evening!  The kiddos can enjoy movies, snacks, crafts, activities, and games.  So fun!

The Premier Hotels allow guests to charge back to the room and have their purchases in the parks sent back to the resort as well.

Each Premier Hotel is its own destination!  Let’s take a look at them more closely.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

This hotel is a destination in and of itself!  The theming is definitely reminiscent of the Mediterranean, and the seaside village of Portofino, Italy. Kids and parents can enjoy the charming piazza surrounded by a colorful harbor where water taxis transport guests back and forth to the theme parks. 

Portofino Bay offers guests three pools and incredible restaurants. The Beach Pool is ideal for families to spend the day together, and it features a Roman aqueduct-themed water slide.  The sandy beach, children’s pool, and two Jacuzzis make it the perfect afternoon destination.  For a bit quieter of an environment, the Villa Pool includes private cabana rentals and upgraded lounge chairs.  The Hillside Pool offers the quietest place to relax by the water.  

Mama Della’s, the onsite table service restaurant, even has table side strolling musicians!  Not to mention, the opera singer who makes an appearance on the balcony over the piazza to entertain guests!

Portofino is home to NINE dining locations, as well as the famous Despicable Me family suites!  They also have the largest rooms on property, perfect for those who want more space but not the amenities of a suite.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel is the closest you can get to the theme parks.  You can access Citywalk directly from it, as well as the entrance to both theme parks.  While this is a very laid back hotel, the service is amazing! This hotel is themed after a rock start mansion, and it shows!  Guests can check out their own Fender guitar to use during their stay, and they’ll even cut your room key into the shape of a guitar pick as a keepsake. 

Hard Rock Hotel offers guests the option of not only checking out guitars, but also turntables and iconic vinyl records.  It is really a great hotel for families with older kids and music lovers!  

Hard Rock Hotel gives guests the option of a zero entry pool, that features an underwater sound system!  It also has a water slide, two hot tubs, sand beach and volleyball court along with poolside activities and Poolside Movies.  You can easily access the Hard Rock restaurant from the hotel, and take in more memorabilia and the free VIBE tour of the restaurant.  One thing that sets this hotel apart is the Velvet Lounge and Velvet Sessions in the lobby.  At random times, guests can take in an impromptu concert live in the hotel lobby.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

Loews Royal Pacific Hotel

While Portofino is my favorite, Loews Royal Pacific is at the top of my list to recommend for families with younger children. This is a South Seas paradise!  The lagoon style swimming pool, poolside activities and kids’ splash zone and Poolside Movies sets it apart as being the best for littles.  

One thing that sets this hotel apart is the theming.  Similar to the Polynesian, you feel as if you are on vacation immediately upon arriving.  The spirit of “aloha” is everywhere at this hotel!  They even host a weekly Wantilan Luau onsite.  Along with this, guests can enjoy a torch lighting ceremony on select nights with a welcome dance, fire dancers and more.  

Royal Pacific Hotel is the most affordable of the Premier Hotels as well.  This makes it a total win all around!

Staying at one of the Universal Premier Hotels is a great option for your family!  They offer something for everyone!

Carrie Hurst

Married to my high school sweetheart, we are raising two pirates and a princess. A lifelong Disney fan, lover of good food, and all things creative, I hope you will join me in sharing joy and making memories everyday.


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