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A Quick Guide to the Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort

Staying at a Universal Orlando hotel is becoming a much more popular addition to a Florida holiday. As I've already covered in reasons why you should stay at a Universal Resort, there are a lot of perks with a hotel reservation. But not all perks are available at all resorts. And that is why you need to weigh up which resort is best for you and your travel party.


Since staying at Universal Orlando myself in the summer of 2022, I'd say I'm a convert. And I hope you will be too! So here quick guide to the hotels at Universal Orlando resort! Hopefully, I'll be able to help you make the big decision and then The Fairytale Holidays team will be able to help you get booked in.


Universal Orlando Resort Classification

The resort "types" are broken down into four categories, each with their own pros, cons, and price per night. It's a high chance your decision on where to stay will probably come down you and your budget. But in my opinion, all resorts sound pretty fantastic and are worth checking out!

So we have;

  • Premier: The three most expensive on-site hotels are in the premier bracket. These are Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort.

  • Preferred: There is one resort in the preferred bracket. This is Sapphire Falls Resort.

  • Prime Value: Next up are Cabana Bay Beach Resort and the Aventura Hotel which fall under Prime Value resorts.

  • Value: And finally the two Endless Summer Resort hotels are Value hotels. They are located a brief bus ride across I-4 from Universal proper.

Let's start with the newest and most purse-friendly, the Value Resorts.


Universal Orlando Endless Summer Resort

Universal Orlando Endless Summer Resort Rooms

Value Resorts at Universal Orlando


The two newest hotels at Universal Orlando also happen to be their very first Value Resorts - Endless Summer Dockside Inn and Suites and Endless Summer Surfside Inn and Suites. These two hotels are situated over the I-4 from the main resort but they do offer a free shuttle bus. These are sister resorts, budget-friendly, and perfect for families. The sister part comes from the fact they boast very similar amenities, they just have a different look to them. Both resorts offer single rooms as well as suites, making them affordable for larger families.


Surfside Inn and Suites have a pool with daily activities, a Universal shop, one counter service restaurant, one poolside bar, and a Starbucks. Dockside Inn and Suites has two pools with a kid splash pad, a Universal shop, one counter service restaurant, poolside bars, and a Starbucks. Both resorts also have a games room. You also have access to all Endless Summer pools and amenities no matter which hotel you stay at.


The perks you will receive staying at one of the Universal Orlando Value Resorts are;

  • Early Park Admission

  • Complimentary package delivery to your room

  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key

  • Complimentary scheduled transportation around Universal Orlando Resort, as well as to SeaWorld and Aquatica

The biggest perk you miss out on staying at Value resort is you cannot pool hop to any other resorts on Universal property. But with three pools and a splash pad between the two resorts and Volcano Bay on your doorstep, you'll hardly notice!


Universal Orlando Aventura Hotel

Universal Orlando Cabana Bay Resort Rooms

Prime Value at Universal Orlando


Before the completion of the Endless Summer resort, Prime Value was the lowest level of resort at Universal Orlando. This of course now makes the two Prime Value resorts, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel feel even better value for money because they are still both well priced but not only offer slightly better (and I mean, slightly) but are in closer proximity to the theme parks. Aventura Hotel feels more like a hotel, it's small and compact whereas Cabana Bay Resort definitely has that more spread-out resort feel.


Aventura Hotel also has both standard rooms and suites as well as one pool and one kid's splash area, 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a Starbucks. A Universal Shop, a games room and a fitness centre are also on the property. The hotel itself is in one big tower making it easy to navigate and everything is within close proximity. Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a much larger resort with two huge pool areas, one with a slide and one with a lazy river! As well as a games room there is also a bowling alley and rec centre along with the fitness centre. A Universal shop. To eat, there are four restaurants (a mixture of table service and counter service) a lounge, and the all important Starbucks.


As well as having so much more to offer at the resorts themselves (especially Cabana Bay) you still get the perks mentioned above from being a Universal Orlando guest;

  • Early Park Admission

  • Complimentary package delivery to your room

  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key

  • Complimentary scheduled transportation around Universal Orlando Resort, as well as to SeaWorld and Aquatica

  • But also, you can pool and resort hop to the other Universal Orlando resorts, excluding Endless Summer.

Universal Orlando Sapphire Falls Resort

Preferred at Universal Orlando


There is only one place to stay at Universal Orlando Resort that falls into the Preferred category and that is Sapphire Falls Resort. Sapphire Falls Resort offers a mixture of perks and amenities from the lower categories of Prime Value and Value as well as some that are available at the Premier level. This hotel is close to both Volcano Bay and the Universal Parks and you can travel to both using the boat service or shuttle bus. Sapphire Falls Resort is designed to appeal to both families and tourists with its Caribbean feel, as well as the business and conference sector due to its extensive meeting space.


When it comes to size Sapphire Falls is a mid-size hotel and still offers both standard rooms and suites. The resort boasts one pool surrounded by two sandy beaches, a slide, a hot tub, and a children's water play area. There is also a health and fitness centre, a games room and a Universal shop. There is one table service restaurant, a counter service restaurant, a lounge, and a poolside bar, but no Starbucks.

The perks of staying here at Sapphire Falls Resort are;

  • Early Park Admission

  • Complimentary package delivery to your room

  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key

  • Complimentary scheduled transportation around Universal Orlando Resort, as well as to SeaWorld and Aquatica

  • You can pool and resort hop to the other Universal Orlando resorts, excluding Endless Summer.

  • Valet Parking at Sapphire Falls

  • 24-hour room service

  • Pets are allowed and have a designated pet walk

Universal Orlando Hard Rock Hotel

Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort

Premier at Universal Orlando


Finally, those three top-tier hotels, Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort. While they might have top-tier room rates, they also have top-tier perks and amenities that when you way up the cost vs what you get for staying there, it's fantastic value for your money.


All three resorts have standard and suite-size rooms. The standard-size rooms are some of the biggest on property, so even as a party of four, you won't feel cramped. Portofino Bay Resort has three pools, a games room, an onsite spa as well as the fitness centre. A Universal shop, a Starbucks as well as three table service restaurants, two quick service restaurants, three bars, and an ice cream shop!


The most iconic Universal hotel is, of course, the Hard Rock Hotel. Situated a stones throw from the famous Universal Globe, you'll be right on the doorstep of the theme parks. Hard Rock Hotel boasts one pool area with two hot tubs, a 260-foot slide, and a volleyball court. As well as daily poolside live music! There is the games room, as well as an onsite kid's activity centre. But the coolest thing of all is you can borrow one of the hotel's 20 Fender guitars and have it delivered to your room with an amp for you to play at your leisure during your stay! There are shops and even an outdoor butterfly garden. There are two table service restaurants, a counter service restaurant, a lounge, a pool bar, and a Starbucks.

Universal Orlando Royal Pacific Resort

Finally, at Royal Pacific Resort, here you will find a lagoon-style pool with cabanas you can rent for the day. Two hot tubs, a volleyball net and an interactive kids area. On select evenings there is a torch-lighting ceremony that is worth watching! Like all the other Universal Orlando resorts there is a gym and games room. You'll also find shops fitting the resort along with a Universal shop. As well as onsite kids clubs and even a croquet lawn. For eating there is one table service restaurant, one counter service restaurant, three bars and even a Luau!


All resorts have walkways to the theme parks, as well as the use of the water taxis and shuttle buses.

In my opinion, the perks of staying at one of the Premier Universal Orlando Resorts are some of the best of any theme park hotel.

  • Early Park Admission

  • Complimentary package delivery to your room

  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key

  • Complimentary scheduled transportation around Universal Orlando Resort, as well as to SeaWorld and Aquatica

  • You can pool and resort hop to the other Universal Orlando resorts, excluding Endless Summer.

  • Valet Parking at Sapphire Falls

  • 24-hour room service

  • Pets are allowed and have a designated pet walk

  • In addition, you get priority seating at select Universal and CityWalk restaurants

But of course, the biggest perk is the FREE Unlimited Express for all guests. When you look at the price of those, especially during the peak season, it makes the room rate worth every penny! Skip the lines for almost every ride and it will save you so much time on your visit to Universal Orlando Resort!


And that's all the hotels currently at Universal Orlando! I think there is a great selection for two (soon to be three) theme parks and a water park. There really is something for everyone and every price range. Which one would you like to experience? I think Royal Pacific is next on my list!

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