We were really excited to stay at Loews Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. My son had this resort on his wish list since our first visit to Universal, but we just couldn’t justify the cost. Luckily, since we became Annual Passholders we got a great discount and made it happen for his Birthday celebration! Read to find out why the Hard Rock Hotel turned out to not really be our cup of tea.
We were hyped up for the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Loews Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando is considered a Premier Resort. While staying at this resort you are given Universal Express Unlimited Passes (which we think are better than gold), early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Volcano Bay, and you are only a quick 5 minute walk from Universal Studios! There is boat transportation available as well, but honestly the walk is MUCH faster! And you can take a stroll through the Butterfly Garden!
The theme just wasn’t my vacationing style.
I think why it was such a let-down to me was because I’m not really into the Rock and Roll theme. Now, OBVIOUSLY I knew that’s what it was going to be themed as, but I didn’t realize how important the theme was to my enjoyment of my vacation. It really is a GREAT hotel if you are into Rock & Roll though! There is TONS of memorabilia throughout the resort! The gift shop focuses mostly on Hard Rock merchandise only and I was a little disappointed in that as well.
However, with that being said we did run into one issue. They have Velvet Sessions at the hotel once a month and of course it was while we were staying there. I thought these events were held in the lounge, but they actually take over the entire lobby area. We came back from our dining reservation and had a lot of trouble getting back into the hotel to park. It was a slight inconvenience, but it still sorta stressed me out!
The beds are amazing, rooms are spacious, but what the heck happened to the size of the bathroom?
One thing that I REALLY love about Universal Resort hotels are the rooms. We haven’t stayed in a “bad” room once while vacationing there. The beds are AMAZING (I know I’ve said this a million times before) and the rooms are really spacious! BUT – the Hard Rock Hotel has the smallest bathroom ever! It was hard to shut the door because it was so cramped and this might seem weird… but the toilet paper was in an awkward position.
The pool area ROCKED!
Not only is my son the Theme Park Junior Advisor, but he is also the pool critic. He said that the slide at the Hard Rock Hotel was the BEST on property slide and he had a lot of fun doing the poolside activities as well. There were little splash pad areas and two whirlpools (one was adult only). I thought the main pool was TOO shallow, but if you have little ones this would be a plus for you! You can even hear the music under the water!
Lots and lots of dining options available… although we didn’t try them all out!
There are numerous dining options available on site. We’ve heard that The Palm is one of the best restaurants on Universal property, but we just weren’t feeling fancy enough to check it out!
There is also The Kitchen which is a sit down restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had the breakfast buffet here and for the three of us it cost us $67.51 (you can read more about how much our vacation cost us here). It was a delicious buffet with made to order items, however it was NOT worth $67.
There are also more laid back dining options available at the Beachclub (near the pool) and Emack and Bolio’s Marketplace (a grab and go). You can grab a drink and appetizers at the Velvet Lounge or stay in your room and order room service as well!
My final thoughts on the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando…
Overall if you really like the idea of the Rock & Roll vibe then you wouldn’t be disappointed. However, if you are like me and enjoy more of a relaxing environment I would either stay at Loews Royal Pacific (and save a lot of money) OR stay at Loews Portofino Bay! Honestly, you can’t go wrong when you are staying on property at Universal Orlando! The service is always outstanding no matter which resort property we stay at!
Have you ever stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando before? What did you think? Comment below!
If you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando you should check out these other posts!
Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Volcano View Room!
Sapphire Falls – Our Favorite Universal Orlando Resort
Despicable Me Kids’ Suite at Loews Portofino Bay
Our Day @ Volcano Bay!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter