Universal Orlando {Hard Rock Hotel}

We are just home from three nights at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel and can’t stop talking about how much FUN we had and how much we loved this hotel! The California mission-style design—inspired by classic rock music—welcomes you to escape to a sensational world with a palm-lined swimming pool featuring underwater music, rock memorabilia and recreation featuring live music.

The lobby area is always a flurry of activity. We had a DJ on arrival and then again in the evenings coming from Velvet Lounge. The 6 teens we had in two absolutely loved the vibe and their stay here.

Benefits of staying at a Universal Orlando Resort

There are valuable benefits to staying on-site at a Universal Orlando resort hotel.  When staying at Hard Rock, all guests receive the following.  (These benefits also apply to Portofino Bay and Royal Pacific.)

Early Park Admission
Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ one hour before the theme park opens with paid theme park admission.

Skip the Regular Lines
Guests of select on-site resort hotels enjoy free† Universal Express Unlimited™ to skip the regular lines in Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ (valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay™).

Get There Faster
Enjoy complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk™. Hard Rock is a 5 minutes shady walk to the parks, or a quick Water Taxi ride!

Priority Dining
Cut your wait time in half withpriority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort hotels and CityWalk.

Now, I have two KEY takeaways on these benefits….

First, let’s chat about the FREE Universal Express Unlimited Pass.  For my Disney fans, this is like having a FastPass for every ride.  In all of my trips, including over holiday weekends, I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes in a line.

Next, the priority dining had us seated with 20 minute waits every time we used it.  The normal wait times were about 40 minutes. 

Finally, I send quite a few clients to Universal so I look at pricing often.  If you are considering adding Universal to a larger Orlando trip, I have not seen a case where you wouldn’t fare better staying on property at Universal versus coming in for the day from somewhere else.

Hard Rock Hotel Pool & Activities

Never miss a beat in the 12,000-square-foot pool featuring an underwater sound system, 260-foot slide, two hot tubs, real sand beach and volleyball court. Plus, enjoy poolside service and live music from beachclub and more. Play by the pool with ping-pong tournaments, water balloon tosses, pool basketball, hula hoop contests, and arts and crafts. Best of all? Universal is SO easy and Express Pass SO efficient that you have time to actually sit by the pool and relax while still knowing you did it all in the parks.

We dined at the poolside Beachclub once and enjoyed yummy casual American fare.

Velvet Bar

Undeniably cool with true rock star swagger, this sleek lobby-level bar is the perfect place to catch up with your entourage. Velvet offers tasty appetizers and live music, or you can enjoy a laidback evening sipping wine on the veranda.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen, Hard Rock’s sit down restaurant, serves amped-up American favorites. It’s the perfect place to sip mimosas and Bloody Marys at breakfast, chow down on a reuben for lunch, or dig into their famous mac and cheese for dinner.

Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace

Stop in for Boston’s legendary Emack & Bolio’s ice cream, plus plenty of grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and snack items. We had Toasted Smoreo the first night and went back every night after! The marketplace serves Starbucks coffee and custom coffee drinks all day. Plus, there are fresh made pastries, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and more. You can even grab ready-to-go cocktails, beer and wine.

Hard Rock Hotel Rooms

The double queen rooms feature a neutral palette with pops of fuschia. They are spacious and comfortable for a family of four, and a fifth can fit with a rollaway bed. The split bathroom with two sink areas makes getting ready easier for a family.

Let’s Travel & My Services

As a Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, I am recognized for providing the highest level of customer service, experience, and knowledge in the industry.  I use my personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft EPIC Universal vacations for the most discerning clients.  On top of that, theme park vacations are expensive and I know how to get the best value for your time and money.  I often hear that Universal is “so easy” that you don’t need a travel agent. That may be true, but my services for Universal are completely FREE to you and your trip will not cost any more than if you booked it on your own. You will get a detailed touring plan, tips, tricks, restaurant reservations and more, all based on my personal and frequent visits to Universal Orlando. On top of that, you’re supporting my small business. It’s a WIN-WIN!!


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